Summer in the City Art’s Happening
Before you complain of ennui or head to the Hamptons, check out these stimulating, colorful, and beautiful exhibits, which are sure to elevate your visual IQ.
A lot more’s is happening in the Manhattan art scene than merely the “chic or pretty.”
There is a lot of substance. Before you complain of ennui or head to the Hamptons, check out these stimulating, colorful, and beautiful exhibits, which are sure to elevate your visual IQ.
This is a guide to what’s going on – the most interesting or and beautiful, from up-and-coming artists to more familiar and established names.
June 12 through August 7
Features stunning portraits by more than 20 artists including Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Alexi Worth, and Deborah Kass.
WHERE AND WHY: Adam Baumgold Gallery
Summer hours: Tues- Friday 11 – 5:30 pm
In a small space on a staid street off Madison Avenue, this gallery is a quiet powerhouse, with treasured art works from important names in contemporary and 20th century art, including Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Robert Rauschenberg.
WHAT: Mujeres de Abstraccion (tr. Women of Abstraction)
July 9 – August 28
This summer exhibit focuses on Latin American historical and contemporary female artists recognized for their contributions to geometric abstraction and for developing and refining a distinct Latin American visual language. The exhibit includes vibrant works on paper, sculpture and video by artists Emilia Azcarate, Maria Freire, Gego, Mercedes Elena Gonzalez, Marta Minajin and others.
WHERE AND WHY: Henrique Faria 35 East 67th Street
One of the few galleries in Manhattan to work solely with Latin American artists, Henrique Faria represents conceptual and abstract artists of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
CHELSEA – ART GALLERY ROW
WHAT: Dewain Valentine
June 26 – August 7, 2015
Valentine, a California artist, is a minimalist sculptor known for his ability to transform industrial and synthetic products into works of beauty.
Inspired by the California landscape, he created works that were, he says, “about the sea and the sky.”
This exhibit showcases Valentine’s work from the 1960s and 70s and demonstrates the artist’s pioneering work using polyester resin. Of interest: “Columns” – a sculptural work with a prismatic effect that produces an optical sense of depth, space, and color; “Gray Columns” –12 ft tall; and “Circles” – which displays the artist’s mastery of geometric form and command of color. Valentine has exhibited national and internationally; his works can also be seen at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney.
WHERE AND WHY: David Zwirner 519, 525 & 533 West 19th Street
A go-to spot for those in-the-know, the David Zwirner gallery is legendary, a name on the international art fair circuit and almost synonymous with art cultivation.
WHAT: “A Moment” – Santi Moix
June 23 – August 14, 2015
The sixth solo show of brilliant Spanish painter Santi Moix at this gallery…. Fanciful and vibrant, Moix’s watercolor on paper works are ethereal collages that visualize the artist’s imaginative inner world and, say critics, exude pure energy.
Inspired by plant and animal life – and literary classics like Huckleberry Finn, Santi Moix brings his watercolor collages on large canvases to the gallery straight from the walls of his Brooklyn Navy Yard studio. Saint Moix, commissioned to paint a 200-ft mural at Prada’s SoHo store a few years ago also had his first solo exhibit in Italy this fall.
WHERE AND WHY: Paul Kasmin Gallery
Paul Kasmin has launched the careers of many recognized modern and contemporary artists: Robert Indiana, Mark Ryden, Deborah Kass, Ivan Navarro… and more.
DOWNTOWN COOL – LOWER EAST SIDE
WHAT: Old Truths & New Lies
Challenging elitist distinctions in the art world by presenting the work of mostly women – some relatively unknown – this exhibit focuses on artists who innovated in weaving, sewing, quilting, screen printing and fabrics, often denigrated as “soft” art, artists who question assumptions about art in surprising, ironic, and playful ways.
From canvases of fruit and pizza to living spaces presented as art to a blue sculpture that masquerades as a blue painting that moves, to rugs that interact with paintings, this show is highly innovative, colorful and engaging.
WHERE AND WHY: Rachel Uffner Gallery 170 Suffolk Street
A relative newcomer to the gallery scene, Rachel Uffner opened in 2008 on Orchard Street and has since moved to Suffolk Street. The gallery showcases emerging and mid-career international artists and brings in guest curators to comment on them. Many of the artists represented have been included in significant museum and gallery exhibitions worldwide.
WHAT: “RICK BEGNEAUD Thread Song”
May 30 – July 18
Begneaud, nephew of the famous Robert Rauschenberg and personal chef to the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, also toured the world with them.
He’s an artist who uses watercolor paint on canvas to create a patchwork of fabric, color and space that forms angular shapes and pulsates with vibrant summery shimmers… of sapphire, turquoise, yellow, orange, pinks and rose. Inspired by textiles and elements from the villages he has visited, his paintings are unique, beautiful… and exude freedom, calm, and the sweetness… of Sugar Magnolia….
WHERE AND WHY: Woodward Gallery 133 Eldridge Street
For more than 20 years, this landmark gallery has represented emerging and established artists from almost every important modern and contemporary art movement, i.e. abstract expressionism, pop art, color field painting, minimalism, conceptual art, neo-expressionism, and street art.
The gallery’s domain includes a Project Space across the street that supports urban artists and displays Street Art murals by what they consider today’s most relevant artists.
This summer’s show is refreshing and colorful, and speaks to the artist’s many cool influences: sun-kissed textiles – mellow Grateful Dead songs….and celebrated artist Robert Rauschenberg…
SOUTH OF THE BORDER— WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN
WHAT: Mark Reynolds: Deeper Secrets and the Aevum of Geometry
Starts June 12th.
Aside from being an artist, Reynolds is also a mathematician who teaches geometry at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. In this trippy exhibit, Reynolds uses geometry and ratios to craft harmonious grids and resolve numeric conflicts… If you wonder why, Reynolds explains: “it’s like making a map of the night sky…”
WHERE AND WHY: PIEROGI 177 North 9th Street – Brooklyn
If you haven’t explored the art scene south of the border (of Manhattan), come down and visit this Williamsburg gallery.
Pierogi, which represents emerging artists, both conceptual and process-oriented, has more than an unusual name; they have an unconventional approach to art displays. There’s a satellite location, The Boiler, a loft with 33-feet ceilings that houses the gallery’s larger sculptures and installations.
NOTEWORTHY MUSEUM EXHIBITS
WHAT: Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971
May 17- September 7, 2015
The first exhibition at MoMA dedicated exclusively to the work of Yoko Ono assembles some 125 of her early pieces including works on paper, installations, performances, audio recordings, and films, along with rarely seen archival work. The exhibit testifies to Yoko Ono’s artistic contributions to an important decade of art but also reminds us of how radically innovative, sometimes irreverent, and totally influential 1960s artists were. Organized chronologically, the exhibit provides viewers with many ways to navigate (and Ono’s own written instructions on how to – part of the art).
WHERE AND WHY: Museum of Modern Art
Not much has to be said about this institution, an art icon in NY synonymous with recognition for contemporary and modern artists – except get down to see this, a provocative, stimulating exhibit and an experience you shouldn’t miss. And while you’re at it, stop in on Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Cans and Other Works, which runs until October 18, 2015.
WHAT: Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin
March 31 – August 30, 2015
The first museum to explore the work of NY-based Ralph Pucci, this important exhibit contains more than 30 mannequins Pucci designed. Recognized for artistry and originality and for turning mannequin-making into art, Pucci collaborated with many celebrated fashion designers and models including Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Sui, Christy Turlington, and Andree Putman. Using Greek and Roman statues and the theatrical costumes of the New York Dolls as inspiration, Pucci crafted beautiful mannequins of fiberglass. Aside from visual appeal, they also chronicle changing attitudes about the female body, fashion trends, and changing female identities.
WHAT: Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design: Midcentury and Today
April 28 – September 27, 2015
The more than 100 works by 42 American and European women artists overlooked by the post-war, modernist, male-dominated art establishment tell a story that hasn’t been heard. In the 1950s and 1960s, an era when painting, sculpture and architecture were dominated by men, women artists used unconventional materials: textiles, ceramics, and metals, to craft stunning and exquisitely detailed work in innovative ways, making a substantial contribution to art and design that continues today.
WHERE AND WHY: Museum of Arts and Design
WHAT: Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim
June 5 – September 9, 2015
Visual art has always been associated with storytelling. But in the twentieth century, artists made a radical break with the past, rejecting realistic representation and eliminating explicit narrative content – i.e. structured stories with beginning, middle and end. In the 1990s, a new generation of artists, in different genres from painting to poetry, created intimate, open-ended acts of storytelling, weaving their own accounts of race, gender, and sexuality. Their stories were often embedded in abstract forms, or activated by platforms for social interaction. Storylines includes key works from this influential era. The exhibit spans more than 100 contemporary works in different mediums by 48 international artists.
WHERE AND WHY: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum The Guggenheim is a 20th century architectural icon, vital cultural center, an educational institution, and world-class museum that showcases modern masterpieces – from the 20th century and beyond.
Both a guide to and explanation of contemporary art and an extravaganza, this wonderful exhibit invites even those who don’t quite understand it to party along— at an all-night dance party. If you miss that, you can still attend the wonderful readings, screenings, and performances of not just artists officially represented but those who comment on the exhibit: renowned poets and novelists like Joyce Carol Oates, John Ashbery and many others.
WHAT: “America Is Hard to See” – May 1 – September 27
This ambitious exhibit fills the entire exhibition space at Whitney’s new home in the West Village.
Borrowing its title from a Robert Frost poem, the art works offer new perspectives on American art. 600+ works by roughly 400 artists also provide intense visual stimulation.
The exhibit encompasses 23 chapters named for an art work, built on particular themes, and arranged chronologically – from the first chapter with art works from 1914 when the museum opened to the last which chronicles artists from the mid-1960s to the present. It includes a whole panorama of complex art movements along with the works of great artists from Edward Hopper to German Expressionists to Max Weber and Georgia O’Keefe to Abstract Expressionists like De Kooning, Franz Kline, and Mark Rothko.
WHERE AND WHY: Whitney Museum of American Art 99 Gansevoort Street
To truly appreciate this exhibit will take more than one visit but promises to be an extraordinary experience and an education.
From the realistic and beautiful works to provocative and unconventional, like Bruce Conner’s sculptural Portrait of Allen Ginsburg (1960)—constructed of wood, fabric, wax, glass, feathers, metal, string, and spray paint, or Fred Wilson’s Guarded View (1991) which confronts viewers with four black headless mannequins dressed as museum guards, expect the unexpected. The exhibit offers a panoramic view of great modern and contemporary artists and artistic movements including Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Op Art, Pop Art, minimalist and post-minimalist.
The new Whitney site offers stunning views of the Hudson, 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries, outdoor exhibition space, terraces that face the High Line, and the largest museum gallery in the city.
WHAT: Van Gogh, Irises and Roses
Robert Lehman Wing, Gallery 955, 1st floor
May 12 – August 16, 2015
The romantic in me has always been touched by the art – and sufferings – of Van Gogh. This special exhibit is the first to present four paintings of flowers – irises and roses, in contrasting formats and color schemes that Van Gogh completed on the eve of his departure from the mental asylum at Saint-Remy in Provence (1890). Using sets of contrasting colors, yellow and violet, pink and green, varied for different expressive effects, Van Gogh tried to impart a “calm, unremitting ardor” to what he described as a “revelation of color.” He hurriedly completed them, sent them to his brother, and died before they actually arrived.
WHERE AND WHY: Robert Lehman Wing, Gallery 955, 1st floor Metropolitan Museum of Art
A visit to NY if you don’t live here or a summer experience if you do wouldn’t be complete without a trip to this monumental museum which ranks among the top in the world. …
After perusing the many new, amazing exhibits, the rooftop cocktail area is a great place to unwind and look out on Central Park.
A side trip to their annex, the Cloisters, is also great in the summer.
Cindy Sherman (b. 1954). Untitled Film Still #45, 1979. Gelatin silver print, Sheet: 8 × 10in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm) Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2011.357 © Cindy Sherman; courtesy artist and Metro Pictures, New York. images from “America Is Hard to Find” Whitney exhibit
Lisa Stahl, a native New Yorker, has authored many articles that graced the cover pages of magazines and websites. She’s the author of two distance-learning courses on fashion and has contributed substantial research and content on politics and foreign policy to three books by a political analyst and adviser to Hillary Clinton. Lisa’s achievements include an MA in English with honors from Columbia University. She also studied piano at Juilliard.