Things to do this week in NYC Jul 16-Jul 23: MuseumsJuly 16, 2011 - by CG Directory Editor
Some of the world's most impressive museums and exhibits are in New York?including the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and (of course) the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the great things to do in NYC is to visit these spectacular collections. Whether you're a native New Yorker or here on vacation, NYC's museums have something new and interesting to offer everybody! Here is a list of what's going on this week at museums throughout New York City.
Body & Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings - American Museum of Natural History
An exhibition of 64 Tibetan medical paintings (also known as tangkas), in the Museum's fourth-floor Audubon Gallery. On view for the first time in a museum exhibition, these hand-painted reproductions of traditional scroll paintings provide a unique and richly illustrated history of early medical knowledge and procedures in Tibet and are believed to be among only a handful of such sets in existence. Each of the paintings on display was painstakingly reproduced by hand in the late 1990s by Romio Shrestha, a Nepalese artist, and his students, who followed the Tibetan tradition of copying older paintings, basing their work on two published sets of medical tangkas likely painted in the early 1900s that were copies of the original set. The originals were created in the late 1600s to illustrate the Blue Beryl, an important commentary on the classic Tibetan medical text, The Four Tantras. Also on display in this exhibition is a Buddha statue made of gilded copper alloy, minerals used in medicine, and Tibetan medical instruments from the early 1900s. The Museum is deeply grateful to Emily H. Fisher and John Alexander, whose vision and generosity supported the acquisition and conservation of this collection of Tibetan Medical Paintings. Body and Spirit is made possible by a very generous gift from the Estate of Marian O. Naumburg.
Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Francis Alÿs (b. 1959, Antwerp, Belgium) uses poetic and allegorical methods to address political and social realities, such as national borders, localism and globalism, areas of conflict and community, and the benefits and detriments of progress. Alÿs's personal, ambulatory explorations of cities form the basis for his practice, through which he compiles extensive and varied documentation that reflects his ideas and process. As one of the foremost artists of his generation, Alÿs has produced a complex and diverse body of work that includes video, painting, performance, drawing, and photography. This exhibition draws on the Museum's unique and important collection of Alÿs's work, highlighting three recent major acquisitions—Re-enactments (2001), When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), and Rehearsal I (Ensayo I) (1999–2001)—which include video installations, paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, and newspaper clippings. These works present an investigation of methods of social action, from rehearsals and re-enactments in urban environments that address the politics of public space to large-scale communal participation where the culmination of many small acts achieves mythic proportions. The exhibition, which is conceptually grouped around these three thematic bodies of work, also includes additional artworks that the artist has developed around the idea of rehearsal and re-enactment in relation to progress in art and everyday life. The exhibition continues at MoMA PS1 with an in-depth look at Modern Procession (2002), a piece commissioned by MoMA to mark it's temporary relocation to Queens during the Museum's 2002–04 expansion project.
Joel Grey/A New York Life - Museum of the City of New York
Joel Grey/A New York Life examines the enduring impact that performer and photographer Joel Grey and his adopted city have made on each other. Through rare artifacts from his stage and screen career, objects from his personal collection, and his own photography, the exhibition offers a unique look at New York through Grey's eyes. Joel Grey/A New York Life will include posters, playbills, and costume pieces from Grey's iconic productions, combined with a selection of his New York City photographs. Together, they dramatize how the breadth of his artistic work has been nurtured and inspired by his life in New York City. Closed Mon.
Alexander McQueen - Savage Beauty - Metropolitan Museum of Art
The exhibition, organized by The Costume Institute, celebrates the late Alexander McQueen's extraordinary contributions to fashion. From his Central Saint Martins postgraduate collection of 1992 to his final runway presentation, which took place after his death in February 2010, Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. His iconic designs constitute the work of an artist whose medium of expression was fashion. The exhibition will feature approximately one hundred ensembles and seventy accessories from Mr. McQueen's prolific nineteen-year career. Drawn primarily from the Alexander McQueen Archive in London, with some pieces from the Givenchy Archive in Paris as well as private collections, signature designs including the 'bumster' trouser, the kimono jacket, and the three-point "origami" frock coat will be on view. McQueen's fashions often referenced the exaggerated silhouettes of the 1860s, 1880s, 1890s, and 1950s, but his technical ingenuity always imbued his designs with an innovative sensibility that kept him at the vanguard.
Brain: The Inside Story - American Museum of Natural History
This unprecedented journey through the essential bundle of neurons that is the human brain offers insight through a sensory feast of imaginative art, vivid brain scan imaging, and thrilling interactive exhibits. Features include a "Brain Lounge," where you can view colorful, functional brain scans -- or fMRIs -- of two musicians, a NY Knick, and a U.N. translator. Open daily. $16; children 2-12, $9.
Ai Weiwei: New York Photographs 1983-1993 - Asia Society Museum
The Asia Society Museum presents an exhibition of 227 photographs taken by Ai Weiwei from 1983-1993 capturing the history, culture, and atmosphere of New York from his unique perspective. Before Ai Weiwei became internationally recognized as an artist and activist, he lived in a tiny apartment in New York's East Village, and was a prominent member of a community of expatriate Chinese artists and intellectuals in the neighborhood's then burgeoning avant-garde scene. From 1983 to 1993, the artist used his camera to document his life and work, his surroundings, and the atmosphere of the time. The photographs document a distinct era in New York, as seen through Ai Weiwei's eyes, tracing the beginnings of his conceptual art practice. They depict East Village poetry readings, riots in Tompkins Square Park, drag queens at Wigstock, and well-known artists and intellectuals from China, such as filmmaker Chen Kaige, composer Tan Dun and artist Xu Bing
Target Passport Fridays - Queens Museum of Art
Leave your baggage at home and bring a picnic blanket out to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the Target Passport Fridays at the Queens Museum of Art International Outdoor Film, Dance and Music Series. Every week, we celebrate a different international locale! Every Friday from July 8 - August 26: Dance and music program begins at 6:30 pm and film begins at 8 pm. For more information: bit.ly/ppfridays July 8- Ecuador; July 15- Africa; July 22- Haiti; July 19- Taiwan; August 5- Dominican Republic; August 12- Egypt; August 19-Colombia; August 26- Venezuela.
Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective - Metropolitan Museum of Art
This first retrospective of drawings by the contemporary American artist Richard Serra (b. 1939) presents a comprehensive overview of some forty years of his drawing activity. It traces the development of drawing as an art form independent from yet linked to his sculptural practice. Drawing for Serra has always played a crucial role in the investigation of new concepts and new creative methods. It has been a means of exploration of formal and perceptual relationships between the artwork and the viewer. His innovative ideas have radically transformed the traditional understanding of drawing as a form outlined against a background of the paper support, and exponentially expanded the definition of modern drawing through novel techniques, unusual media, monumental scale, and carefully conceived relationships to surrounding spaces.
This installation features a selection of one hundred examples of important boxes, caskets, and small chests from the Metropolitan Museum's European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department. For centuries, boxes, caskets, cabinets, and chests played an important role in everyday life. Ranging from strongboxes to travel cases and from containers for tea or tobacco to those for the storage of toiletries or silverware, these lidded pieces were made in a large variety of shapes and sizes, and of many different materials. The form and decoration of these objects not only reflect changes in social customs and manners but also follow the stylistic developments in Europe over four hundred years. Pieces made of tortoiseshell, carved and veneered wood, porcelain, hard stones and natural substances, embroidery, various metals, leather, enamel, pastiglia, and straw will be included. These objects, some of which have not been on display for years, were much more than mere containers and often became precious works of art, collected in their own right.
A Chronology: The Guggenheim Collection, 1909-1979 - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
In 1937, Solomon R. Guggenheim established a foundation with the goal of opening a museum to publicly exhibit and preserve his holdings of modern art. Since then, the museum's founding collection has been enhanced through major gifts and purchases from pioneering individuals who share Guggenheim's spirit. A Chronology: The Guggenheim Collection, 1909-1979 presents a visually dynamic time line of this extraordinary metamorphosis from private collection to public museum.
Turkish Taste at the Court of Marie-Antoinette - Frick Collection
France has long been fascinated by the Ottoman Empire, and for hundreds of years the taste for turquerie was evident in French fashion, literature, theater and opera, painting, architecture, and interior decoration. Turquerie, a term that came into use in the early nineteenth century, referred to essentially anything produced in the West that evoked or imitated Turkish culture. It was during the late eighteenth century at the court of Marie-Antoinette that the Turkish style reached new heights, inspiring some of the period's most original creations, namely boudoirs or cabinets decorated entirely in the Turkish manner. In 1776 and 1777, several operas and plays with Turkish themes were performed at the French court, increasing the nobility's interest in Turkish style. Soon thereafter, three interiors à la turque were created for the comte d'Artois, Louis XVI's younger brother, and Marie-Antoinette commissioned boudoirs turcs for her apartments at Versailles and Fontainebleau. Since these retreats were intended for private entertaining, interior decorators were allowed more freedom than was permitted for the official, more public apartments at court. The highly theatrical rooms featured furniture and wall panels decorated with turbaned figures, camels, palm trees, and other Turkish motifs, but their form and function remained essentially French. Created for the royal family and wealthy aristocrats, the objects were always of the highest quality, made by the best artists and craftsmen of the day. This summer, The Frick Collection will present a dossier exhibition featuring several pieces made in the Turkish manner for members of the French court, including a pair of console tables acquired by Henry Clay Frick in 1914, that illustrate a particularly inventive aspect of French eighteenth-century decorative style. The exhibition is organized by Charlotte Vignon, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection.
Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection - Metropolitan Museum of Art
This exhibition includes a selection of drawings made by Northern artists visiting Italy in the eighteenth century. Some were attracted by the crumbling ruins of well-known ancient buildings like the Colosseum, while others were drawn to more anonymous corners of the verdant countryside. Also on display will be a recently acquired pastel study of a French Dragoon by Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (French, 1767-1824) for "The Revolt of Cairo," shown with other military-themed images from the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods.
Inspiration and Industry - American Women on the Home Front - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The purpose of wartime posters was to unify and mobilize Americans. During World War I and World War II, U.S. government posters urged all citizens to make a personal commitment to the war effort. The special exhibition Inspiration and Industry draws upon original wartime posters to explore the contributions of women during these two conflicts.
Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection - Whitney Museum of American Art
At the turn of the twentieth century, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, an heiress and sculptor born to one of America's wealthiest families, began to assemble a rich and highly diverse collection of modern American art. This group of objects, combined with a trove of new works purchased around the time of the Whitney Museum's opening in 1931, came together to form the founding collection. This exhibition features a selected group of works from the approximately 1,000 objects in the Whitney's founding collection, including iconic paintings by artists such as Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as works by lesser-known artists. Co-curated by Barbara Haskell and Sasha Nicholas. Breaking Ground: The Whitney's Founding Collection is the first in a multiyear series of exhibitions aimed at reassessing the museum's collection. Unfolding in chronological order over a two year period, these exhibitions will explore overlooked developments in American art and reconsider iconic figures and masterworks within new frameworks and contexts.
Young Architects Program 2011 - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
This exhibition features the proposals of the five finalists in the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program and the five finalists from our new affiliated program at the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome. Now in its 12th edition, the Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1 offers emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year's winners to develop highly innovative designs for a temporary outdoor installation at MoMA PS1 that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. For the first time, MoMA and MoMA PS1 are partnering with another institution, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts of Rome in Rome (MAXXI), to create an international Young Architects Program network. The winning designs, by Interboro Partners (Brooklyn) at MoMA PS1 and stARTT (Rome) at MAXXI, will be on view throughout the summer in the respective museum courtyards. The project submissions of all the finalists -- including Raffaella De Simone/Valentina Mandalari (Palermo), Ghigos Ideas (Lissone/Milan), Asif Khan (London), and Langarita Navarro Arquitectos (Madrid) for Rome; and formlessfinder (Brooklyn), IJP (London), MASS Design Group (Cambridge), and Matter Practice (Brooklyn) for New York -- are exhibited at both venues.
Lee Ufan - Marking Infinity - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim presents the first U.S. retrospective of the artist, philosopher, and poet Lee Ufan, charting the artist's creation of a visual, conceptual, and theoretical language that has expanded the possibilities for sculpture and painting. For Lee, each artwork mediates a dynamic encounter between the viewer, object, and site that opens up "a realm of infinity where one can continuously bring one's self back to nothingness."
Special Display: A 22' USS Intrepid Model Made of Lego® Bricks! - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Artist Ed Diment has assembled an amazing 22-foot-long, 550 pound model USS Intrepid out of LEGO bricks. The model USS Intrepid was crafted out of 250,000 LEGO(register tm) bricks, and is nearly 4.5 feet high and 4.5 feet wide. Diment resides in Portsmouth, England, where he originally built the model after visiting the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum while vacationing in New York. Free with Museum admission.
Xu Bing: The Living Word - Morgan Library & Museum
A reflection on language and the nature of writing has been at the core of Xu Bing's art since the beginning of his career in China during the mid-1980s. It is therefore particularly fitting that the Morgan, a library as well as a museum, should present his spectacular installation, The Living Word, a poetic evocation of the relationship between the written word and its meaning.
Anthony Caro on the Roof - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sculptures by Anthony Caro (b. 1924) -- who is considered the most influential and prolific British sculptor of his generation and a key figure in the development of modernist sculpture over the last sixty years -- is featured in the 2011 installation on The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The installation features a selection of sculpture in steel, painted and unpainted, spanning the artist's career to date and highlighting principal aspects of his long career: engagement with form in space, dialogue between sculpture and architecture, and creation of new, abstract analogies for the human figure and landscape.
THE HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010 - Hans-Peter Feldmann - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Hans-Peter Feldmann, winner of THE HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2010, has spent over four decades conducting a profound investigation into the influence of the visual environment on our subjective reality. Composing images and objects into serial archives, uncanny combinations, and other illuminating new contexts, his work unearths the latent associations and sentiments that permeate the familiar landscape of daily life.
Split Second - Indian Paintings - Brooklyn Museum
Split Second invites the Brooklyn Museum's online community to participate in a project that will result in a small installation of Indian paintings from the Museum's permanent collection. Taking its inspiration from the critically acclaimed book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell, this online experiment and resulting installation will explore how our initial reaction to a work of art is affected by what we know, what we're asked, and what we're told about the object in question. Split Second begins with a three-part activity that explores the Museum's collection of Indian paintings; participation is open to anyone with an Internet connection. The first stage explores split-second reactions: in a timed trial, participants will be asked to select which painting they prefer from a randomly generated pair of images. Next, participants will be asked to write in their own words about a painting before rating its appeal on a scale. In the third phase, participants will be asked to rate a work of art after being given unlimited time to view it alongside a typical interpretive text. Each part of the exercise aims to examine how a different type of information—or a lack thereof—might affect a person's reaction to a work of art. Split Second culminates with an installation on the Museum's second floor, opening July 13, 2011. Visitors will be able to view a small selection of the paintings that generated the most controversial and dynamic responses during the evaluation process, accompanied by a visualization and analysis of the data collected. The Brooklyn Museum's collection of Indian paintings ranks among the top ten in the United States, representing the artistic traditions of many different regions, with examples dating from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth. Many of the works in this project have not been on view for several years, owing to their light sensitivity. The installation offers a rare opportunity to see these paintings in person and consider them in a new light. Split Second: Indian Paintings is organized by Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology, in consultation with Joan Cummins, Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator of Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum.
The World's Largest Dinosaurs - American Museum of Natural History
A new exhibition that goes beyond traditional fossil shows to reveal how dinosaurs actually lived by taking visitors into the amazing anatomy of a uniquely super-sized group of dinosaurs: the long-necked and long-tailed sauropods, which ranged in size from 15 to 150 feet long. Drawing on the latest science that looks in part to existing organisms to understand these extinct giants, The World's Largest Dinosaurs will answer such intriguing questions as how an extremely large animal breathes, eats, moves, and survives by illuminating how size and scale are related to basic biological functions. Innovative interactive exhibits -- including the exhibition centerpiece, a life-sized, fleshed-out model of a 60-foot- long, 11-foot-tall female Mamenchisaurus, known for its remarkable, 30-foot neck -- will take visitors inside these giants' bodies, shedding light on how heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and reproduction are linked to size. An interactive excavation at the end of the exhibition will introduce visitors to how dinosaurs are discovered in the field through a replicated dig site.
194X–9/11: American Architects and the City - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
In 1942 -- shortly after the U.S. entered World War II -- Architectural Forum magazine commissioned a group of architects, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, to design projects for a hypothetical postwar American city, rethinking both urban community life and the relationship between architecture and urban planning. The aim was to project an optimistic postwar period of growth and prosperity to begin as soon as hostilities ended, in 194X -- soon, it was hoped. Over half a century later the country is once again engaged in global conflict and—in the wake of 9/11 and the ongoing financial crisis -- undergoing a major reconsideration of urban and suburban space. This year marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11, an event that ushered in a new era of architectural anticipation and uncertainty, and gave rise to a flurry of urban rebuilding projects, some of which are only finally seeing the light of day at Ground Zero. Drawn from MoMA's architectural holdings, this exhibition shows the work of a variety of architects who took on the urban scale in a spirit of recasting the form and daily experience of the city. In addition to Mies van der Rohe, featured architects include Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolph, Rem Koolhaas and OMA, and United Architects.
Frogs: A Chorus of Colors - American Museum of Natural History
This delightful exhibition will introduce visitors to the colorful and richly diverse world of frogs. More than 200 live frogs, from tiny dart poison frogs (some less than an inch long) to the enormous African bullfrog (as big as eight inches in diameter) will be shown in their re-created habitats, complete with rock ledges, live plants, and waterfalls. Approximately 25 species native to Argentina, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Paraguay, Russia, Sumatra, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam, will be featured. The exhibition will explore the evolution and biology of these amphibians, their importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in the world's changing environments. Interactive stations throughout the exhibition will invite visitors to activate recorded frog calls, view videos of frogs in action, and test their knowledge about frogs. Admission to the exhibition is $24 for adults, $14 for children, and $18 for seniors and students.
"Frogs: A Chorus of Colors" - American Museum of Natural History
More than 200 live frogs are shown in their re-created habitats from around the world. The exhibition explores the evolution and biology of these amphibians, their importance to ecosystems, and the threats they face in the world's changing environments. Interactive stations invite visitors to activate recorded frog calls, view videos of frogs in action, and test their knowledge about frogs.
El Museo's Bienal: The (S) Files 2011 - El Museo Del Barrio
El Museo's Bienal: The (S) Files 2011 is El Museo del Barrio's sixth biennial of the most innovative, cutting-edge art created by Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists currently working in the greater New York area. This year's edition spreads all over the city, showcasing a record 75 emerging artists in six different venues. Aiming to expand the definition of contemporary Latino and Latin American art, The (S) Files 2011 takes on a broad exploration of the visual energy, events, and aesthetics of the street. While considering the more conventional understandings of street art such as graffiti and mural painting, The (S) Files 2011 extends the definition of street art by also considering non-traditional art objects as well as works from other disciplines, including music and fashion. The (S) Files 2011 explores how the boundaries between public/private and personal/universal are blurred by urban culture, and examines the street as catalyst for change in mainstream culture. The exhibition looks at how these social borders mix and dissolve in urban environments, and how artists use these social alterations as points of creative departure. Among the themes developed in The (S) Files 2011 are the influence of early New York street art movements, text and urban styles, and the creation of art works from urban debris. The variety of issues addressed by the artists range from daily life situations, to social behaviors, to economic distress. In addition to its overall focus on New York-based artists, The (S) Files 2011 celebrates the Biennial of the Central American Isthmus (Bienal del Istmo Centroamericano) by showcasing the work of a group of artists featured in its most recent edition.
Jim Henson's Fantastic World - Museum of the Moving Image
The exhibition features more than 120 artifacts, including drawings, storyboards, and props, and video material that illustrate Henson's boundless creativity and innumerable accomplishments. A special addition to the exhibition at Museum of the Moving Image is a puppet of Miss Piggy from The Muppets Take Manhattan. Among other highlights are fourteen additional iconic original puppets of such characters as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Bert, and Ernie; photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work; and excerpts from Henson's early projects and experimental films. The exhibition spans Henson's entire career, beginning with drawings, cartoons, and posters produced during his college years in the late 1950s and concluding with objects related to the inspired imaginary worlds of his popular fantasy film The Dark Crystal (1982). Visitors will encounter materials from Henson's best-known projects, The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie and its sequels, and Fraggle Rock, as well as objects related to his Sesame Street characters. Visitors will also learn about Sam and Friends, an early show Henson created in the 1950s, Henson's television commercial work in the 1960s, and the segments Henson made for The Ed Sullivan Show.