Art and About in June

Arts & Entertainment

by James Gaddy, 05/22/2013

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There's always great art to see in the City, but this summer is perhaps the only time you'll find 1.4 million feet of rope installed in a major city park. With Red, Yellow and Blue, New York–based artist Orly Genger has turned Madison Square Park's lawn into a series of colorful sections divided by intricate, hand-knotted nautical rope collected along hundreds of miles of the Eastern seaboard and then covered in bright paint. The piece is impressively hefty, weighing in at more than 100,000 pounds—but it's still in the featherweight division compared with what you'll find in Rockefeller Center, where the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone has assembled nine giant stone figures that weigh up to 30,000 pounds each. Dubbed Human Nature, the sculptures stand 16 to 20 feet tall and were built out of rough-hewn slabs of bluestone from a quarry in Northern Pennsylvania. Dozens more of the stone structures, on a smaller scale, are also installed, appropriately, at Gladstone Gallery on West 21st Street throughout the month.

The much-loved summer tradition of the Roof Garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art returns this month with the commission of Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi, who uses nearly all of the 8,000-square-foot space on the museum's rooftop as a canvas for his patterns of lush ornamental leaves. Red acrylic colors are spattered on the roof to evoke the gardens seen in paintings of the Mughal court in India while also echoing the shape of the trees in nearby Central Park. Inside the museum, a retrospective of sculptor Ken Price opens June 18 with nearly 65 examples tracing his development from 1959 to the present.

Rain Room (2013), by Random International

"Rain Room" (2013), by Random International, on view at Expo 1: New York. Courtesy, Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Charles Roussel

One of the biggest draws of the summer, judging from its current popularity on Instagram, is the Rain Room at The Museum of Modern Art. A large-scale environment by Random International as part of Expo 1: New York, the room uses digital technology to control where the rain falls inside, which allows you walk slowly through the installation without raindrops ever actually falling on your head.

At MoMA's sister museum PS1 in Long Island City, the exhibition continues addressing themes of the environment and the natural world. Adrián Villar Rojas' La inocencia de los animales (The innocence of animals) consists of cracked clay and crumbling concrete to resemble either an ancient amphitheater or a cave of the future—you decide. Also inside is a look back at the life and times of Ansel Adams, whose photographs of Yosemite's mountains, forests, rivers, geysers and moonrises coexist somewhat uneasily with Olafur Eliasson's installation Your waste of time, which features massive pieces of ice that broke off from Iceland's largest glacier, Vatnajökull, and which remain intact because the gallery space is refrigerated to maintain a temperature below freezing.

Winter (2013), by Philip Haas

"Winter" (2013), by Philip Haas. Courtesy, The New York Botanical Garden

In keeping with the natural theme permeating many of this summer's exhibitions, the New York Botanic Garden has opened Philip Haas: Four Seasons, an installation of four 15-foot-tall sculptures named Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The artist and filmmaker was inspired by the eccentric, yet scientifically accurate botanical heads crafted by 16th-century Italian Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who represented each season with creations made from flowers, ivy, moss, vegetables, fruit, bark and branches.

Elsewhere in the City, the built environment gets its due. Alexandre Arrechea's No Limits installs 10 large-scale sculptures on the Park Avenue Malls from East 54th to East 67th Street (through June 9) that reinterpret iconic City landmarks like the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building. Andrew Rogers' Individuals, at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, comprises 15 bronze sculptures that use an organic, ribbed outer surface that acts as a counterpoint to the highly polished interiors. Korean artist Jaehyo Lee's LOTUS, in Union Square Park, crosscuts a big-cone pine to make an 18-foot-tall champagne flute, while Cheryl Farber Smith's Mellow Yellow, in Beach Street Park, is a lively arrangement of geometric forms in a vivid yellow nine-foot-tall aluminum sculpture. And at the High Line, Carol Bove's Caterpillar comprises seven sculptures that punctuate a 300-yard stretch of the untouched terrain in the park.

The Jewish Museum uses this month as the opportunity to launch Jack Goldstein x 10,000, the first American retrospective of the Canadian artist to finally give a comprehensive treatment to one of the central figures of the Pictures Generation of the 1970s and 1980s, joining artists like Cindy Sherman, Sherrie Levine, Laurie Simmons, Barbara Kruger, David Salle and Robert Longo, who made use of media images in their work.

Sisters (2013), by Paul McCarthy

"Sisters" (2013), by Paul McCarthy. Courtesy, the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Genevieve Hanson

The City also plays host to multiple exhibitions from two of contemporary art's biggest names. Los Angeles–based Paul McCarthy has installed his massive bronze composition Sisters at West 17th Street between Pier 57 and the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers while his realistic life casts are on view at the Hauser & Wirth uptown gallery. But the biggest work, an installation and video projection project that will go on view at the Park Avenue Armory beginning June 19, will be his latest take on the Snow White fairy tale: WS will fill the Armory's hall with a massive forest sculpture along with a three-quarter scale exact re-creation of the house where Paul McCarthy grew up.

Jeff Koons, perhaps the biggest name in all of contemporary art, has dueling exhibitions at rival Chelsea galleries. New Paintings and Sculpture, at longtime dealer Gagosian Gallery, includes the now-familiar (yet no less impressive) balloon sculptures (through June 29). At David Zwirner, Koons has installed the very different show Gazing Ball (through June 29), which consists of more than a dozen white finely executed marble sculptures paired with one bright blue sphere the color of the summer sky.

Briefly Noted

Installation view of From Neue Welt (2013), by Wolfgang Tillmans

Installation view of "From Neue Welt" (2013), by Wolfgang Tillmans. Photo: Pierre le Hors

Wolfgang Tillmans
Andrea Rosen Gallery
Through June 22
These pictures are never really about their variously mundane subject matter like headlights, grocery stores and hotel rooms. The German photographer continues to expand on his own legacy while also redefining the state of photography, managing to be both timeless and completely contemporary.

Maria Pergay: Secret Garden
Demisch Danant
The meticulous, jewelry-like bronze and patinated copper pieces are a point of departure for this celebrated Paris-based designer, who has long been admired for her pioneering use of stainless steel. Her Bronze Tree is more than six feet tall and a cast of a perfect tree in full leaf, with branches articulated in hand-hammered cast bronze.

8 Natural Handstands (1969/2009), by Robert Kinmont, on view in State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970

"8 Natural Handstands" (1969/2009), by Robert Kinmont, on view in State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970. Courtesy, Alexander and Bonin

State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Opening on June 23
More than 150 works by 60 artists make up this exhibition, which includes major figures to emerge from the California versions of conceptual art, video and performance and installation—John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, Martha Rosler—along with lesser-known but worthy inclusions like Ant Farm, Robert Kinmont and others.

T+85_red&blue;_diptych (2013), by Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

"T+85_red&blue;_diptych" (2013), by Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, on view in Peripheral Visions: Contemporary Art from Australia. Courtesy, Garis & Hahn

Peripheral Visions: Contemporary Art from Australia
Garis & Hahn
Through June 15
Bringing together a diverse group of artists from Down Under, the show finds common ground between otherwise unlikely gallery mates Stephen Bird, who makes deadpan naive ceramics, and the cool minimal drawings of Vernon Ah Kee or the highly illustrative patterns made by Phoebe Rathmell.

Ralph Fasanella: A More Perfect Union
Andrew Edlin Gallery
Through June 22
The late self-taught, progressive New York painter gets a career-wide look back at some of his best-known and best-loved works—some of which depict scenes of peaceful urban park landscapes while others denote strikes, unrest and surreal scenes supplemented with fantastical patterns.

related venues/(8)

  1. 1
    Madison Square Park
    23rd to 26th Sts. (bet. Fifth and Madison Aves.)
    Manhattan – Flatiron District
    NY 10010
  2. 2
    The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA
    11 W. 53rd St.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  3. 3
    Rockefeller Center
    45 Rockefeller Plaza
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10111
  1. 4
    The Met
    Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10028
  2. 5
    MoMA PS1
    22-25 Jackson Ave.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11101
  3. 6
    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  1. 7
    Gagosian Gallery
    522 W 21st St
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10011
  2. 8
    New York Botanical Garden
    2900 Southern Blvd.
    Bronx – Bedford Park
    NY 10458

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