Art and About in November

Arts & Entertainment

by James Gaddy, 10/30/2013

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Two ignominious anniversaries—one year since Superstorm Sandy landed and 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated—are addressed this month in City exhibitions in surprising and meaningful ways. Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1 collects the work of more than 300 artists in the new Brooklyn space Industry City in the Sunset Park neighborhood. Curated by Brooklyn Rail editor Phong Bui, the show includes well-known artists like Chuck Close, Ugo Rondinone and Teresita Fernandez, along with downtown favorites Jonas Mekas, Eli Ping and Dustin Yellin, all contributing work that sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly, references ongoing themes of survival and hope. 

Come Together
Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1. Photo: Paul Porter and Alexander Porter. Courtesy, Billy Farrell Agency

A second Sandy-themed exhibition, Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy, is at the Museum of the City of New York. This stunning collection of 100 images draws from more than 5,000 submissions as part of a juried competition and is one of the best visual documents of the storm yet, with before-and-after images of the hurricane's impact mingling with pictures of ongoing rebuilding efforts. 

Rising Waters
"Ash Street and McGuinness Blvd. from the Pulaski Bridge" (2012). Photo: Andrew Frasz

Meanwhile, one of the most famous historical "Where were you when …" questions is explored at the International Center of Photography, with JFK November 22, 1963: A Bystander's View of HistoryThe show includes stills from Abraham Zapruder's famous footage of the assassination, plus news photographs, snapshots from bystanders and souvenirs of the day that all tell the story of that tragic event and its aftermath, from the shooting of the president and JFK's funeral to the subsequent death of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Another 1960s pioneer destined to live on in history—but for vastly different reasons—gets his due at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Oft-forgotten Pop Art star Robert Indiana's Beyond LOVE gives visitors this month the rare chance to see not only his original iconic LOVE painting and sculpture (the latter of which can be seen anytime on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street) but also a selection of terrific paintings and sculptures that were ultimately overshadowed by that one era-defining work. 

Robert Indiana
"Decade: Autoportrait 1961" (1972-77), by Robert Indiana. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS). Courtesy, Whitney Museum of American Art

Miminalist sculptor Donald Judd is also having a moment in the City this month. Stacks, at the Mnuchin Gallery, features 10 of his works from four different decades beginning in 1965, and, believe it or not, it's the first NYC exhibition devoted to the artist's stacked forms. The show coincides with the recent opening of Judd's newly restored home and studio at 101 Spring Street, which offers private views of the building that the artist bought and filled with his (and others') work over the course of those same decades. 

The recently renovated Queens Museum reopens November 9 with two blockbuster shows: the museum's sixth annual Queens International 2013 also expands, bringing in its first curator based outside the City, Taiwan's Meiya Cheng, to collaborate with the museum's own Hitomi Iwasaki. But don't miss Peter Schumann: The Shatterer, which opens in the museum the same day. It's the first solo exhibition of the Bread and Puppet Theater founder and director, whose 20-foot-high mannequins have towered over performances in public squares as well as protests and demonstrations since the Vietnam War.

There's an opportunity this month to see rare works from two vastly different but well-known artists. David Salle, the Brooklyn-based painter who, along with Julian Schnabel, helped kick-start the 1980s art boom, will have an exhibition of little-known works from 1992, entitled Ghost Paintings. Opening November 8 at Skarstedt Gallery, the 14 pieces have never been exhibited before this year. At The Noguchi Museum, the exhibition Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi: Beijing 1930 collects 100 ink scroll paintings that the artist made in China's capital city while under the spell of ink master Qi Biashi. This exhibition is the first time that both artists have been paired together since that fateful encounter more than 80 years ago. 

Leonardo da Vinci
"Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the ‘Virgin of the Rocks’)" (1480s), by Leonardo da Vinci. © Biblioteca Reale, Turin

That level of star wattage is eclipsed only by the shows currently on view at the Morgan Library, where two of the most famous artists and writers of all time converge. Leonardo da Vinci: Treasures from the Biblioteca Reale, Turin presents the Mona Lisa painter's Codex on the Flight of Birds and one of his most celebrated drawings, Head of a Young Woman. Meanwhile, Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul explores "The Tell-Tale Heart" author's poetry, fiction and literary criticism through the lens of nearly 100 items, drawn primarily from the Morgan's holdings and the New York Public Library, two of the most important collections of Poe material in the United States. 

Edgar Allan Poe
"Daguerreotype portrait of Edgar Allan Poe" (1849), by unknown studio in Lowell, Massachusetts. Photo: Graham S. Haber

Martin Creed
Gavin Brown's Enterprise
Opening November 8
The British artist and musician, and winner of the Turner Prize in 2001 for his cheeky installations—his most famous was an empty room in which the lights turn on and off—brings his work to the West Village gallery with a new collection of colorful paintings.

A Tree Grows
Urban Glass
For the inaugural exhibition in the Agnes Varis Art Center at 647 Fulton St., thousands of drinking glasses have been arranged in the shapes of popular trees found in Brooklyn—the Norwegian maple, the London plane and mulberry.  

A Tree Grows
"A Tree Grows" (2013), by Katherine Gray. Photo: Steven Mays

Counter Forms: Tetsumi Kudo, Alina Szapocznikow, Paul Thek, Hannah Wilke
Andrea Rosen Gallery
Through November 16
This quartet of artists did most of their work in the 1960s and '70s in different countries, but each of them mined similar themes—whether from a postwar America, post-Holocaust Poland or post-Hiroshima Japan perspective—that stand in contrast to the clean optimism that was popular at the time. 

Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves
Opening November 25
Inspired by the Morecambe Bay tragedy in which 20 Chinese fisherman drowned off the coast of England, this immersive, beautifully shot film installation will be projected onto nine double-sided screens in MoMA's atrium. 

Maya Hayuk and Judith Supine
Clocktower Gallery
Through November 8
The two resident artists this month share a similar spirit but offer markedly different approaches: Hayuk's abstract, highly colorful murals play off Supine's erotic, but vibrantly composed, collages. Both, however, use urban space as a canvas, which makes their placement indoors something of an anomaly. 

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Industry City
    220 36th St
  2. 2
    Museum of the City of New York
    1220 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  3. 3
    International Center of Photography
    250 Bowery
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY 10012
  1. 4
    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort St.
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY 10014
  2. 5
    Queens Museum
    New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    Queens – Flushing
    NY 11368
  3. 6
    Skarstedt Gallery
    20 E 79th St
    NY 10075
  1. 7
    The Morgan Library & Museum
    225 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Murray Hill
    NY 10016
  2. 8
    The Noguchi Museum
    9 - 01 33rd Rd. @ Vernon Blvd.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  3. 9
    Clocktower Gallery
    108 Leonard St., 13th fl.
    Manhattan – TriBeCa
    NY 10013

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