Art and About in October
Arts & Entertainment
by James Gaddy, 09/17/2013
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It’s a month of firsts in museums around the city: MoMA PS1 will organize the first comprehensive survey of the work of the late Mike Kelley since 1993 and his largest show ever, with more than 200 pieces from the 1970s through 2012, the year he died. The artist laced his works with social criticism and self-deprecating humor, using elaborate installations made from plush toys, crocheted blankets and rag dolls that he found at thrift stores and yard sales, most famously in Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites, a room-sized installation that will be featured in the show.
The New Museum hosts the first retrospective of Chris Burden, who was infamously shot in the arm as part of a performance in 1971. This career-spanning exhibition, entitled Extreme Measures, opens October 2 and includes buildings, cars, machines and bridges that he started making in the 1980s using children’s toys like erector sets, model trains and toy soldiers. The exterior of the museum will even come into play with the installation of two works: a pair of 36-foot-tall skyscrapers to be erected on the roof to evoke the World Trade Center towers; and Ghost Ship, a 30-foot-long boat to be hung on the building’s façade.
On October 3, Neue Galerie will open Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910–1925, an exhibition of the artist’s seminal paintings during a crucial time in his career that saw him finally take the plunge into total abstraction—including large-scale paintings like Composition V and Fugue, as well as a re-creation of his murals for the 1922 Jury-Free Art Show with Bauhaus students in Berlin. Works by Kandinsky’s artistic peers—Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee and László Moholy-Nagy, among others—fill out the 80-plus piece show.
"Les amants (The Lovers)" (1928), by René Magritte. Courtesy, Museum of Modern Art. © Charly Herscovici
Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, at the Museum of Modern Art, picks up where Neue Galerie leaves off, tracking the development of René Magritte from 1926 through 1938. It’s hard to believe, but this is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the breakthrough Surrealist years of the French painter, who created some of the most iconic works of the period this side of Salvador Dalí, including The Menaced Assassin, Clairvoyance and The Interpretation of Dreams.
This month, don’t miss New York City–based artist T.J. Wilcox’s panoramic film installation on the Whitney Museum’s second floor. Shot from his Union Square studio, In the Air creates new New York stories using his vantage point high above the City, all based (albeit loosely) on NYC history, whether transatlantic zeppelins landing on the Empire State Building or Andy Warhol showering the Pope with his silver Mylar balloons. Meanwhile, over at Chelsea’s Metro Pictures and on view through October 12, Wilcox has covered the walls of the gallery’s second floor with posters for the film, wheat pasted like outdoor advertising in the city.
Another artist has dual exhibitions this month, as Knoxville-raised and New York–based artist Josh Smith takes over both Luhring Augustine locations. Through October 19, his single-color paintings—a departure from his recent works that use his name as subject matter—will hang in the Chelsea space. Through October 26, the Bushwick outpost of the gallery will display his vivid beach scene paintings, which reference earlier infatuations with objects like leaves, fish, insects and sunsets, but take things even further with souvenir-shop-like colors and constructions.
Fashion Week may be over, but there are still a couple of places to get your fix. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, opening October 25 at Brooklyn Museum, traces the development of the groundbreaking designer from the 1970s onward with nearly 140 different ensembles, from haute couture to street wear inspired by Parisian style-makers. And through October 26, Irving Penn: On Assignment, at the West 25th Street location of the Pace/MacGill Gallery, collects examples from 60 years of the photographer’s work that was specifically made for publications like The New Yorker, Vogue and Look.
"Icarus Atop Empire State Building" (1931), by Lewis Hine. Courtesy, George Eastman House Collection
Two shows deftly illustrate artist’s ongoing fascination with the city. At the International Center of Photography, a show of Lewis Hine’s photographs opens on October 4 as one of the few exhibitions to focus on his entire collection of work, including his pictures from Ellis Island (familiar to anyone who has seen The Godfather, Part II), as well as his documentation of the building of the Empire State Building. Meanwhile, Janet Ruttenberg: Picturing Central Park, at the Museum of the City of New York, collects 17 pieces—watercolors, oils and videos, many of them 15 feet wide—that pay beautiful homage to the iconic New York park. It’s the 82-year-old artist’s premiere public exhibition—yet another remarkable first well worth celebrating this season.
From "Gatherings" (2013), by Janet K. Ruttenberg. Photo: Malcolm Varon
Marlborough Gallery (Broome Street)
Through October 6
A veritable who’s who of emerging downtown artists—Reena Spaulings, Cory Arcangel and Andrew Kuo, for a start—join forces with more-famous forebears such as Claes Oldenburg, Willem de Kooning and John Baldessari to pay homage to the "unofficial emblem of New York": pizza.
From Memory: Draw a Map of the United States
Sean Kelly Gallery
Through October 19
In the early 1970s, Hisachika Takahashi, a Japanese artist living in New York City, asked 22 artists—including Brice Marden, Joseph Kosuth, Cy Twombly and Gordon Matta-Clark—to draw the United States from memory. The result? A collection of sometimes haunting, sometimes whimsical works on paper from some of the finest artists of the time.
John McCracken: 1963–2011
David Zwirner (West 20th Street)
Through October 19
The West Coast Minimalist gets a welcome mini-retrospective that traces the artist’s colorful boxlike sculptures, polyester resin planks and even rarely seen oil and canvas pieces. Of special note is Six Columns (2006), a series of monoliths on the first floor.
"Untitled" (2013), by Dave Hardy. Courtesy, Regina Rex
Dave Hardy: A House with Gates
Through October 20
Using pliable foam, cement, glass and paint, Hardy creates structures that seem to teeter between collapse and construction, a paradoxical balance that highlights the tension in these often-overlooked materials.
Lucien Smith: Nature Is My Church
Through October 25
Referencing everyone from Noah and Rembrandt to Frank Sinatra and Michael Jordan, up-and-coming painter Lucien Smith crafts a harrowing depiction of fallen idols that crystallizes as a pure expression of faith.
Tom Holmes: Piss Yellow / Bars and Stars
The Lower East Side gallery reopens in its new space on Norfolk Street with a show from Tom Holmes, whose previous collage-style installations have included Superman underwear, Nerf balls and Trix cereal.
Radio Waves: New York ‘Nouveau Réalisme’ and Rauschenberg
Here’s a rare chance to see work from the 1960s Nouveau Réalisme group—including Arman, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely—which emphasized bricolage techniques and found materials, influencing mid-century artist Robert Rauschenberg.