Art and About This Winter

Arts & Entertainment

by James Gaddy, 11/19/2013

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Two artists who have returned over and over again to the subject—and celebration—of New York get their own retrospectives in the City this winter. At the Museum of Modern Art, the sculptures and installations of Berlin-based Isa Genzken interact with the minimalist forms of museum architect Yoshio Taniguchi. The artist's giant sculpture Rose II was hung on the facade of the New Museum in 2010, but this will be one of the first large-scale exhibitions of her oeuvre in the US and features more than 200 of her works, including her 1973 classic sculptures like Ellipsoids as well as her installation Ground Zero, made in 2007 as a response to an architectural competition for the site of the 9/11 attacks (through March 10). Christopher Wool, on the other hand, was born in Chicago and has lived in New York City since the 1970s, in the end becoming a product of the gritty NYC underground that is written (sometimes literally) on his massive, black-and-white stenciled paintings now on view in the famed rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum (through January 22). 

"Rot-gelb-schwarzes Doppelellipsoid ‘Zwilling’ (Red-Yellow-Black Double Ellipsoid “Twin”)" (1982), by Isa Genzken. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin.

Christopher Wool
Christopher Wool, installation view. Photo: Kristopher McKay. Courtesy, © Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Johannesburg-based artist William Kentridge is known widely for his black-and-white charcoal drawings, but for his five-channel installation The Refusal of Time, now at the Met, he has created a moving sculpture, an organ-like machine pumping out sounds that bring to mind a marching band tuning-up while his signature drawings flutter in projections against the wall (through May 11). Elsewhere in the museum is a celebratory look at The Obelisk, popularly known as Cleopatra's Needle, before it undergoes conservation. Erected in 1450 BC in Heliopolis, the 70-foot-tall Egyptian classic was transferred to Alexandria, where it remained for nearly 1900 years before being brought to New York as a gift. In the gallery will be a selection of prints, paintings and textiles dedicated to the City's architectural icon (December 3–June 8).

The Refusal of Time
"The Refusal of Time" installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012), by William Kentridge. © 2012 William Kentridge

Cleopatra's Needle
Clock (ca. 1885), by Tiffany & Co. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

After hosting the contents of the famed Mexican Suitcase in 2011 (a trove of long-lost Spanish Civil War film by three prominent war photographers: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour), the International Center of Photography will host Capa in Color, a first-of-its-kind exhibition of nearly 100 photographs. Although the photojournalist's legend will always live on in his images of World War II and the Spanish Civil War, these works show a different side: city scenes and friendships with Pablo Picasso, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other luminaries of the day (January 31–May 4). A far grittier showcase is the Brooklyn Museum's War/Photography, a herculean exhibition of 400 objects associated with its subject: cameras, magazines, lenses, other equipment and the work of some 255 photographers, including photos of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by a Japanese airman, salted paper prints from the Civil War and scenes of military life during the war in Iraq (through February 2).

One of the most poignant depictions of World War II, however, didn't come from photography, but rather underground comics from the pen of Art Spiegelman. The graphic artist's retrospective at The Jewish Museum comprehensively covers his career with more than 300 preparatory sketches among evidence of his time as a comics editor in the 1960s; selections from the avant-garde magazine Raw he founded with his wife, Françoise Mouly; and his groundbreaking work Maus, which told the story of his parents' life in Poland and Auschwitz under Nazi rule (through March 23). Just as Spiegelman found himself in suddenly trendy territory, so have many of the fashion designers in Trend-ology at the Museum at FIT. Going back 250 years, the new exhibition explores how changes in technology, manufacturing and travel gave rise to 18th- and 19th-century trends such as chinoiserie, and how, after Christian Dior's popular silhouettes of the 1940s and 1950s, music provided constant inspiration, whether in the disco-inflected dresses from Halston in the 1970s or hip-hop influenced Karl Lagerfeld creations in the early '90s (through April 30).

If you're looking for the latest trends in the art world, head to the annual Armory Show at Piers 92 and 94 during the first week of March. The fair offers something for every taste, with some 200 exhibitors participating, each one offering a time-capsule view of the state of the art world every year. This year, the show will focus on emerging artists from China, while smaller satellite fairs like the ADAA Art Show, which features established US galleries, and Volta, which focuses on emerging solo artists, offer nuanced, bite-sized selections of the newest up-and-comers in contemporary art. Since 2009, the entire week has been officially recognized in the City as Armory Arts Week, with special events and programming in a different borough each night (March 4–9).

Armory Show
Armory Show. Photo: Joe Buglewicz

Richard Prince: Monochromatic Jokes
Nahmad Contemporary
Through January 18
"I never had a penny to my name," begins one of the borscht-belt jokes in Richard Prince's latest show. "So I changed my name." Another: "I went to see a psychiatrist. He said 'Tell me everything.' I did, and now he's doing my act." This selection of dryly humorous works from the late 1980s and early 1990s hasn't been exhibited in more than 15 years.

Richard Serra: New Sculpture
Gagosian Gallery
Through January 25
Both of Gagosian's Chelsea locations are filled with Serra's massive weatherproof steel structures, the first exhibition of new work by the artist since his drawing exhibition at the Met in 2011. Four works will occupy the West 24th Street gallery while at the West 21st Street location, one single work made of curved plates takes over the entire space.

Sam Anderson, Agnieszka Kurant and Tue Greenfort
Through January 27
Three individual shows offer a surprisingly well-rounded take on contemporary sculpture: Anderson's small models reimagine theatrical sets while retaining her macabre sense of humor, while Kurant's films and sound pieces celebrate the pauses, glitches and silences from the pop culture archives. Greenfort's installation draws on extensive study of Jamaica Bay, a marshland that borders Brooklyn and Queens.

Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves
Through February 17
Centered around the tragic 2004 drowning of 20 Chinese cockle pickers off the coast of Britain, this 55-minute film is beautiful meditation on Chinese culture, history and myths all projected onto nine double-sided screens in the museum's atrium.

Ten Thousand Waves
"Ten Thousand Waves" installation view (2010), by Isaac Julien. Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures, New York and Victoria Miro Gallery, London. Photo: Peter Haroldt

Gregor Hildebrandt
Galerie Perrotin
Through February 22
When French dealer Emmanuel Perrotin opened his new gallery on the Upper East Side last September, this is the kind of show the inveterate collector of cool surely had in mind. Gregor Hildebrandt is a little-known European artist whose cassette tape creations draw heavily on analog technology. For his first New York City solo show, he blocks the entrance of the space with an installation of vinyl record bowls, while inside is a variety of pieces made from video and cassette tapes.

Richard Artschwager: No More Running Man 
Gagosian Gallery
Through February 22
Gagosian exhibits a series of playful, highly decorative artist’s boxes—fresh off a well-received retrospective at the Whitney Museum—that subvert the show’s title with depictions of brightly colored male silhouettes, mid-stride, running. The pieces fit neatly with the rest of the work that Artschwager, who died last year at the age of 89, created over the course of his life: alternately humorous, strange and beautiful. 

Bad Conscience 
Metro Pictures
Through February 22
This widely varied group show, organized by artist and longtime teacher John Miller, features a roll call of artists that Miller has worked with over the years. Marilyn Minter, Walter Robinson, Dan Graham and Cara Benedetto head the list age-spanning collaborators (Benedetto received her MFA in 2009; Graham is in his 70s). 

A.R. Penck: Felt Works 1972–1995
Michael Werner
Through February 22
This exhibition offers a wonderful peek at a collection of little-known works by the German painter, printmaker and sculptor whose more famous work can be seen in the permanent collection of MoMA. These felt objects offer a playful take on the artist’s typical primitive creations while also revealing a different side of an artist who remained in East Germany after the Berlin Wall went up and was often subjected to harassment and surveillance by the Stasi. 

Macho Man, Tell It To My Heart
Artists Space
Through February 23
Over the course of her 35-year career, Julie Ault, one of the founding members of the collective Group Material, has worked with (as the name suggests) many different artists. Here she has collaborated yet again with many artists but this time to curate her own collection—and the result is a wide-ranging but single-minded show that features the work of a who’s who of artists from the 1980s on: John Currin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Carrie Mae Weems, Jenny Holzer, Andres Serrano, Wolfgang Tillmans, Danh Vo and many others, including work from Group Material.

Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art
The Studio Museum in Harlem
Through March 9
First on view at the Grey Art Gallery earlier in the fall, the second iteration of this rare display of early African-American performance art includes early pioneers like Senga Nengudi and David Hammons while also collecting more recent works from the likes of Kalup Linzy, Carrie Mae Weems and Hennessy Youngman.

Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital
Museum of Arts and Design
Through June 1
An inside look at some of the new technologically advanced production techniques—3-D printing, digital knitting and computer-controlled machining—that are driving contemporary artistic expression, featuring fine-art works from Anish Kapoor, as well as fantastical design and architecture from the likes of Zaha Hadid, Ron Arad and others.

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA
    11 W. 53rd St.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  2. 2
    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
    1071 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  3. 3
    The Met
    Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10028
  1. 4
    International Center of Photography
    250 Bowery
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY 10012
  2. 5
    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11238
  3. 6
    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  1. 7
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  2. 8
    Piers 92/94 New York
    711 Twelfth Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  3. 9
    Museum of Arts and Design
    2 Columbus Circle
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019

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