Art and About in July

Arts & Entertainment

by James Gaddy, 06/20/2012

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The summer art season is in full swing this month with a new series of lighthearted outdoor sculptures that interplay with the City's natural and built environments. Debuting on July 19 at Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO is People, three new sculptures by Oscar Tuazon, whose room-size installation was shown recently at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. The works focus on the cement and local trees, with one featuring a spare steel triangle that supports a tree trunk and conceals a functioning, flowing spring. Elsewhere in DUMBO, at 20 Jay Street, New York artist Tom Fruin has constructed a replica of that ubiquitous City structure, the water tower, to overlook the Manhattan Bridge. Made from approximately 1,000 pieces of reclaimed colored Plexiglas, Watertower lights up at night like a twinkling stained-glass cathedral.

Over in Queens, MoMA PS1 presents Wendy, the winning project from its 13th-annual Young Architects Program. Built by HWKN, a New York studio run by Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, this year's winning design is the latest architectural sculpture to grace the courtyard of the Long Island City museum. Made from nylon fabric treated with a new nanoparticle spray that neutralizes airborne pollutants, the giant piece will clean the surrounding air as it provides shade, seating and a backdrop for the popular "Warm Up" summer music series every Saturday afternoon (July 7 through September 8).

A selection of similarly ambitious, large-scale environments will be on view at the Whitney when it presents a retrospective of the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her intense performances and obsessive use of nets and polka-dot imagery. Opening on July 12, the show contains a wide-ranging selection from her oeuvre, including early works on paper from the 1940s and '50s, iconic bulbous furniture from the 1960s and images of the artist herself embedded in her own immersive environments. Also featured is her 2002 masterpiece Fireflies on the Water, which uses only a mirror, Plexiglas, water and 150 lights to effectively transmit the vast infinity of the universe.

A series of works that embrace and offer perspective on mechanical, optical and virtual technology takes over the New Museum starting on July 18, when Ghosts in the Machine fills all three main galleries with a spectacular array of art and non-art objects that trace humankind's attempt to reconcile the natural and the artificial. Op art in particular is central to the show, which makes Post-Op, opening on July 12 at Mixed Greens gallery in Chelsea, an interesting counterpoint. The show highlights eight artists who, through color, line and lighting, are carrying on the tradition of visual illusion.

Through July 27, Gagosian Gallery pays tribute to the master of photographic confrontation, Richard Avedon, with Murals & Portraits. From 1969 to 1971, the photographer created four murals between 20 and 35 feet wide that document emblematic figures from a time of great social and political upheaval: a group of political radicals known as The Chicago Seven, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and his extended family, and the stars of Andy Warhol's Factory. Less famous than Avedon but revered in her home country of India was photographer Homai Vyarawalla, whose work is celebrated in Candid: The Life and Lens of Homai Vyarawalla, opening on July 6 at the Rubin Museum of Art. The show, the first of its kind outside of India, catalogs the female photojournalist's coverage of historic events in India from the late 1930s to 1970.

One of the most prominent artists of the Arte Povera movement, Italian artist Alighiero Boetti used everyday materials to explore notions of measurement and chance, duality and multiplicity, and travel and geography. Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan, the largest retrospective of his work outside of Italy, opens on July 1 at The Museum of Modern Art. While there, check out James Rosenquist's epic 86-foot-long mural, F-111, which ends its run at the institution on July 30. And opening on July 20 at the Morgan Library is Josef Albers in America: Painting on Paper, an exhibition of rarely seen studies of the Bauhaus artist's famous series Homage to the Square, an extensive exploration of color relationships. The show presents the oil sketches that culminated in Albers' masterwork series.

A few art venues in the gallery-rich Bushwick area of Brooklyn and neighboring Ridgewood, Queens, offer a more DIY experience for the adventurous art lover. Longtime Chelsea gallery Luhring Augustine inaugurates its Brooklyn location with film and video artist Charles Atlas' The Illusion of Democracy, which is up through July 15 and features a new large-scale video work created specifically for this exhibition. The vibrant paintings of Julie Torres, together with the work of 11 other artists, are on view in the exhibition Cut Up, which runs from July 6 through August 5 at Storefront Bushwick. And on July 15, Ridgewood gallery Regina Rex closes its show Letters Not About Love, which highlights three artists—Nancy Haynes, EJ Hauser and Sarah Peters—and takes as its theme the elegance of things left unsaid.

Briefly Noted
Wang Guangle
The Pace Gallery
Ongoing
For his first solo US show, Chinese artist Wang Guangle presents seven new paintings from his Coffin Paint series, in which acrylic paint is layered over a surface in a precise sequence, lending each piece a dense, three-dimensional depth and clarity.

Retrospective of S
Fredericks Freiser
Through July 27
A new project by writer Jonathan Safran Foer introduces the fictional painter "S" through a series of wall texts; artist Sam Messer curates 10 paintings by female artists—including Natalie Frank, Rochelle Feinstein and Francesca Lo Russo—that serve to illustrate the biography of this imagined artist.

Highlights From the Collection
Noguchi Museum
Ongoing
The Long Island City museum draws on its vast archive to showcase Isamu Noguchi's experiments with stainless steel and aluminum, the sculptor's stone pieces and rarely viewed string-and-wood pieces from the 1940s.

Juried Art Exhibition 2012
Staten Island Museum of Art
Ongoing
This group show offers a wide variety of artists and subject matter, such as still lifes from painter Randall W.L. Mooers, Irma Bohorquez-Geisler's black-and-white photographs of Mexican life and Aimee Hertog's surprising digital compositions.

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  2. 2
    MoMA PS1
    22-25 Jackson Ave.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11101
  3. 3
    Whitney Museum of American Art
    945 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10021
  1. 4
    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    Manhattan – Lower East Side
    NY 10002
  2. 5
    Mixed Greens
    531 W 26th St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY
  3. 6
    Gagosian Gallery
    522 W 21st St
    NY 10011
  1. 7
    Rubin Museum of Art
    150 W. 17th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10011
  2. 8
    The Morgan Library & Museum
    225 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Murray Hill
    NY 10016
  3. 9
    The Noguchi Museum
    9 - 01 33rd Rd. @ Vernon Blvd.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106

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