Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art from the Erling Neby Collection – Scandinavia House Gallery
From the outstanding collection of Erling Neby, a choice selection representing a Nordic take on the abstract movement known as Concrete Art, one of Abstract Art’s many branches, with paintings focused on a removal of references to representation or emotion and emphasizing formal, geometric compositions often using flat planes of color to create illusions of depth. Over time, the definition was relaxed to include works of sculpture, photography, and poetry, forms that worked well within the strictures of the theory. Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art from the Erling Neby Collection brings together artists from Denmark (Richard Mortensen, Robert Jacobsen), Finland (Lars-Gunnar Nordström, Sam Vanni, Paul Osipow, Matti Kujasalo, Juhana Blomstedt), Iceland (Kristján Guðmundsson), Norway (Gunnar S. Gundersen, Arne Malmedal, Kristin Nordhøy, Aase Texmon Rygh, Bjørn Ransve), and Sweden (Olle Bærtling, Lars Erik Falk, Lars Englund) showing various interpretations on a style more commonly associated with Latin America and Italy.
On view October 12, 2019 – February 15, 2020
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue (38th Street), Hours: Tue: 12-6, Wed: 12-7, Thur – Sat: 12-6, Admission: Free
Thresholds of Perceptibility: The Color Field Paintings of Leon Berkowitz – Hollis Taggart
The paintings on view at Thresholds of Perceptibility: The Color Field Paintings of Leon Berkowitz, are some of the purest expressions of color and light possible, given the limitations of paint and canvas. Berkowitz’s technique of thin layers of washes, poured on canvas, directed with his brush, infuse the surface with a haze of color. For those who spend enough time in front of the pictures, the reward is a surprisingly emotional interaction with abstract art.
On view October 3 – November 2
Hollis Taggart, 521 West 26th Street, Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-5:30, Sat: 11-5:30, Admission: Free
Louise Nevelson Through the Lens of Diana MacKown – Saint Peter’s Church
Imagine having near daily access to the professional and personal life of one of America’s greatest artists, to witness struggles and successes within their creative process as well as the lighter moments in the company of pets and friends. It would be a fascinating experience, worth recording, and in Louise Nevelson Through the Lens of Diana MacKown, we see the results of decades working with the artist. Diana Mackown was Nevelson’s studio assistant and is an invaluable resource, documenting the methods and thinking of the artist’s work. Looking at these photographs, along with the reopening of the Nevelson Chapel at Saint Peter’s Church, is a rare opportunity to observe a unique moment of the artist’s career in New York City.
On view September 5 – November 7
Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street), Hours: Mon – Sun: 9-7, Admission: Free
French Fashion, Women, and the First World War – Bard Graduate Center
In times of turmoil, fashion is the last thing on anyone’s mind. Who cares how clothes look when a country is at war? Well, historians care because looking at fashion can be a surprisingly useful way to examine the cultural landscape of a nation. In the Bard Graduate Center’s fall show, French Fashion, Women, and the First World War, curators Maude Bass-Krueger (PhD, BGC and Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden University) and Sophie Kurkdjian (PhD, Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne and Research Associate, Institut d’Histoire du Temps Présent [CNRS]) examine and explain French fashion in the early 20th century, describing various cultural, economic, and social forces that influenced women’s lives for decades to come.
On view: September 5, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Street, Hours: Tue: 11-5, Wed – Thur: 11-8, Fri – Sun: 11-5, Suggested Admission: General: $7, Students (with valid ID) and Seniors (over age 65): $5, People who identify as disabled: Pay what you wish; their caregivers: Free. On Wednesdays, admission is free all day, on Thursdays, admission is free only from 5-8pm.
Paris, Capital of Fashion – Museum at FIT
Paris, France is famous for many things: art, history, literature, music, theater…and fashion. From the 17th century, the city was the place to see, buy or copy the latest trends in clothing but how was this status achieved? The answer is at The Museum at FIT and their exhibit Paris, Capital of Fashion. From the royal court of Versailles with its obsession for the new in dress and entertainment to modern haute couture’s extravagant designs, the show examines how the fashion industry keeps Paris’ reputation on top.
In addition to this exhibit, on October 18 the museum will present Fashion Symposium: Paris, Capital of Fashion, a one day event from 10am-5pm. There will be several speakers discussing aspects of Paris’ place and history as a center for fashion. Reservations are required but the tickets are free with seating on a first come-first serve basis. Click here for more information.
On view: September 6, 2019 – January 4, 2020
Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, Hours: Tue – Fri: Noon-8pm, Sat: 10-5, Admission: Free
Bernard Frize: Journey in Autumn – Perrotin New York
It’s a common misconception that rules stifle creativity. Artists are supposed to break free of constraints; emotional, moral, physical, you name it: if an artist is involved, all those ideals get smashed into pieces. But some people don’t work that way; for them, rules help define where there are spaces to be creative. In Bernard Frize: Journey in Autumn, geometric forms are filled in with color, a simple idea made complicated by the use of a resin that looks white when applied but dries into a different color. By taking the decision of color away from the artist, what seems to be rigorously planned is instead a random outcome twisting the expectations of the viewer.
On view: September 11 – October 26
Perrotin New York, 130 Orchard Street, Hours: Tue – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free
Vera Molnar: Drawings and Paintings 1947–1986 – Senior & Shopmaker Gallery
The survey Vera Molnar: Drawings and Paintings 1947 – 1986 sheds light on the work of this artist as she moved from abstraction and Constructivism towards computer generated art. By turning away from any representational techniques, Molnar became focused on creating line and shape that had no identity, purpose, or reason. She found that the mathematical algorithms used in computer languages, if written to include changes to interrupt predictable results, could instruct the plotter (a type of printer) to inscribe lines with random outcomes of length and direction. The finished product was a nearly neutral image with miniscule influence from a human mind – a ground-breaking achievement for the field of computer generated art.
On view: September 12 – November 2
Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, 210 Eleventh Avenue, 8th Floor, Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-6, Admission: Free
Máscaras: The Other Faces of Mexico – Cavin-Morris
Humans have told stories of good and evil for millennia using gods, people, and animals for subject matter and employing masks to heighten the narrative drama. They did the same for their rituals and ceremonies, with masks as stand-ins for the living and the things that destroy them. Even today, although relegated to a lesser status, masks continue to tap into what makes us most human while emphasizing an air of artificiality. In Máscaras: The Other Faces of Mexico, examples of 19th and 20th century masks showing the evolution of the craft, while intention and purpose remain unchanged, contrasted with rare ceramic and stone heads and faces from the Pre-Columbian era, an Olmec mask, and a ceramic skull mask from Colima, Mexico. It’s a powerful demonstration of this simple object’s importance to humanity across time and cultures.
On view: September 5 – October 26
Cavin-Morris, 210 Eleventh Avenue (between 24th and 25th Streets), Suite 201, Hours: Tu-Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free
Michiko Kon: Cannibal Feast – Robert Mann Gallery
The genre of still life combines the living, dying or dead with the inanimate object – all in one neat package of reportage and metaphor. Its power is rediscovered each generation, with a few utilizing it to great effect, regardless of current fads or trends in the art world. Using assemblages of animal parts and machine-made objects in photographed tableaus, Michiko Kon: Cannibal Feast engages in visual sleight of hand: a first glance showing a familiar object, a second look to break down elements that make up the subject matter, and a third viewing for reacting with horror or pleasure. These exquisite images are a pointed commentary on a world that can no longer tell the difference between necessary and frivolous consumption.
On view: September 12 – October 19
Robert Mann Gallery, 525 West 26th Street, 2nd Floor, Hours: Tu-Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free
Roy DeCarava: Light Break and the sound i saw – David Zwirner
If you aren’t familiar with Roy DeCarava’s work, these two shows at David Zwirner are an excellent introduction. Light Break (533 West 19th Street) is a master class in photographic and darkroom techniques. DeCarava had a reputation for photographing in a wide range of light conditions and the prints here have an astonishing array of grey tones. As you examine them, nuances and emotional depths reveal themselves, adding additional intensity to the images. With the sound i saw (34 East 69th Street), DeCarava’s camera captures the intimate moments of musicians, alone and with their audiences. The photographs are not just a historic record of some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century; they are also memorable works of art.
On view: September 5 – October 26
David Zwirner, 533 West 19th Street and 34 East 69th Street, Hours: Tue-Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free