Bill Cunningham | New York, New York – Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bill Cunningham combined a researcher’s knowledge with the passion of a true fan in using street photography to create a cultural and fashion record of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It didn’t matter who the subject was: rich or poor, famous or unknown; if the outfit was well thought out and reflected a style or point of view, he would notice and take the picture. He had a soft spot for the outrageous, especially when it came to the city’s nightlife, often stopping in multiple venues around town each evening. Nothing seems to have shocked him, if anything he seemed to enjoy documenting the creativity of the downtown scene, in particular capturing the zeitgeist of 1980s with a certain flair. In the show Bill Cunningham | New York, New York, we see the result of all this work: a multiverse of people living their lives, being stylish on their terms and no one else’s.
On view September 26 – November 21
Bruce Silverstein, 529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor, Hours: Tue – Fri: 10-6, Sat: 10-5, Admission: Free. Advance appointments are highly encouraged for a visit to the gallery. To schedule an appointment to view the exhibition, please email email@example.com. You may also schedule an appointment by calling 212-627-3930. If the gallery is at capacity, visitors will be asked to return at a later time or wait outside. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 ft. of social distance while inside in accordance with city guidelines.
In all the time we’ve been looking and writing about art, we’ve never run across a show with so much verbiage attached to it (and this includes displays from newly minted ‘discovery of a lifetime’ artists as well as exhibits featuring the ‘Grand Old Men’ in the century of your choice). Language like ‘aesthetic arousal’, ‘primal mud energy’, and more metaphors than anyone should ever use (most of them referencing sex, for some reason) drift around this artist and his work, while entertaining, are not exactly helpful when it comes to convincing people to see a show of ceramic art.
So let’s just use three simple words to tell you why 33 Pots: A Decade in Cahoots – Gareth Mason is worth your time: color, texture, material.
Color: The pigments of the various glazes, impurities, and the clay itself swirl across the surface, burrow into the objects’ fiber, bursting into view in unexpected places, not as patterns but randomly, as semi-accidents of chemistry and firing. The effect is loose and flowing, bumping into the textures, flowing over and around, or building up a level of saturated color behind a ridge of clay.
Texture: Initially formed on a potter’s wheel then dented, gouged, pierced, and scraped, the surface churns and pulsates with movement, a sensory overload for the eyes. It recalls a primeval landscape, with every inch a new vista to explore and marvel over.
Material: The combination of porcelain clay with stoneware and other elements plays off and defies the reputation of ceramics as being a dainty or flimsy material. These aren’t elegant mannered pieces from the 18th century’s Meissen or Sèvres factories – no charming figures flirting in pastoral settings here. This is Earth itself rising up to push back against the artist who would try to control and direct its movement. There is strength here in the size and weight of the objects but also a surprising fragility, with edges seemingly ready to crumble away on the next gust of wind.
Finally, these modern works are different from the preconceived notions of clay; its boundaries, history, and place in the fine arts. They crackle with energy, displaying the power of fire, earth, and water, and reveling in their unique forms. It’s invigorating and exciting, a life force that sweeps away the depression and exhaustion of the last eight months, making this the art show we need now.
On view October 1 – October 30
Jason Jacques Gallery, 29 East 73rd Street, Hours: Mon – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free.
Advance appointments may be made via firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an appointment to view the exhibition, please click here. You may also schedule an appointment by calling (212) 535-7500. Jason Jacques Gallery asks that only 3 visitors enter the gallery at a time. If the gallery is at capacity, visitors will be asked to return at a later time or wait outside. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 ft. of social distance while inside, in accordance with city guidelines.
The new show from Elizabeth Turk is an interesting progression from her works in marble, where the combination of carving skill and sensitivity to the material produced balanced, organic shapes that seemed to flow like water, not stone. For her Tipping Point: Echoes of Extinction pieces, she uses a recording of an extinct or endangered animal which is transcribed into an image of soundwaves. Taking that two-dimensional illustration of lines, she created a series of discs in varying sizes to represent the sound intensity, lined up shapes to match the sonic illustration, then displays the finished work as a large vertical column. In addition, Turk includes scannable QR codes for visitors to hear what they are seeing, bringing them back to her source material. Standing before these skeletons of sound is a chance to reflect on how much of the Earth’s biodiversity we have lost or destroyed and resolve to do better.
On view October 1 – November 20
Hirschl & Adler Modern, 41 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, Hours: Mon – Fri: 9:30-5:15, Admission: Free. Advance appointments are suggested but not required. To schedule an appointment to view the exhibition, please email email@example.com. You may also schedule an appointment by calling 212-535-8810. Hirschl & Adler Modern asks that only 4 visitors enter the gallery at a time. All visitors will be asked to provide their contact information for tracing purposes, should it be necessary. If the gallery is at capacity, visitors will be asked to return at a later time or wait outside. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 ft. of social distance while inside in accordance with city guidelines.
In Billie Zangewa: Wings of Change, the artist’s latest work is a result of the COVID-19 crisis, when so many countries around the world, including her own, were in lockdown. During this time of enforced seclusion, Zangewa stitched collages from silk fabric pieces, illustrating the new circumstances of daily life from her son’s school day at the kitchen table to memorializing a close friend whose funeral she could not attend due to restrictions on group gatherings. Using textile as her medium of choice allows her to demonstrate one of the greatest problems in a woman’s life: the way the labor of domestic life is not easily separated from professional work. The collages’ contrast between work (such as childcare) done in the home with work created for use/sale in the public sphere is a sophisticated take on this struggle that 2020 has brought into sharp focus.
On view October 1 – November 7
Lehmann Maupin, 501 West 24th Street, Hours: Tue – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free. Advance appointments are suggested but not required. To schedule an appointment to view the exhibition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also schedule an appointment by calling (212) 255-2923. If the gallery is at capacity, visitors will be asked to return at a later time or wait outside. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 ft. of social distance while inside in accordance with city guidelines.
The exhibition documents two performance pieces by James Luna that explore the historical and modern attitudes towards the United States’ Native peoples. Tapping into a cultural trope of other ethnicities as objects or less than fully realized persons, he presented himself as a tourist attraction while subtly involving the public as co-creators and enforcers of commodification, misinformation and racism. Their reactions to the performances are a cross section of attitudes and behaviors that reenforce the artist’s point that the low-level hum of prejudice is a constant in American life regardless of who is the offender and who is the victim.
Even though these works were made in the 1990s, they could have just as easily been made in 1970 or in 2020, as evidenced by current events. Looking at Luna’s ideas, it’s clear that not only would he not have been surprised by the lack of lasting transformation in race relations, he would be pointing to his nearly 30 year old work as the ultimate example of the more things change, the more they stay the same.
On view September 10 – December 19
Garth Greenan Gallery, 545 West 20th Street. Hours: Tue – Sat: 11-6, Admission: Free. Advance appointments via email@example.com are suggested but not required. To schedule an appointment to view the exhibition, please click here. You may also schedule an appointment by calling (212) 929-1351. Garth Greenan Gallery asks that only 6 visitors enter the gallery at a time. If the gallery is at capacity, visitors will be asked to return at a later time or wait outside. Please wear a mask and maintain 6 ft. of social distance while inside in accordance with city guidelines.
American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection – American Folk Art Museum
When talking about American history, many people focus on the large events: the wars, elections, social and political movements. But to truly understand this country, you need to dig deeper and make one-on-one connections with the immigrants and citizens of the times. What did they leave behind or hope to find here, to make a success of their lives financially, emotionally, or spiritually? What did they think of the idea of America? How were they involved in their communities and by extension, the nation? Some answers are in American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection, where voices from the last 250+ years of history can be heard through the objects on view. Curated by Stacy C. Hollander, using items from the museum’s collection, the show is divided into four sections: Founders, Travelers, Philosophers, and Seekers. Each area roughly covers the same time-frame of the 18th to 21st centuries and presents some of the complications, tragedies, freedoms, and joys of living in America, illustrated by drawings, paintings, sculptures, documents, pottery, textiles, etc. The research on the makers and subject matter is outstanding, breathing life into the objects and providing a surprising level of emotional connection from visitors, regardless of background. This show is not just a great presentation of AFAM’s mission, but also a wonderful introduction to the beautiful complexities of the United States.
On view February 11, 2020 – January 3, 2021
American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets), Hours: Wed – Sun: 11:30-6, Admission: Free, although the museum asks that visitors book a free timed ticket here. To learn about AFAM’s guidelines and policies to keep visitors and employees safe, click here. In accordance with city guidelines, all visitors must wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of social distance between themselves and other people in the museum.