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ZEALnyc FALL PREVIEW: Art and Museum

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 6, 2017

This fall brings a wide variety of exhibits to New York City’s museums. There are the internationally famous names of Michelangelo and Louise Bourgeois being shown, along with thematic collections such as Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World, featuring many forms of expression. The smaller programs that push the visitor to a new understanding of ideas and people outside their daily experience are demonstrated by Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon or The Vietnam War 1945 – 1975 and also worthy of attention. It’s a dizzying array of choices but don’t worry: ZEALnyc is ready to organize it all for you!

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, Caprese 1475–1564 Rome) ‘Archers Shooting at a Herm’
(1530–33) Drawing, red chalk; 8 5/8 x 12 11/16 in. (21.9 x 32.3 cm); ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST / © HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2017.

First, let’s cover the big museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue), hosts three blockbuster shows this fall: Rodin At The Met (September 16); Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman & Designer (November 13); and David Hockney (November 27). All these artists need no introduction: each is unique, compelling, and inspiring to artists and laypeople alike. The Met Breuer (Madison Avenue and 75th Street) has Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason 1950-1980 (September 13); Modernism on The Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs (October 11); and Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed (November 15). All these exhibits feature artists who pushed against prevailing notions of art, subject matter, and execution. For more on all shows at both locations click here.

The Museum of Modern Art / MoMA (11 West 53rd Street) presents Max Ernst: Beyond Painting (September 23) and Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait (September 24). These two powerhouses of 20th century art explored their psychological landscapes producing work that was simultaneously personal and universal. Smaller shows include Items: Is Fashion Modern? (October 1); Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983 (October 31); Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-1989 (November 13); and Stephen Shore (November 19). MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens) will show Cathy Wilkes (October 22) and Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting (October 22). Both artists explore the human condition through various materials and mediums. For details on exhibits for both the main building and the Queens satellite click here.

Huang Yong Ping ‘Theater of the World’ (1993); Wood and metal structure with warming lamps, electric cable, insects (spiders, scorpions, crickets, cockroaches, black beetles, stick insects, centipedes), lizards, toads, and snakes, 150 x 270 x 160 cm; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi © Huang Yong Ping.

The Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Avenue) has Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World (October 6), a comprehensive look at contemporary art during a time of drastic political and cultural change in China. This show will be a benchmark for both the museum and the art-loving public with its exciting array of talent unknown to the New York audience. The other show presented this fall is Josef Albers in Mexico (November 3), featuring little known photography and collage work by the artist. For more information click here.

The Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street) will show Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined (October 20); Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World (November 3); Laura Owens (November 10). Each of these artists has a strong, focused approach to their subject matter combined with the use of an astonishing variety of materials. For information click here.

Robert Longo: Untitled (Mike Test/Head of Goya), 2003. Charcoal on mounted paper, 72 x 96 inches (182.9 x 243.8 cm). © Robert Longo, Collection of the artist; photo: courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway) has a variety of exhibits for the fall. Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo (September 8) are all artists who witnessed historic events in their countries and created art in response. Arts of Korea (September 15) is the first exhibit in the reinstallation of the Museum’s Asian and Middle Eastern artworks. In Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Egypt (September 29), the animals most important to the Egyptians and their gods are examined from different angles: cultural, forensic, historic, and religious. The show Roots of “The Dinner Party”: History in the Making (October 20) is the full story of the famous Judy Chicago installation (on permanent display, 4th floor). For more information click here.

Amedeo Modigliani, Unfinished Portrait of Paul Alexandre, 1913; Oil on canvas, 31 1/2 x 25 3/4 in. (80 x 65.6 cm); private collection on long-term loan to the MusÈe des Beaux-Arts, Rouen.

Now for some smaller museums with important shows this season. First up, The Jewish Museum (1109 Fifth Avenue) has the exhibit Modigliani Unmasked (September 15), with an emphasis on the early drawings as well as his family background of Italian-Sephardic heritage. Unlike an earlier show this year in Europe, the images on display have impeccable provenance—many are from the collection of Dr. Paul Alexandre, Modigliani’s first patron. For more information click here.

The New Museum (235 Bowery) has four shows opening in September. Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon (September 27) discusses the perceived notions of gender in society, a topic in current conversations around the country. Kahlil Joseph (September 27) presents several short films on a variety of subjects, Petrit Halilaj (September 27) reflects on the history of Kosovo through artifacts and installations, and Helen Johnson: Ends (September 13) finds the painter examining social and political views within Australia. For details on all the exhibits click here.

Ilona, a photographer and former model originally from Latvia, in the mezzanine library of her home, which so far contains only copies of a self-published book of her fashion photographs, Moscow, 2012; photo: © Lauren Greenfield / courtesy of ICP.

The International Center of Photography (250 Bowery) will display Generation Wealth by Lauren Greenfield (September 20), a survey of societal change in opinion regarding celebrity, status, and wealth. The show uses interviews, still, and film photography to examine various views of the last 25 years in America and around the world. Find all that glitters by clicking here.

The Neue Galerie (1048 Fifth Avenue) has a stunning show, Wiener Werkstätte 1903-1932: The Luxury of Beauty (October 26). This retrospective of the internationally famous collective has beautiful items in a variety of media from drawings to finished items for the home. It’s very unusual for a New York museum to do a show of this nature; most of the time exhibits focus on an individual designer, not a group. Explore these classics of design and function; for more information click here.

Soldier’s Quilt with Incredible Border (artist unidentified, India); c. 1855–1875; Wool from military uniforms, with beads; hand-applied beadwork and layer-appliquéd border 82 x 85″; The Annette Gero Collection; photo: Tim Connolly, Shoot Studios.

American Museum of Folk Art (2 Lincoln Square – Columbus Avenue and 65th Street) presents a little known aspect of the great tradition of quilt making: quilts sewn by men in wartime. War and Pieced: The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics (September 6) displays items from the 18th to 20th centuries, all with fascinating histories. For more details click here.

Interior of the USNS General Nelson M. Walker. Courtesy of Art and Lee Beltrone, Vietnam Graffiti Project, Keswick, VA; courtesy of museum.

The New-York Historical Society (170 Central Park West) discusses The Vietnam War: 1945 – 1975 (October 4). The exhibit gives a careful examination of the conflict: the causes, progression, and impact on American society and the world at large. Learn about the war that still stirs strong emotions more than 40 years after its ending; for more information click here.



Cover: Josef Albers ‘To Mitla’ (ca. 1940); Oil on Masonite, 53.3 × 71.1 cm; The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation © 2017 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum.


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