Archive for the ‘Manhattan’ Category

New Museum Exhibition

In Manhattan on November 5, 2009 at 10:03 am

Urs Fischer + 3 floors of the New Museum =

Marguerite de Ponty

From The New York Times:

…these pieces have seemed to signal the end of installation art, like monochrome paintings sometimes seem to forewarn the end of painting. Add nothing, just use the space and the architecture, dummy. Boom.

The New Museum, seeking some heat of its own, has given Mr. Fischer the run of nearly all the exhibition space — three full floors — in its two-year-old building. It’s a smart move, even if those hoping for a sizable new aperture in one of the museum’s surfaces will be disappointed. The exhibition, titled “Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty” (the subtitle referring to a character from the Symbolist poet Mallarmé), has been supervised by Massimiliano Gioni, a New Museum curator.

In the trifecta of sculpture surveys at major New York museums this fall — expect Roni Horn at the Whitney next week and Gabriel Orozco at the Museum of Modern Art in December — Mr. Fischer’s show started in the lead, with the most anticipation. It felt premature, presumptuous and unpredictable, even though Mr. Fischer, who was born in Switzerland in 1973, descends from a line of German-speaking bad boys that includes Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger and that has been one of the strongest strains of postwar art. Anything could happen, the thinking went, given Mr. Fischer’s capricious, encompassing and, at best, fearless conception of sculpture…

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Guggenheim at 50

In Manhattan on October 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York is not alone in their Fiftieth  Anniversary celebration.

From the Guggenheim website:

Empire State Building Celebrates the Guggenheim
Thursday, October 22 @ 6:00 p.m.

At dusk on October 21, the Empire State Building will be lit Guggenheim red in honor of the museum’s 50th Anniversary. Also throughout October, the Empire State Building presents a dynamic time line of the building of the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Guggenheim Museum in the main entrance lobby.

Changes at The Frick

In Manhattan on October 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Just like any other home, historic houses and house museums require a bit of updating, home improvement, or remodeling every now and then. New York City’s Frick Collection recently completed a tedious refurbishment process for the Living Hall…which inevitably led to adjustments in the spaces around the Living Hall.

From The New York Times:

The first challenge was deciding where to hang those 1487 panels — “The Departure of the Argonauts” by Pietro del Donzello and “The Argonauts in Colchis” by Bartolomeo di Giovanni, scenes depicting the myth of Jason’s quest for the golden fleece. “It’s like a domino effect,” said Colin B. Bailey, the Frick’s chief curator, describing how he and Denise Allen, a Frick curator, moved two paintings to make room for the panels and then rethought the collection’s installation.


And that problem led to the reinstallation of works in the East Gallery, which has just undergone a gentle face-lift for the first time since 1945. Using a swatch of the room’s original wall fabric retrieved from the Frick’s archive as a reference point, researchers found a mohair wall covering that was close to the original shade of coral…

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The Asia Society and Museum

In Manhattan, Uncategorized on July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm
Galleries in the Asia Society and Museum, Park Ave at 70th Street

Galleries in the Asia Society and Museum, Park Ave at 70th Street

If museums followed global conomic trends, then technically the Asia Society and Museum would be the big powerhouse institution of New York, and it’d probably be lending money to the Met and MoMA. But instead, this gem of a cultural center is one of the best kept secrets on the Upper East Side, probably because it’s not exactly on museum mile (Park Ave at 70th Street).

While the Asia Society itself offers a fascinating array of programming, events, conferences etc., the museum itself offers dazzling exhibitions on the cultural heritages of countries from Afghanistan to Japan. In addition to great special exhibitions, their permanent collection hosts the Rockefeller Collection, one of the foremost collections of Asian art in the U.S., and a fairly new but still impressive contemporary art collection, including works by Nam June Paik and Shilpa Gupta, among others.

Among the exhibitions on view right now is Yang Fudong: Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest. The film is a five part series filmed over 5 years (2003-2007)–it doesn’t have a plot per se, but deals with existential questions of human relationships, existence (duh) and reality. The film received critical praise when viewed at the 2007 Venice Biennale, and this is the first time the full five parts have been screened in a U.S. museum, so take full advantage of this opportunity before it closes on September 13!

The Jewish Museum

In Manhattan on June 8, 2009 at 9:50 am
The Jewish Museum, New York (92nd Street and Fifth Avenue)

The Jewish Museum, New York (92nd Street and Fifth Avenue)

The Jewish Museum at 92nd Street and 5th Avenue is one of the most important institutions in the world devoted to the preservation and study of Jewish art, culture and history. In addition to a permanent collection of Jewish cultural artifacts that spans four millennia, the museum sets the bar for special traveling exhibitions. The current summer shows are definitely worth checking out: Reclaimed: Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker tells the tragic yet redemptive story of a Dutch Jewish art dealer, whose large collection of Old Masterworks was stolen by the Nazis. The recovery of about two hundred works to the Goudstikker heirs in 2006 marks the largest restitution of Nazi-stolen art yet. The descriptive title of the second current show, They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust, chronicles a culturally vibrant moment in Polish Jewish history, obliterated by the events of World War II. Read Roberta Smith’s glowing review of the Mayer July show from yesterday’s New York Times.

Other reasons to check out The Jewish Museum: the French Gothic exterior to the century-old Warburg Mansion, an architectural highlight on Museum Mile, was recently renovated, liberating the beautiful facade from a year of scaffolding. The museum also recently revamped the website, including a killer online collection search engine. Check it out.

Auction Houses

In Manhattan, Uncategorized on March 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

In addition to gallery shows, auction houses normally have some really fantastic shows of the collection they are going to sell. I’ve seen some incredible art (completely museum quality) at these sort of shows and all for free. And this out-does a gallery show because the quality truly is museum quality – and may in fact be bought by a museum or another high quality institution. 

To check out these shows, check the websites of the major auction houses for details. If you hear of a good auction coming up – the contemporary and modern evening auctions come to mind – it’s likely that they’ll have a really excellent preview of these for-sale pieces. 

Check it out. The best art is often found in the most unexpected places.


In Brooklyn, Manhattan on March 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

Just as I am beginning to run out of constructive things to say – at least until I get myself to some more museums and see some more great art – I had a brilliant ideas. People are stuck on Museums being the arbiters of great art – they are a bastion of art history, of talent, of genius. Well – how to artists become museum-artists? Of course they come by way of galleries. 

Some galleries (the really professional and big-money ones at least) have museum quality shows. Only the catch: they’re free! That’s right, if you want to see some Damien Hirst or Cecily Brown head over to Gagosian and you’ll see newer work, in great depth, than you ever will in a museum. You certainly don’t have to buy to go to the galleries shows. And if you’re really smart you’ll start hitting up the openings – where you’re likely to meet some likeminded souls and maybe score some free wine. Check the New York Times for openings and keep an eye out for the Gagosian GalleriesPaula Cooper GalleryMary Boone Gallery and the other big names. 


The Met

In Manhattan on February 27, 2009 at 11:16 am

The Met could a blog all to itself, so I am just going to touch on some basics that people may or may not know. The Met is located on 5th Ave at 83rd street and is a huge structure with one of the most amazing art collections in the world. It is so big that I am often very overwhelmed by the whole thing. But I’ve just discovered one very crucial detail that makes the Met manageable – it’s FREE (well there is a suggested donation, but for all intents and purposes it’s free). You can see the Egyptian section, you can see the sculpture garden, you can see the Impressionist room but you don’t have to see them all in one trip. Especially if you live on the Upper East Side, this is a great way to see one of the best art collections in the world without devoting a whole day to the endeavor. 


Don’t let this museum scare you away. It is so well worth it – and you can’t take a trip to NYC without stopping by. 

National Museum of the American Indian

In Manhattan on February 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

So this is a little off topic but this is one of the best museum in NYC that no one visits: the National Museum of the American Indian. It’s located right at the tip of Manhattan in the Financial District in the old customs house. It’s a wonderfully beautiful building and a bit of history right in itself. 

It is part socio-historical museum, part art museum, and it really celebrates a crucial and oft ignored part of American History. 

It is well worth a subway ride downtown (which is really really quick – and I know because I live down there) and you’ll get a walk around Battery Park, a FREE entrance into the museum (since it is a Smithsonian institution), and a lovely glance into the financial meltdown. I would highly recommend this place and maybe we can start a trend and get people to go here more often. 

Whitney Museum

In Manhattan on February 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Another of the biggies in NYC. The Whitney is a museum for artists – they focus widely on very contemporary and upcoming artists. It is a place for artists to go to see the best of the best contemporary art. It is a museum for all those people who are tired of seeing lots of modernist, dada, and Warhol art. It is a museum for people who are really looking to expand their thoughts and understanding of what it means to be art. 

While I’m not always a fan of the Whitney it is certainly a “discovery” sort of place. You’ve got to be patient, be prepared to see some trippy, wild, weird, and sometimes not wholly enjoyable stuff. But its worth it when you do finally find that gem. 

Alexander Calder’s Circus has been on view for quite some time. Last chance notice for anyone looking to see it still. It closes on Feb. 15.