The Art Seen In NYC

Well the Missus and I trundled down to The Big Town last weekend and here’s some of what we caught.

Munch/Warhol and the Multiple Image

We saw this exhibit at Scandinavia House the day before it closed.


Organized in honor of the 150th anniversary of Munch’s birth in 1863, the exhibition closely examines four graphic motifs produced by Munch at the turn of the century — The Scream, Madonna, The Brooch. Eva Mudocci, and Self-Portrait with width_650.height_300.mode_FillAreaWithCrop.pos_Default.color_WhiteSkeleton Arm — and later revisited by Andy Warhol in a little-known, but extraordinary, series of prints from 1984. Comprising over 30 original works from private and museum collections — some of which will be seen for the first time — the exhibition reveals remarkable affinities between the two artists.

It’s true, especially the part about both artists maximizing the financial value of their art by producing multicolored versions of it.


Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

This wonderful exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum features “approximately 63 drawings and paintings by self-taught Alabama artist Bill Traylor. Traylor began making art near the end of his life, and his works are notable for their flat, simply defined shapes and vibrant compositions in which memories and observations relating to African American life are merged. Traylor is recognized as one of the finest American artists of the 20th century.”

Representative sample:


It’s there through September 22 and well worth your time.


Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York

This exhibit at the New-York Historical Society (through September 1st) is a roller-coaster ride through New York in the 1930s. From the NYHS website:

With his calligraphic brushstrokes and densely cluttered, multi-figured compositions, Reginald Marsh recorded the vibrancy and energetic pulse of New York City. In paintings, prints, watercolors and photographs, he captured the animation and visual turbulence that made urban New York life an G2_TwentyCent.Whit-37.43WEB_0exhilarating spectacle. His work depicted the visual energy the city, its helter-skelter signs, newspaper and magazine headlines and the crowded conditions of its street life and recreational pastimes.

His subjects were not glamorous or affluent New Yorkers, but those in the middle and lower class—Bowery bums, burlesque queens, Coney Island musclemen, park denizens, subway riders and post-flapper era sirens. Marsh was fascinated by the crass glamour, gaudiness and sexuality these city inhabitants exhibited in public, as well as by the humanity expressed by those living under severe economic and social duress.

There are also references to “his technical combination of choppy brushwork and thinly applied tempera [that] created the effect of a continual surface flickering, which causes the eye to move without rest from place to place across the painting.”

We’d just call it eye-popping.


Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes

From the Museum of Modern Art website:

MoMA presents its first major exhibition on the work of Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, 1887–1965), encompassing his work as an architect, interior designer, artist, 77088city planner, writer, and photographer. Conceived by guest curator Jean-Louis Cohen, the exhibition reveals the ways in which Le Corbusier observed and imagined landscapes throughout his career, using all the artistic techniques at his disposal, from his early watercolors of Italy, Greece, and Turkey, to his sketches of India, and from the photographs of his formative journeys to the models of his large-scale projects. His paintings and drawings also incorporate many views of sites and cities. All of these dimensions are present in the largest exhibition ever produced in New York of his prodigious oeuvre.

Jeanneret was a champion of Purism, which “rejected . . . complex abstractions for the study of the pure geometric forms of everyday objects.”

Actually, the Missus and I found the most interesting part of the exhibit Jeanneret’s early paintings (“landscapes of objects”) with their echoes of Francis Picabia and Fernand Léger.

Representative sample:



Most notable about the exhibit (through September 23): People kept touching stuff (WTF?) and taking selfies in front of the artworks.

People are idiots.



This exhibit is a triumph d’oeil.



From the Whitney’s website:

Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1977), by California Light and Space artist Robert Irwin, is a large-scale installation that uniquely engages the Whitney’s iconic Breuer building and the natural light that emanates from the large window in the fourth floor gallery space. Part of the Whitney’s collection, the work was made specifically for the Museum’s fourth floor. It has not been exhibited since its 1977 debut, a pivotal moment that would set the course for Irwin’s subsequent artistic practice.

You gotta see this to believe it (through September 1).


David Hockney: The Jugglers

This video at the Whitney is just fun.

This exhibition marks the U.S. premiere of David Hockney’s first video installation: The Jugglers, June 24th 2012 (2012). Filmed using eighteen fixed cameras, this multiscreen tableau shows a group of jugglers as they move in a procession across a grid of eighteen screens. The figures, dressed in black and juggling brightly colored objects, perform in front of a pink wall and on a blue floor, creating a vibrant, colorful composition whose energy is echoed by a lively musical soundtrack. Hockney’s creation of a composite image from multiple perspectives places the choice of where to look with the viewer, demonstrating his ongoing interest in how technologies can open up new ways of looking at, and making, images.

A little taste:


The Assembled Parties

I’m going to say the worst thing anyone could about this Broadway production of Richard Greenberg’s new play:

It closed on Sunday.

Luckily, the Missus and I got to see it Saturday night.

You can see a montage of scenes here, although they don’t quite sparkle the way the cast did on Saturday.


(More here.)

Judith Light scored her second Tony (she won for Other Desert Cities in 2011) for her performance in The Assembled Parties (Jessica Hecht was also terrific), and we’re just happy we caught it.

On the other hand, some exhibits to avoid: FIT’s Retrospective and MAD’s Fashion Jewelry, both of which fall far below the standards previously set by those institutions.

Otherwise, get thee to The Big Town, go.

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1 Response to The Art Seen In NYC

  1. Pingback: The Art Seen In NYC (Le Corbusier Addendum) | Campaign Outsider

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