Monday, June 20, 2011

Three "Must-See" Summer Art Exhibits in NYC

1) "Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou," at the Gagosian Gallery
“Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour fou” brings together the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints inspired by Picasso’s greatest muse, as well as photographs from Marie-Thérèse's family archives. On view at the Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, New York, through July 15, 2011, the work included in this exhibit spans the years 1927 to 1940. More than any other woman, Marie-Thérèse, with her statuesque body and strong, pure profile, fueled Picasso’s imagination with a luminous dream of youth and she became the catalyst for some of his most exceptional work, from groundbreaking paintings to an inspired return to sculpture in the 1930s, according her an almost mythic stature and immortality as an art historical subject. This exhibit is unusual for a private gallery and gives you the unique perspective of experiencing a love story through the eyes of one of the 20th century's greatest artists. For more information, check out the interesting article "Picasso's Erotic Code," by curator John Richardson in May's Vanity Fair.

2) "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," at the Metropolitan Museum of A
The Met's Alexander McQueen show "Savage Beauty," has already made it's way into the museum's record books, with Bloomberg reporting that it has attracted over 350K+ people since opening in May, outpacing the extremely popular 2005 exhibition of van Gogh's drawings. Organized by The Costume Institute, it celebrates the late Alexander McQueen’s contributions to fashion—he challenged and expanded the understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity. The sho
w features approximately 100 ensembles and 70 accessories from McQueen’s 19-year career. On view through August 7, it is the must see exhibit of the summer, if not the year. Listen to curator Andrew Bolton discussing the exhibit here. ADDENDUM: There is a great review of the exhibit on the blog "Two Nerdy History Girls."

3) "Picasso Guitars: 1912-1914," at the MoMA

"Dear Braque, I am using our latest papery and powdery procedures. I am in the process of imagining a guitar and I am using a bit of dust against our horrible canvas..." - Letter from Picasso to Georges Braque (Oct 9, 1912).

Taking a deep dive into a short two year period of
Picasso's long career, the "Picasso Guitars: 1912-1914" exhibition at the MoMA gives you a detailed look into a period of intense experimentation in sculpture and multi-media cubism for the artist that revolutionized the art world and has later been defined by art historians as the development of "synthetic cubism." The exhibition takes you back in time and submerses you in Picasso's studio and processes at the time. A great overview of the exhibit can be found in the Feb 10th Newsweek article "Pablo Picasso: Guitar Hero," by Blake Gopnik.

EXTRA CREDIT: The High Line Section Two Opening

The High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. The last train ran on the High Line since 1980 and was left untouched until 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the City of New York, were able to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. The first section, from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, opened June 9, 2009 to much success. If you haven't had the opportunity to voyage down to Chelsea to enjoy this park, I highly recommend it. The second section, from West 20th Street to West 30th Street, opened earlier this month doubling the length of the park. The High Line website lists the year-long events that include children's play groups, dance lessons and even film screenings, in this unique park in the sky.