For those of you concerned abut the planet (and seriously, that should mean you), Earth Day has now morphed into Earth week. (And hey, New York, shouldn’t it really be Earth Day every day?)
In the city, museums and arts organizations have gotten into the act with installations designed to highlight the environmental issues facing the planet.
PS 1 and The Museum of Modern Art took on the issue of rising sea levels, with the resulting “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront,” on display through October 11. (MoMA is at 11 West 53rd Street in Manhattan; 212 708-9400.) The creative solutions include water-absorbing sidewalks and apartment buildings that dangle above the water. (We said creative, not necessarily realistic.)
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum (145 Brooklyn Avenue; 718-735-4400), which is being certified as the city’s first “green” museum, is offering the “Celebrate Earth!” Festival, a two-day, earth-focused extravaganza this weekend, April 24 and 25. An eco-fair and bark-painting workshop are among the offerings.
Also in Brooklyn, the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge offers “A Thousand Thousand Slimy Things,” a play focused on the problems facing our oceans and ocean life. It’s offered through May 9 for older kids and adults. (290 Conover Street; 718- 624-4719). The museum promotes historical preservation and the city’s maritime past.
Exit Art, (at 475 10th Avenue; 212 966-7745) is presenting “What Matters Most?”, through April 28. The exhibition was inspired by a “New York Times” blog that asked the question “What Matters Most?” Artists contributing to the exhibit either created works that related to a particular blog entry or presented relevant works.
So take in an exhibit–and keep saving the planet.
If you’re planning a visit to New York’s Museum of Modern Art any time soon, brace yourself. No, we mean that literally—you’ll have to pass through two naked people flanking a doorway if you want to see “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present,” which opened yesterday.
The “performers” will alternate, and include both opposite and same sex participants: It’s all part of a retrospective.
The museum is presenting an exhibition of approximately 50 of the Yugoslavian born artist’s works, and includes video works and photographs, as well as “re-performances” of her works. The artist will also perform a new solo work. It will be the longest duration of time that she has performed a single solo piece.
All performances will start before the museum opens and stop after it closes each day, to help viewers experience the timeless of the works.
Spoiler Alert: You may also see a nude woman on a bicycle seat and another nude performer lying under a skeleton.
Visitors at a preview were a bit unsettled, to say the least–which may be part of the point.
Warning: If you don’t like audience participation, watch out.
A series of lectures and gallery talks will accompany the exhibition. The Museum of Modern Art is at 11 West 53rd Street. Call (212) 708-9400 for more information.
And don’t forget that you can visit late one day a week: MoMa nights are the first Thursday of each month, when the museum stays open until 8:45 PM.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg launched a week of cultural activities (March 2-7) across New York City yesterday—they include everything from special tours to museum discounts, performances to open arts studios. Close to $44 million is expected to be generated by 60,000 visitors partaking of the city’s cultural offerings. In addition, the event is expected to bring in $1.8 million in tax revenues.
Among the goodies offered? Rare looks at the studio of artist Christo and the Alexander Calder Foundation.
The Art Dealer’s Association of America’s Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory, one of the week’s highlights, includes 70 exhibitors who represent the nation’s top art dealers, 55 of whom are from New York. In addition, the (separate) 12th annual Armory show will take place March 4-7 at Piers 92 and 94, and will feature art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Other art shows this week include the Dutch Art Now and Korean Arts Shows.
Other programs around the city this week? Soho Night (March 4); Chelsea Day and Brooklyn Night (March 6) and Lower East Side Day (March 7).
Museums are also getting in on the act, with the recently opened Whitney Biennial; the Target First Saturdays program at the Brooklyn Museum; and MoMa’s Performance Series program on March 4
Despite the recession, attendance at cultural institutions was up last year in New York.
For more information, check out nycgo.com
It’s a big week for Museum goings-on in New York City, what with paintings being accidentally ripped (The Metropolitan Museum of Art); and preparations for the Biennial (The Whitney Museum of American Art). Over at The International Center of Photography (ICP), four new shows open today (January 29).
Fist off, there’s ”Twilight Vision: Surrealism, Photography and Paris.” More than 150 photos, films, books, and periodicals have been brought together to show how photographic images were used to create both real and imaginary images of Paris. Man Ray, Ilse Bing, and Dora Maar all have works in the show.
In “Miroslav Tichy,” the exhibition highlights the work of the reclusive Czech photographer, known for his cardboard cameras and haunting images of women and landscapes. (In addition to photographs, a number of his homemade cameras are on view.)
“Alan B. Stone and the Senses of Place” explores the idea of “place” and memory through black-and white photos. Works of the Montreal photographer include both the photos of male pinups that he sold in the 1950s, as well as his photographs of his home city.
Finally, 31 vintage prints of the work of famed photographer Eugene Atget are on display in “Atget, Archivist of Paris.” All the images have been taken from the museum’s permanent collection.
All exhibitions run though May 9. ICP, which is located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, can be reached by calling 212 857-0000. The museum also offers a broad spectrum of classes, lectures and workshops.
One of the great art world events opens in about six weeks in New York City: The Whitney Biennial comes to town on Feb. 25 and runs through May 30.
The 75th Biennial will feature 55 artists, as opposed to 82 in 2008.
The show is always known as much for the controversy it provokes as the survey of American Art it undertakes. This year, artists include Lorraine O’Grady, a performance artist who worked as an intelligence analyst for the government; Aki Sasamoto, whose performance art will take place in the galleries next to her sculptures, which incorporate objects from everyday life; and Suzan Frecon, whose work hangs in New York’s MOMA and who is known for her large paintings of geometric designs.
Video installations, which used to be scattered throughout the building, will now largely be offered on a single floor.
For the first time, women outnumber men.
And if you can’t wait until mid-Feb., in preparation for the event, a show that opened mid-Jan. at the Museum focuses on past artists who have been included in the Biennial. Entitled, “Collecting Biennials,” it focuses on a mix of artists, including some big names like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.
You can also go to the Museum’s website (wnitney.org) to watch a series of brief videos about the preparation for the event, focusing on artists and curators, as well as the installation and preparation of a number of the works.
The Whitney Museum is at 945 Madison Avenue; call 212 570-7721 for more information.
Art has its perils—at least if you were a visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street) on Friday.
A visitor–Overenthusiastic? Awkward? Cursed?–lost her balance and fell into the Picasso painting “The Actor,” valued at $80 million.
The visitor tore a six-inch gash in the lower right-hand corner of the painting, unusual in part for its large size—6 feet by 4 feet. The work is also important in that it signaled a move from Picasso’s “Blue Period,” in which he used mainly shades of blue, to a rose period. Picasso painted “The Actor” in the winter of 1904-05. It was donated to the Met in 1952 by automobile heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy, and has hung in a second-floor gallery since then. The painting shows a stick-thin figure in a pink stage costume, and is displayed with some of Picasso’s other early works.
The woman who damaged the painting was participating in an adult education class in the afternoon, and somehow stumbled and fell.
A Museum statement says that the damage can be fully repaired, and that the hole was not made in a focal point of the painting.
The painting, which was removed from the gallery, will supposedly be repaired in time to be displayed in an exhibit of 250 Picasso works entitled “Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art” that opens April 27 and runs through August 1.
Considering the sheer numbers of people that move through the Museum each day, if not each hour, it’s actually a wonder that more accidents don’t happen more often.
Looking for something to do with kids on these cold winter weekends? Most, if not all New York museums offer family workshops designed to engage both adults and kids, and some of the smaller, lesser-known institutions offer small classes with a lot of personalized attention.
So don’t get mad–go to MAD. That is, drop by New York’s newish Museum of Arts and Design in its home at 2 Columbus Circle (212 299-7777). The exhibition space, formerly the American Craft Museum on West 53rd Street, offers exhibitions and a collection that focuses on crafts, fashion, performing arts and the design-driven industries, as well as other areas.
Today (January 9), you can get mad about kids during the museum’s Mad Family Day. Adults and kids can partake of hands-on workshops, with an emphasis on paper. Tear into activities that highlight paper cutting, shredding and tearing, and view four cut-paper animation films. The latter includes a story in silhouettes (“Princes and Princesses”) and Tomoko Oguchi’s “FolkLore Restaurant” and “The Magic Stamp.”
While you’re there, you can peek into their open studio program, the only New York museum that has such a studio. Visitors can watch artists at work and ask questions–and maybe even offer a hand. This winter, six artists showcase work in textiles, ceramics, wood and rubber.
Sundays bring hands-on workshops for kids; while tours take off for families six days a week.
What are you waiting for? Grab your kids–and go mad.
Happy 2010! Whether you’re recovering from last night’s revelries, wondering if you can forget that second resolution, or hopping on the treadmill to keep your first one, the year has that unused feeling that signifies that anything is possible.
And since it’s the time of top ten lists, we hereby offer 10 ten great things you should see, do, or remember about New York this upcoming year, in no particular order:
1. How many boroughs except Manhattan and maybe Brooklyn have you actually been to? Uh huh, we thought so. Go discover the amazing array of foods in Queens or the shoreline in Staten Island.
2. If you only go to the big-name museums in the city, check out one of the smaller ones, like the Rubin or The Jewish Museum.
3. Rent a rowboat in Central Park. (When it’s warmer.)
4. Take a backstage tour: Radio City; Madison Square Garden–you’ll be amazed at the choices.
5. Eat something you’ve never eaten, whether from a restaurant in Chinatown or a sushi restaurant in midtown.
6. Find somewhere in the city and take a hike. We mean that literally.
7. Go to one of the Botanical Gardens in the spring (Bronx; Brooklyn) and see either the cherry blossoms or the roses.
8. Check out Times Square on a Wednesday afternoon when the matinees let out and all the lights are coming on and simply drink it all in.
9. Trace your history: Visit Ellis Island and discover your family tree.
10. Open a guidebook, close your eyes, point at random, and go do whatever you pick.
This is New York after all. If you can’t be adventurous here, then there’s really no point at all.
Nothing says the holidays like the Red Baron.
This week, “Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace” opened at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum (Pier 86; 12th Avenue and 46th Street; 877-957-SHIP), where it will be on view through mid-April.
Organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum, the traveling exhibition features 29 iris prints of Charles Schulz’s original designs of the iconic beagle Snoopy in his incarnation as a World War I flying ace.
Fact-that-makes-the-exhibit-seem-even-more appropriate: Crew members in the 1960s were known to sketch Peanuts characters on the walls of the ship. Some of this “sailor art” still survives, and can be seen in the exhibition.
In addition, weekend hands-on activities centering on the show will be held each Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM. A digitized copy of the cruise book from 1961-62 can also be perused; it shows Peanuts characters at work on the ship. Charlie Brown, swab the decks.
While you’re at the Museum, you can also take part in the 2009 Intrepid Holiday Salute. Visitors can sign giant holiday cards to be sent to various military facilities across the country to wish the troops and their families happy holidays.
The Intrepid is also accepting donations of certain essential items, which will be shipped overseas to Marines serving in Afghanistan. The items include food (gum, trail mix, tuna); toiletries (toothpaste; shampoo) and other items like blankets, playing cards, and batteries. (For a complete list, go to intrepidmuseum.org).
All together now: Curse you, Red Baron!
This is New York, so you can go on pretty much any kind of walking or bus tour in the city you can dream up, from “Sex and the City” venues to lower east side foods. But a tour of places that never were?
Welcome to the very cool new iphone app “Museum of the Phantom City.”
The app examines 50 architectural sites in New York that never got off the drawing board, from Buckminster Fuller’s plan for a “Mini Earth”—a miniature globe suspended by cables across from the United Nations Building—to a heliport on top of Bryant Park that could have doubled as an air raid shelter. A number of the proposals from the mid-twentieth century, in fact, show unease over the Cold War and potential attacks.
Got some time on your hands? You can walk around the city and actually check out the sites where the projects would have been, if you want, using your phone like a museum audioguide of sorts.
The plan was developed by Irene Cheng and Brett Snyder, founders of a design studio, in conjunction with The Van Alen Institute, a nonprofit architectural institute.
Don’t have an iphone or can’t borrow one? Check out phantomcity.org.
So are these things-that-never-were a missed-the-boat alternative future? Lost opportunities? Monstrosities that are better relegated to the drawing board?
Whatever they are, this intersection of architecture and technology is whole lot more interesting than apps for finding the nearest deli.