Events

Art Rx

by Hrag Vartanian on April 15, 2014

Lebbeus Woods, "Photon Kite" (1988) (via drawingcenter.org)

Lebbeus Woods, “Photon Kite” (1988) (via drawingcenter.org)

I love New York, and this is one of those weeks that proves to me exactly why. From the opening of major shows of the art of Ai Weiwei, the Mission School, and Lebbeus Woods to seeing Robert Morris in conversation in Midtown, exploring digital art in Chelsea, and watching The Art of the Steal in Williamsburg, I feel like I’m in heaven. Oh, and don’t get me started about the lecture in Gowanus about the history and artistry of mass-market anatomical and pathological textbooks. If I’m sleep deprived later this week, then it’s definitely New York’s fault.

 Energy That Is All Around

When: Opens Tuesday, April 15
Where: Grey Art Galllery (100 Washington Square East, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

The Mission School of the early 1990s revolved around a group of San Francisco Art Institute undergraduates, namely Alicia McCarthy, Barry McGee, and Ruby Neri, and their friends like Chris Johanson and Margaret Kilgallen. The group is going to be the focus of an exhibition at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, and I’m really looking forward to seeing an art historical treatment of this cluster of artists known for their love of politics, graffiti, and a fluid sensibility that melts abstraction and representation effortlessly.

 Lebbeus Woods

When: Opens Wednesday, April 16, 6–8pm
Where: The Drawing Center (35 Wooster Street, Soho, Manhattan)

The designs of architect Lebbeus Woods (who passed away in 2012) have inspired filmmakers, artists, and writers alike for decades. The Drawing Center’s latest exhibition brings together a selection of his highly refined drawings and sculpted works. For those unfamiliar with Woods’s aesthetic, the architect’s proposed design for Albert Einstein’s tomb — a grave-cum-space station hovering above the earth — is a useful place to start!

 Object Sculpture 1960–1965: Robert Morris in conversation with Julia Robinson & Jeffrey Weiss

When: Wednesday, April 16, 6–8pm (doors open at 5:30pm)
Where: The New York Public Library (Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

Robert Morris joins Guggenheim Curator Jeffrey Weiss and NYU Professor Julia Robinson to discuss various aspects of his practice, with a particular emphasis on his career during the 1960s. The talk coincides with the publication of Robert Morris: Object Sculptures, 1960–1965, a new catalogue of the artist’s work by Jeffrey Weiss and Clare Davies. You can be sure this is going to sell out.

An image of "Assembly" in the UN's (image via heymancenter.org)

Image of “Assembly” in the 1949 UNESCO Human Rights Exhibition (image via heymancenter.org)

 Visualizing Universalism: The 1949 UNESCO Human Rights Exhibition

When: Thursday, April 17, 6:30pm
Where: Columbia University, Buell Hall (515 West 116 Street, Morningside Heights, Manhattan)

Columbia’s Visualizing Universalism symposium coincides with the university’s latest exhibition, which brings together original material from the 1949 UNESCO Human Rights Exhibition. The exhibition sought to visually represent the history and meaning of the then recently adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Visualizing Universalism promises to probe the exhibition’s history while examining the ways in which human rights are visually represented today.

Ryan Whittier Hale_600

Ryan Whittier Hale, Still from “Monolith” (2012) (via eyebeam.org)

 The New Romantics

When: Opens Thursday, April 17, 7–9pm
Where: Eyebeam (540 West 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Eyebeam’s latest exhibition, The New Romantics, presents artists whose work explores the major themes of 19th-century Romanticism via digital media. Themes such as the sublime, the representation of nature, and individuality, will be explored vis-à-vis digital fabrication, 3D simulation, and video game engines. As promised in the show’s press release, “the artists in this exhibition expose an underlying thread of individual expression that extends beyond mere tech-fetishism.” The show is curated by three talented individuals I definitely have my eyes on: Claudia Hart, Nicholas O’Brien, and Katie Torn.

 The Sick Rose: Anatomy and Art in an Age of Revolution

When: Thursday, April 17, 8pm ($5)
Where: Observatory (543 Union Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

Dr Richard Barnett’s latest book, The Sick Rose, is the first in a series produced in collaboration with the Wellcome Collection, exploring the history and artistry of mass-market anatomical and pathological textbooks. In his lecture on Thursday, Dr. Barnett will tell the story of a revolution in medicine and art while discussing the challenges in bringing these often disturbing images to a wider audience.

 Gabriel Hurier

When: Opens Saturday, April 19, 6–9pm
Where: Sardine (286 Stanhope Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

This small Bushwick space is a good place to explore and find something new, but I’ll let the gallery’s blurb tell you about their latest and greatest:

Hurier’s first show at Sardine in 2012, DRIFT was a culmination of many years of travel, research, and collection of information — a figurative body of maps, scraps and sketches describing time apart from the familiar. With Directions, the work is still based on Hurier’s extensive travels and is now coupled with reflections related to his recent

 The Art of the Steal

When: Saturday, April 19 & Sunday, April 20, 12pm ($11)
Where: Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Any mention of the Barnes Collection — considered by many as the world’s greatest collection of Post-Impressionist art — elicits strong emotions and opinions. Was the move of the collection from Merion, Pennsylvania, to Center City Philadelphia a practical and economically sound action or an outright desecration of Dr Albert C. Barnes’s last will and testament? For both the uninitiated and those familiar with the collection, Don Argott’s The Art of the Steal (2009) is must see viewing.

 Ai Weiwei: According to What?

When: Opens Friday, April 18
Where: The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

Ai Weiwei: According to What? will feature over 30 works produced by the artist over a 20-year period. As to be expected from the renowned activist-artist, the exhibition will “spotlight issues of freedom of expression, as well as individual and human rights both in China and globally.”

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