This week, we wanted to remind you that there are a lot of exhibitions you should catch before August comes to a close, including an exploration of censorship at Parsons The New School of Design, a survey of James Lee Byars, a fantastic show of paintings by Joan Mitchell, and a show of female photographers in Midtown. There’s also an unconventional public art opening in Gowanus and a four-day-only surrealist photography show on the Lower East Side. Now: Ready. Set. Go.
Art Bridge: Urban Modulations
When: Wednesday, August 27, 6–8pm
Where: At Bond Street and 2nd Street (Gowanus, Brooklyn)
This public exhibition in Gowanus will feature the work of Bibiana, Marilia Destot, Evry, Caleb Freese, Allison Maletz, Simona Prives, Gun Roze, Esther Ruiz, and Joelle Shallon on banners around a construction area. Visitors will be offered copious amounts of food, and you can even enjoy a canoe ride. I was on the jury for this competition — along with Saisha Grayson of the Brooklyn Museum, Courtney Jordan of the Gowanus Ballroom, and art advisor Emily Santangelo — so why not at least come and criticize my choices?
When: Opens Wednesday, August 27, 6–9pm and closes Saturday, August 30
Where: Bosi Contemporary (48 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
For four days only, Bosi Contemporary presents a group exhibition of six international artists who explore Freud’s theory of the unconscious, whether through collage, photography, or video. On opening night, there will be a performance of an aria from Umberto Giordano’s opera Andrea Chénier, in which the singer confronts the worlds of reality and of dreams. —CV
James Lee Byars: Is Is and Other Works
When: Closes Friday, August 29
Where: Michael Werner Gallery (4 East 77th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
A survey of Byars’s work currently occupies the second floor of MoMA PS1, but Michael Werner Gallery offers a more intimate look at the artist’s sculpture. Is Is and Other Works features three of Byars’s late sculptures, from gilded pillars to basalt spheres, that transform the gallery into “a space for interrogative contemplation.” —CV
Joan Mitchell: Trees
When: Closes Friday, August 29
Where: Cheim & Read (547 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Markedly dispersed throughout the gallery, seven of Joan Mitchell’s large-scale, abstract paintings of trees color the white space with the painter’s vibrant, animated brushstrokes. Dated from 1964 to 1991, the paintings reveal an evolution of Mitchell’s painting process, the latest works suggesting her coping with personal struggles. If you haven’t yet you should definitely read Thomas Micchelli’s review of the show. —CV
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Seascapes
When: Opens Wednesday, August 27
Where: Tripolo Gallery (30A Jobs Lane, Southampton, NY)
Take a trip to Southampton to see the sea — or specifically, the seas of the world. Hiroshi Sugimoto’s series of black-and-white photographs documents the artist’s travels around the globe, beginning in 1980, during which he captured horizon lines so they bisect the picture plane. Shown alongside his photographs is also a glass sculpture, “Five Elements” (2011), the artist’s rendition of a traditional pagoda. —CV
Female Photographers in West Asia & North Africa
When: Closes Saturday, August 30
Where: Howard Greenberg Gallery (41 East 57th Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
I usually hate any show that uses the Eurocentric term “Middle East,” but I’ll make an exception for this one. Featuring the work of Boushra Almutawakel of Yemen, Shadi Ghadirian of Iran, Rania Matar of Lebanon, and Reem Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, this is a show of lovely brash images rich with color and thought-provoking content. Bonus: the gallery is also showing photographs from Syria made in 1940 by Margaret Bourke-White for Life magazine.
Is There an Artwork that Provokes You?
When: Closes Wednesday, September 3
Where: Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery (Parsons The New School of Design, 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)
The premise of this summer exhibition is provocative and complex. It’s a must-see:
Twenty-five years ago, a furor erupted at The New School when Sekou Sundiata, poet, performer, and professor, scrawled his dissent across a blackface image exhibited in the Parsons Galleries. His “X” inspired others and 40 signatures soon covered the image. Part of an exhibition of the work of Japanese designer Shin Matsunaga, the offending image was the long-time logo of a Japanese soft-drink company.
… This exhibition explores the ways in which offense has been given (and taken) and dissent expressed (and managed) through three incidents in the history of The New School: the 1951 and ’53 curtaining of the University’s signature Orozco murals during the Red Scare years; the 1970 anti-war exhibition put up by Parsons students in lieu of a senior show, in the aftermath of the Kent State shootings; and the 1989 Matsunaga affair.
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With contributions by Claire Voon