Reactor

Your Weekly Art Rx: Museum Fever!

by Liza Eliano on November 10, 2011

Sherrie Levine, "Crystal Skull" (2011) (via whitney.org)

Get out the syringe, it’s time for your shot of art for the week. We promise it won’t be painful.

This week the medicine comes in the form of museum exhibitions both big and small, including Sherrie Levine’s retrospective at the Whitney, the much anticipated opening of the Met’s Islamic wing and a round-up of seminal art from the 1980s in Hudson Valley that’s worth the trip to upstate New York. We’re also prescribing two events that mix visual art and music, a combo that is sure to cure any illness.

Detail of Clifford Owens's "Anthology (Nsenga Knight)" (2011). Performance still (image courtesy On Stellar Rays, via ps1.org)

 Sherrie Levine at the Whitney

When: November 10 – January 29, 2012
Where: The Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

Love her or hate, Levine’s art was a gamechanger in the 1970s and 80s when she was exploring the idea of appropriation and contextualization. If some of her work appears cold and overly conceptual nowadays, she may be ripe for a “come back” but we’ll have to see when the show opens tomorrow. Sherrie Levine: Mayhem, developed as a project by the artist, includes old and new works and “will provide juxtapositions that provoke new associations and responses.”

 A Trip Upstate That Takes You Back to the 1980s

When: September 18, 2011  – July 22, 2012
Where: The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (1701 Main Street, Peekskill, New York). For directions click here.

We know, Hudson Valley is much farther afield for Manhattan art-goers, but it’s good to breathe in unpolluted air every once and a while. Plus the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art has an exciting exhibition that may just be worth braving Metro North for. Open until July of next year (you’ve got plenty of time to get out there), Circa 1986 includes some of the biggest names in art from 1981 to 1991 like Ross Bleckner, Anslem Kiefer, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sarah Charlesworth, David Wojnarowicz, Julian Schnabel and lots more. Told from the perspective of six New York based art collectors, the show traces an important decade when the art market was booming, the East Village was the heart of artistic production and art was increasingly becoming a part of mass culture. Once your done taking a trip down memory lane at HVCCA, you can also pop over to Dia: Beacon, which is only a short ride away by car.

 Brooklyn Rising at BAM

When: November 9  – 12, 7:30 PM
Where: BAM Harvey Theater (651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York)

As part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2011 Next Wave Festive, the cultural center presents the world premier of Brooklyn Babylon, a mash-up of live painting and music. The piece envisions the tallest tower in the world rising in a “future” Brooklyn, although that future may not be too far off. Graphic artist Danijel Zezelj will paint live on stage against a backdrop of one of his animations that channels the urban dystopia of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Grammy-nominated composer Darcy James Argue and his steampunk-jazz big band Secret Society will provide musical accompaniment to Zezelj’s creations. Yes, we know BAM isn’t exactly a museum but we included it anyway.

 An Anthology of Performance Art at PS1

When: November 13 , 2011 – March 12, 201s
Where: MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave. Long Island City, New York)

This Sunday MoMA’s hipper sister in Long Island City, PS1, opens a show by African-American performance artist Clifford Owens. For his first stint in a New York museum, Owens spent the summer in a gallery on PS1’s third floor enacting a series of performances that were open to the public. The performances are based off of scores, or sets of instructions, sent in by artists including Kara Walker, Glenn Ligon, Lyle Ashton Harris and 24 other major African-American artists. Clifford Owens: Anthology is the result of Owen’s residency at the museum and features photos and videos of his performances as well as the scores themselves. Owen’s show is an attempt to create a new dialogue for African-American performance art, which the artist believes is largely underrepresented.

 The Met Unveils its New Islamic Wing

When: Permanent exhibition
Where: Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

After undergoing a major make-over that began in 2003, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Islamic art collection is finally up and running. The wing, renamed as the the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia is immense: it includes about 1,2000 works that span more than 1,00o years. Holland Cotter writes in the New York Times that the curation takes a more secular approach, exploring the historical intricacies and confusions that contributed to the art produced in these regions. Plus there’s the exquisite 14th C.-style courtyard created by Moroccan craftsmen commissioned by the Met. This new wing is yet another reason to visit the Met and get lost for hours in its never-ending galleries.

 Get Enlightened at the White Light Festival

When: The Duality of Light installation is up until November 13 from noon – 8pm. For other White Light Festival events that continue till November 19, click here.
Where: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Alice Tully Hall (Broadway and 65 street, Upper West Side, Manhattan)

For another offering that looks at the intersection between art and sound, check out Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, a series of events that explore the power of music to illuminate our interior lives. This weekend the Australian artist Lynette Wallworth presents Duality of Light in the lobby of Alice Tully Hall. Inspired by a visit to the Preah Khan temple at Kompong Svay in Cambodia, the installation leads visitors through a maze of light and sound towards “an unsettling encounter.” The piece sounds trippy and slightly nerve-racking, especially if you’re not a fan of surprises.

ALSO: Also don’t forget Performa is also still on for another two weeks! Click here for the schedule of events.

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