Welcome to 2012! As soon as the clock struck midnight, not only did the new year begin, but the art world also got a shot of adrenaline as January brings in more exhibition openings than we can keep track of.
Start the new year off right with this week’s Art Rx that offers several shows opening in galleries and venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn. View the results of one artist printing Tweets on a letterpress, observe or participate in a group drawing session on blackboards or check out new works by artist Monica Cook and painters Shane McAdams and Christopher Saunders in their respective gallery shows. Openings also mean opening receptions (included in several of this week’s selections), which means another very important thing: free booze.
Artist Michelle Vaughan Tweets on a Letterpress
When: January 5 – 15, 2012
Where: Dumbo Art Center (111 Front Street, Suite 212, Dumbo, Brooklyn)
Twitter fanatics, listen up. Dumbo Art Center presents the opening of artist Michelle Vaughan’s show “100 Tweets,” an exhibition with “just a few offerings for those who nerd-out on type, letterpress, Twitter, snark and perhaps appreciate the art of a nicely written tweet,” as the press release states. Vaughan scoured her Twitter feed for 100 comments, some personal and witty, others mundane and boring, that she then documented using a hand typeset letterpress. Riffing off of Gerhard Richter’s random selection of colors for his grid paintings, Vaughan used the website random.org to generate colors for “100 Tweets” so no two prints are alike. Through the use of a letterpress, Vaughan’s gesture is almost a comical one as she transforms the split second immediacy of Tweeting into a laborious, manual process.
Dance Legend Pina Bausch in 3D
When: January 6—Sun, Jan 8 at 2, 4:30, 7:20, 9:40pm; Mon, Jan 9—Thu, Jan 12 at 4:30, 7:20, 9:40pm
Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave, Fort Green, Brooklyn)
Beloved dance choreographer and visionary Pina Bausch may have passed away in 2009, but her legend lives on in the bio-documentary Pina by director Wim Wenders. This weekend, and next, catch this tribute to Bausch at the Brooklyn Academy of Music that shows much of her groundbreaking choreography in 3-D . The film includes several of her seminal works previously shown at BAM, which Bausch called her New York home since 1984. On Sunday January 8 after the 7:20 showing visitors will also get a chance to participate in a Q&A with Wenders.
The Heavens Open at Allegra LaViola Gallery
When: January 6 – February 4, 2012; Opening reception January 6, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Allegra LaViola Gallery (179 East Broadway, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
Allegra LaViola Gallery presents the work of two painters that turn the concept of landscape painting on its head. In The Fair and Open Face of Heaven, opening today, artist Shane McAdams creates psychedelic landscapes that are actually reproductions of imitations, framed by patterns that obscure and close in on the scene like an iris camera lens. In contrast, Christopher Saunders abstract landscapes are a bit more gloom and doom with blocks of grays, blacks and deep blues that look like a Mark Rothko on a rainy day. With two such different approaches to this genre, The Fair and Open Face of Heaven is definitely worth a visit.
Revisiting Zefrey Throwell’s Ocularpation: Wall Street
When: January 6 – February 11, 2012; Opening reception January 6, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. (524 West 19 street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Performance artist Zefrey Throwell made a big stir when fifty participants in Throwell’s Ocularpation:Wall Street stripped down to the nude in the middle of the street in a call for transparency and economic justice. Now Throwelll’s new body of work inspired by and directly relating to his Ocularpation project will be on view at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. Ocularpation: Wall Street, the exhibition, features photographs documenting the original event as well as paintings, sculpture and video. While the performance piece made news headlines and shocked many, this show is a chance to reflect on the images and concepts born from the project.
Monkey Love at Postmasters Gallery
When: January 7 – February 11, 2012; Opening reception January 7, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: Postmasters Gallery (459 West 19 street and 10 Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
A word to the wise: don’t eat a huge lunch before seeing this exhibition; you might lose it. For her first solo show at Postmasters Gallery, artist Monica Cook presents a stop animation video titled “Volley” about a group of grossly deformed cave-dwelling monkeys that look a bit like primate versions of a deranged character from a Ryan Trecartin video. Covered in scarred skin, pustules and “inconvenient” fluids, Cook’s creations play out vignettes of tenderness and love. If you can bear to look at these strange creatures, “Volley” promises to be a captivating mix of the disgusting and beautiful that you won’t be able to look away from.
A Dance of Drawing at The Invisible Dog
When: January 8 – January 11, 2012, Click here for performance times
Where: The Invisible Dog (51 Bergen Street between Smith and Court Streets, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)
An announcement for this event came through the Occupy Wall Street Arts and Culture Google group, which is starting to rev up for the new year. The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn presents in conjunction with Performance Space 122′s 7th annual COIL art festival, a work by European choreography Michael Kliën and dramaturge Steve Valk, who is also a member of Occupy Frankfurt. For the US premier of their piece Choreography for Blackboards, seven performers will participate in a collective creation of drawings on the surface of large blackboards, which will be left up for display for the duration of the show. Audience members are invited to interact with the performers or simply just observe the process. Following each night of the performances there will also be a series of talks with OWS activists and cultural theorists that will explore a “new ecology for the arts” as well as the new directions art and society should move in. Click here for a full schedule of events related to Choreography for Blackboards. Tickets for the performances cost $20, or $15 for students and seniors.
Face Time in the Digital Era
When: January 8 – February 12, 2012; Opening reception January 8, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: On Stellar Rays (133 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
For their group exhibition FaceTime, On Stellar Rays looks at how face-to-face interactions have evolved since computers, the internet and smart phones have become our main form of communication. The press release explains, “FaceTime deals with the state of the face today – a face, which we avidly manipulate, perform, display, distort, detect, scan, enhance, blur, veil and avoid.” While many decry technology as something that tears us apart, this show may offer a broader discussion of how we interact in the digital age.
Exploring North Korea, A Land Far Far Away
When: January 11 - March 10, 2012; Opening reception January 11, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: apexart (291 Church Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)
Last month Hyperallergic explored the archaic nature of North Korea, a country whose clocks seemed to have stopped in the 1970′s. Next week apexart presents a show with similar sentiments titled, A Postcard from Afar: North Korea from a Distance. Curated by Mark Feary, the exhibition brings together the work of eight artists who attempt to envision the future of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after the sudden death of Kim Jong-il, leader of the DPRK since 1994. Through film, photographs and installations these artists, several of whom are Korean-born, delve into topics such as Kim Jong-il’s antiquated cultural agenda as well as the tumultuous landscape that exists on the border between the DPRK, South Korea and China. With so much mystery and political strife clouding North Korea, this show is sure to be both interesting and unsettling.
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