Art Rx

This week, the doctor wants you to focus on the weekend. The New York Art Book Fair will be setting up shop at MoMA PS1, while the Dumbo Arts Festival will be taking over that Brooklyn neighborhood on the water. It’s also the last weekend for visiting the arts friendly Governors Island, and your last chance to visit the Whitney Museum’s Yayoi Kusama retrospective. That’s plenty to keep your blood pumping and your heart rate up.

If you’re antsy to flex your art muscles before then, she recommends a handful of talks: readings from old books paired with different images for the creatives, a panel on conceptual art for the cerebral, a meditation on truth in art for the philosophical. And for the art historical set, the Guggenheim has rarely seen watercolors by Kandinsky, brought to life by a classical pianist.

New York Art Book Fair 2011
John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller at the New York Art Book Fair 2011 (image via

Get Reanimated

When: Tuesday, September 25, 6:30–8 pm
Where: Independent Curators International Curatorial Hub (401 Broadway, Suite 1620, Tribeca, Manhattan)

The Reanimation Library is a small, secondhand library in Brooklyn, where founder and director Andrew Beccone gathers books that “have fallen out of routine circulation and been acquired for their visual content,” offering them as an inspiration for artists and writers. This event at Independent Curators International, billed as an “incomplete portrait” of the library, will bring together excerpts from some of the books with images from others, leading hopefully to creative, nonsensical, even poignant results.

 Materializing Conceptual Art

When: Thursday, September 27, 6:30 pm
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

In 1973, art critic Lucy Lippard published Six Years, a book that examined the then-emerging movement of conceptual art. In 2012, her influence on art history is being widely celebrated with an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum that centers on the book. On Thursday night, Lippard talks with artists Robert Barry, Jennifer Bartlett, Luis Camnitzer, and Martha Wilson, all of whom are featured in the show.

Truth and Lies

When: Thursday, September 27, 7–8:30 pm ($15)
Where: Brooklyn Academy of Music Fisher Hillman Studio (321 Ashland Place, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is getting philosophical this fall with a conversation series hosted by philosopher Simon Critchley, titled On Truth (and Lies). On Thursday, Critchley enlists artist Liam Gillick to talk with him about these issues in relation to art. We’re particularly excited to see them tackle this question: “When we think about the links between the art world and capitalism, what claim to truth can art make?”

 Classical Kandinsky

When: Thursday, September 27 & Friday, September 28, 8 pm ($35)
Where: Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

Lots of museums host classical music these days, and the Guggenheim’s presentation of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition wouldn’t be particularly special except that it will be accompanied by animated projections of rarely seen drawings by Vasily Kandinsky. Kandinsky made the watercolors for a 1928 performance of Mussorgsky’s piano suite, and Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy — who will perform at the Guggenheim — unearthed them in the archives of the Centre Pompidou.

Art Books

When: Preview Thursday, September 27, 6–9 pm; fair Friday, September 28–Sunday, September 30, hours vary
Where: MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year again, but this weekend is everyone’s favorite annual art-book extravaganza, the New York Art Book Fair. Featuring hundreds of international exhibitors, three onsite exhibitions, a curated series of talks and panels, plus the two-day Contemporary Artists Book Conference (featuring keynote speakers Lucy Lippard and Paul Chan), it’s the most art bookish event we’ve ever seen. Don’t forget your hipster reading glasses.

Yayoi Kusama, "Fish"
Yayoi Kusama, “Fish” (1953), ink, watercolor, and pastel on paper, 8 7/8 × 11 5/8 in. (© Yayoi Kusama, image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; via

 Dumbo Arts Festival

When: Friday, September 28–Sunday, September 30, hours vary
Where: All around Dumbo (Brooklyn)

As if the book fair wasn’t enough, this weekend is also the Dumbo Arts Festival, which features hundreds of artworks and exhibitions spread throughout the neighborhood. There are open studios, performances, nighttime light projections, and even a digital summit on Saturday. For this one, bring your walking shoes.

Last Chance: Governors Island

When: Ends Sunday, September 30
Where: Governors Island (free ferries run all day from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan and Pier 6 in Brooklyn)

Summer is almost over, which means Governors Island will soon be closing up for the fall and winter. This is your last weekend to check out the many arty events happening there, among them the Governors Island Art Fair, exhibitions of work by Mark di Suvero and the Sculptors Guild, and an open studio weekend at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Center there. Don’t forget to bring your bike (or rent one) and ride around to see the great historic buildings, too.

Last Chance: Yayoi Kusama

When: Closes Sunday, September 30
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

If you haven’t seen the Whitney’s fantastic retrospective of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama yet, this weekend is your last chance! The show includes countless gems, both artistic and personal: Kusama’s wonderfully dark and surreal early paintings and watercolors (many of them from the artist’s collection), handwritten letters from Georgia O’Keeffe, old Kusama family photos, a letter by the artist explaining how her close relationship with artist Joseph Cornell meant she couldn’t have other boyfriends, and much more.

comments (0)