This is a week for big-name, legendary artists, with two Ken Price exhibitions opening in New York as well as James Turrell’s new installation at the Guggenheim. Plus Melvin Edwards, a pioneering African-American sculptor, will speak at the Studio Museum, and it’s your last chance to see a show of late work by Ana Mendieta.
If you need something more alternative as a break from all those highbrow institutions, the doctor recommends the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island, a massive, freewheeling art parade; if you’d rather calm thing down than shake them up, head to a talk at the Rubin Museum about the transformation of the Buddha in China. As always, the doctor says stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay safe while you’re riding those Citibikes.
Ken Price Doubleheader
When: Both exhibition open Tuesday, June 18; Drawing Center reception 6–8 pm
Where: Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan) and the Drawing Center (35 Wooster Street, Soho, Manhattan)
This week, Ken Price mania moves from Los Angeles to New York. The major retrospective of Price’s sculpture that received excellent reviews at LACMA opens today at the Met, while downtown this evening, the Drawing Center opens a survey of his drawings, the first of its kind. The complementary timing and location of the two exhibitions make this an incredible opportunity to delve into Price’s work.
When: Wednesday, June 19, 7 pm ($15)
Where: Rubin Museum (150 West 17th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
The country most heavily associated with Buddhism today is arguably China. But the religion’s origins, as well as the origins of its imagery, are in India. In what sounds like a potentially fascinating talk, and as part of the Exporting Enlightenment series at the Rubin Museum, Susan Beningson, assistant curator of Asian art at the Brooklyn Museum, will discuss how the image of the Buddha changed when it came to China.
When: Thursday, June 20, 6–8 pm
Where: Garis & Hahn (263 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
In June 2011 in the Brooklyn Rail, artist and art blogger Sharon Butler coined the term “New Casualists” to describe a new generation of abstract painters are “exuding a kind of calculated tentativeness. … The idea is to cast aside the neat but rigid fundamentals learned in art school and embrace everything that seems to lend itself to visual intrigue — including failure,” she wrote. Former Hyperallergic editor Kyle Chayka is bringing that idea to the gallery, with a show at Garis & Hahn of five emerging female painters whose work embodies it.
When: Thursday, June 20, 7 pm
Where: Participant Inc. (253 East Houston Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
New York at the moment is filled with shows related to art and the ’80s AIDS epidemic, including one at the New-York Historical Society and one at Participant Inc. devoted to artist Gordon Kurtti. It’s also the 25th anniversary of art-activist group Visual AIDS, which may be the impetus for some of the activity — or maybe it’s just never a bad time to remember. Either way, Dirty Looks focuses its lens this month on late ’80s/early ’90s downtown New York, too, with a screening of David Wojnarowicz’s “Beautiful People” (1988) and Carl George’s “6 Feet, Dancers That I Know and Love” (1991), followed by a panel discussion featuring people who knew and were part of the scene.
When: Thursday, June 20, 7–9 pm
Where: The Studio Museum in Harlem (144 West 125th Street, Harlem, Manhattan)
Melvin Edwards is one of the many deserving artists whose work got a wider outing last year in Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980; included in the show were some of Edwards’s chilling and oddly beautiful Lynch Fragment sculptures. Now his series Working Time (1985) is on view at the Studio Museum, and the institution has invited him for an artist talk. Given that the museum calls him “a pioneer in the history of African-American art,” this is definitely a good choice for Thursday night.
When: Opens Friday, June 21
Where: Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Much as we love Ken Price, there’s no way his looming presence in New York City can touch the impending James Turrell mania, which extends countrywide. Turrell has simultaneous shows happening in Houston, Los Angeles, and now New York, with the opening of his new installation at the Guggenheim. His Friday afternoon conversation with LACMA director Michael Govan is already sold out, so you’ll have to be content with the exhibition itself — and undoubtedly with lines to get in.
When: Saturday June 22, 1 pm
Where: Surf Avenue (Coney Island, Brooklyn)
It was a bit dicey there, and some feared it was the end, but with the help of Kickstarter and other fundraising efforts, the Mermaid Parade was saved! The country’s largest art parade will once again take over Coney Island with boobs, booze, body paint, and ridiculous fun. If you only visit Coney Island once a year, this is the time.
When: Closes Saturday, June 15
Where: Galerie Lelong (528 West 26th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Ana Mendieta spent most of her short career making art that could only be seen secondhand, mainly performances and sculptures out in nature. But a few years before her abrupt death, she got a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome and began working in the studio. Some of these late objects — drawings and sculptures — are on view at Galerie Lelong. The former offer interesting insight into her process, but the latter are stunning examples of her talent: evocative forms sculpted from nature, at once mystical, mysterious, and moving.
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