thru Sept 2:
“The Civil War and American Art”
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., NYC (at 82nd Street)
“This major loan exhibition considers how American artists responded to the Civil War and its aftermath. Landscapes and genre scenes—more than traditional history paintings—captured the war’s impact on the American psyche. The works of art on display trace the trajectory of the conflict and express the intense emotions that it provoked: unease as war became inevitable, optimism that a single battle might end the struggle, growing realization that fighting would be prolonged, enthusiasm and worries alike surrounding emancipation, and concerns about how to reunify the nation after a period of grievous division. The exhibition proposes significant new readings of many familiar masterworks—some sixty paintings and eighteen photographs created between 1852 and 1877—including outstanding landscapes by Frederic E. Church and Sanford R. Gifford, paintings of life on the battlefront and the home front by Winslow Homer and Eastman Johnson, and photographs by Timothy H. O’Sullivan and George N. Barnard.”
thru Sept 2:
thru July 28th:
“John Singer Sargent : Watercolors”
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
This landmark exhibition unites for the first time the John Singer Sargent watercolors acquired by the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in the early twentieth century. The culmination of a yearlong collaborative study by both museums, John Singer Sargent Watercolors explores the watercolor practice that has traditionally been viewed as a tangential facet of Sargent’s art making. The ninety-three pieces on display provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to view a broad range of the artist’s finest production in the medium.
“Activist New York”
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., NYC (@ 103rd St)
explores the drama of social activism in New York City from the 17th century through the present. Using artifacts, photographs, audio and visual presentations, as well as interactive components that seek to tell the entire story of activism in the five boroughs, Activist New York presents the passions and conflicts that underlie the city’s history of agitation.
Opens Tuesday, June 26, 6-8p:
“Our Ladies of Infamy and Grandeur”
East Village Visitors Center, 75 East 4th St., NYC (bt 2nd Ave & Bowery)
The exhibition of five gilded paintings will honor the exploits, undertakings and legends of lost cultural heroines from Manhattan’s historical Five Points neighborhood.
Preston arrived at the concept for this series through numerous conversations with his friend and mentor, Tom Sanford. Additionally, in the artist’s words, “I came up with the initial idea for this series of paintings while reading ‘The Blackest Bird’ by NYC author Joel Rose. I wanted to explore the lore of embellished accounts from Manhattan’s early days […] The implied iconography in these paintings calls our attention to narratives which, in some cases, have managed to live on through time as mere sentiments found within a few sentences in a couple of books […] I wanted to make small paintings which glorify small events by rather insignificant and even infamous individuals within the context of our written histories.”
Opens Tomorrow, Feb 16, 6-8p:
”Addio del Passato”
James Cohan Gallery, 533 W26th St., NYC
British-born Nigerian artist continues to draw our attention to patterns of history and how they are repeated in our own time. The main gallery will feature a series of five new photoworks entitled Fake Death Pictures. The artist refers to this series as “a re-enactment of suicide through the history of death in Painting.” Two sculptural installations of costumes constructed in period details with Shonibare’s signature patterned fabric will be displayed alongside the photographs in the main gallery space.
On display in the front gallery will be three sculptures of fetish objects and sex aids from bygone eras. With characteristic wit, Shonibare presents his audience with two reproductions of anti-masturbation devices—one for women and one for men—that are fascinating objects of beauty and horror. Complementing the array will be a pair of fetish boots whose improbable proportions connote both domination and submission.