nyc art scene

a carefully curated calendar & cumulative catalog of new york city's most interesting art exhibitions and events. hand picked by Arthur Seen & Team

Opens Sept 10:“A New Surrealism, Works from the 1930’s” Joseph CornellVan Doren Waxter Gallery, 23 East 73rd St., NYCThe exhibition features small-scale collages of the 1930’s, Joseph Cornell’s first forays into the found object assemblages for which he became known. Other exhibition highlights include box compositions, whimsical pocket-sized pill box creations from Cornell’s initial experimentation with objects and containers that lead to the shadow box. These works give an intimate look into the imaginative vision of this uniquely self-taught American surrealist. Cornell’s idiosyncratic method developed as he visited art galleries and second-hand book sellers in Manhattan’s mercantile district, where he acquired a collection of materials and ephemera. His early collections of memorabilia and curiosities were integral to his creative process. The cultivated and curated collections, which Cornell would use to compose his assemblages, drew from his eclectic interests that ranged from literature, music and dance, maps and science, to a fascination with Hollywood and Vaudeville and to the spiritual theories of Christian Science, which the artist first embraced in the 1920’s. Cornell is widely characterized as reclusive, as he seldom ventured far from the Utopia Parkway, Queens, New York home he shared with his mother and disabled brother. - thru Oct 31

Opens Sept 10:

A New Surrealism, Works from the 1930’s
 Joseph Cornell

Van Doren Waxter Gallery, 23 East 73rd St., NYC

The exhibition features small-scale collages of the 1930’s, Joseph Cornell’s first forays into the found object assemblages for which he became known. Other exhibition highlights include box compositions, whimsical pocket-sized pill box creations from Cornell’s initial experimentation with objects and containers that lead to the shadow box. These works give an intimate look into the imaginative vision of this uniquely self-taught American surrealist. Cornell’s idiosyncratic method developed as he visited art galleries and second-hand book sellers in Manhattan’s mercantile district, where he acquired a collection of materials and ephemera. His early collections of memorabilia and curiosities were integral to his creative process. The cultivated and curated collections, which Cornell would use to compose his assemblages, drew from his eclectic interests that ranged from literature, music and dance, maps and science, to a fascination with Hollywood and Vaudeville and to the spiritual theories of Christian Science, which the artist first embraced in the 1920’s. Cornell is widely characterized as reclusive, as he seldom ventured far from the Utopia Parkway, Queens, New York home he shared with his mother and disabled brother. - thru Oct 31

thru Sept 7:“Object Matter” Robert HeineckenThe Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St., NYCThis is the first retrospective of the work of Robert Heinecken since his death in 2006, gathering over 150 works from throughout the artist’s remarkable career, many of them never seen before in New York—including the largest display to date of his altered magazines, which were the backbone of his art. Heinecken described himself as a “para-photographer” because his work stood “beside” or “beyond” traditional notions of the medium. He extended photographic processes and materials into lithography, collage, photo-based painting and sculpture, and installation. Drawing on the countless pictures in magazines, books, pornography, television, and even consumer items such as TV dinners, Heinecken used found images to explore the manufacture of daily life by mass media and the relationship between the original and the copy, both in art and in our culture at large. Thriving on contradictions, friction, and disparity, his examination of American attitudes toward gender, sex, and violence was often humorous and always provocative. 

thru Sept 7:

Object Matter
 Robert Heinecken

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St., NYC

This is the first retrospective of the work of Robert Heinecken since his death in 2006, gathering over 150 works from throughout the artist’s remarkable career, many of them never seen before in New York—including the largest display to date of his altered magazines, which were the backbone of his art. Heinecken described himself as a “para-photographer” because his work stood “beside” or “beyond” traditional notions of the medium. He extended photographic processes and materials into lithography, collage, photo-based painting and sculpture, and installation. Drawing on the countless pictures in magazines, books, pornography, television, and even consumer items such as TV dinners, Heinecken used found images to explore the manufacture of daily life by mass media and the relationship between the original and the copy, both in art and in our culture at large. Thriving on contradictions, friction, and disparity, his examination of American attitudes toward gender, sex, and violence was often humorous and always provocative. 

Recommended
Opens Sun, Mar 2nd, 6-8p:

Crosseyed and Painless
 Daniel Rios Rodriguez

Sargent’s Daughters, 179 East B’Way, NYC


Daniel Rios Rodriguez’s work combines the intensely personal with the historical in a manner both humorous and dark.  The paintings begin with drawing into a thick layer of oil paint, and can include collage elements of raw canvas, linen and the scraps of old t-shirts onto the canvas. This is a means of recovery and reinstating a fresh surface, exploring the materiality and variety of textures a painting’s surface can have.

The subject matter of the work spans the immediate and classical: skulls, lemons and tall grass along a river are repeated- calling to mind the traditional vanitas pieces. The search is ongoing and the images are abundant.
- thru Mar 30

recently opened:

Family Business
 Paul Edlin
 
Andrew Edlin Gallery, 134 Tenth Ave., NYC (bt 18th & 19th St)

“This truth is that if it hadn’t been for Paul Edlin (1931 - 2008), this gallery never would have existed…  Born in 1931 with a profound hearing loss, Paul Edlin never found a steady career path but had always been interested in art. Finally, in 1972 at the age of 41, he enrolled in art classes over a period of about ten years at the Art Students League and New School, where he was mentored by renowned American artists Will Barnet and Henry Pearson. In the early 1980s Edlin began incorporating postage stamps into his artworks and by the 90s was using them exclusively, choosing them from those of many nations for colors and visual texture. He sliced them into tiny pieces, which he used like mosaic tiles, gluing them on museum board until his compositions were finalized. His scenes of people and mythological figures, animals and objects suggest a mystical personal cosmology. His 16 x 20 inch collages could take as long as three months to complete, and he worked diligently every day, alone in his one-room New York apartment.” - Andrew Edlin

Recommended:

A Human Extension
 curated by Amy Berger
 
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC (bt Delancey & Broome)

Artists Include: Isaac Arvold, Erik Benson, Julie Elizabeth Brady, Paul Brainard, Monica Cook, Melissa Cooke, Peter Drake, MaDora Frey, Jane LaFarge Hamill, Aaron Johnson, Christian Johnson, Michael Kagan, Karl LaRocca, Francesco Logenecker, Daniel Maidman, Lindsay Mound, Reuben Negron, Javier Piñon, Colette Robbins, Jean-Pierre Roy, Michael Schall, Kristen Schiele, Andrew Smenos, Melanie Vote, Frank Webster, Eric White, Barnaby Whitfield, Mike Womack

a celebration of the accessory, the exhibition features twenty-eight artists who, through drawings, paintings, collage and mixed-media, explore the role of fashion in contemporary visual culture. The show re-conceptualizes the fashion accessory, here with geological accessory designs by Jacqueline Popovic, as both sculptural and utilitarian.  - thru Feb 16

opens tonight, Jan 17, 7-9p:

BORDERLINES
 Levan Mindiashvili

The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC

Levan Mindiashvili’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The paintings are a study of his reflections on cities as both public and private meeting points. Originally conceived in Buenos Aires, this recent body of work explores the artist’s personal and collective experiences with the architecture and public structures of New York, where he is currently based. His new work depicts distorted, almost abstract fragments of old architecture reflected on new, transparent surfaces or seen through them. “I perceive them as maps of consciousness of the contemporary world with its migrations, gentrification, identity and social issues,” Mindiashvili explains, “I want to trigger a dialogue about recent history.”  - thru Feb 4

thru Dec 21:

Hobby and Work
 Guðmundur Thoroddsen
 

Asya Geisberg Gallery, 537b W23rd St., NYC

Thoroddsen continues his exploration into the tropes of modern masculinity. In “Hobby and Work”, he merges the antiquity-laced bearded busts of male gods with activities such as basketball, hunting, and brewing beer. In his group scenes in gouache, pencil, collage, and ink on paper, men are organized as if in a Byzantine painting, without Renaissance perspective, but rather a staggered organization. Employing an often cartoonish style, Thoroddsen sometimes veers into boyish naughtiness, like dirty doodles carved into a school desk. Thoroddsen charts a circle of manly aspiration: winning a trophy, competing for points, length of beard, or number of birds killed.  With a pallid color scheme of vaguely Eastern European or 1930s colors, Thoroddsen’s drawings exist in a timeless haze. Along with the works on paper, Thoroddsen continues his carved wooden heads with a rougher style and blended identity.

thru Mar 10:

Isa Genzken: Retrospective
 

MoMA, 11 W53rd St., NYC

Isa Genzken is arguably one of the most important and influential female artists of the past 30 years. This exhibition, the first comprehensive retrospective of her diverse body of work in an American museum, and the largest to date, encompasses Genzken’s work in all mediums over the past 40 years. Although a New York art audience might be familiar with Genzken’s more recent assemblage sculptures, the breadth of her achievement—which includes not only three-dimensional work but also paintings, photographs, collages, drawings, artist’s books, films, and public sculptures—is still largely unknown in this country. Many of the roughly 150 objects in the exhibition are on view in the United States for the first time.

thru Dec 21:Ilya & Emilia KabakovPace Gallery, 32 East 57th St., NYC“Featuring seven paintings from recent series and the 2003 installation I Catch the Little White Man, Pace Gallery’s exhibition is part of a constellation of events celebrating the artists’ life and work throughout New York City. Widely regarded as Russia’s most celebrated artists, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are recognized for their work internationally which extends beyond their years under the Soviet Union in an address of the human condition universally. Incorporating themes of memory and illusion, their work commonly plays with the concept of a dual reality.”

thru Dec 21:

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov

Pace Gallery, 32 East 57th St., NYC

“Featuring seven paintings from recent series and the 2003 installation I Catch the Little White Man, Pace Gallery’s exhibition is part of a constellation of events celebrating the artists’ life and work throughout New York City. Widely regarded as Russia’s most celebrated artists, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are recognized for their work internationally which extends beyond their years under the Soviet Union in an address of the human condition universally. Incorporating themes of memory and illusion, their work commonly plays with the concept of a dual reality.”

Opens Fri, Nov 15, 6-8p:

Mequitta Ahuja

Thierry Goldberg Gallery, 103 Norfolk St., NYC

“Ahuja references a variety of cultural traditions, including the arts of Africa, Asia, and America… she suggests that identity is not only fluid, but that it represents a layering of different guises—both real and fictional, historic and contemporary. Her work also demonstrates an interest in different types of marks and materials. She employs hand stamps, paints with brushes, and draws directly onto the collaged ground.”  - National Portrait Gallery

“My self-portraits are “auto-mythic.” I define automythography as a process of identity formation that combines the real with the self-invented. I position myself within a history of Eastern and Western representation, reflecting my identity as an African American and South Asian American woman. My sources include Buddhist wall paintings and Mughal manuscript art.” - Mequitta Ahuja