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

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. 

thru Aug 3:“Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010”The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St., NYCSigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010) was one of the most voraciously experimental artists of the twentieth century. This retrospective is the first to encompass the unusually broad range of mediums he worked with during his five-decade career, including painting, photography, film, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, television, performance, and stained glass, as well as his constant, highly innovative blurring of the boundaries between these mediums. Masquerading as many different artists—making cunning figurative paintings at one moment and abstract photographs the next—he always eluded easy categorization.

thru Aug 3:

Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

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

Sigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010) was one of the most voraciously experimental artists of the twentieth century. This retrospective is the first to encompass the unusually broad range of mediums he worked with during his five-decade career, including painting, photography, film, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, television, performance, and stained glass, as well as his constant, highly innovative blurring of the boundaries between these mediums. Masquerading as many different artists—making cunning figurative paintings at one moment and abstract photographs the next—he always eluded easy categorization.

recommended:“the second life of flowers” Sirikul Pattachote The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYCfirst New York gallery exhibition of Thailand born painter Sirikul Pattachote. “The brittle decomposition of a flower at the end of its purpose is a slow and lonely, bittersweet journey. We can use words like this to describe the action because it is so familiar to our own human experience. Just as the flower serves its purpose we serve ours, we both flourish in the sunshine and grow uniquely beautiful before we leave our legacy and drop our petals along the path to becoming a memory. The ephemeral quality of life and matter is a central theme in Pattachote’s work. Through her paintings, she attempts to record and preserve certain memories and impressions that highlight the potential good that lies in everyone and everything.” - thru Aug 7

recommended:

the second life of flowers
 Sirikul Pattachote
 
The Lodge Gallery, 131 Chrystie St., NYC

first New York gallery exhibition of Thailand born painter Sirikul Pattachote. “The brittle decomposition of a flower at the end of its purpose is a slow and lonely, bittersweet journey. We can use words like this to describe the action because it is so familiar to our own human experience. Just as the flower serves its purpose we serve ours, we both flourish in the sunshine and grow uniquely beautiful before we leave our legacy and drop our petals along the path to becoming a memory. The ephemeral quality of life and matter is a central theme in Pattachote’s work. Through her paintings, she attempts to record and preserve certain memories and impressions that highlight the potential good that lies in everyone and everything.” - thru Aug 7

thru Aug 10:Tara Donovan Pace Gallery, 534 W25th St., NYCPresents two new large-scale sculptures comprised from index cards and acrylic rods, respectively. With these works, the artist continues to explore the phenomenological effect of work created through the accumulation of identical objects. Untitled (index cards), the first such work created by Donovan, is a 13’ x 25’ x 30’ sculpture in eight parts comprised of several million 3x5” white cards stacked and glued into scores of interweaving columnar forms combining to reach a summit on each element. Also featured is a newly completed untitled sculpture made with thousands of acrylic rods. Donovan spends months or even years searching for a method of assembly that allows the simple and immutable characteristics of the chosen material to generate complex, emergent phenomena which keep the viewer cycling between perception of the parts and the whole between the forms themselves and the light that surrounds and divides them. The work draws on both Minimalist and formalist histories, while creating a radically new form which embraces complexity and iterative processing.

thru Aug 10:

Tara Donovan
 
Pace Gallery, 534 W25th St., NYC

Presents two new large-scale sculptures comprised from index cards and acrylic rods, respectively. With these works, the artist continues to explore the phenomenological effect of work created through the accumulation of identical objects. Untitled (index cards), the first such work created by Donovan, is a 13’ x 25’ x 30’ sculpture in eight parts comprised of several million 3x5” white cards stacked and glued into scores of interweaving columnar forms combining to reach a summit on each element. Also featured is a newly completed untitled sculpture made with thousands of acrylic rods. Donovan spends months or even years searching for a method of assembly that allows the simple and immutable characteristics of the chosen material to generate complex, emergent phenomena which keep the viewer cycling between perception of the parts and the whole between the forms themselves and the light that surrounds and divides them. The work draws on both Minimalist and formalist histories, while creating a radically new form which embraces complexity and iterative processing.

newly opened:

All this happened, more or less
 Elizabeth Glaessner
 
P.P.O.W Gallery, 535 W22nd St., NYC (3rd Fl)

Glaessner combines familiar objects with misunderstood and idiosyncratic portraits, often laden with humor that counterpoint her macabre imagery. An exploration of memory, personal history and ritual, Glaessner’s work questions the way in which we relate to and envision our past. Her most recent paintings depict a highly detailed mythology of post-human existence on earth that features anthropomorphic, gelatinous figures in familiar, yet toxic, landscapes. These organic creatures appear as if born from natural forms, like tree trunks and rock formations, in attempt to reconstruct lost histories through the detritus left behind. - thru Aug 15

opens tonight, Sat, June 28, 6-8p:“The Crystal Palace” Rachel Uffner Gallery, 170 Suffolk St., NYC“Named after the site of the first World’s Fair in London in 1851, and on the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, this exhibition aims to take advantage of New York City’s cultural and neighborhood-based diversity in the cacophonous spirit of the Fair, which evolved from focusing on industrialized innovation to a thematic form of cultural exchange. In an attempt to infuse the growing contemporary art district of the Lower East Side with the historical weight of Upper East Side institutions, Rachel Uffner Gallery will exhibit artwork from the vast archives of Richard L. Feigen & Co., and additional private lenders and estates, in conjunction with contemporary artists conversing with their fore-bearers in a thoughtful manner. A cross-cultural-pollination is to be formed, spanning over neighborhoods and over time.”Artists: Balthus, Joseph Cornell, Daniel Gordon, Van Hanos, Robert Indiana, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Ray Johnson, Anya Kielar, Claes Oldenburg, Dushko Petrovich and Roger White, James Rosenquist, Pierre Roy, Peter Saul, Johannes VanDerBeek, and Stan VanDerBeek

opens tonight, Sat, June 28, 6-8p:

The Crystal Palace
 
Rachel Uffner Gallery, 170 Suffolk St., NYC

“Named after the site of the first World’s Fair in London in 1851, and on the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, this exhibition aims to take advantage of New York City’s cultural and neighborhood-based diversity in the cacophonous spirit of the Fair, which evolved from focusing on industrialized innovation to a thematic form of cultural exchange.
 
In an attempt to infuse the growing contemporary art district of the Lower East Side with the historical weight of Upper East Side institutions, Rachel Uffner Gallery will exhibit artwork from the vast archives of Richard L. Feigen & Co., and additional private lenders and estates, in conjunction with contemporary artists conversing with their fore-bearers in a thoughtful manner. A cross-cultural-pollination is to be formed, spanning over neighborhoods and over time.”

Artists: Balthus, Joseph Cornell, Daniel Gordon, Van Hanos, Robert Indiana, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Ray Johnson, Anya Kielar, Claes Oldenburg, Dushko Petrovich and Roger White, James Rosenquist, Pierre Roy, Peter Saul, Johannes VanDerBeek, and Stan VanDerBeek

opens tomorrow, June 19, 6-8p:“Begotten, Not Made” Nicola Samori Ana Cristea Gallery, 521 W26th St., NYCMore than a trick of the eye, Samori’s paintings treat their surface as a material skin transcribing the memory of their process. “Like the eye adjusting to darkness, adaptation is necessary upon entering Samori’s visual cosmos. The images stare at us in an effort of denied vision. With the icy gaze of a femme fatale warning us that she is beyond our reach, they block our penetration. The images feel us, smell us, judge us. They are watching, but they don’t see. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. And we see through a glass, darkly. Sometimes peering in, other times peeling back in search of the surface beneath the surface beneath the surface.”

opens tomorrow, June 19, 6-8p:

Begotten, Not Made
 Nicola Samori
 
Ana Cristea Gallery, 521 W26th St., NYC

More than a trick of the eye, Samori’s paintings treat their surface as a material skin transcribing the memory of their process. “Like the eye adjusting to darkness, adaptation is necessary upon entering Samori’s visual cosmos. The images stare at us in an effort of denied vision. With the icy gaze of a femme fatale warning us that she is beyond our reach, they block our penetration. The images feel us, smell us, judge us. They are watching, but they don’t see. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. And we see through a glass, darkly. Sometimes peering in, other times peeling back in search of the surface beneath the surface beneath the surface.”

opens tonight, Wed, June 18, 6-8p:

Leaps into the Void: Shamanism, Meditation, Transcendence, Oblivion”
 Gwyn Joy, Sky Kim, Michael Maxwell,
 Joe Nanashe, Phoebe Rathmell
 
Garis & Hahn Gallery, 263 Bowery, NYC

a group exhibition united by the philosophical underpinnings and practical objectives of each artist’s own practice in addressing concepts related to meditation and altered mental states, physical and mental transcendence and Eastern and Western belief systems related to cycles of life.

closes soon (June 15):

Lebbeus Woods, Architect
 
The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster St., NYC

The exhibition brings together works from the past forty years by architect Lebbeus Woods, centering on transformation as a recurring theme and providing a framework for understanding the experimental nature of his work. Acknowledging the parallels between society’s physical and psychological constructions, Woods has depicted a career-long narrative of how these constructions transform our being. Working mostly, but not exclusively, with pencil on paper, Woods has created an oeuvre of complex worlds—at times abstract and at times explicit—that present shifts, cycles, repetitions within the built environment. His timeless architecture is not in a particular style or in response to a singular moment in the field; rather, it offers an opportunity to consider how built forms impact the individual and the collective, and reflect contemporary political, social and ideological conditions, and how one person contributes to the development and mutation of the built world.

thru July 29:“Me, My Mother, My Father, and I” Ragnar Kjartansson New Museum, 235 Bowery, NYCthe first New York museum exhibition of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. Kjartansson presents works with and about his family, including a newly orchestrated performance and video piece entitled Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage (2011/2014), in which ten musicians play a live composition for the duration of the exhibition. This work takes inspiration from a scene in Iceland’s first feature film, Morðsaga (1977), directed by Reynir Oddsson, in which the main character of the film, played by Kjartansson’s mother, Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir, fantasizes about a plumber, played by Kjartansson’s father, Kjartan Ragnarsson, in a sex scene on the kitchen floor. As family legend has it, Kjartansson was conceived the night after the film shoot. Kjartan Sveinsson, composer and a former member of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós, transformed the scene’s dialogue into a ten-part polyphony played by ten musicians, who sing and play guitar in the tradition of the troubadour to accompany a projection of the original film scene. (photo: Benoit Pailley)

thru July 29:

Me, My Mother, My Father, and I
 Ragnar Kjartansson
 
New Museum, 235 Bowery, NYC

the first New York museum exhibition of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. Kjartansson presents works with and about his family, including a newly orchestrated performance and video piece entitled Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage (2011/2014), in which ten musicians play a live composition for the duration of the exhibition. This work takes inspiration from a scene in Iceland’s first feature film, Morðsaga (1977), directed by Reynir Oddsson, in which the main character of the film, played by Kjartansson’s mother, Guðrún Ásmundsdóttir, fantasizes about a plumber, played by Kjartansson’s father, Kjartan Ragnarsson, in a sex scene on the kitchen floor. As family legend has it, Kjartansson was conceived the night after the film shoot. Kjartan Sveinsson, composer and a former member of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós, transformed the scene’s dialogue into a ten-part polyphony played by ten musicians, who sing and play guitar in the tradition of the troubadour to accompany a projection of the original film scene. (photo: Benoit Pailley)