The winter in the city has softly introduced itself, and the first cold windy days and nights have passed. The artworld is preparing for the Basel on Miami beach, Fall exhibitions have closed and galleries are presenting their new exhibitions until the holidays.
It started off as a recommendation list to some art curious friends and evolved to my monthly letter comprising some of my personal highlights of exhibitions and art activations in New York City.
Here is a list of MUST-SEE exhibitions for the month of November and December.
‘Nicholas Party: Pastel’ – Flag Foundation
October 10 – February 25th, 2020
545 west 25th street
Nicholas Party is a name that has been mentioned a lot over the last year or so. His work is in high demand and seems to be on everyone’s wish list. I overheard a private advisor say in passing ‘If I have one more collector asking for a Nicholas Party..’
Besides his growing market, the artist is known for his brave use of color in his murals and paintings. His portraits and still lives are simplified and stripped away of detail.
‘Nicholas Party: Pastel’ at the Flag Foundation is a group show orchestrated by the artist and presented over the two-floor space. Party created a pastel-colored heaven that brings together the artworks from the 18th century to the present date. The exhibition felt dreamy and light, a celebration of color that brought a different light to the familiar artwork.
Artists included in the exhibition: Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Louis Fratino (b. 1993), Marsden Hartley (1877-1943), Loie Hollowell (b. 1983), Julian Martin (b. 1969), Toyin Ojih Odutola (b. 1985), Chris Ofili (b. 1968), Jean-Baptiste Perronneau (1715-1783), Billy Sullivan (b. 1946), Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920), and Robin F. Williams (b. 1984).
‘Japan Is America’ – Fergus McCaffrey
514 W 26th street
Tue – Sat, through Dec 14th, 2019
‘Japan Is America’ explores the complex post-war relationship between Japan and America. The exhibition includes a wide variety of artwork curated to tell a historical story. ‘Japan Is America’ is a group show of Japanese and American artists visualizing this relation between two nations and show the evolution of art and taste-making from the early 1950s.
Included artist: Yuji Agematsu, Ruth Asawa, James Lee Byars, John Cage, Joe Goode, Sam Francis, Marcia Hafif, Noriyuki Haraguchi, Tatsuo Ikeda, Shigeo Ishii, Ishiuchi Miyako, Jasper Johns, Alison Knowles, Nobuaki Kojima, Tomio Miki, Sadamasa Motonaga, Hiroshi Nakamura, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Senga Nengudi, Yoko Ono, Ken Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Ushio Shinohara, Fujiko Shiraga, Kazuo Shiraga, Jiro Takamatsu, Anne Truitt, and Toshio Yoshida.
‘Chen Fei: Reunion’ – Perrotin Gallery
November 2 – December 21, 2019
It’s one of the first cold and windy days of the season as we walk over to the Lower East Side, to see the preview of the solo show of the new Chinese star, Chen Fei.
A well-attended opening event presenting the works of Fei on the first and second floor of the gallery, the first major presentation of the artist works in the US. Chen Fei is a leading figure of the post-1980s generation, and mostly works with portraiture and still-life.
The works on display date from the years 2018 and 2019, and both and comprise of art historical references as well as contemporary signifiers making his work speak to the philosophies of two contrasting cultures.
‘Lee Bae: Promenade’ – Perrotin Gallery
November 2 – December 21, 2019
Simultaneously Perrotin Gallery presents 24 sculptures by the Korean artist Lee Bae surrounded by pale and minimal drawings and paintings on mulberry paper. It is the first exhibition of Bae’s work in the Perrotin Gallery, New York. The Sculptures are large pieces of charcoal tightly bonded together forming 24 cylinder blocks in the top floor gallery space. The installation feels heavy and light at the same time. When you enter the room the installation serves as an immersive experience, creating a sense of serenity and urges you to take a deep breath.
‘Betye Saar: The Legends of A Black Girl’s Window’ – MoMA
53rd Street, 2nd floor
Till January 2n, 2020
Unable to attend any of the newly renovated MoMA’s previews, I instead made it a point to pay them a visit in the early hours this past weekend.
The museum’s expansion allows for many more galleries on every floor, displaying more of the museum collection as well as a number of new temporary exhibitions.
Walking through the galleries, I was impressed by the collections and the obvious effort to show a more complete contemporary art history.
‘Betye Saar: The Legends of A Black Girl’s Window’ is presented on the second floor of the old wing of the museum. Betye Saar is a visual storyteller known for her print-making and assemblage. She was a big part of the black art movement in the 1970s and is often called a ‘legend’ in contemporary art.
The exhibition is a celebration of the MoMA’s recent acquisition of 42 rare and earlier works, a collection that examines Saar’s work and artistic practice. The works thought upon mysticism, history, politics, and family.
‘David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronic Inc.: Rainforest V’ – MoMA
53rd Street, 4th floor
Through Jan 5th, 2020
The sound and performance installation ‘Rainforest V’ conceived by David Tudor and realized by Composers Inside Electronics Inc is formed by everyday objects hanging in space. MoMA’s early hours make it possible to be in the space on your own to take up the visual and sound experience more intimately. Primary colors and bold shapes stand out against the dark walls in which the installation lives. The sounds are forest and animal-like, yet the materials are industrial and manmade. This contrast between nature’s voice and manmade objects makes this installation an exceptional reflection of the concrete jungle we live in.
Tudor first conceived Rainforest in 1968 as a musical score for the choreographer Merce Cunningham. Later, in 1973 Tudor collaborated with young artists and musicians and expanded the work into a performance piece titled Rainforest IV. This group of artists would later be known as the collective Composers Inside Electronics (CIE), active from 1973 to present. After Rainforest IV, Tudor and CIE would collaborate on multiple iterations of the installation over the next decades.
Walead Beshty: Abstract of A Partial Disassembling of an Invention Without Future: Helter-skelter and Random Notes in Which the Pulleys and Cogwheels Are Lying Around at Random All Over the Workbench – Petzel Gallery
Walead Beshty at Petzel Gallery
456 W 18th street
Through Dec 14th, 2019
The solo exhibition of Walead Beshty at Petzel Gallery in Chelsea, New York is an installation originally commissioned by the Barbican Center, London where it was first exhibited in 2014. The installation covered the 273 feet long Curve gallery from floor to ceiling with cyanotype prints. The prints were conceived in a timespan of one year and where installed in chronological order.
In this New York presentation of the work, approximately 5,120 cyanotypes are installed in the Petzel gallery. Cyanotype is a 19-century photographic process using ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferrocyanide. The works are produced by placing tools and objects used in the production process of the studio on cellulose waste material generated by that same process that was coated with UV-sensitive cyanotype. Exposing these objects with sunlight and water, the silhouette of the object appeared on the cyan-blue background.
This transparency of the work process refers to our current political climate and questions whether a truly accurate and transparent form of representation can be set in place.
Rashid Johnson: ‘The Hikers’ – Hauser & Wirth
548 W 22nd street (2nd FL)
Until January 5, 2020
Last Tuesday evening, Rashid Johnson: ‘The Hikers’ opened at Hauser & Wirth. The exhibition presents recent works by the American artist and brings together ceramic tile mosaics, collaged paintings, and a large scale sculpture.
The exhibition reflects the anxiety and escapism in our society that is a result of the current social and political turmoil in the United States.
Object Journalism – MMuseumm
Till the end of November
Open Fri – Sun, 11am – 6pm
Strolling through downtown New York, we discovered Mmuseumm. One of those New York City gems, hidden on Cortland Alley real. The museum is built in an old fried elevator and dedicates it’s space to exploring modern humanity and current events by revealing objects from around the world.
The current exhibition is up till the end of November and shows; Personal objects of immigrants, inmate inventions, last meal receipts, objects carried by people when they were shot by the police, and more.
The objects completely change meaning and value within this collective space. The exhibition stays with you and makes you question our modern society. Make sure to catch the exhibition before it closes for winter until the end of November.