Month: March 2015

Spring Art Events in NYC


There’s always new art to see in New York City. It’s good to plan ahead so you don’t miss out. This spring there are some great shows opening at the major museums: the 2015 Costume Institute extravaganza at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “China Through the Looking Glass,” opening May 7th; Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Brooklyn Museum opening April 3rd;or Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971 at MoMA, opening May 17th. And then, there’s the re-opening of the Whitney on May 1st in it’s new location on Gansevoort Street, off the Highline.

But there are also exciting art events and openings happening where you may not be looking. For example:

Russian Modernism: Cross-Currents in German and Russian Art, 1907-1917 , Neue Galerie, 5/14-8/31

The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld at the New York Historical Society, 5/22-10/12

Life Lines: Portrait Drawing from Dürer to Picasso at the Morgan Library and Museum, 6/12 – 9/8

Two art fairs that are worth checking out are:

Spring Masters New York at the Park Ave Armory, 5/8-12 – the fair will feature leading international galleries from the U.S. and Europe, exhibiting art and design from antiquity through the 21st century.

Frieze New York Art Fair, Randall’s Island  5/14-17 -Frieze New York is one of the few fairs to focus on contemporary art and living artists. The exhibiting galleries represent  artists working today from around the globe.


Tatiana Trouvé’s “Desire Lines” in Central Park

"Desire Lines" Tatiana Trouvé, Central Park

“Desire Lines” Tatiana Trouvé, Central Park

With spring finally in the air, take advantage of the warmer weather and go see “Desire Lines,” a fun and creative outdoor installation by Parisian sculptor, Tatiana Trouvé. It  is composed of miles of colored rope wound around huge wooden spools that hold them. Commissioned by the Public Art Fund, Trouvé’s work is an homage to Central Park. If unwound, the “threads” would stretch along every inch of the 212 paths that snake through the park’s 843-acre rectangle. Many of the paths are unnamed, so Trouvé  invented an “atlas” of the history and culture of walking.


Visitors to Desire Lines can choose a path by name then undertake the walk it describes. I went to visit the piece on a frosty day, when snow was still piled around the edges of the park. Without any visible signage, it was hard to appreciate just what you were seeing. Fortunately, I had a chance to visit the Park Avenue Gagosian Gallery which has a companion exhibit called, “Tatiana Trouvé: Studies for Desire Lines.

At the gallery you can see  sculptures, drawings, and preparatory studies that Trouvé  used for Desire Lines. In addition to vellum tracings and cast part-objects, there are detailed graphite drawings inlaid with copper and vertical maps of Central Park in raw canvas with paths hand-stitched in colored silks.

Tatiana Trouvé at the Gagosian gallery

Tatiana Trouvé at the Gagosian gallery

You can see the sculpture at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza near 60th Street and Fifth Avenue until August 3oth. “Studies for Desire Lines” will be on view until April 25th.

In The Studio: Two Exhibits at Gagosian


“In The Studio” is a pair of exhibitions, at different Gagosian galleries, that focus on images of artists’ studios. The exhibit in Chelsea,“In the Studio: Paintings,” was curated by John Elderfield, Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art.

The works span from the mid-sixteenth through the late twentieth centuries. There are over 50 paintings and works on paper by nearly 40 artists including: Georges Braque, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Henri Matisse, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, and  Diego Rivera. Seeing this art in the gallery setting was a particularly thrilling experience. It was interesting to see the diversity of approaches to a common subject from such influential artists. And the gallery setting provided a much more intimate engagement with the pieces then one would have had in a museum.

The second exhibit, “In the Studio: Photographs,” is on view at the Gagosian Madison Avenue gallery. It includes over 150 photographs, spanning from the beginnings of photography to the late twentieth century.  Forty artists are represented, including: Richard Avedon, Walker Evans  Lee Friedlander, Lucas Samaras and Cindy Sherman. It was curated by Peter Galassi, former Chief Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern. While I enjoyed the paintings more, the photographs on view are intriguing because of the unique approaches taken by the artists.

Both shows closed April 18th.

Toulouse-Lautrec at MOMA

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901). Jane Avril. 1899. Lithograph, sheet: 22 1/16 x 15″

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901). Jane Avril. 1899. Lithograph, sheet: 22 1/16 x 15″

If you went to MoMA in the past few months, it was probably to see the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit which recently closed. But there’s reason to return soon, and that’s to see “The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec:Prints and Posters.” The exhibition is drawn almost exclusively from MoMA’s posters, lithographs, printed ephemera, and illustrated books by Lautrec.  It features over 100 examples of the best-known works created during the peak of his career.

 The exhibition is organized around five subjects that create a portrait of Lautrec’s Paris. One section is devoted to café-concerts and dance halls, including  the Moulin Rouge. Another group focuses on the actresses, singers, dancers, and performers who “sparked the artist’s imagination and served as his muses,” according to the exhibition notes.  There’s also a series of prints and posters focusing on prostitutes in their non-working hours. A fourth section is centered on Lautrec’s role in the Parisian artistic community. A final grouping shows Lautrec’s depictions of popular Parisian activities like horse racing at Longchamp and promenading on the Bois de Boulogne.

I was quite familiar with Lautrec’s dance hall posters but found that the simple lines of some of the lesser known works, really drew me in. The exhibit is on view through March 22nd.