THIRD SPACE, SHIFTING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART @ BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART : 10 ART PIECES THAT SPOKE TO US

THIRD SPACE, SHIFTING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART @ BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART

I travel to Alabama about once a year, one of my favorite places to visit while in town is the Birmingham Museum of Art.  A few weeks ago, I got a chance to experience their latest exhibition, Third Space: Shifting Conversations.  Third Space includes their visitors in the examination on the cultural crossing of Alabama and the American South’s relation to the Global South – the concept that the state of our cultural climate is not chained to a geographical location; that were are united by a connected past that defines our present. “It is an imagined place that ties cultures together by their common experiences and considers the voices of people who are often unheard.”

The exhibition opens up that dialogue with over 100 contemporary art pieces – most culled from the museums’ own collection.  A few of the pieces are on display for the first time, having been in storage, due to the museums’ lack of space. The works of art and the ideas that inspired them are meant to resonate regionally, as well as reach out on a global level. Photographs, sculptures, and paintings are just a few of the mediums represented here along with a rich multitude of artistic representation from Alabama, Brazil, Cuba and South Africa – to name a few.

“This important moment for the Birmingham Museum of Art and our collection of contemporary art extends an exciting opportunity to recognize and explore a shared human experience,” Gail Andrews, R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, said. “Works of art offer ways to see the world from a new perspective, serve as points of discussion and can create empathy and respect, at a time when our country seems to need it the most.”

Your journey is tied to reference points that guide you in finding personal meaning within the art. The sections are: representation/agency/gaze, tradition/memory/history, landscape/nature/spirit, and migration/diaspora/exile.  Third Space will run for 2 years, during that time the works of art will change every 6 months, shifting your travels.  You can also use your iPhone or iPad provided at the museum to access the Smart Guide, an interactive feature that allows you to listen to different perspectives on selected works of art from voices of children, musicians, activists and a host of others from the Birmingham community.

And as we are invited to share our perspectives and interact with the art, in no particular order, here are 10 art piece gems in the exhibition that spoke to us:

  1. Dennis Oppenheim’s Slow Clap for Satie, 1989 (Acrylic, wood, steel, motors. ficus trees, pots, turntables, vacuum formed masks, loop recording of Erik Satie piano music)THIRD SPACE, SHIFTING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART @ BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART
  2.  Jose Bedia Mpangui jimagua (Twin Brothers), 2000 (Acrylic and conte on canvas with objects) – Jose Bedia’s years studying and experiencing Afro-Cuban and Native American spirituality are reflected in the two representing men drifting together in the boat communing with and pulling their collective spiritual forces.  Is it a representation of Bedia continuing to pull the spirit and traditions of his heritage along in life?  As your eye pulls away from the boat and notices the figures on the large canvas, you have to wonder…are you staring at two figures or do they represent a blending of one?THIRD SPACE, SHIFTING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART @ BHAM_Glenn Kaino, Bridge
  3. Skylar Fein See You at the UpStairs Lounge, from “Remember the UpStairs Lounge”, 2009 (latex on wood) – This is a recreation of original sign from The UpStairs Lounge,  a gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  In 1973 a fire broke out, claiming the lives of 32 men.  The fire was set intentionally, and the 15 survivors were persecuted afterwards for being at the bar. A more in depth history of the event can be heard here.  THIRD SPACE, SHIFTING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONTEMPORARY ART @ BHAM_Ebony G Patterson
  4. Ebony G. Patterson Among the weeds, plants and peacock feathers, 2014  (Mixed Media) – It wasn’t until we looked through the lens of the camera did we see the body scattered among beaded tapestry.  Patterson’s work explores themes of identity and class, race and gender in the media. Among the weeds draws the viewers in, revealing a heartbreaking discovery.  Too often we bypass the crushing and Patterson calls our attention to a prevailing attitude.  Third Space at BHAM_Nick Cave
  5. Nick Cave Soundsuit, 2009 (Fabric with appliqued crochet and buttons , knitted yarn, and mannequin)Third Space at BHAM_Glenn Kaino
  6. Glenn Kaino Bridge, 2014 (Fiberglass, steel wire, and gold paint) – Made from a cast of Olympic athlete Tommie Smith’s arms and fist, the sculpture harkens back to that iconic moment when, along with John Carlos, Smith raised his black gloved fist in the Black Power Salute during the metal ceremony in the 1968 Olympics.  Do yourself a favor and listen to Chenoia Bryant, Social Justice Advocate and Feminist speak on the audio companion about the larger meaning behind this piece.Third Space at BHAM_
  7. Whitfield Lovell Rise of the Delta, 2013 (Conte on wood, silver plated platters, penny, wrought iron scone ) – Lovell was commissioned by Birmingham art collectors Norm and Carnetta Davis to create this piece from of photograph of Carnetta Davis’ mother. I love the halo of silver and pewter serving plates placed around Davis’ mother.  They symbolize her mothers’ love of hosting guests in her home, while the pewter piece at her feet is reference to ‘Birth of Venus’.
  8. Kerry James Marshall As Seen on TV, 2002 (Enamel on plastic vase, plastic flowers, framed video still, wood and glass shelf with steel bracket and chain)
  9. Glenn Ligon Runaways, 1993 (Lithographs) – This series of prints are inspired by advertisements for runaways slaves from the early 1800s.  Ligon makes use of the advertisements bearing physical descriptions and personal details, wording that humanized people perceived as property, standing in opposition to the advertisements obvious lack of humanity 10-must-see-pieces-at-third-space-birmingham-museum-of-art
  10. Esterio Segura La historia se muedre la cola (History Bites its Tall), 2013 (Painted fiberglass) – Using a bound Pinocchio as a metaphor for the history of lies told us by our governments was brilliant.  Even more stinging when you think how apropos it is when applied to the lies we tell ourselves.

Stitching Less to Convey More – Tsurubride’s Charming Embroidery Confession

 

meghan-willis-tsurubride-embroidery

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon and Brooklyn based artist, Meghan Willis (aka Tsurubride), and I are chatting about the calming effect embroidery has on us. One of us ‘might’ have mentioned that embroidering keeps us from murdering people at work. And while mine might actually look like it was stitched by a shaky hand after an actual stabbing, Meghan’s hand embroidered work delicately captures women in various stages of undress, laced in bits of boldly colored textiles.  She gives her women strength within the stitch, dressing them in a celebration of their sexuality, creating an illusion of movement with clean lines — my favorite are her double and triple takes stitched like a series of rapid blinks.

Three of her newer pieces will be exhibited in Paradigm Gallery’s upcoming group show, ‘Stitched’.  The show focuses on the shift in opinion toward embroidery, stitching, and other fibers techniques historically associated with women and “domestic tasks”.  Sadly, this type of work doesn’t get shown in museums a lot.  Is that due, in large part to an ongoing contested artistic legacy of the work? Or is it lack of knowledge of the skill and creativity required to create these artworks? Do you think shifting the focus toward the creativity required to produce these pieces pushes the conversation into the art realm?

Meghan and I jump right into our explorations on the evolution of stitching:

 

I want to steer the conversation away from craft, by refraining from overuse of technical terminology. I think it’s a real concern, that if we continue to talk about the medium in terms of crafting, that’s the way people will continue to view it.

Tsurubride: I see the point. It’s just another way; another medium.  Instead of a pen or a paintbrush – even with digital art and collage – a combination of all these skills come together to bring whatever is in your head, onto the fabric.

It has excited me to see opinions shift drastically about fiber techniques—I stitch during my commute on the train. Sometimes people sit down next to me and either recount watching their grandmothers stitching or express a surprise that anyone still does it.  I’ve noticed that most people don’t recognize what an embroidery hoop is.

I sometimes take my work with me when I travel, but I rarely get a chance to touch it.

How do people react to you embroidering while you’re traveling?

I have stitched while riding Amtrak a couple of times.  Once I was in business class sitting around people in suits.  There I was, in my jeans and t-shirt, stitching a nipple.  It was actually the perfect thing to be stitching in that environment. It was like, ‘yes dude, I’ve got my boobs over here, it’s all fine folks.’

What a juxtaposition (laughing). 

Tsuru Bride-double-exposure

For a while, embroidery seemed to be viewed as a lost art form and an antiquated one at that. We generally tend to think of older women embroidering.  So I think people are shocked to see younger women – even men, now taking up this art form.  Even the way they choose to express themselves with it seems to raise eyebrows, and a lot of curiosity.

I’ve been stitching forever and I know a large part of the embroidery community have stitched for a long time as well. When you hear words like “a resurgence,” its’ like, ‘No we’ve always been doing it.

I do think there’s more awareness being brought to it. Hopefully its less in the shadows – hopefully receiving less craft credit and more art credit.

With a rise in popularity, how soon do you think it will be before embroidery kits are being stocked in the novelty section of Urban Outfitters?

I think that would be fun.

I certainly like to create my own work, but if you’re just getting started and see that kit at Urban Outfitters, perhaps you’ll pick up that hoop and have some fun with it… Maybe they start with that kit, have their own take on the product and build into some really innovative ideas.

meghan-willis-tsurubride-embroidery

I learned my basics from aunts and my grandmothers, but I still take to resources like YouTube to learn more from other people in the stitching community.  At the end of the day, I’m still thinking about how to transform that information into my thing.

I think places like YouTube are great for learning new techniques, but you have to find your own take on it – your own approach to it.  At least those sort of resources are there to start with the fundamentals…

The question is, ‘how do you now incorporate that into your work?’

People on Instagram will comment and ask what stitch I’m using.  I only use backstitch, but it’s the way that I’m using it – people are surprised that that’s the way it ends up looking. Taking something as simple as that stitch and being able to translate it into my work ends up creating this visual that’s my trademark.

Were these skills passed down to you?

As a little kid, I was very crafty.  Both my grandmothers were very much into sewing – they encouraged the habit.  I started making terrible clothes for my Barbie doll. The fabric would be sewn wrong sides together  You’d turn it out and the seam allowance would be all wrong.  Everything would be done with these really long stitches cause I was impatient, I just wanted to do it.  I never thought about how the Barbie doll would then get into the clothes.

It seemed like a natural progression to be in fashion.  During the day I do that, and then at night I don’t want to make clothes anymore – partly because that is part of my day job.  This is a lot more relaxing, to be able to sit and create something.

I still have that same impatience though – I love the beauty of fill stitches but that’s part of the reason I never really incorporate it into my work.  I have an idea and I need to get it out of my head and create it.  fill stitches seem like they’re going to slow me down.  I’ve got too much art to make!

I love that confession. Impatience is such an oxymoron when you think about embroidering.

When I look at your work I’ve always thought , ‘it’s so purposeful in what side of the story you choose to tell by what was meaningfully left out’.  Knowing this now doesn’t make your work any less lovely, it enhances for me. You’ve really made the point that less is sometimes more.

Even when I started with the leather appliques… that happened because I used to make handbags in my spare time, and I had a lot of leather lying around .  I thought, ‘well this could be neat as a mixed medium, so I started playing around with it.’.

Even now, I’ll try to go back and work with some fill stitches, but it’s too slow… I’m so jealous, there are many other artists out there who do incredibly beautiful work with fill stitches.  It’s like, dammit. How do you do that so well?  I know it’s just practice, but I can’t… I got to get the ideas out of my head now.

I think it’s more than just ‘practice’.  Especially after talking to the other artists participating in Stitched.  It has a lot to do with the way the artists sees things and how they translate that.  A perfect stitch is pretty to look at, but perfection can be wearying.

That’s true.  I saw your post on Michelle Kingdom. There’s a great example of someone using fill stitches, but not in this clean, overly perfect way.  It’s got a movement and a romanticism to it.  Her stitching is more painterly.

I always feel like my work is more illustrative versus that painter technique.  Its’ more about clean lines and movement in that sense of after the thread versus following brush strokes.

It’s just another way of expression.

meghan-willis-tsurubride-embroidery

Fun Facts:

Victoria Crayhon’s Photography Exhibit ‘It Says We’re Not Real’ @ Cade Tompkins

 

Victoria Crayhon‘s exhibition It Says We’re Not Real, an ongoing body of photographs and video entitled Thoughts on Romance from the Road 2001-2017. The images are a series of text interactions with historic and abandoned movie marquee and motel signs conceived while the artist traversed the roadways and interstates of New England, Michigan and other locales during long commutes and trips. These blank slates punctuated the path, causing her to recede into memory and ultimately display fragments of thoughts that might easily disappear but now exist purely as photographs.  Crayhon’s most recent work in the series further complicates the scenario and enriches the experience. This time she interacts with digital theater signs, transferring her message, filming the playback and photographing it simultaneously.*

When:  It Says We’re Not Real runs until April 8th, 2017

Where: Cade Tompkins Projects | 198 Hope Street | Providence Rhode Island

*via Cade Tompkins press release

Our Favorite Rooms at the 2017 Spring Break Art Show

Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its dialogue driven exhibits.  This year it moved out of the Moynihan Station Post Office and into swankier digs in Times Square.  What didn’t change – is the integrity of the show, the feeling of being sent off to the races into the all encompassing line of rooms. The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but it affords the artist space to create a story, and that discovery is always worth the price of admission.

This year, the annual curator-driven art show, Spring/Break chose Black Mirror as its theme.   Here’s a list of the rooms we loved walking thru.

 

Hometown Hero (Chink) /Thinly Worn | Valery Jung Estabrook

I shudder to think that I almost walked past this room without meeting Valery Jung Estabrook 

Hometown Hero (Chink) featured an installation of three parts: a single channel video, a custom upholstered recliner, and a fabric-covered room furnished with other upholstered items that immediately transport you to a version of the American South. The items reveal hidden personal histories that cling to Jung’s experiences growing up a mixed-race Korean American who was taught to revere a past to which she felt no connection.

The recliner – with its looming imagery of the Confederate flag, dominates the space. It sits facing the television, acting as a physical stand-in for the [cheap] desire to return to an idealized fictional version of America – the wish to “Make America Great Again.”  Everything in that room is in direct opposition of Jung Estabrook’s honest conversations regarding race, alienation, and assimilation playing on the television with a repeating video clip featuring segments called Twinkie, Wasp and assimilation that features Jung Estabrook lip syncing while dressed as Tammi Wynette.

 

“Thinking about everything, but then again, I was thinking about nothing” | Tamara Santibanez

Tamara Santibanez recreates her adolescent bedroom in shades of white symbolizing the purity of memories we wish to retain. Her pen drawings of rock band posters and t-shirts hang among the other trappings of a certain youth – cassettes, AM/FM radio, vinyl’s, studded leather wrist bands and jeans tossed casually on the carpet make for a trip I didn’t want to end.

Sophiya Khwaja | Cade Tompkins Projects

Sophiya Khawaja‘s hoops sans the cloth and thread that traditionally sit between the two wooden circles, showcase images of herself, a solitary female figure trapped – possessing – raging and navigating the landscapes she inhabits. Each become a symbol of the female encased in the intricate bindings of the world around her.

“Melissa Godoy-Nieto: Dream Journal,” curated by Ambre and Andrew Gori

Visitors were invited to share their dreams with Godoy-Nieto so she could translate them into drawings.  If you took part in the project, I hear you might be able to find your dreams roaming wild & free on Melissa’s website.

Sisyphus | Light Sculpture | Valerie Sullivan Fuchs

Sisyphus, 2009, is a palm sized video projection where the viewers capture the video onto their open hands. The video is of a woman who appears to climb up the viewer’s hand but slides back down repeatedly. Each time she slides back down, she draws a line of chalk which appears to mix with the lines of the view’s palm.

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Further Explanations into Contemporary Blackness : New Work From Azikiwe Mohammed 
Azikwe Mohammad travels from last year’s Jimmy Thrift Store, a project based around New Davonhaime, a fictional town whose name is a make up of the five cities with the highest African-American populations (Detroit, Savannah,  Jackson, Birmingham, and New Orleans).  Mohammad filled the room with thrift shops finds (elaborate chintzy lamps, old albums, neon signs and ceramic figurines) cast offs ready to breathe new life into old lives.  Assuming the personality of Jimmy, Mohammad told us colorful stories of the non-existent town until it felt relevant, until we felt like we’d benefit from visiting.
This year Mohammad was back in a less structured space with more stories to tell, a memorial to those we lost this past year in violence, a closer look into the lives of those from Davonhaime. Names and faces were memorialized on airbrushed t-shirts and iconic jewelry found in nearly every African-American home. Photographs from his visit to the cities were rolled up and placed in containers for those who felt like delving a bit deeper.
It was as if last years’ search for stories was a mere beginning into the insight into the crux of the stories he evokes through memory and representation. I remember when Mohammed had a seat out in the hallway of the first Spring Break Fair, patiently explaining his hip-hop tapestries to us.  Each year his exploration into African American iconography gets deeper and more creatively explorative.

Your Art Fair Guide for Armory Week 2017

It’s Armory Week and that means gaggles of art fairs will be taking place across New York City.  It’s going to be a whirlwind of amazing art from all over the world, informative talks and lots of Art Star Selfies.  We don’t suggest you try to tackle every fair, choose the ones that interest you the most and pace yourself. Fair fatigue is real–trying to see more art than your brain can process at one time will just ruin the whole experience. Trust us on this… Oh, and by all means, wear comfortable shoes.

1. Armory Show

The Armory Show is the daddy of all the fairs.  It’s the big Kahuna with over 200 galleries showing on Piers 92 & 94 for four days of incredible art, engaging talks and daring projects. Walking through both piers can be exhausting, take breaks, and check your coat.  The coat line is so long – one would think they were giving out free drinks – but it’s worth the hands-free next few hours.

Your Art Fair Guide for Armory Week 2017

Photograph by Teddy Wolff | Courtesy of The Armory Show

March 2–5, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 12–8pm
Friday, March 3, 12–8pm
Saturday, March 4, 12–7pm
Sunday, March 5, 12–6pm
Pier 94 and Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue between West 55th Street and West 52nd Street
$47 general admission, or $60 with VOLTA admission

 

2. Volta NY

Volta is Armory’s sister fair – one that keeps getting better in terms of curation.  Its’ art boutique feel is a refreshing change from the chaos that will be happening at Pier 92 & 94 with the Armory crowd. By spotlighting artists through primarily solo projects, VOLTA NY refocuses the art fair experience back to its most fundamental point: the artists and their works.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90. Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90.
Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

 

MARCH 2–5, 2017

THURSDAY – SATURDAY, MARCH 2 – 4, 12 – 8 pm | SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 12 – 5 pm

Pier 90, 711 12th Avenue at West 48th Street
$22.96 general admission, or $55.11 with Armory Show admission

 

3. Spring Break Art Show

Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its ‘Look at what I did Ma’ art school vibe.  This years curatorial theme is BLACK MIRROR – exhibiting  autobiographical artworks that engage, defy or uphold the idea that art should ‘hide the artist’.  The fair has moved from Moynihan Station to a their New Location, 4 Times Square, NYC (entrance on 43rd Street). Hopefully, the new space retains that feeling of being sent off to the races – with a familiar three-floor execution of exhibits – room after room of romping and art browsing. The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but I continue to enjoy the discovery beyond each door.

 

March 2–7
Skylight at Moynihan Station, 421 8th Avenue at West 31st Street
Wednesday–Sunday 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Monday 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
$15 general admission

 

4. Scope

SCOPE NY brings an array of contemporary art from the hottest new artists on the scene. SCOPE used to be close to Armory – there was nothing like being able to stroll, and not UBER to the main fair. The 17th edition of SCOPE returns to a new Chelsea location at Metropolitan Pavilion, the venue will host 60 international galleries and a focused schedule of special events, performances and talks.

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

March 3–5, 2017
Friday-Saturday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion West 60 galleries, 639 W 46th Street
$25 general admission

 

5. Art on Paper

Art on Paper returns to Manhattan’s Lower East Side in March 2016, building on the success of the fair’s inaugural 2015 edition. It may be further away from the main fair, but it’s well worth the trip to see how artists are transforming paper into extraordinary works of art.  We’re especially looking forward to the lineup from exhibitors Paradigm Gallery + Studio, representing our home base, Philadelphia, PA.

Courtesy of Art on Paper

Courtesy of Art on Paper

March 2–5
Opening Night – Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 36, 299 South Street on the East River
$25 general admission

 

6. ADAA Art Show

29th edition, of the Art Dealers Association of America’s annual fair, is back at that glorious Park Avenue Armory space.  With 72 exhibitors of fine art.  The 2017 show will include a number of first-time exhibitors, including Fergus McCaffrey, who will present works by Viennese artist Birgit Jürgenssen; James Fuentes, who will juxtapose works by Tamuna Sirbiladze and Noam Rappaport; Hosfelt Gallery, who will highlight four decades of work by Argentinian artist Liliana Porter; and Casey Kaplan, who will present paintings by American artist Sarah Crowner.

Courtesy of the ADAA

Courtesy of the ADAA

March 1–6
Wednesday–Friday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street
$25 general admission

 

7. Independent

Don’t’ go looking for the Independent in Chelsea, the fair has taken up residence in Tribeca’s Spring Studios.  The popular fair’s niche market is international galleries and non-profit institutions.

March 3–5, 2017
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m (VIP); Friday and Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00p.m.
Spring Street Studios, 50 Varick Street
$25 general admission/$15 for students

 

8. Clio Art Fair

CLIO ART FAIR is a curated fair created with the idea of discovering independent artists and showcasing the careers and achievements of already affirmed creative minds. Labeled the “anti-fair for independent artists,” Clio provides a showcase for artists without gallery representation, selected for inclusion in the fair by a panel of judges.
March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
508–526 West 26th St.
Free

 

Basquiat’s Great Jones Street Loft To Be Immortalized

57 Great Jones Street is more than the former home and studio of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988).  It represents a mythical era of street art – an infamous downtown cool kids scene most of us never got to experience firsthand.

On July 13, as part of the historic plaque program, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) will unveil a plaque marking the site of Basquiat’s former home and studio – once owned by his friend and mentor, Andy Warhol.

The historic plaque unveiling ceremony (in partnership with Two Boots) aims to “celebrate and explore the invaluable work and local connections of this essential artist,” GVSHP said.  The event will take place on July 13 at 6 pm, attendance is free but reservations are requested.  The presentation will be followed by free pizza courtesy of local restaurant Two Boots.

Follow  HAHA MAG on Facebook.

basquiat_great jones loft

 

Your Art Fair Guide for Armory Week 2016

It’s Armory Week and that means gaggles of art fairs will be taking place across New York City.  It’s going to be a whirlwind of amazing art from all over the world, informative talks and lots of Art Star Selfies.  We don’t suggest you try to tackle every fair, choose the ones that interest you the most and pace yourself. Fair fatigue is real–trying to see more art than your brain can process at one time will just ruin the whole experience. Trust us on this… Oh, and by all means, wear comfortable shoes.

 

1. Armory Show

The Armory Show is the daddy of all the fairs.  It’s the big Kahuna with over 200 galleries showing on Piers 92 & 94 for four days of incredible art, engaging talks and daring projects. Walking through both piers can be exhausting, take breaks, and check your coat.  The coat line is so long – one would think they were giving out free drinks – but it’s worth the hands-free next few hours.

DON’T MISS: Brooklyn’s Pierogi gallery will show Jonathan Schipper’s Slow Motion Car Crash, a “choreographed collision” timed to occur during the five-day fair.

jonathan schipper

Jonathan Schipper, Slow Motion Car Crash. Photo: Courtesy The Armory Show.

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday–Sunday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Pier 94 and Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue between West 55th Street and West 52nd Street
$45 general admission, or $60 with VOLTA admission

 

2. Volta NY

Volta is Armory’s sister fair – one that keeps getting better in terms of curation.  Its’ art boutique feel is a refreshing change from the chaos that will be happening at Pier 92 & 94 with the Armory crowd. By spotlighting artists through primarily solo projects, VOLTA NY refocuses the art fair experience back to its most fundamental point: the artists and their works.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90. Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90.
Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

March 2–6, 2016
Wednesday 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 12 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 90, 711 12th Avenue at West 48th Street
$22.96 general admission, or $55.11 with Armory Show admission

 

3. Spring Break Art Show

Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its ‘Look at what I did Ma’ art school vibe.  This year, the annual curator-driven art show, chose ⌘COPY⌘PASTE” as its theme.  We’re still sad the fair had to move out of the Old School on Mott Street in Nolita (making way for a depressing condo development), to the Moynihan Station. The new space retains that feeling of being sent off to the races – with a familiar three-floor execution of exhibits – room after room of romping and art browsing. The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but I continue to enjoy the discovery beyond each door.

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd.

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd.

March 2–7
Skylight at Moynihan Station, 421 8th Avenue at West 31st Street
Wednesday–Sunday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Monday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
$10 general admission for advance tickets, $15 at the door

 

4. Scope

SCOPE NY brings an array of contemporary art down to the Piers. Thank goodness SCOPE is staying close to the Armory Show again – nothing like being able to stroll, and not UBER to the main fair. This year they’re promising a new “open-plan” layout and 60 international exhibitors.

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Sunday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion West 60 galleries, 639 W 46th Street
$35 general admission

 

5. Pulse

Last year, PULSE New York was a bit of a snooze fest. This year the fair is back at its normal location,  Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street.   With the focus on a smaller scale – 45 galleries from four continents.  Hopefully this tightly curated content will play out better than last year’s hodge-podge.

Pulse Art Fair NYC Front Entrance

Pulse Art Fair NYC Front Entrance

March 3–6
Thursday 1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
$25 general admission

 

6. Art on Paper

Art on Paper returns to Manhattan’s Lower East Side in March 2016, building on the success of the fair’s inaugural 2015 edition. It may be further away from the main fair, but it’s well worth the trip to see how artists are transforming paper into extrodinary works of art.  We’re especially looking forward to the lineup from first-time exhibitors Paradigm Gallery + Studio, representing Philadelphia, PA.

Courtesy of Art on Paper

Courtesy of Art on Paper

March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 36, 299 South Street on the East River
$25 general admission

 

7. ADAA Art Show

28th edition, of the Art Dealers Association of America’s annual fair, is back at that glorious Park Avenue Armory space.  With 72 exhibitors of fine art.  Newcomers include Hauser & Wirth, presenting works by the Modernist Italian sculptor, installation artist, and poet Fausto Melotti, and Tilton Gallery, showing new sculptures by Chicago-born artist Simone Leigh, whose work explores female African-American subjectivity.

Courtesy of the ADAA

Courtesy of the ADAA

March 2–6
Wednesday–Friday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street
$25 general admission

 

8. Independent

Dont’ go looking for the Independent in Chelsea, the fair has taken up residence in Tribeca’s Spring Studios.  The popular fair’s niche market is international galleries and non-profit institutions.

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00p.m.
Spring Street Studios, 50 Varick Street
$25 general admission/$15 for students

 

9. Clio Art Fair

CLIO ART FAIR is a curated fair created with the idea of discovering independent artists and showcasing the careers and achievements of already affirmed creative minds. Labeled the “anti-fair for independent artists,” Clio provides a showcase for artists without gallery representation, selected for inclusion in the fair by a panel of judges.
March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
508–526 West 26th St.
Free

10. New City Art Fair

This small contemporary Asian art fair, which focuses on emerging artists, is now in its fifth year.

March 3–6
Thursday 11:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
hpgrp Gallery New York, 434 Greenwich Street
Free

SELECT Art Fair Events Not to Miss

Select Fair Special Projects

May 13th – 17th is blocked out on my calendar – which can only mean one thing…it’s ‘Frieze Week’! New York is about to become a hub of fairs and events centered around the art world.

Select Art Fair NYC is opening May 13th – 50+ international galleries will be on display along with a new installation program and a stronger performance art lineup that should more than keep the crowds busy enough to warrant those tired fair feet goers like to boast about as if the accumulated blisters come with art dedication patches. I know, no one forces us to go to ‘just one more’ event. So we’ll just do what

I know, no one forces us to go to ‘just one more’ event. So we’ll just do what any art junkie enabler would do; compile must see lists.

SELECT Art Fair Events Not To Miss:

Fawn Rogers

Fawn Rogers Art World Collectors CardsVisual artist Fawn Rogers’ COURT is a series of 54 original paintings, featuring the images of 52 art collectors chosen at random from ARTNews’ “Top 200” list, presented as a standard deck of playing cards along with two collectors not on the list, who appear on the joker cards. Fair visitors will be invited to participate with performance artists in a game of poker – Texas Hold style. Like the art of collection, the playing cards can be used to create communities, forge alliances, swindle enemies, and astonish strangers. Utilizing symbols of fortune, and sport. COURT invites the viewer to explore the evolving dynamics of art collecting, whose key players’ interests will represent this time in history.

Skowhegan presents “The Double” – The Double is primarily a visual phenomenon making video a natural medium for its exploration. The earliest silent films recognized the inherent doubling that occurs through picture, investigating notions of an uncanny second self in films such as the The Golem and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Through doubling or mirroring, one is confronted with the illusion of wholeness, a dispersion of the self, and perhaps revelations or repressions of fears and desires kept hidden within the body. The Double can also represent an alter ego, a copy or forgery, or a false twin or Doppelganger. However, doubles are not exclusively physical in a bodily sense. Doubling may also be traced to the mode of production of the work, reminding us that the replication and dissemination of image is physical in its duplication as well.

Whitebox Art Center presents Andriy Bazyuta‘s video installation “Arial Allusions” (rooftop) – “Arial Allusions” is an interactive, multilayered 3D dual projection work engaging visitors-as-participants through the use of ‘Kinect’ 3D sensors. Figures entering the rooftop, upon coming in contact with sensors, will become active participants, their body shapes surrounded by an unlimited number of projected geometrical moving visual patterns caused by their transposed innate sounds. These sounds will be gleaned, processed, and visually mapped into constant oscillating images thrown upon various architectures surrounding the audience. The larger the crowd and the louder the sound propelled, the shakier the projected vibrating images will become, reaching a super saturated point turning into a sea of electrifying, rambling and shattering images.

 “You Are Here” – a multi-sensory installation and living sculpture. It is activated by performers, musicians, dancers, and visitors. Audience members arrive at “You Are Here” with the intention of catching a particular presentation, but intentions are frustrated and transformed by the labyrinthine construction, all held together by a plethora of performance artists. Artists and audiences alike are invited to question the expectations that arise around performance in the context of community. This year’s incarnation of You Are Here brings a new design for SELECT fair’s roof install. Dozens of performers hold together a maze comprised of industrial plastic mesh banners. Musical guests and audience members stand within the structure. Not to be missed!

 

Mandy Mandelstein‘s “If the Walls Had Eyes” – If The Walls Had Eyes visualizes and humanizes the multiple pairs of eyes that observe the things we putting out into the world on a daily basis, not only by the people we wish to see our personal content, but the digital eyes that are always watching, the ones we don’t necessarily think about. Part inspired by an attention-starved roommate, and part by a dream, the interactive projection installation consists of multiple videos that watch and follow the viewer as they pass by.

 

DATE: May 13-17, 2015

LOCATION: CENTER 548 (formerly the Dia Building) 548 West 22nd Street Between 10th and 11th Avenue in Chelsea New York, NY 10011 

GENERAL FAIR HOURS Thursday May 14th | 2:00-10:00pm Friday May 15th | 2:00-10:00pm Saturday May 16th | 12:00-10:00pm Sunday May 17th | 12:00-6:00pm

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About SELECT
SELECT was conceived at the end of 2011 by Matthew Eck and Brian Whitley; now in our fourth year of production, we are proud to be one of the fastest growing arts production companies in America. SELECT provides a contemporary platform for galleries to market emerging to mid-career artists. By integrating brands into the art market, SELECT is able to creatively provide new and interesting ways to showcase art as well as activate the work.

ART IN THE WILD – PHILLY MUSEUM OF ART TAKES THE MASTERS OUTSIDE

Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer Willem Claesz. Heda, Dutch (active Haarlem), 1594 - 1680/82

Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer
Willem Claesz. Heda, Dutch (active Haarlem), 1594 – 1680/82

Philadelphia Museum of Art is branching out with a major art initiative, extending its arts outreach into ten local communities. This summer residents of participating communities throughout the city and region will find themselves stumbling across high-quality reproductions of famous works of art from the Museum’s vast collection in unexpected places.

The “Inside Out” initiative, funded by a $340,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, was conceived by the Detroit Institute of the Arts as a way to engage the community in its collection, and has been in hundreds of locations over the past five years.

Each neighborhood will host up to twelve masterpieces within a short distance of each other, displayed in a frame representative of the time period in which it was created. The art will be accompanied by a label with commentary by members of the Museum’s staff explaining what they most admire about the works.

The project will unfold in two phases—the summer installation begins in May 1st in the Philadelphia neighborhoods of East Passyunk and Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy; in Haddonfield, New Jersey; Media, Pennsylvania and Newtown, Pennsylvania. Inside Out will continue with installations this fall beginning in late August in Fishtown and Kensington in Philadelphia and in the Pennsylvania communities of Ambler, Norristown, Wayne and West Chester.

Communities participating in the project will receive free admission to the museum at designated times during the installation.

Find your local locations now, and get ready to experience some of the finest masterpieces in the open air.

Works on view

Media (Delaware County, PA)
Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child (1908)
Marc Chagall, Half-Past Three (The Poet) (1911)
Juan Gris, Man in a Café (1912)
Vasily Kandinsky, Little Painting with Yellow (Improvisation) (1914)
Paul Klee, Fish Magic (1925)
Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny (1899)
Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of the Colorado River (1892 and 1908)
Pablo Picasso, Self-Portrait with Palette (1906)
Henri Rousseau, Carnival Evening (1886)
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation (1898)
Unknown (made in Korea), Lotus (19th century; Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910)
Unknown (made in India; attributed to Nihal Chand), Krishna and Radha (about 1750)

Haddonfield (Camden County, NJ)
Constantin Brancusi, The Kiss (1916)
Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902–4
Frederic Edwin Church, Pichincha (1867)
Simon Jacobsz. de Vlieger, Marine (about 1652–53)
Daniel Garber, Tanis (1915)
Jacob Lawrence, The Libraries Are Appreciated (1943)
Sir Frederic Leighton, Portrait of a Roman Lady (La Nanna) (1859)
Joan Miró, Dog Barking at the Moon (1926)
Claude Monet, Poplars on the Bank of the Epte River (1891)
Georgia O’Keeffe, Two Calla Lilies on Pink (1928)
Unknown (made in France), Rondel Depicting Holofernes’s Army Crossing the Euphrates River (1246–48)

Newtown (Bucks County, PA)
Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) (1912)
Edward Hicks, Noah’s Ark (1846)
Winslow Homer, The Life Line (1884)
Jean-Antoine Houdon, Bust of Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) (1779)
Édouard Manet, Le Bon Bock (1873)
Charles Willson Peale, Portrait of Yarrow Mamout (Muhammad Yaro) (1819)
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of Master Bunbury (1780–81)
Sarah Mary Taylor, “Hands” Quilt (Winter 1980)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge: The Dance (1890)
Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 (1834–35)

East Passyunk (South Philadelphia)
Canaletto, The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day (about 1745)
Eduard Charlemont, The Moorish Chief (1878)
Paul Gauguin, The Sacred Mountain (Parahi Te Marae) (1892)
Marsden Hartley, Painting No. 4 (A Black Horse) (1915)
Willem Claesz. Heda, Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer (about 1631–34)
Claude Monet, Manne-Porte, Étretat (1885)
Rubens Peale, From Nature in the Garden (1856)
Robert Rauschenberg, Estate (1963)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Girl in a Red Ruff (about 1896)
William Trost Richards, Newport Coast (1902)
Diego Rivera, Sugar Cane (1931)

Chestnut Hill & Mt. Airy (Northwest Philadelphia)
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, A Reading from Homer (1885)
Moe Brooker, Present Futures (2006)
John Constable, Sketch for “A Boat Passing a Lock” (1822–24)
Beauford Delaney, Portrait of James Baldwin (1945)
Thomas Eakins, Sailboats Racing on the Delaware (1874)
Daniel Garber, Quarry, Evening (1913)
Kano Hōgai, Two Dragons [in Clouds] (1885)
František Kupka, Disks of Newton (Study for “Fugure in Two Colors”) (1912)
Joan Miró, Horse, Pipe, and Red Flower (1920)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand (1875)
Rebecca Scattergood Savery, Sunburst Quilt (1839
Unknown (made in Central Tibet), Four Hevajra Mandalas of the Vajravali Cycle (early 15th century)
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers (1888 or 1889)
Andy Warhol, Jackie (Four Jackies) (Portraits of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy) (1964)
Grant Wood, Plowing (1936)
Andrew Newell Wyeth, Groundhog Day (1959)

MoMa Björk Retrospective Induces Mini Heart Palps

moma_bjork_biophilia_large

The first time I heard Björk, I was sitting in the backseat of a friend’s little Toyota.  The car was chugging up a steep road in Stroudsburg, PA, and I thought the voice coming out of the speakers was surely some majestical wispy woodland nymph that only my mountain region friends knew about.

Hearing her voice was like being on colorful glittered flakes of psychedelic drugs I have never done; maybe the heart palps just belong to me (sincerely doubt it).

So excuse me while I scream into my hands, regain composure and then tell you that MoMA is mounting a full-scale retrospective dedicated to the work of the multi-faceted Icelandic Queen, Bjork.  The exhibition, simply titled, Björk will focus on 20 years of the artist’s projects including her seven full-length albums —”to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes (aka. the swan dress), and performance.  The installation will present a narrative, both biographical and imaginatively fictitious, cowritten by Björk and the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists.”  The exhibition will culminate with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience conceived and realized with director Andrew Thomas Huang and 3-D design leader Autodesk.

I’m hoping one of the exhibit highlights will be getting to play with her experimental app, Biophilia on a larger platform. Biophilia is the first app to enter MoMA’s collection, and one of the best apps to ever suck up 725MB of my iPhone storage. MoMA’s acquisition of Biophilia (2011), showcases the museum’s leadership in forward-thinking digital cataloging.  The app was a gift of Björk and her record label, One Little Indian.

The hybrid software app was developed by Björk in collaboration with M/M Paris, and Scott Snibbe.  Within the app, users can navigate a three-dimensional constellation made up of 10 separate apps, one for each song from the Biophilia album.  Each app allows for four options – a look at the composition of the song, play the score (can you say Bjork karaoke), colorful song animation created by Stephen Malinowski, and the fourth option shows you the lyrics of the song.

My favorite incarnation of the app can be seen in the Biophilia Educational Program, a project adopted by select Scandinavian Schools “designed to inspire children to explore their own creativity and to learn about music and science through new technologies.”

Björk will be on view at MoMA from March 8 through June 7, 2015.

Björk Website

* Photo Credit: Björk, Debut, 1993. Credit: Photography by Jean Baptiste Mondino. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian; Björk, Biophilia, 2011. Credit: By M/M (Paris) Photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd & One Little Indian

 

Lauren Rinaldi: At Arm’s Length

Lauren R

At Arm’s Length is where most of us keep the true estimation of ourselves. Lauren Rinaldi explores all this and takes a good look at body image, sexuality and self-identity using unbiased self-portraits that chronicle her life through the changes in her body and mental state. She explores our seemingly embraced imperfections – using layers to thinly veil what she consciously chooses to hold back – projecting an identity with the allure of control all the while revealing to the viewer the truths we unwittingly hide from ourselves. The show surprises in its’ subtly – shifting focus, from what we hide to what we show. Her series of whimsical sketches find a connection in the new language we’ve patterned off our need to flaunt the personal assessment of our bodies within the realm of our day-to-day digital landscapes.

Lauren R2

Lauren R1

Lauren R3

“How you see yourself and what you choose to show the world are two completely different things,” Rinaldi says. She has indeed found complimenting mediums to observe the nature of women seeking affirmation under the guise of anonymity.

At Arm’s Length is on view now at Paradigm Gallery + Studio until August 9th, 2014.

Find the artist on Instagram:
@laurinaldi @paradigmgs
#LaurenRinaldi #AtArmsLength

Erin M Riley’s ‘Crimson Landslide’ @ Space 1026

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Artist, Erin M Riley’s weaved portraits of Selfies are generally a window into a newer expression of female identity – grappling with issues on how women perceive themselves and how we want others to see us.  Her new solo show Crimson Landslide at Philadelphia Gallery, Space 1026 definitely shows off the continued mastery of her craft – the detailing on her pieces always becoming more complex. Though Crimson’s imagery might make some uncomfortable, peering into a more personal dialogue on the habits, objects of regimen, necessities and stresses of women’s everyday lives – it’s a truer sense of the things we can’t control via our smartphone cameras.

 

Crimson Landslide / February 7th – 21st, 2014

Space 1026
1026 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA

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Check out our past article on Erin Riley.