A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Monday, February 27, 2012

goARCHkids: Did Your Kid Read All Those Lightning Thief Books?

Mine did and continues to be totally obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology. There are worse things. Particularly since I have no trouble piquing his interest with my classical architecture chatter. Cruising up CPW and he noticed that one of the buildings was sporting a decorative motif of what appeared to him to be Zeus and Hera. I couldn't really argue since he is the clear authority in our family. Nevertheless, I did. He ended up proving something when he noticed that right above the sculptural relief faces, there were shields and what looked to him to be obviously Spartan helmets.

I love that he's looking at buildings and finding things that that he connects to. Next question: why did the architect chose this theme for this building?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

goARCHkids: Another Brutalist Wonder

Unable to resist admiring another great Brutalist masterpiece, I made the children pause and take in the enormity of the Kips Bay Tower, designed by the renowned I.M. Pei. Pei is also responsible for the Javits Center, which is pretty yucky (and I can find a good word to say about most buildings), the soaring East Wing of the National Gallery in D.C. and the pyramid entrance of the Louvre. Pei has gotten around over the years and experimented with styles.

The Kips Bay Tower was done in 1965, a great time for the edginess of this new movement in architecture: Brutalism. The building at 330 East 30th is enormous. The scale of the thing and the fact that it is set well away from the sidewalk make it seem like a giant monster with a thousand square eyes. Down, underneath the bulk of it, the lobbies are wide, airy places with benches and human-scale elements.

But strolling by Kips Bay Tower is a great opportunity to pause,  look up and be awed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weekend Art Programs for Kids

"Flag Gate," artist unidentified, circa 1876
Collection American Folk Art Museum

Families and Folk Art
Every first Saturday The American Folk Art Museum offers a kid-friendly tour of the exhibits followed by an art making project inspired by the collections.  The program lasts an hour and starts at 1 p.m. Children ages 4-12 can participate and admission is free.
The American Folk Art Museum
2 Lincoln Square, New York
photo credit: John Parnell

The Jewish Museum offers art workshops on Sundays from 1-4pm in their activity center. The Space is equipped for whatever projects your children would like to try.  They can chose from painting, sculpting or drawing.  The activity is free with museum admission.  The Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Ave at 92nd street 


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Paula Scher: Maps

India 2007  Paula Scher

When I was a child I played an imaginary globe trotting game by closing my eyes and letting my finger land on a spot on our spinning globe. The exotic names of faraway places sparked my imagination.  The endless places I could visit left me excited and overwhelmed.  At the Bryce Wolkowitz gallery, artist Paula Scher plays with the idea of the visual and informational overload in our society and world.  Ms. Scher's attempts to harness information by choosing cartography as the visual subject.  Her intricate paintings/maps attempt to  name every street, road, highway, town, city, state, county, hotel, library, historical landmark, that she can fit on to the canvas, in hopes of getting it all accounted for.  The job is enormous and it looks like she's hasn't missed a thing. When stepping back to look at the large canvases the lines of the streets, roads and highways, countries, continents and   meridians, form a beautiful matrix of vibrating colors that pulsate like a giant circulatory system in a living breathing world. The exhibit is up until February 18th. Perfect for all.
Bryce Wolkowitz gallery 505 West 24th street

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011

“Famotidine”, 2004 - 2011,
Damien Hirst

 Damien Hirst's "The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011" exhibit at the Gagosian gallery is almost closing and it would be a shame not to take your young art critics to view the perfectly executed spots of beautiful colors on white canvases of circular, rectangular or square shapes.  While the theme is repetitive and it may feel like you are  viewing a paint factory archive the colors are vivid and the space is large and it works for viewing up close or at a distance.  Mr. Hirst's artist statement says that he has a phenomenal love of color. There are more than 300 paintings to prove this and they can all be seen until February 18 th in New York, Paris, London, Rome, Geneva, Athens, Hong Kong, and Beverly Hills.  The best part of the experience will be getting the kids take on it.   Perfect for all. 
Gagosian Gallery 555 West 24th street
(C) Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates”.