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

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Richard Serra: New Sculpture

Richard Serra
Inside Out, 2013
photo by Lorenz Kienzle
Richard Serra has two new sculptures on view at The Gagosian Galleries in Chelsea this season, "Inside Out, 2013" and  "Interval's,2013."
My daughter and I like to do a little Serra surfing when we visit his steel sculptures. We  get pretty close to the sculpture  without touching it and  glide along  its  long and curvy passages.   For gliding purposes  "Inside Out, 2013" (at the 21 street gallery)  is very satisfying.  There are three wider openings that are perfectly placed for  us to stop and take a breather before resuming our fast pace along the narrow passageways.  When conditions are optimum  (there is no one else in the gallery but us) (unusual)  so we can keep our crazy glide fluid until  we get out of one end or another.  Otherwise we do our best to maneuver around the other the visitors.   We catch our breath on the outside of the sculpture and walk in a zombie state along its periphery. The color of the steel is shades of browns and warm oranges that emit a  yellow aura where the light from the gallery lights hit the surface.  The sculpture pulsates and is definitely a
 force to be reckoned with.
"Inside Out"  is  up at the 21st gallery until Feb 8th.  "Intervals" is up at the 24th street gallery is until March 15th.
Gagosian www.gagosian.com
555 West 24th Street, through Saturday, March 15, 2014
522 West 21st Street, through Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lasting Images: at The Guggenheim

Impenetrable, 2009
Mona Hatoum

Visiting the Guggenheim Museum is always popular with my family as the building itself never ceases to amaze us.  I fall in love with its  smooth white and curving balconies every time we go.  The installation pictured above seems to magically levitate in the air and has a delicate look to it from afar.  As you get closer to the cube, you can see the rods are made of steel and look like barbed wire.  It's definitely menacing looking when you get up close.  Don't let the children walk thru it! The artist Mona Hatoum is a Palestinian exile.  In this work she suggests confinement and violence and the same time a freedom from gravity.  The paradox is the lighting rod. This exhibit is up until January 12th, 2014.  Also be sure to also see the  Robert Motherwell: Early Collages exhibit up until  January 5th, 2014.  Perfect for all.

Robert Motherwell
View from a High Tower, 1944-45

The Guggenheim 1071 5th Ave    www.guggenheim.org

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Caribbean Cream: What you do is What you see

Erzuli, 2001
Edouard  Duval-Carrie

Recently,  I had a discussion  with my teen about the Dominican, Haitian connection in my family, and it inspired me to look for a gallery that featured Haitian artists. I found a listing for a gallery called BrutEdge in Jersey City, New Jersey. Having just opened this  September,  I wondered how I could have missed the opening reviews.  I think this gallery is off the radar, but it won't be for long if their exhibits continue to be as satisfying as the inaugural show, "Caribbean Cream: What you see is What you do."  This collective exhibition features artists from the Caribbean and the Americas.  The co-founders Gail Granowitz and Reynald Lally promise to focus on artists primarily from these under-represented groups.
Disciple VI
Ebony G Patterson
The ground work for their mission has been solidly set with an impressive showcase of contemporary artists. You'll find the work of artists Olivia McGilchrist, Marvin Bartley, Dionne Simpson, Edouard Duval-Carrie, Carlos Estevez, Florine Demosthene, Ebony G. Patterson (to name just a few). The exhibition feels like a convergence of catabolic pathways as the images generate and release their intense energy and messages.  I am planning to take my teen surely before the show closes on November 23rd.   This is exhibit is perfect for most.

BrutEdge Gallery is located at
Space 574 in Mana Contemporary,
888 Newark Ave Jersey City    
BBrutEdge Gallery is located at Space 574 in Mana Contemporary, 888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, 

or allery-announces-its-inaugural-show-caribbean-cream-what-you-do-is-what-you-see/#sthf

Friday, October 18, 2013

Uptown Lit: A Festival of Readers and Writers

 Uptown Lit: A Festival of Readers and Writers  sponsored by Washington Heights Literary Council presents literacy workshops for adults,teens and children tomorrow at United Palace from 10am-6pm.  Of special interest to our readers, the family programing for this  event is sponsored by  Reach Out and Read and Literacy, Inc.  and Word-up Community Bookshop. The literacy activities for families include, interactive storytelling   by authors, arts and crafts, and a special book making workshop presented by Skraptacular (the folks that make art from scraps and  found objects.)   Lynn Joseph author of "Coconut Kind of Day" will read from her book.  Artist Laura James will personally talk to your young artists about the   process involved in illustrating a children's book.  I have only mentioned  two of the many authors and new books that your family will enjoy and discover. Make it a point to go uptown and share this enriching event with your children.  And read to your kids everyday.
 UNITED PALACE (4140 Broadway MAP

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Child with Creativity and Cardboard: Caine's Arcade 2: From a Movie to a Movement

Children are hardwired for creativity.  Fostering that creativity and imagination is one of the vital tasks of teachers, parents and the caring adults in their lives.   Next month Los Ninos Services (a non profit organization that provides health services for families) will host the second annual " Caine's Arcade Global Cardboard Challenge,"  at The Children's Museum of New York located on west 83rd street.   Last year a filmmaker named Nirvan Mullick walked into an auto parts store in East L.A. to buy a car door handle.  He found a nine year old boy named Caine working on his cardboard arcade game.  Caine gave him a free pass to play.  Mr. Mullick, was so moved by what he experienced that he posted a short film about Caine  with the hope of  raising money for his Caine's education.   The response was beyond anybody's imagination and so he the non-profit Imagination Foundation to manage the donations and  raise funds  for other organizations that are ready to foster creativity in children. The foundations  mission statement is: With a mission to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship, in kids around the world, our Imagination Foundation seeks to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers    The Children's Museum of New York will be hosting "Caine's Arcade Global Cardboard Challenge,' on October 5th, 10-4pm, along with thousands of other organizations, museums, schools around the world.  Host your own event or visit The Children's Museum with your family.
Los Ninos Services  also hosts the same event on Staten Island ( Call 718-984-9022 for more info)  and Valhalla, Westchester (Call 914-593-0593 for more info),  same day 10-4pm.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer reading, Summer magic at The New York Public Library

A mother and daughter reading from Faith Ringgold's story quilt
"Tar Beach",on view now at the New York Public Library.
Some of my favorite memories of summer are of visiting my local library with my siblings. We each got to pick out a stack of books for summer reading.  The quiet cool of the library was the perfect counterpart to  the endless heat and, crazy playground games that also filled our days.   While many New Yorkers leave the city for summer homes in August, many others stay and call the city their own.  Less crowded side walks, playgrounds, museum and libraries make for a more enjoyable time all around.  So now is the time to  plan a visit to the New York Public library's Fifth Avenue branch and enjoy the

exhibition " The ABC of it: Why Children's Books Matter."  This exhibition is curated with children of all ages in mind.   Little children can hurry through a small passageway and feel  like  Alice of "Alice and Wonderland"  might have while chasing the white rabbit.  A parent  and child can read "Good Night Moon" in a magical space that looks as if was right out of the book.   Funny things happen like watching a wall sculpture of Alice, start to  stretch and stretch to the ceiling.  Walls suddenly get furry as Max would have seen and felt his monsters to be in  "Where the Wild things Are."   The surprises are go on and on. See a parrot handled umbrella that looks like the one Mary Poppins would have carried and find out that it belonged to the books author, P.L. Travers.  An incredible story quilt made by Faith Ringgold entitled by the same as her Caldecott Honor Book "Tar Beach," The quilt tells of African American leaders and their commitment to literacy throughout history.
Book after book and  item after item is so pleasingly displayed that you and your family will find it easy to absorb all the information put before you.  Even your teens will  feel included as there is a section devoted to books and comic books that have been read under the covers after "lights -out!", for generations.   The exhibit is up until March 23rd 2014,  and thankfully so, as you'll want to keep bringing friends.  
The New York Public Library  Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gottesman Exhibition Hall Fifth Ave at 42nd street

Friday, July 19, 2013

Edward Hopper: "Hopper Drawings"

Study for Nighthawks, 1941 or 1942 Edward Hopper
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Nighthawks, 1942 by Edward Hopper
The Whitney Museum of American Art
My family has been trying to get to the Whitney Museum on" free Friday nights" for quite a while and we finally made it last week.  Our mission was to get in free and see the "Hopper Drawing" exhibition. The drawings of American artist, Edward Hopper are on display along with the corresponding masterpieces.  The Whitney has a collection of over 2,500 drawings by Mr. Hopper. Many of the drawings on view have not been displayed a museum before.  The exhibit gives the viewer a good sense of the creative process employed this artist.  It is fascinating to see an image sketched over and over from different angles until the right position is obtained.   It is very satisfying to see the final work after seeing the original sketches and drafts.  This exhibit ends October 6th and is perfect for all ages.

The Whitney Museum of American Art  945 Madison Ave at 75th street

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

art of the 5: queens represents

"Contra Luz" 2013
Ismael Checo
"Soon We'll Lay Our Pappadums to Dry" 2011
Indrajeet Chandrachud
The new exhibit "art of the 5: queens represents"  at the InterChurch Center's Treasure gallery is curated  by guest curator Debra Vanderburg Spencer. She introduces a selection of works by contemporary artists who live in the borough of Queens.  The list of artists represented speaks to the cultural diversity of Queens, but the works communicate   human experiences such as memory, desire, loss,
"Nothing Left to Give"
Tania Alvarez
hope ,loneliness that resonate with all.   There is something for everyone as guests will see sculptures, paintings, and mixed media.    This exhibit is perfect for all and is on view until July 5th.
The InterChurch Center
475 Riverside Drive
Treasure Gallery and lobby

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Elena Sisto: Between Silver Light and Orange Shadow

Ear, 2013 by Elena Sisto
 Frogs, 2013 by Elena Sisto
Self Portrail with (Red Figure), 2011
Elena Sisto
In a recent interview about her work the artist Elena Sisto said, " When you look at my paintings I want you to look at it and say "Oh, I know what that is."  And indeed, despite  the severe cropping in some of the images you have still have a good idea of what you are looking.  But the fun begins when you get closer to the  paintings and find yourself enjoying the details, the color and the lines.   This series of paintings on view at the Lori Bookstein Fine Art gallery is filled with surprises as the artists depicts  paintings of famous paintings  on the studio walls of artists she portrays (some are of herself).  The cartoonish look to the subjects makes the images very inviting to look at. This show is perfect for all and sadly only up until May 25th.
Lori Bookstein Fine Art  138 10th ave

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery" at MOBIA

Xenobia Bailey (1956- )
Biblical lore has had a great influence over many African American artists, past and present.  The Museum of Biblical Art explores this relationship with it's current exhibit:  "Ashe to Amen, African Americans and Biblical Imagery."  The word Ashe is a Yoruba word that means to make something happen creatively.  The essence of the word Amen is "so be it."  These two words so beautifully describe, the breadth and depth of the artwork displayed in this exhibition.   Each artist represented has explored their encounter with religion and spirituality and produced something that embodies their personal truth.   Be it a sculpture made from branches and twigs or a head piece made from found glass, whatever the medium the artists religious influences come across loud and clear. You will find pieces by well known artists such as Romare Bearden,  and others you may not have heard of, yet.   It is worth getting the free pre- recorded tour headphones because you'll get a short bio of the artists and their influences.
This exhibit is perfect for most although there is a large crochet tent by artist Xenobia Bailey, (see above)
at the center of the gallery that begs to be entered but you'll have to keep the little ones at bay.  This exhibit is up through May 26th, 2013.
The Museum of Biblical Art
1865 Broadway at 61st

Clementine Hunter (1886/1887-1988)
Baby Jesus and Three Wise Men, c. 1960

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stephen Antonakos: Pillows 1962-1963

An Artist's Life, February 17, 1963
Stephen Antonakos
  At the Lori Bookstein Fine Art gallery the  work of Greek artist  Stephen Antonakos is on view up until March 16th, and is well worth the visit. He created this series in the early Sixties and has a Pop Art look.   The work is all pillows and pillow drawings that are embellished with items like nails, pipes, dolls, marbles, lights even a ferris wheel!  Many times the objects sprout out of the center or are wrapped up all around the pillow.  Are we looking into the remnants of a dream he has had?   You and your kids may find yourselves having some interesting conversations about dreams and art.  The exhibit is  perfect for all.  

Lori Bookstein Fine Art 138 tenth ave between
Untitled Pillow, March 4th 1963
Stephen Antonakos
18th and 19th street

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nancy Dwyer : Painting & Sculpture, 1982-2012

Long Island City, located in Queens, New York,  is the home of  The Fisher Landau Center for Art.   The museum was established  by Emily Fisher Landau, a patron of the arts with a passion for modern art and collecting it.  Formerly a parachute harness factory,  the museum  boasts  three spacious loft floors  filled with its permanent collection of modern art.  The list of artists represented  includes Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Jenny Holzer, Ed Ruscha and Cy Twombly, to name just a few.   The fee is always complimentary and the staff is welcoming and helpful.  The current exhibition is of the work of Nancy Dwyer, one of the founding member of the Pictures Generation,  an art movement that originated in the mid 70's.  Using various mediums, the artists explored  ways in which media saturated our culture and daily lives with selected "language."  The show "Painting & Sculpture, 1982-2012," is on view through April 7th.  Perfect for all.
The Fisher Landau Center for the Art
38-27 30th street Long Island City, New York
hours: Thursday-Monday 12-5
wheelchair accessible
Images:  left: "Big Ego II, 2011," "The ME Block, 1988"  Nancy Dwyer
right:  "ME, MAN, MEN, MEAN, 1987,"  Nancy Dwyer
credit: E. Suarez

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ionic: divine

                                     This Ionic capital  is divine.  Spotted on 108th street.
                                                                         -Edna Suarez


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hendrik Kerstens

Aluminium, March 2012 , Hendrik Kerstens
60 x 50 inch pigment print
Edition of 5 
   Currently at the Danziger Gallery  the photography of Hendrik Kerstens is on view.  His life work has been taking portraits of his daughter, Paula.  The images reference  painting in the style of the Dutch Masters.  He uses unexpected materials such as tin foil,  plastic bags, and table napkins to accessorize her with hats and neck ware.  Many of the "hats" are styled a la 17 th century but the girl exudes a modern  self-possession. You can almost see her wink as she stares back at the camera.  She is letting you in on the whimsy.   Thankfully the images are printed in large format which shows of a masterful control of lighting and printing.  The total effect is addictive as each image reveals variations in mood and method.  Perfect for all.  Hurry, the work is up until February 16th.
Danziger Gallery 527 West 23rd street