By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, May 21, 2018
There’s a lot happening in NYC’s art scene — but what should you see first? Art Break has your answers right here! If you’re a history buff, there’s The Frick Collection’s show on Canova and his statue of George Washington. The artist was recommended by none other than Thomas Jefferson to create a sculpture of our first president. The resulting work only lasted ten years but its influence was felt for more than a century. Another exhibit about history is at the Austrian Cultural Forum, with Manfred Bockelmann and his drawings showing faces of child victims of The Holocaust. For people interested in urban planning and architecture, the art of Bodys Isek Kingelez at MoMA will expand understanding of what a city is and could be, as expressed through detailed models.
If you need an energy boost after a couple of hours in museums and galleries, check out Nicelle Beauchene Gallery and Andrew Masullo’s colorful abstract shapes. Anyone who has ever wondered about the stories behind the objects on display in an exhibit will find the Museum at FIT’s summer show, Fashion Unraveled, an engrossing experience. Finally, fans of mid-century American art will enjoy a dual gallery showing of Al Held’s early work. It’s an ideal way to experience the excitement of the early years of abstract expressionism.
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT): Fashion Unraveled (May 25 – November 17). This new show approaches fashion from a different angle, focusing on the history of a garment through its alterations, repairs, or incomplete in some way. The choices made by designers and owners are explored and discussed, giving context to each exhibit.
The Museum at FIT
Seventh Avenue at 27th Street
Hours: Tu – Fri: 12-8, Sat: 10-5
The Frick Collection: Canova’s George Washington (May 23 – September 23) is a fascinating piece of art history. Canova’s statue of George Washington was completed in 1821 for display in the State House of North Carolina but destroyed by a fire ten years later. This exhibit showcases preparatory sketches, drawings and engravings, as well as the life size plaster cast of the statue, being shown in America for the first time.
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street
Hours: Tu – Sat: 10-6, Sun: 11-5
Admission: Adults: $22, Seniors (65 and over): $17, Students with current id: $12, Members: Free, Children under 10 years of age not admitted
On the first Friday of every month (except September and January), admission is free from 6-9pm. On Wednesdays admission is pay-what-you-wish from 2-6pm.
MoMA: Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams (May 26, 2018 – January 1, 2019) is a retrospective spanning the late 1970s to the artist’s death in 2015. Kingelez was known for complex creations made from formal and found materials, often referencing the urban environment of African cities. His imaginary buildings may be fanciful but by placing them within a clearly defined space, he opens a conversation about development, urban planning, and what local populations need to achieve a good work/life balance.
11 West 53rd Street (public entrance at 18 West 54th Street)
Hours: Sat – Thurs: 10:30-5:30, Fri: 10:30-8
Admission: Adults: $25, Seniors: $18, full-time students (with ID): $14, Children under 16 years of age: Free
On Fridays from 4-8pm, admission is free
Austrian Cultural Forum: Manfred Bockelmann: Drawing Against Oblivion (May 23 – June 15) are large scale charcoal portraits of children murdered by the Nazi regime from 1941-45. Using historical photographs as a reference, Bockelmann draws these young faces with tenderness and sensitivity. At 6pm on opening night of the exhibit, there will be a film screening about the artist and motivations for creating these works; click here for information.
Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street
Hours: 10-6 Daily
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery: Andrew Masullo (May 24 – June 24) gives the gallery visitor a selection of strongly defined shapes and colors, that project movement through their off-balance placement. The energy of these abstracts pulses off the canvas and into the mind, like a slug of Red Bull.
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery
327 Broome Street
Hours: Wed – Sun: 11-6
An unusual gallery collaboration is currently happening in New York that promises to be one of the highlights of the late spring season. Nathalie Karg Gallery, Al Held: Paris to New York, 1952-1953 (May 2 – June 15) and Cheim & Read Al Held: Paris to New York, 1954 – 1959 (May 17 – July 6) are displaying abstract canvases from the early years of the artist, that show the evolution of his thinking, technique, and materials. Let’s hope that some curator from one of our local institutions is inspired to plan a long overdue exhibition of this American master.
291 Grand Street
Hours: Wed – Sun: 11-6
Cheim & Read
547 West 25th Street
Hours: Tue – Sat: 10-6
Cover: Bodys Isek Kingelez: Kinshasa la Belle, detail (1991); paper, paperboard, and other various materials, 24 13/16 × 21 5/8 × 31 1/2″ (63 × 55 × 80 cm). CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection, Geneva. © Bodys Isek Kingelez / Photo: Maurice Aeschimann. Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection.