Tag Archives: Tim Burton

An Afternoon at the MOMA

This weekend, in between the Biblioball and a ride with the Levys on a subway train from 1931, G and I spent an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art. It was overcrowded and hectic but the art on the walls is well worth battling the crowds to see! I’m a member so we had no problem strolling into the Tim Burton exhibit, but if you’re not a member be sure to buy your timed ticket in advance because they have been selling out.

The Tim Burton retrospective is the first exhibit of its kind celebrating the work of this mad genius, and a mad genius he most certainly is! From the quirky sketches of his early career to the ephemera related to his more recent films, Burton’s art reveals the workings of a very unusual imagination. The imagery is almost always unsettling even when it’s humorous and the thought process of the artist remains opaque. I came away from the exhibit admiring his talent and creativity but also feeling a little bit afraid of Tim Burton. I think this segment of Mars Attacks truly epitomizes the macabre slant of his imagination. This sketch is on the lighter end:

Tim Burton Sketch

Tim Burton Sketch

It was interesting to walk through the exhibit on the Bauhaus School directly after seeing the Burton exhibit; much of Burton’s imagery seems at least tangentially related to the art that originated at Bauhaus.

The exhibition gathers over four hundred works that reflect the broad range of the school’s productions, including industrial design, furniture, architecture, graphics, photography, textiles, ceramics, theater design, painting, and sculpture, many of which have never before been exhibited in the United States. It includes not only works by the school’s famous faculty and best-known students—including Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Lucia Moholy, Lilly Reich, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gunta Stölzl—but also a broad range of works by innovative but less well-known students, suggesting the collective nature of ideas.

We also wandered up to the 6th floor for a members-only preview of the new Gabriel Orozco exhibit (now open to the public!). I think the curator made a mistake in placing some of the more questionable pieces at the start of the exhibit; when I saw that the empty shoe-box next to the guard was “art” I considered not venturing any further. I recommend forgiving Orozco for both the shoe-box and the subsequent yogurt caps and heading into the center of the exhibit, where you can see my favorite piece- a Citroën automobile surgically reduced to two-thirds its normal width.

orozco

Though certainly one of the more expensive and crowded museums in the city, the MOMA remains an essential stop if you’re looking for the the truly remarkable art of the last century. You should also read my earlier post for some smaller galleries worth checking out this winter.

Stay tuned for more upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the latest!

This is ART

Now that we are truly in the grip of the holiday season it’s time to celebrate what our fine city has to offer; this year it’s gifting us all sorts of marvelous ART!

Peter Fischli and David Weiss have a new exhibit showing at the Matthew Marks Gallery until Jan. 16th:

Sun, Moon and Stars is an encyclopedic accumulation of 800 magazine advertisements culled from hundreds of international periodicals. Begun as a project commissioned by a Swiss corporation for its annual report, the finished project is displayed in thirty-eight wood and glass tables, totaling 330 feet in length. A dizzying redaction of late capitalism in various chromatic and themed groupings, the ads are shown in a specific order that exploits the formal, narrative and color similarities between advertisements. Among the hundreds of paired ads, the viewer will discover the curious association between the color schemes in an ad for private airplanes and another for cat food. These juxtapositions guide the viewer toward many interpretations, following a specific narrative.

The Brooklyn Museum’s excellent photography exhibit ‘Who Shot Rock and Roll‘ is up until Jan. 31st. Here’s a taste of the iconic images in store for visitors:

Michael Putland (British, born 1947). Mick Jagger, Philadelphia, 1982 (printed 1990s). Gelatin silver print. Collection of Michael Putland

Michael Putland (British, born 1947). Mick Jagger, Philadelphia, 1982 (printed 1990s). Gelatin silver print. Collection of Michael Putland

NPR also did a nice story on the exhibit if you want a bit more background going in…

For anyone who didn’t experience NYC in the ’90s, you have a chance to see a fragment of the past with two exhibits exploring the work of Stuart Sherman, the performance artist who died of AIDS in 2001. The New York Times describes both exhibits in detail in this article; after you have the back story see the art for yourself at the 80WSE Gallery and Participant Inc.

Though it’s never become a separate category of art (like photography), lithography has been hugely influential over the years. Now until Dec. 12th you can see how a broad range of artists used the medium at FIAF. Their exhibit, The Great Masters of Lithography: Vintage Posters of Calder, Chagall, Dufy, Léger, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, and Others, explores the way “unique and visually striking lithographs, which were beautifully used as posters to promote the artists’ work.” Here’s one stunning example:

Picasso Lithograph

Picasso Lithograph

For a look at NYC through someone else’s eyes head over to Fuse Gallery to see Joshua Wildman’s beautiful photographs of the city that never sleeps. His strangely personal images of NY nightlife make the city seem at once wilder and also more vulnerable. Here’s one lovely shot:

Joshua Wildman Photo

Joshua Wildman Photo

For a more intimate set of images you can see Margaret de Lange’s Daughters at the Foley Gallery:

The images depict the two girls enjoying their summers out of doors, barefoot and often bare-bodied, in a dark and grainy, high-contrast style. In the photographs, the children seem to be a part of the nature around them, with dirt and grass clinging to knees and feet, with hoods of animal skin; they become like the creatures of Scandinavian folklore that, as de Lange explains, “were said to appear at twilight, and were always beautiful, but often evil as well.” And so we view the daughters, captured as they linger in a hazy half-darkness, in that time between day and night and an age between child and adult, exploring, discovering, and experiencing all of those little adventures which amount to growing up. These “creatures” exhibit their initiated ways through various little clues: dead birds hanging from string, bold stares from beneath fury capes. All together, the effect is unabashedly dark and earthy, yet calm and elegantly matter-of-fact.

Finally, it is perhaps unnecessary for me to mention the biggest retrospective of the season: Tim Burton at the MOMA. I doubt I need to say more so I’ll simply include this fun image:

Tim Burton

Tim Burton

On that note I will sign off but stay tuned for news of upcoming events, etc. Also remember to follow me on twitter for the latest!

We Call it ART!

There are so many marvelous exhibits on view at the moment (or about to be unveiled) that I’m devoting a post to art in The Big Red Apple!

A startling outdoor exhibit that explores the horrors of sex trafficking is on view in Washington Sq. Park until Sunday. The exhibit, titled Journey, is designed to take “viewers through a range of emotions that sex slaves feel throughout their journey, ranging from hope to desperation.”

Part of the Journey Exhibit

Part of the Journey Exhibit

The Journey exhibit includes the work of a variety of artists, one of whom has another show worth seeing at the moment; Anish Kapoor’s sculpture Memory is currently on view at the Guggenheim:

Utilizing Cor-Ten steel for the first time, the sculpture represents a milestone in Kapoor’s career. Memory’s thin steel skin, only eight millimeters thick, suggests a form that is ephemeral and unmonumental. The sculpture appears to defy gravity as it gently glances against the periphery of the gallery walls and ceiling. However, as a 24-ton volume, Memory is also raw, industrial, and foreboding. Positioned tightly within the gallery, Memory is never fully visible; instead the work fractures and divides the gallery into several distinct viewing areas. The division compels visitors to navigate the museum, searching for vantage points that offer only glimpses of the sculpture.

If monumental sculpture is your thing I highly recommend the Richard Serra show currently up at the Gagosian Gallery; no one does monumental quite like Serra and in the confined space of a gallery (as versus an outdoor installation) these two pieces, Blind Spot and Open Ended, are incredibly powerful.

Richard Serra "Open Ended"

Richard Serra "Open Ended"

Downtown Brooklyn is a bit more surreal than usual with The Public Art Fund’s installation of Double Take on the MetroTech campus.

Designed with the site’s specific conditions in mind, the artists have taken an element of the existing architecture or environment and subjected it to a process of modification or metamorphosis. Each work plays with fantasy and illusion to force a shift in perception, in turn creating a mirage of sorts.

I’m rather fond of this image and I plan to check out the piece, by Matt Irie and Dominick Talvacchio, sometime soon.

Matt Irie and Dominick Talvacchio "Lamppost"

Matt Irie and Dominick Talvacchio "Lamppost"

Finally, the big exhibit on the horizon is the first major retrospective of the works of Tim Burton, opening at the MOMA for member-only previews next week (I’m a member so shoot me an email if you want to tag along). The exhibit will include “artwork generated during the conception and production of his films, and highlights a number of unrealized projects and never-before-seen pieces, as well as student art, his earliest non-professional films, and examples of his work as a storyteller and graphic artist for non-film projects.”

That’s all for the moment; stay tuned for more upcoming events and belated reviews of some of my recent adventures! Also be sure to follow me on twitter for the very latest updates!