Museums
Perfecting the Storm

Perfecting the Storm

Local photos memorialize the historic Hurricane Sandy A dramatic shot by Harvey Stein shows the twisted and mangled Jet Star Roller Coaster in Seaside Hts., N. J., standing several feet in water. In another by Catherine Nance, desperate notices of lost cats are scribbled across a door in Staten Island, while Paul Moakley’s image of...
Old School Into New School

Old School Into New School

Out of Hand presents the Future in rebooted craft museum Columbus Circle is as crowded as it ever was, but the past decade’s renovations with fountains, benches, and plantings make it a prettier place to be. The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) moved to the south side of the Circle in 2008, with a mission...
Working Class Art Hero

Working Class Art Hero

Spiegelman’s comix and more in local exhibition Much has been written about Maus, Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel that recounts the harrowing tale of Spiegelman’s parents’ experience and survival in Auschwitz. Much has been written about Spiegelman, the New Yorker magazine artist who produced challenging covers that addressed real New York issues. The Feb...
Not Your Grandma’s Quilt

Not Your Grandma’s Quilt

Alt-Quilters meld art and craft in local show  If you think quilts are “mumsy” guess again.  In the jewel box sized American Folk Art Museum, a few historical and traditional quilts hang on the walls of the “alt_quilts” exhibit, but they are only there to highlight work by three contemporary artists who use quilting techniques...
Going Dutch at The Frick

Going Dutch at The Frick

Classic arts and classic pieces show locally “Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals,” a jewel of an exhibition, represents the collaboration of two gems of institutions: the Frick and the Mauritshuis, both of which showcase small but world-class collections in stately mansions. While the Mauritshuis undergoes a renovation and expansion of its home in The Hague, it...
Arts That Unites

Arts That Unites

The UN and Gabarron Foundation bring international art to local attention  The remarkable institution that parented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 65 years ago and has been campaigning for human rights ever since—the UN, of course—will be turning 70 in 2015. To celebrate, they’ve mounted a superb exhibit of art culled from their massive...
Before the Revolution

Before the Revolution

 Asia Society’s “Iran Modern” show takes us back in history   With Iran’s nuclear program and new president in the news, taking a step back to the country’s art prior to 1979 may enlighten the current headlines. “Iran Modern” at Asia Society includes pieces of breathtaking beauty as well as provocative religious and political commentary....
Take the Grand Tour

Take the Grand Tour

Thrilling to the Met’s merge of painting and music  By pairing Pachelbel’s Canon in D with images of men and women struggling up a foggy mountainside in The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, Werner Herzog created an unforgettable portrait of the eternity of human suffering.  Its effectiveness drew from the interplay between music and image: the...
Edward Hopper at the Movies 

Edward Hopper at the Movies 

How a mansion on a hill took modern sensibility from canvas to screen   In the Museum of Modern Art’s current exhibit “American Modern: Hopper to O’Keefe” viewers can survey the creation of modern sensibility and realize its impact from one medium to another. If the art of cinematography is, as film critic Armond White succinctly...
Triumph of an Iconoclast

Triumph of an Iconoclast

Llyn Foulkes’s brilliant retrospective at New Museum Among the first works in Llyn Foulkes’ current retrospective at the New Museum is a video of the artist/musician singing and playing his “Machine,” a home-built contraption of car horns, cow bells, drums, and xylophone. Ornery, cynical, rebellious, and most of all honest, his music sets the tone...
Creative Capstone

Creative Capstone

The monumental El Anatsui exhibition at the Brooklyn The fifth floor rotunda of the Brooklyn Museum is used to great effect as the entrance to “Gravity and Grace: The Monumental Works of El Anatsui,” a memorable exhibition of works by El Anatsui. The Ghanian-born artist has taught and worked in Nsukka, Nigeria since 1975, when...
Rematch: The Mad Men of Art

Rematch: The Mad Men of Art

Remembering how Munch and Warhol matched wits at Scandinavia House At first glance the pairing of Andy Warhol and Edvard Munch seems an unlikely coupling. However, as expertly explained by the curators at Scandinavia House, these two artists shared a startling number of common interests. The exhibition, “Munch and Warhol, and Multiple Image” is an...
Le Corbusier’s People and Places

Le Corbusier’s People and Places

Exposing the soul of a thinker at MoMA  The MOMA’s exhibit of Le Corbusier, “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” opens on a defensive note. Jean-Louis Cohen, the show’s curator, wants to “re-skew Le Corbusier from his bad reputation of constructing generic buildings.” Cohen aims to prove that the Swiss architect, often blamed for...
Pop Meets Expressionism

Pop Meets Expressionism

Warhol and Munch: Outsiders together at last  Andy Warhol was a great champion of the Outsider: is it any surprise that he eventually made his own version of that most alienated piece of art, The Scream? It’s all a little bit surreal, of course, but right now Scandinavia House is exhibiting a series of Warhol...
Punks Jump Up

Punks Jump Up

Culture warp at the Met’s “Chaos to Culture” show  What punk? An extravaganza prefaced by a non-smelly replication of the club CBGB’s toilet, “Punk: Chaos to Couture” is the Metropolitan Museums of Art’s most recent nod to what used to be termed popular culture.  Here, go directly to couture despite some mood-inducing references, in piped-in...
Kitaj Under Cover

Kitaj Under Cover

New exhibit judges an artist by his books When I visit someone’s home I am drawn inevitably towards their bookshelf. You can always learn something about a person by the books they read. The idea of creating a portrait through books, or to be precise, through the covers of books that someone has read is the...
Making ‘Little’ Magazines Big

Making ‘Little’ Magazines Big

The Grolier Club presents the history of intellect Talk of turn-of-the-century little magazines usually revolves around Modernist publications such as Wyndham Lewis’s Blast, T. S. Eliot’s Criterion, and The Little Review (motto: “Making no compromise with the public taste”), in which Ulysses was serialized. The Grolier Club’s latest exhibition, “American Little Magazines of the 1890s:...
Ride On Time

Ride On Time

A meditation on the nature of time and history at Grand Central Station What do you think passes through someone’s mind as they dash though Grand Central Station? I would wager that the most common thought is something along the lines of  “What time does my train leave?” or “Will I be on time?” Time...
Wearable Art

Wearable Art

Impressionists, Fashion and Modernity at the Met A big show founded on a simple idea, “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” is like taking a gander at the walk-in closet of some very elegant people, only they’re expecting you. The dresses, also a few men’s frock coats, are there, as well as hats, corsets, even dressing table...
Loot of the World

Loot of the World

Fate of Detroit’s premier art museum serves warning to the nation The collective spirit of financially beleaguered Detroiters mirrors a declaration from Celie in The Color Purple: “I’m poor, black, my situation is ugly, but God, I’m still here.” While the people stay put in Motown, will the city’s art museum survive a fiscal meltdown...
Doing Time in Manhattan

Doing Time in Manhattan

The New Museum’s 1993 show narrows the past The New Museum has put together a time capsule: a collection of dozens of works produced in New York in the year 1993. If you were a teenager in 1993, the exhibit “1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star” will probably act on you like a...