TIO NYC: Chelsea, Music at Sands Point Preserve, Fotografiska!

TIO NYC: Chelsea, Music at Sands Point Preserve, Fotografiska!

And the beat goes on. Stops in New York over the past couple of days included galleries in Chelsea, The Shed in Hudson Yards, Sands Point Preserve for music, and Fotografiska near Gramercy Park.

Go here for more on TIO NYC.

Since the 1990s, the Chelsea gallery scene has twinned with the New York art world, despite the fact other ‘hoods – the Upper East Side, the Lower East, Midtown, and Soho – have gallery scenes. The sceny place is opening up again. Below are a few highlights.

Hauser & Wirth: Philip Guston through October 30:

“Philip Guston, 1969–1979,” is a show at the space (which has represented the artist’s estate since 2015), is dedicated to the final decade of the artist’s career. During that time the former kingpin of the post-WWII Abstract Expressionist movement shifted to an unprecedented figurative language, the work suggesting the painter’s tropism for Renaissance masters, but it is also about fear and loathing for himself and for the world at large.

To that point, the (relatively crowded) space features the artist’s controversial cartoonish works from his KKK series – images that caused four museums to postpone a long-planned retrospective of the artist’s work last year in light of heightened racial tensions.

“The timing for ‘Philip Guston: 1969–1979’ is urgent because of the art’s relevance to our cultural context today,” Marc Payot, the gallery’s president, told Artnet News. “The racial reckoning and widespread calls for social justice that have rightly brought so many Americans into the streets over the past couple years — particularly since the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others— echo the context in which Guston made these late works. Yes, these are challenging works with painful imagery that calls to mind deep traumas, but at the gallery, the paintings speak for the themselves. Guston’s take on the human condition and his voice for social justice are by now manifest.”

The Guston’s are beautifully painted –  but hard to take, like today’s headlines.

There are also about a dozen other paintings in which Guston himself, in an existential crisis that ascends on many as they contemplate their own mortality, is the main subject.

Avery Singer, also at Hauser & Wirth through October 30:

Avery Singer, Wojak Battle Scene (Study) (2021). Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.© Avery Singer Photo: Lance Brewer.

Named after iconic artist Milton Avery, Avery Singer found her medium (and groove) following an experiment with SketchUp, a 3D modeling program used by her peers to design exhibition spaces. She then airbrushed acrylic paint and liquid rubber on to that digital infrastructure to create nuanced, layered, dramatic works.

Singer’s new paintings explore disparate themes: 19th-century European painting motifs, also, according to the gallery: “romantic notions of intoxication, stereotypes surrounding bohemian artists, and icons of contemporary digital culture – that amalgamate past and present, clarify any ambiguity, and propose escape from our quotidian reality.”

David Zwirner, Alice Neel, The Early Years, through October 16:

The Neel retrospective focuses on haunted streetscapes, dark interiors, dreamscapes and caricatures of family, lovers and friends from the 1930s through 1950s, a period when the artist first lived in Greenwich Village, then Spanish Harlem, before moving in the early 1960s to the Upper West Side.

Every wrenching image manages to draw emotional detail from her subject. In the end, the work is heartbreaking, yet uplifting (for the authentic feelings that come through) by a brilliant, passionate activist artist who paints her heart onto each canvas.

Winston Wachter Fine Art, Andreas Kocks, Heavy Metal, through October 30:

German artist Andreas Kocks works in meticulously crafted installations of cut paper, metal, and wood. He begins each of his pieces as a series of drawings before rendering the works in his signature paper or metal form.

The artist’s lively, abstract sculptures showcase precision-cut lines and provocative negative spaces that draw inspiration from the built environment and the natural world. And, perhaps unconsciously (though in a way more understated execution) from Frank Stella’s over-the-top, cut-out shapes in relief.

The Shed at Hudson Yards, Fragile Futures, through December 19:

According to the Hudson Yards website:

“The Shed, commissions original works of art, across all disciplines, for all audiences. The Shed brings together established and emerging artists in fields ranging from hip hop to classical music, painting to digital media, theater to literature, and sculpture to dance in an unprecedented movable structure that adapts to support all kinds of inventive work under one roof.

“The Shed is located where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, adjacent to 15 Hudson Yards and bordering the Public Square and Gardens.”

The show we saw was called “Drift, which imagine a future when humanity, nature, and technology seamlessly intertwine. Sometimes ethereal, sometimes hard-edged, but always intriguing. Except for the performance of the “Drifters,” which felt like the monolith in “2001, A Space Odyssey, had grand-babies who lost their way.

The film bit of that surrealist happening was way more compelling than the performance piece itself which reminded me in its slow pace towards nowhere of the “Woman in the Dunes.” The 1964 film was about an entomologist on vacation, trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for the community.

In other words, mind-numbing esoterica for the sake of esoterica.

Sands Point Preserve Conservancy: Four Seasons in Music, Connected Play:

Remember the good ol’ days, pre-Covid, when people lucky enough to have a ticket attended no-miss, world-class concerts at the Mai home in Telluride?

Two of the performers for Musicfest’s 14th season in 2019 were the husband and wife duo of Kathryn Lockwood and Yousif Sheronik. (Pictured above.)

Sheronick’s unique skills in both World and Classical music have led him to perform with a diverse range of ensembles and other world-class musicians including Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Laurie Anderson, Ethos Percussion Group, Lark Quartet, Silk Road Ensemble, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Glen Velez, and Paul Winter. His many musical influences are highlighted in duoJalal, his venture with violist and wife Kathryn Lockwood.

Hailed as a violist of exceptional talents formerly of the internationally renowned Lark Quartet, also in 2019, Lockwood became artistic director of the “Four Seasons@Sands Point” concert series on Long Island.

On October 10, we were privileged to be invited to the dazzling “East Egg” venue (thank you F. Scott ) in Port Washington, New York, known as the Sands Point Preserve, for a concert in Castle Gould, a venue that once served as the stable, carriage house, and servants’ quarters and now houses the Visitor Center, Great Hall, and a 7,000-square-foot New York State-certified sound stage.

According to Lockwood’s program notes:

“Every piece in this eclectic program – from traditional works by Bach and Beethoven to the more adventurous repertoire – focuses on communication and conversation – on the interplay between the artists and the audience who are physically present and participating in this live concert…”Play’ is at the core of this performance.”

The bravura musicians included Deborah Buck, violin; Charles Yang, violin; Kathryn Lockwood, viola;
Christine Lamprea, cello; and Yousif Sheronick, percussion. The pendulum of Lockwood’s beautifully choreographed program swung from Bach to Yang’s rocking violin original, “Loopy. The improv between the charismatic pairing of Sheronick and Yang could have gone on forever.

A rapturous concert in a Gatsby setting. Who could ask for anything more?

About Sands Point:”Preserving the Past, Serving the Future”:

The Sands Point Preserve on the original Gould/Guggenheim Estate embodies the grandeur and elegance that defined the Gold Coast period of the early 20th century, when prominent American families, read Robber Barons, built great mansions on large estates as summer retreats along the Long Island Sound.

The Sands Point peninsula was in fact the famed “East Egg” in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

Today, the 216-acre park, including its historic mansions and the Phil Dejana Learning Center, is owned by Nassau County, NY, but is maintained and operated by the irrepressible Beth Horn and her team as the Sands Point Preserve Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Conservancy provides year-round educational and cultural programs, seasonal celebrations, mansion tours, fitness activities, as well as private/corporate event services and film/TV location facilities.

Fotografiska at 22nd Street and Park Avenue:

Fotografiska is a Stockholm-based photography museum now located on Park Avenue South, The new art and cultural center lives and works very well in a Renaissance Revival–style former church mission house, taking up all of the 45,000 square feet spread across the six floors of the handsome, historic landmark.

“All six stories of the landmarked building have been updated and transformed by architecture and interiors firm CetraRuddy to give the building a new life. Upon receiving the project, Theresa Genovese, who led the renovations, traveled with members of her team to see the Fotografiska space in Stockholm. ‘We wanted to really understand who Fotografiska was,” Genovese explains. “We [wanted to] take this wonderful building from the late 1800s and marry [it with the identity of Fotografiska]. [The founders] want people to have conversations, to bring their drinks up, move around, and engage and have dialogues with the artwork,’” wrote Architectural Digest about the venue.

We started on the top floor to view models on Telluride regional local and iconic artist Maya Lin, whose work has been displayed at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

People walk through a group of dead trees planted in Madison Square Park as part of designer and architect Maya Lin’s Ghost Forestart installation, New York… The sculptural work made of dead trees represents the effects of extreme weather events related to climate change, sea-level rise and saltwater infiltration; the work will be on view through mid-November 2021. (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)

Lin’s haunting Ghost Forest, a multimedia exhibition of photographs, sketches, models, and a VR experience documenting the creative process of the artist as she conceptualized and installed the project. The show derives its name from an eponymous natural phenomenon: vast tracts of forestland that have died off due to extreme weather events related to climate change, as well as sea-level rise and saltwater infiltration.

The haunting Ghost Forest was commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy, where the installation stands watch over people returning to the beautiful greenery.

With over 120 images spanning Andy Warhol’s legendary career, including many rare and never-before-seen images, Andy Warhol: Photo Factory offers a distinctly intimate visual diary of the artist’s life and work, which included numerous luminaries from Elizabeth Taylor to Liza Minelli and Grace Jones and lots of male nudes.

Good, but much more exciting for us was Ruth Orkin: Expressions of Life, the sister show to the Warhol.

American Girl inItaly-1951-©-Ruth-Orkin-Photo-Archive.

Per Fotografiska:

Expressions of Life is an emotional, inspiring, and romantic chronicle of the pioneering photographer and filmmaker Ruth Orkin. Featuring landmark photographs from her work across Hollywood, New York City, Israel and Italy, the exhibition celebrates the Orkin’s centennial, and showcases her as a master of intimacy, warmth, and boldness behind the camera.

From photographs of her monumental cross country bicycle trip at age 17 and behind-the-scenes of MGM Studios as the first “messenger girl” in 1941, to European adventures and spontaneous, cinematic New York City moments – Expressions of Life spotlights some of her most renowned photographs: American Girl in Italy (1951), Bernstein in Green Room, Carnegie Hall, NYC, (1950), and Einstein at Princeton luncheon, NJ (1953), among others.

Could have something to do with the artist’s early interest (and job) in film, but Orkin’s images have a cinematographic, authentically felt feel. The magic of her work has to do with a pile-up of variables like the closeness to her subjects, the composition of same within the frame, the lighting, and the fact that her images are grounded in slice-of-life storytelling that made us feel the joy Orkin felt in the moment. A must.

  • Jo Shernoff
    Posted at 04:36h, 14 October

    Sus, thank you for this wonderful piece about art and culture in NY that most of us would will be seeing only through your eyes. NY is indeed alive and well and your visit of these wonderful venues demonstrate that in spades. You are my connection to the world and for that I thank you. You have incredible spirit and knowledge!
    Lv, Jo

    • Susan Viebrock
      Posted at 06:00h, 14 October

      Thank you Jo. So happy to share the fact New York. New York, it’s a wonderful town.

  • Fredric Gruder
    Posted at 08:52h, 15 October

    Wow a whirlwind of activity during your visit. We need you here (NYC) more often.