TIO NYC: "Best In Show" & More Best Shows (+ A Few Neat Places To Eat)!

“Best in Show,” the movie, is a comedy/mockumentary by the one-and-only Christopher Guest. The laugh riot is a behind-the-scenes look into the highly competitive and cut-throat world of dog shows through the eyes of a group of ruthlessly competitive dog owners.

At “Best in Show,” the exhibition, now up at Fotografiska, over 100 photos explore the unbreakable bond between humans and their pets. Images show dogs in a variety of situations: getting baths, posing, partying, shaking their heads, even dressing up in fancy “cones of shame.” Cats, rats, bunnies, birds, reptiles, turtles and fish get their moment in the spotlight, too, at this exhibition on view in the Flatiron District (22nd and Park) through January 2024.

“Best in Show” was one of our stops on our forward march through New York’s robust fall cultural scene. A must-see and deep dive into the role our furry (and feathered) friends play in our culture.

Go here for more about TIO in NYC.

Image, courtesy Fotografiska.

For the record, Fotografiska is a Stockholm-based photography museum 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.

Images, Fotografiska

Museum of Modern Art, Ed Ruscha & Picasso:

ED RUSCHA/ NOW THEN, through January 13, 2024

The man who became a quintessential Los Angeles artist is today widely regarded as one of the world’s most important mark-makers.

Image courtesy MOMA.

“I don’t have any Seine River like Monet,” Ed Ruscha once said. “I’ve just got US 66 between Oklahoma and Los Angeles.” ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN features over 200 works — in mediums including painting, drawing, prints, photography, artist’s books, film, and installation — that make use of everything from gunpowder to chocolate. Exploring Ruscha’s landmark contributions to postwar American art as well as lesser-known aspects of his more than six-decade career, the exhibition offers new perspectives on a body of work that has influenced generations of artists, architects, designers, and writers.

“In 1956, Ruscha left his hometown of Oklahoma City and drove along interstate highway 66 to study commercial art in Los Angeles, where he drew inspiration from the city’s architecture, colloquial speech, and popular culture. Ruscha has recorded and transformed familiar subjects—whether roadside gasoline stations or the 20th Century Fox logo—often revisiting motifs, sites, or words years later. Tracing shifts in the artist’s means and methods over time, ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN underscores the continuous reinvention that has defined his work,” wrote MOMA.

In short, Rusha’s sharp, often deadpan eye was (and continues to be) inspired by familiar images such as architectural gems, the flotsam and jetsam of consumer culture, landscapes, and/or font-specific words, elevating those subjects from our Everyday, the common place, the humble  – from gas stations to sunsets to exclamations like OOF – to iconic status. Most notably, Ruscha forged a link between verbal with the visual t become an icon himself in the Left Coast Pop Art Scene.

Image, MOMA

Image, MOMA.

Go here for a full review from The New York Times.

Picasso in Fountainebleau, through February 17, 2024:

“The Museum of Modern Art presents Picasso in Fontainebleau, a focused exhibition examining three months in a legendary artist’s career, when he created an astonishingly varied body of work between July and September 1921 in the town of Fontainebleau, France.

“This exhibition reunites four monumental works on canvas, both versions of Picasso’s Three Musicians and Three Women at the Spring, with the other paintings, drawings, etchings, and pastels he made in Fontainebleau. Encompassing both Cubist and classicizing styles, these works are presented together for the first time since their creation in Picasso’s makeshift garage studio and complemented by never-before-seen photographs and archival documents,” wrote MOMA.

Source: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York · Image: Pablo Picasso. “Three Women at the Spring”. Fontainebleau, summer 1921. Oil on canvas, 6′ 8 1/4″ x 68 1/2″ (203.9 x 174 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan D. Emil. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pablo Picasso, “Three Musicians”. Fontainebleau, summer 1921. Oil on canvas, 6′ 7″ x 7′ 3 3/4″ (200.7 x 222.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The show astounds and amazes for the variegated body of work produced over three short months on the artist’s first (and last) visit to the town where the brand new dad and his then wife, dancer Olga Khokhlova, rented a villa at at 33 boulevard Gambetta (now 33 boulevard du Général Leclerc).

The Spanish-born artist loved his role as an outsider in France, one who could never resist bending cultural codes anyway and creating works in radically different styles to épater les bourgeois.

Picasso sketched the home’s rooms and garden, along with t=ouching portraits of his wife and son. The Picassos and their guests also snapped photographs of the building and their activities there, many of which are on display for the first time.

In his garage as studio, Picasso created the Cubist masterpiece, “Three Musicians,” with its colorful geometric forms, alongside the classical “Three Women at the Spring” with obvious references to Greco-Roman antiquity. Eye-dazzling images that are six-feet high.

For the first time in more than a century, these works are reunited to jaw-dropping effect.

Picasso’s decision to paint these works “virtually simultaneously and on a grand scale … continues to disrupt expectations of artistic evolution and stylistic consistency,” the show’s curator Anne Umland said in a press release.

Neat eats:

Barney Greengrass is the place both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have at one time or another described as “the best deli in New York.”

Image, courtesy The New York Times.

It all started in 1908 and the beat (and bagels) goes on…

Thank heaven – and the Sturgeon King.

“When my grandfather, Barney Greengrass, first opened his doors in Harlem in 1908, he had but one desire – to operate a ‘food store for those who demand the best.’

“In 1929, he moved the store to its present location on Amsterdam Avenue. His customers followed him and his popularity grew. Soon all of New York knew him as “The Sturgeon King.”

“Today, the store on Amsterdam Avenue at 86th Street retains the “Greengrass” character, looking much like it did back in Barney’s day. After three generations, our family is still dedicated to our founder’s original aim; to cater to those who demand the best by serving the finest foods available. Our customers are our friends, traveling from all over the world to feast on delicacies that have become a New York way of life,” explains Barney’s grandson Gary, who operates the classic establishment today.

“The Only Restaurant on the Upper West Side That Hasn’t Been Bettered Anywhere on Earth,” trumpets a headline from Bon Appetit.

Barney Greengrass is the store “where Philip Roth ate chopped herring,” proclaimed The New York Times Style section.

Go here for more.

M friend gorged on a classic Reuben, a grilled sandwich featuring corned beef on rye bread. Finger-lickin’ good… (if not so good on the waistline.)

Celestine, Brooklyn:

A view of Celestine, courtesy Pinterest.

Here is the down low from New York Magazine –  with which we concur:

“Celestine is that rare thing — a delicious, sophisticated restaurant with a heart-stopping view of the Manhattan skyline across the glittering East River. A collaboration among partners whose other independent ventures include Brooklyn hot spots like Rucola, Grand Army, Fausto (and the Pebble Bar at Rockefeeller Center), the place is upscale but thoroughly unpretentious, with the décor suitably restrained in order to direct all attention to what’s beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows. Well, almost all: The menu is equally compelling, offering appealing riffs on Mediterranean, North African, and Middle Eastern dishes, and similarly seasoned cocktails, like a turmeric gin and tonic. The shortrib manti make a delectable dumpling appetizer, and the branzino is as fresh and well-cooked as you always hope the ubiquitous fish will be, though it seldom is. Frankly, though, even the simplest combination of housemade za’atar flatbread, a leafy green salad with pumpkin seeds and kasseri cheese, and a glass of Spanish red is all you really need for an incredible meal…”

Celestine is located about 50 feet from the East River at 1 John Street. The restaurant boasts a big outdoor patio with panoramic views of the city, the Manhattan Bridge –and all the wedding parties in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Our party of three dined on small plates including lamb skewers, beet salad, cod croquettes and a larger plate of prawn risotto. We were too full for desert, which would have been, well, sweet, but too much for satisfied tummies.

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