“Alvin Ailey was a trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance. AILEY traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with grace, strength, and unparalleled beauty. Told through Ailey’s own words and featuring evocative archival footage and interviews with those who intimately knew him, director Jamila Wignot weaves together a resonant biography of an elusive visionary.” — NEON
“Nothing prepares you for the experience of Ailey—the emotional, spiritual, aural, and visual overwhelm the senses. As a filmmaker, I am drawn to stories about artists like Alvin Ailey—innovators who tenaciously follow their own voice and in doing redefined their chosen forms. Ailey’s dances—celebrations of African American beauty and history—did more than move bodies; they opened minds. His dances were revolutionary social statements that staked a claim as powerful in his own time as in ours: Black life is central to the American story and deserves a central place in American art and on the world stage. A working-class, gay, Black man, he rose to prominence in a society that made every effort to exclude him. He transformed the world of dance and made space for those of us on the margins—space for black artists like Rennie Harris and me.
I am inspired by subjective documentary portraits like Tom Volf’s Maria by Callas and Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, and by the poetic cinematic approaches of films such as Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight and Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. My aim was to blend these influences into a sensorial, poetic documentary portrait.” — Jamila Wignot
AILEY was produced by Insignia Films and was acquired for distribution by NEON.
Closer to Life: Drawings and Works on Paper in the Marieluise Hessel Collection
“The exhibition of over 75 drawings and works on paper spans more than four decades of collecting by philanthropist, Marieluise Hessel, who co-founded the Center for Curatorial Studies in 1990. Closer to Life tracks a lifetime of collecting that spans periods of Hessel’s life spent in Germany, Mexico and the United States. Accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog that documents the entire collection of more than 300 works on paper, the exhibition presents highlights that reverberate with questions of gender, sexuality, race and politics often through personal expression and individual concerns. Revisiting different artistic periods and contexts, the exhibition draws out both contrasts and comparisons between artists, modes of representation and the continuing vitality of drawing (and paper) as an artistic medium.” — Hessel Museum of Art
“The title of the exhibition Closer to Life refers to the intimacy of the act of drawing itself. The works on view, which extend beyond drawing per se, echo this sense of intimacy in the issues that they confront, and speak to the continuing vitality of works on paper as an artistic medium,” said Tom Eccles, Closer to Life co-curator and CCS Bard Executive Director. “This marks the first time CCS Bard has conducted an in-depth survey of these works on paper from the Hessel collection, which Marieluise has and continues to be so drawn to for their complexity and personal expression.”
Installation images of Closer to Life: Drawings and Works on Paper in the Marieluise Hessel Collection, June 26 through October 17, 2021. Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
Closer to Life is curated by Tom Eccles and Amy Zion.
With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985
“The exhibition marks the first large-scale North American survey of the groundbreaking women-led Pattern and Decoration (P&D) movement of the 1970s and ’80s, showcasing major works from the Hessel Collection alongside significant loans to trace the movement’s reach in postwar American art.
With Pleasure examines the Pattern and Decoration movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental, or craft-based and thought to be categorically inferior to fine art. This expansive exhibition traces the movement’s broad reach in postwar American art by including artists widely regarded as comprising the core of the movement, such as Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Kim MacConnel, and Miriam Schapiro; artists whose contributions to Pattern and Decoration have been under recognized, such as Merion Estes, Dee Shapiro, Kendall Shaw, and Takako Yamaguchi; as well as artists who are not normally considered in the context of Pattern and Decoration, such as Emma Amos, Billy Al Bengston, Al Loving, and Betty Woodman.” — Hessel Museum of Art
Installation images of With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985, June 26 – November 28, 2021. Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Photos: Olympia Shannon.
With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985, originally on view at MOCA Grand Avenue, is organized by Anna Katz, Curator, with Rebecca Lowery, Assistant Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
“A new exhibition this fall at the International Center of Photography (ICP) offers renowned New York-based photographer Gillian Laub’s picture of an American family saga that feels both anguished and hopeful. Gillian Laub: Family Matters balances empathy with critical perspective, humor with horror, the closeness of family with the distance of the artist. The exhibition is curated by David Campany, ICP’s Managing Director of Programs, and coincides with the publication of a companion book by Aperture.” — ICP
“Photography is an ideal medium for mixed feelings and ambiguities,” said David Campany. “In the two decades it has taken Gillian Laub to tell the story of her family, she has walked the finest of lines between humor and anguish, empathy and tension, irony, and sincerity. There are no easy answers here, just the honest narration of a complicated life.”
“This project is an exploration of the conflicted feelings I have about where I come from—which includes people I love and treasure, but with whom, most recently in a divided America, I have also struggled mightily,” said Gillian Laub. “It is made with the intention to accept as well as to challenge—both them and myself.”
The exhibition is in the museum’s new building at 79 Essex Street in New York. The fall/winter season at ICP also will feature the exhibitions Diana Markosian: Santa Barbara and INWARD: Reflections on Interiority.
Images courtesy International Center of Photography (ICP).
“Magazzino Italian Art presents a new special exhibition dedicated to the work of artist Costantino Nivola, Sardinian born and longtime resident of Springs, NY. Nivola: Sandscapes explores the artist’s pioneering process of sandcast sculpting. Featuring a selection of approximately 50 works from the early 1950s to the 1970s, including sandcast reliefs, carved concrete sculptures, and rarely seen maquettes of his most important architectural commissions, this focused presentation will examine the artistic process, range of influences, and notable impact that Nivola had on modern urban architecture and design.” — Magazzino Italian Art
Installation views of exhibition Nivola: Sandscapes at Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York. (May 8, 2021 – January 10, 2022). Photos by Marco Anelli. Courtesy Magazzino Italian Art.
“At Magazzino, we aim to open a dialogue of artistic exchange between the U.S. and Italy. Nivola is a seminal figure in the history of Modernism, while also serving as a dynamic case study in understanding the experience of Italian immigrants to America in the Postwar period,” says Director Vittorio Calabrese. “The exhibition examines the inspirations that informed his artistic practice, including his use of Sardinian iconography, his formal design training, and his interest in creating artwork engaged with American culture. We are considering Nivola in light of our current moment, on the precipice of significant change that requires us, as a museum and a society, to advocate for the importance of art and artists in civic life.”
The exhibition is curated by Magazzino’s 2020-21 Scholar-in-Residence, Teresa Kittler, with Chiara Mannarino, and is organized in collaboration with the Nivola Foundation and with the support of the Embassy of Italy in Washington D.C.
“Galleria Borghese presents a new exhibition by Damien Hirst, curated by Anna Coliva and Mario Codognato. Over 80 works from Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable series are displayed throughout the museum alongside ancient masterpieces. The exhibition features both monumental and small scale sculptures made from materials such as bronze, Carrara marble and malachite. Hirst’s Colour Space paintings, exhibited for the first time in Italy, are also presented together with the permanent collection, while his colossal sculpture, Hydra and Kali, is displayed outdoors in the Giardino Segreto of the Uccelliera.
Hirst’s works are displayed throughout Galleria Borghese, a museum with a superb collection of masterpieces of classical Roman sculpture, Italian paintings of the Renaissance and the 17th century, and the most important works of Bernini and Canova. At the same time – and this is its uniqueness – it is a place with rich, ornate interiors of marble, stuccos and mosaics. The works by Hirst complements the range of inventions and techniques seen in the museum’s collection, showcasing the artist’s incredible ability to combine concepts and narratives with the exceptional skills needed to create these complex works, which has been a constant of this institution.” — Galleria Borghese
The project was made possible thanks to the generous support of Prada, which investigates areas of research such as art, architecture, philosophy and literature with the aim of developing innovative languages and projects, in a continuous dialogue with the broader scenarios of contemporaneity.
“Pirelli HangarBicocca presents the exhibition Breath Ghosts Blind by Maurizio Cattelan. One of the world’s most renowned figures of the contemporary art scene, with his work the artist reveals the fractures in our everyday existence, depicting reality even in its most dramatic aspects. It marks Cattelan’s return to Milan after more than a decade. Conceived as a dramaturgy in three acts, the show develops around the works Breath, Ghosts and Blind, which also form its title. The narrative unfolds through emblematic references in the collective imagination: powerful representations that encourage reflections on the most disorienting aspects of the present times as well as on existential concerns, from the meaning of life to the inevitability of death.” — Pirelli HangarBicocca
“Art deals with the same themes from the beginning of human history: creation, life, death. This is intertwined with the ambition of each artist to become eternal through their work. Each artist is confronted with the two sides of the coin: a sense of omnipotence and a sense of failure. It is a rollercoaster of exhilarating elevations and very steep descents. As painful as it is, the second part is also the most significant. Like all the exhibitions that preceded it, this exhibition is the concentration of all these elements” says Maurizio Cattelan.
Maurizio Cattelan’s solo show Breath Ghosts Blind was produced by Pirelli HangarBicocca and curated by Roberta Tenconi and Vicente Todolí.
“For over fifty years, Lynn Hershman Leeson (b. 1941, Cleveland, OH) has created an innovative and prescient body of work that mines the intersections between technology and the self. Known for her groundbreaking contributions to media art, Hershman Leeson has consistently worked with the latest technologies, from artificial intelligence to DNA programming, often anticipating their impact on society. As the artist posited in1998, ‘Imagine a world in which there is a blurring between the soul and the chip, a world in which artificially implanted DNA is genetically bred to create an enlightened and self-replicating intelligent machine, which perhaps uses a human body as a vehicle for mobility.’
The exhibition brings together a selection of Hershman Leeson’s wide-ranging work in drawing, sculpture, video, and photography, along with interactive and net-based works, focusing on themes of transmutation, identity construction, and the cyborg self. The presentation includes over sixty early drawings and wax-cast sculptures from the 1960s; her well-known durational performance project Roberta Breitmore series (1972– 79), selections from her series Water Women (1976–present), Phantom Limb (1985–88), and Cyborg (1996– 2006), among others, as well as video works from the 1970s through the present.” — New Museum
Installation views of “Lynn Hershman Leeson: Twisted” at New Museum. Photos: Corrado Serra.
“Twisted” is curated by Margot Norton, Allen and Lola Goldring Curator.
“The Museum of Modern Art presents Automania, an exhibition that investigates the conflicted feelings—compulsion, fixation, desire, and rage—that developed in response to cars and car culture in the 20th century. This two-part exhibition consists of presentations in the third-floor galleries (July 4, 2021–January 2, 2022) and first-floor lobby and Sculpture Garden (July 4–October 10, 2021), showcasing a total of nine cars from the Museum’s collection. Taking its name from the 1964 Oscar-nominated animation by Halas and Batchelor, Automania examines the car as a modern industrial product, transportation innovator, and style icon, as well as the generator of fatalities, traffic-choked environments, and ecological disaster in the oil age.” — The Museum of Modern Art
“Cars have reimagined mobility, connecting us across great distances at ever greater speed, but this increased freedom and economic empowerment have come at the expense of tremendous human suffering and environmental damage,” says Juliet Kinchin. “Throughout the 20th century the car has inspired innumerable examples of innovation, social transformation, and critical debate among designers, architects, artists, filmmakers, and photographers.”
Automania was curated by Juliet Kinchin, Paul Galloway, and Andrew Gardner.
“Tate Britain opens the UK’s largest and most comprehensive retrospective of the work of Paula Rego. An uncompromising artist of extraordinary imaginative power, Rego (b.1935) redefined figurative art and revolutionised the way in which women are represented. The exhibition tells the story of this artist’s remarkable life, highlighting the personal nature of much of her work and the socio-political context in which it is rooted. It reveals her broad range of references, from comic strips to history paintings. Featuring over 100 works including collage, paintings, large-scale pastels, drawings and etchings, the show spans Rego’s early work from the 1950s to her richly layered, staged scenes from the 2000s.” — Tate Britain
Paula Rego is curated by Elena Crippa, Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art, with Zuzana Flašková, Assistant Curator, Modern & Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain. It is organised by Tate Britain in collaboration with Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Museo Picasso Málaga.
“The Brooklyn Museum draws from its rich holdings of decorative objects and unveils newly-renovated Decorative Arts galleries to present Design: 1880 to Now. This is the wing’s first renovation to take place since its galleries opened in 1971, and the installation similarly reimagines the collection and looks beyond traditional Eurocentric narratives with a display of works from the 19th century to the present day.
The works on view offer competing visions of modernity as they highlight pressing themes from the era including tensions between craft and industry, innovations in production, and issues of cultural appropriation. Featured objects illuminate the complex trajectory of design history and look beyond traditional Eurocentric narratives of the past to include important issues of global exchange. Design: 1880 to Now pays particular attention to the influence of Chinese and Japanese culture on European and American decorative arts in the 19th and 20th centuries, European exploitation of labor, and problematic representations of East Asian and African cultures, which persist today.” — Brooklyn Museum
Installation views of Design: 1880 to Now at Brooklyn Museum. Photos: Brooklyn Museum.
Design: 1880 to Now is organized by Aric Chen, Curatorial Director, Design Miami, with Shea Spiller, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe, Brooklyn Museum. Additional curatorial contributions provided by Catherine Futter, Senior Curator, and Elizabeth St. George, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts, Brooklyn Museum. This installation honors the late Dr. Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Brooklyn Museum from 1988 to 2018.
Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863-82
“Featuring over sixty objects, the exhibition is the first to examine the enterprising New York City design team who pioneered a new take on Modern Gothic furniture and defined a significant aesthetic in the post–Civil War United States.
Over the course of their remarkable nearly-twenty-year partnership, immigrant cabinetmakers Anton Kimbel (1822–1895) and Joseph Cabus (1824–1898) transformedtheir business into a leading New York City furniture and decorating firm, and defined a new take on Modern Gothic design for the post–Civil War United States. Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863–82 is the first museum exhibition to trace their timeless American success story, presenting new scholarship and fresh insight into the history of the enterprising design team. Over sixty objects will be on view, including forty pieces of furniture as well as digitized period photographs, books, a painting, and ephemera that illustrate Kimbel and Cabus’s inventive design in a variety of contexts.” — Brooklyn Museum
Installation views of Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863-82 at Brooklyn Museum. Photos: Brooklyn Museum.
The exhibition is curated by guest curator Barbara Veith in consultation with Medill H. Harvey, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Shea Spiller, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe, Brooklyn Museum.
“Heller Gallery in collaboration with Ferrin Contemporary, is pleased to present Melting Point, a group exhibition of glass and ceramic artists whose use of the melting point is central to their practice. Featuring nearly 100 works by 22 artists, the exhibition will be on view at Heller Gallery in New York City and Ferrin Contemporary on the MASS MoCA campus in North Adams. The artists, both established and emerging, explore the inherent physical qualities of materials that are formed and reformed by melting, as well as express their concern for the environmental melting point our planet seems to be approaching.
Melting Point is the degree when solid becomes soft, eventually becoming liquid and a boiling point is reached. Glaze melts, clay and glass soften, surface and form become pliable. Used metaphorically, as the planet warms, we are finding ourselves closer to the melting point both physically and socially. In 2020, forces combined under pressure of the COVID virus, politics exploded, and nature responded with melting ice, raging fires and extreme weather. Likewise, artists use the melting point as a metaphor in their work to express their political beliefs and sound the alarm using the fragile materials of glass and ceramic.” — Heller Gallery
Title image: Lauren Mabry, Glazescape (Pink No. 2), 2021, red earthenware, slip, glaze, 20.75 x 17.75 x 4.5″.
Participating artists represented by Heller Gallery include Stine Bidstrup, Nancy Callan, Sydney Cash, Amber Cowan, Morten Klitgaard, Laura Kramer, Tom Patti, Pamela Sabroso & Alison Siegel, and Norwood Viviano.
Participating artists represented by Ferrin Contemporary include Raymon Elozua, Peter Christian Johnson, Steven Young Lee, Courtney Leonard, Beth Lipman, Lauren Mabry, Gregg Moore, Katie Parker & Guy Michael Davis, Paul Scott, Sally Silberberg, and Robert Silverman.
“During these unprecedented times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to local artists at early stages in their careers. Launched two years ago as a recurring commissioning program with generous investment from The Shed’s supporters, Open Call is designed to provide the time, space, and resources that these artists need to develop their practice, expand their audience, and continue to contribute to our city’s vibrant and diverse culture,” said Alex Poots, Artistic Director and CEO. “From the onset of Open Call, we have worked with industry professionals across the arts to shape this program and expand our curatorial process. We’re grateful to our 50 colleagues from the arts community that participated in this year’s process to select this next cohort of New York City-based artists.”
The Shed presents 27 New York City-based artists for its second Open Call, a large-scale, commissioning program for early-career artists across performance, visual arts, and popular culture. In the Level 2 Gallery, 11 artists present their work in a group exhibition. The artists are Aisha Amin, Ayanna Dozier, Caroline Garcia, Emilie Gossiaux, Esteban Jefferson, Le’Andra LeSeur, Simon Liu, Tajh Rust, Pauline Shaw, Kenneth Tam, Anne Wu.
Installation views of Open Call at The Shed. Photographs by Corrado Serra.
The second edition of Open Call is organized by Emma Enderby, Chief Curator; Tamara McCaw, Chief Civic Program Officer; and Solana Chehtman, Director of Civic Programs, with Alessandra Gómez and Adeze Wilford, Assistant Curators, and Maggie MacTiernan, Director of Artist Services.