Leigh Ledare: You Are Nothing To Me. You Are Like Air.
Ledare’s photographs have an unsettling appeal. Her earlier work consists primarily of intimate portraits and erotic staged shots, but the work in this exhibit involves more subtlety. Bonus points for the overlong title. September 11-October 19
Annie Lebowitz’s photography has blurred the line between commercial photography and photography as high art, making her rich in the process. Thompson, like Lebowitz, also straddles the two. Unlike Lebowitz, however, his art is directly influenced by the magazine shoots and commercial campaigns he’s worked on.
September 4-October 25
Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Alexey Kallima: Chechyna Women’s Team of Parachute Jumping and Its Virtual Fans
In all reds, grays and whites, much like a graphic novel, Kallima visually narrates the exhibit’s titular adventure (incidentally, the best show title of the year so far). Kallima’s large-scale paintings initially delight in their simplicity, but closer examination reveals the artist’s disenchantment with Chechyna (his homeland), Russia (his adopted home) and historical representations of military glory.
September 4-October 18
Luhring Augustine Gallery
Favoring accuracy over aesthetics, Sternfeld’s photos depart from typically bucolic representations of rustic rural life. Instead, he presents a cycle of stark, unadulterated images that document the impact of the passing seasons. So, nature can be pretty and ugly.
Until October 4
Kahrs lays oil paint on canvas with his unique brand of shifting tones and blurred contours to render ghostly reproductions of film stills and photographic images.
October 11-November 8
Zach Feuer Gallery
Anton Henning: German Enlightenment
In this showing, the Teutonic painter manifests his signature jazzy abstraction in an eclectic collection of recent work, comprised of landscapes, interiors and portraits. Yes, we just used “Teutonic” and “jazzy” in the same sentence.
October 14-November 26
Paul Kasmin Gallery
In honor of the iconic artist’s 80th birthday, the gallery presents a retrospective on Indiana’s metal structures and large-scale works.
September 11-November 1
Sloan Fine Art
Jud Bergeron “I Will Wait Quietly”
In this visual eulogy to late poet and friend, Bill Reynolds, Bergeron explores the interface between fine arts and literary arts (the Greeks would call that ekphrasia). Using Reynolds’ words and actual letters, Bergeron creates abstract sculptural renderings of his friend’s work.
Corin Sworn: The Wild Ones Are So Tame Now
Assembling collages and reworkings of historical objects, Sworn uncovers the inherent vagrancies between a past experience and its contemporary significance. All these long, wistful show titles are making us sad. Until October 4
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717)
The Olympics may have ended, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to learn more about your soon-to-be overlords is finished. Check out the history and landscape paintings of Wang Hui, imperial artist of the Manchu Qing court, which, we hear, was a really fun court.
September 9-January 4
Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939
Highlighting works inspired by Vorticism, this exhibit examines the impact of Futurism and Cubism on British Modernism. That’s a lot of isms, but don’t let the art-speak overwhelm you. Focusing on a 25-year period and single medium — printmaking — the show offers a comprehensive study of this formative trend.
September 23-December 7
New York, N. Why?: Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt, 1937-1940
Burckhardt’s photos of Depression-era New York are as somber as they are sincere.
September 23-January 4
The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End
Examples from the traditional textile genre are juxtaposed against modern multimedia interpretations of textile and its significance in both the aboriginal villages of West Africa and the world at large today.
September 30-March 29
The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions
When someone retires, most people send a card, maybe throw a party. But the folks at the Met are a different breed (by which we mean, mainly, they are rich). To commemorate the 31-year tenure of Philippe de Montebello, the Met’s director, the museum brings together 250 works acquired over the three decades under his oversight.
October 24-February 1
Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933
This show highlights Calder’s early career and the first of his extraordinary wire drawings and signature mobiles. Someday we hope to have some kind of anything with the words “The Paris Years” appended.
October 16-February 15
William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1958-2008
Just ‘cause something’s black and white, doesn’t mean it’s automatically artsy and good. Thanks to Eggelston’s work with color film, polychrome photography is valued as an intrinsic and highly expressive form of the medium.
November 7-January 25
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Jesper Just: Romantic Delusions
With many literary and musical references, the Danish Filmmaker broaches a generational gap and attempts to both reconcile gender politics and express intimacy. That ain’t easy to do.
September 19-January 4
Gilbert & George
Like Frog and Toad, Bert and Ernie and Beavis and Butthead, Gilbert & George come in a box — you can’t get one without the other. Gilbert & George’s art — predominantly photography, but also charcoal sketches, paper sculptures and ephemera — encompasses everything from the controversial to the compassionate, and assesses subject matter as diverse as terrorism and religious faith.
October 3-January 11
New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky
Although Subotzky and Meckseper’s content diverges — one documenting the post-Apartheid state in Johannesburg, the other focusing the forces and visual strategies of consumerism — both explore the political and polemic aesthetic inherent to their medium, photography. And man, we just love saying their names together.
September 10-January 5
Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night
Just ‘cause Starry Night is a part of MoMA’s permanent collection doesn’t mean you can discount this exhibit (and fuck you, anyway, it’s a beautiful painting). The piece de la resistance may be the aforementioned masterpiece, but The Colors of Night also offers insight into the artist’s unique handling of light and color in addition to the metaphorical and psychological context of his night landscapes. “Psychological context” meaning “dude was crazy.”
September 21-January 5
Catherine Opie: American Photographer
The title “American Photographer” probably calls to mind Walker Evans’ sepia-toned portraits of Midwestern and Plainar families, right? Maybe not boldly colored portraits of transgenders and expansive panoramas of urban sprawl? Guess what, Evans was a function of our nation in the 1930s and Opie is a function of our nation now.
September 26-January 7
The Guggenheim takes a page out of VH1’s book and does a modern art enthusiast’s version of I Love the ‘90s with this exhibit’s interest in site-specificity. A group of now well-established artists, still nascent in the ‘90s, works together to design a hypothetical exhibit that manifests the nature of their practice, which claims the exhibition as their medium. So, is this, like, a reality exhibit?
October 24-January 7
The New Museum
Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton
This fall marks the first birthday of The New Museum and also marks Peyton’s first exhibit in an American museum. Given the vibrancy of Peyton’s colors and the immediacy of her subjects’ facial expression, the exhibit celebrates the success and vitality of both the young museum and artist.
October 8-January 11
Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone
October celebrates another first: The New Museum launches the first solo exhibit of Heilmann’s work at a New York museum (Hey, what the!? Just like Peyton! Newbies!). Bright colors and geometric abstractions combine in her work to create accessible interpretations of popular culture and artistic tradition.
October 22-January 26
Bronx Museum of Art
Street Art Street Life from the 1950s to Now
In New York, people don’t just walk on streets, they eat, dance, shop, sleep, crap, fight, cook, kvetch, gamble, flirt and ramble on to anyone who will listen. Obviously, all this agita is good for art.
September 14-January 25
The Jewish Museum
Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater, 1919-1949
Have you seen those two huge Chagall panels at the Metropolitan Opera House? If you haven’t, they’re brilliant (and get yourself to an opera, philistine). They complement the paradoxical grandiosity and whimsy of opera perfectly (but then, how would you know that, philisitine?) If the Russian avant garde involves similar whimsy and creativity, which, duh, it did, both Chagall’s collaboration with theater and this exhibit will prove equally brilliant.
November 9-March 22
Alfred Kubin: Drawings, 1897 -1909
Kubin, a Czech-born Expressionist, lived up to his Bohemian heritage as an illustrator for Poe, Dostoevsky and E.T.A. Hoffman among others, animating their stories with his brand of fantastic mystery and unsettling absurdity. God bless those Czechs.
September 25-January 26
Studio Museum Harlem
BARKLEY L. HENDRICKS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
Yeah, we know, “cool” is hard to define, and it’s usually lame when you try. Yet Hendricks expresses a certain casual confidence and seductive self-awareness in his life-size portraits of young urban blacks of the 60s and 70s. Far from Blaxploitation, Hendricks’ work startles with the boldness of his palette and the candor of his realism.
November 12-March 15
Susan Meiselas: In History
Meiselas’ dedication to documenting the social injustices and political upheavals of Sandinista-era Central America raises questions about the ethical role of the photographer as an artist and a witness. The exhibit explores her relationship to her subjects, the media’s use of her images and the impact her photographs have on one’s comprehension and memory of war. (One time we took a snapshot of this dude who fell off his bike, but then we helped him up, so, it was cool.)
September 19-January 4
The Rubin Museum of Art
The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan
Rare, perhaps even sublime, images and objects essential to Buddhist faith. Please do not wear your “Rub My Tummy for Good Luck” T-shirt to this exhibition, that would be in poor taste.
September 9-January 5
Morgan Library and Museum
Drawing Babar: Early Drafts and Watercolors
Somehow an elephant in shorts presides over the kind of family you always wished you could be a part of.
September 19-January 4
John Milton’s Paradise Lost
No elephants. No shorts. Somehow, though, a genius to equal Babar.
October 7 - January 4
American Museum of Natural History
Climate Change: The Threat to Life and Our Energy Future
Complete with plenty of renderings of the impact of global warming — you know, rising sea levels, massive drought, sitting bolt upright in bed with clammy sweat pooling in your elbows as you hold yourself tight and contemplate the coming floods until the garbage trucks come and it’s time to go to work, food shortages, etc.
October 18-August 16
Museum of Arts and Design
Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary
The museum christens its new space with a tribute to the nearly new. Artists remove discarded quotidian objects from their original context and piece them together with other found objects and bits of ephemera to redesign their appearance and function. Well, now that they took down the Toy Tower in the garden on 6th and B…
September 27-February 15
Permanently MAD: Revealing the Collection
The museum unveils its permanent collection, comprised of ceramic, wooden, metal and other mixed media designs and artworks.
September 27 - February 15
The Chelsea Art Museum
The Aesthetics of Terror
Taking the beast head on, this exhibit investigates the depiction of violence and terror in the media, as artists imitate, identify and criticize the imagery and expression of terror in today’s political forums as well as in the media itself.
November 7-January 31