Sean Kelly Gallery
Through June 22
There is a renewed interest in the west of Soviet modern architecture from the Cold War and its strong and determined sculptural form. Much of the work was barely known in the west—at least in this country—and has come as a revelation to scholars and critics. A recent exhibition Soviet Modernism 1955-1991 at the Architekturzentrum in Vienna and a fascinating exhibit Cold War Cool Digital at Pratt Institute featured Soviet designed pre-fabricated and globally distributed Cold War Era housing systems. Both of these exhibits featured the ambitious and determined socialist realism that one would expect from work of this period, but now an exhibition, Irreversible, at the Sean Kelly Gallery by the Havana- and Madrid-based group Los Carpinteros features work that expresses what it felt like to be the receiver of these Soviet-inspired architectural and sculptural forms and their realist messages.
Richard Serra: Early Work
David Zwirner Gallery
537 West 20th Street
New York, NY
Through June 15
David Zwirner presents an exposition of early work by artist Richard Serra. The works on display, dating from 1966 to 1971 and compiled from museum and private collections, represent Serra’s earliest innovative, process-oriented experiments that employ nontraditional materials. He uses vulcanized rubber, neon, and lead to emphasize weight in relationship to the nature of materials. The exhibition, on view through June 15 at David Zwirner, examines the innovative methods and ideas that so decisively place Serra in the history of Twentieth-Century art.
do it (outside)
Socrates Sculpture Park
3205 Vernon Boulevard
May 12 to July 7, 2013
Socrates Sculpture Park, in collaboration with Independent Curators International (ICI), presents do it (outside), an exhibition curated by art critic and historian Hans Ulrich Obrist. The exhibition is a selection of 65 artist instructions interpreted by other artists, performers, and the public. The results will be displayed in a site-specific architectural pergola by Christoff : Finio Architecture, a New York based architecture and design studio.
Sharing Space: Creative Intersections in Architecture and Design
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Through August 4
This new exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago explores the influential impact that color inevitably has on our perception of geometry. It presents an extensive collection of modern and contemporary works ranging from the 1940’s to 2012 created by architects, urban planners, graphic designers, and industrial designers. One of the works prominently featured in the exhibit is Camouflage House (above), Doug Garofalo and David Leary’s theoretical project in which the pair “colored-in” the contours of a building, blurring the rigid lines and sharp angles of the structure and causing it to blend in with the surrounding natural landscape. The exhibition underlines the contrasting relationship between color and geometry and highlights the effect this relationship can have on architecture and design.
The exhibit, The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century City, currently on view at the Austrian Cultural Forum, is meant to provoke a discussion with housing advocates in this country. The Forum will host weekly tours of the exhibit by a variety of housing experts from various academic and professional fields. This Wednesday, the tour will be led by Srdjan Weiss, a Serbian-born architect and theorist based in New York City, with broad knowledge of the subject of housing in this country and Eastern Europe. The tour will be based on Weiss’ parallel living experience and expertise in housing design from former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia.
OVERDRIVE: LA Constructs the Future, 1940-1990
The J. Paul Getty Museum
Through July 21
Gleaming cars speeding down an intricate freeway system, flashy movie theatres, quirky coffee shops, sleek corporate towers and residential spaces, drive-in churches, the infamous Hollywood sign, LAX Airport (above), and a lucrative petroleum industry are just some of the many impressive characteristics associated with the rich culture of Los Angeles. This exhibition at The J. Paul Getty Museum explores a metropolis that remained in “overdrive” throughout the 20th century, implementing cutting-edge architectural design to effectively respond to civic, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges that plagued the city. In just 50 years, the city rapidly evolved into one the most influential industrial, creative, and economic capitals in the world. Through drawings, photographs, models, animations, oral histories, and ephemera, the exhibition celebrates the notable transformation of the city of Los Angeles from 1940–1990.
New York City will be hit by a design storm this May. Along with the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) taking place May 18 through 21 at the Javits Center, The New School is throwing its annual Parsons Festival, May 5 through 24, at locations across the city. Both events feature cutting edge design establishing NYC as a major design capital.
The gentle drumming sound of rainfall is one that many of us find soothing, but it is a natural phenomena that we can only experience at a safe distance without suffering the consequence of being drenched. With their one-of-a-kind installation, Rain Room, the designers at rAndom international made what you thought was impossible possible—presenting anyone who is curious for a new sensation with the opportunity to fully experience standing unprotected in the rain without ever getting wet.
Gutai: Splendid Playground
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York
Through May 8
“Don’t imitate others!” and “Engage in the newness!” are just two of the signature slogans of the Gutai Art Association, founded in July 1954 by Jiro Yoshihara. The Gutai—which translates to “concreteness”—artists dared to breakthrough the boundaries presented by traditional Japanese art. As their name suggests, the artists directly engaged with concrete materials (such as remote-control toys, sand, light bulbs, and paper screens) to create a new, never before seen, kind of art. The creative genius of these avant-garde artists manifested itself in the form of various mediums including, but not limited to, painting, installation and performance art, experimental film, and environmental art. Gutai: Splendid Playground explores the works of these artists, created over a span of two-decades, and features an enormous installation by Motonaga Sadamasa composed of a series of plastic tubes filled with colored water. The structure, created specifically for the Guggenheim’s rotunda, invites visitors to look up and use these “brush strokes” to create their own individual composition.
Through April 28
Jon Kessler’s The Web, currently on view at the Swiss Institute through April 28, is an immersive array of monitors, enlarged MacBooks, cameras, mechanical and animatronic sculptures—the latter of the artist himself—set to a sound track of the eponymous Apple computer chime. Enabled through mobile technology, the environment plugs you into a closed-circuit feedback loop. You download an iPhone app that allows you to feed your experience of the installation into the system as your movements are also simultaneously tracked, captured, and fed into the system. Cleverly re-staging Jean Tinguely’s self destructive drawing machine for the digital age, you are only image. Caught in this web, you are broadcast at those moments when you think you are most in control. You appear only to disappear and then to reappear somewhere else again, and again. You have your images, but The Web has you.
At 7pm, Saturday, April 28 at the Swiss Institute, Jon Kessler will hold a press conference/performance announcing the launch of his latest business enterprise, GlblVlgIdiot, devoted to the creation of iPhone apps similar to The Web that “bridge the gap between life and art.” Click here for reservations.
At War With The Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Howard Gilman Gallery 852
Through July 28
William Eggleston, one of the first American photographers to experiment with modern color photography in the 1960s, is known for his ability to capture the essence of southern life through photographs of ordinary people, scenes of everyday life, and commonplace objects, such as a child’s tricycle or a sign reading “Peaches!” set against the backdrop of a cerulean blue sky. Eggleston produced much of his color photography with a dye transfer printmaking process, a technique that was previously used solely for commercial and advertising purposes, and established it as a prominent artistic medium in the American tradition. The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, At War With the Obvious, celebrates Eggleston’s work by presenting together for the first time thirty-six dye transfer prints he created in the 1970s. It also features his first portfolio of color photographs, fifteen prints from his landmark book, and seven other of his most recognized photographs.
AI WEIWEI: ACCORDING TO WHAT?
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Allen Whitehill Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery
4000 Michigan Road
Through July 21
Ai Weiwei is internationally recognized as one of China’s most controversial and influential contemporary artists. In his exhibition Ai Weiwei: According to What?, the artist, through various media (sculpture, photography, architectural installations, and video), boldly addresses issues of human rights in China and comments on the nation’s history, traditions, and politics. The exhibit features more than 30 works spanning more than 20 years. One is an early work, Forever (2003), in which Ai arranged 42 Forever brand bicycles into a circle, to honor China’s most popular, and reliable (the bicycles were made of heavy-duty steel), mode of transportation during the mid-1900s. The exhibit is also devoted to Ai’s more provocative pieces, such as a 38-ton steel carpet entitled Straight (2008). The artist used rusted steel rebar taken from the remains of a poorly-built school that collapsed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake that tragically killed more than 5,000 schoolchildren. The piece commemorates the thousands of lost lives while openly condemning the Chinese government’s stance on human rights.