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Jan. 26-Feb. 8, 2011 Volume 3, Issue 2

Deborah Brown’s“Bushwick Landscape #19” is part of The Bushwick Paintings exhibit on view at Lesley Heller Workspace through Feb. 20.

Plus:

A classical music murder mystery from Wesley Stace

IN THIS ISSUE

A look at The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, the costumes in Three Sisters and Wooster Group’s version of Vieux Carré.

The NEWLY EXPANDED Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture Exhibitions, Gallery Programs, Academic Programs “Jardinière Tissot,” Ming dynasty. Cloisonné enamel on copper; cast and gilded copper alloy. Les Arts Décoratifs - musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Gift of David David-Weill, 1928, 26.721. Photographer: Laurent-Sully Jaulmes.


Exhibitions on view January 26– April 17 This season the Gallery at the Bard Graduate Center features two groundbreaking exhibitions and inaugurates the Focus Gallery, a space devoted to exhibitions curated by BGC faculty.

Gallery Programs

Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties

The BGC offers a diverse range of exhibition-related programs for adults, educators, students, seniors, and families, including lectures, conversations, study days, gallery talks, films, concerts, tours, and family days. Each program brings visitors into close contact with objects in the galleries, as they engage in lively conversation with curators, scholars, artists, educators, and other specialists in the decorative arts.

The art of applying brilliantly colored enamels to metalware dates to ancient times, but the cloisonné enamel technique truly flourished in China from the fourteenth century onward, and an array of objects were made destined for Buddhist temples and personal use. A remarkable selection of these form the basis for the exhibition Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, a collaboration between the Bard Graduate Center and Les Arts Décoratifs - musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. The presentation that is organized around three aspects of Chinese cloisonné production— decoration, form and intended function includes loans from the museum in Paris, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Springfield Museums, Massachusetts, among others.

Gallery Talk

A Curator’s View: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties Thursday, January 27 6 to 8 pm (gallery talk and reception) BGC, 18 West 86th Street Béatrice Quette, head of education, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, and curator of the Cloisonné exhibition $20 general, $15 seniors and students “Champion vase,” Qing dynasty. Cloisonné enamel on cast copper alloy; gilded bronze. Phoenix Art Museum. Museum purchase and gift of Mr. Robert H. Clague, 1982.209 a,b. Photographer: Ken Howie.

The second half of the nineteenth century was a period of rapid and dramatic change for the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America. Faced with increasing colonial interventions regarding commerce, Christianity, and settlement, they began to refigure earlier modes of cultural practice and artistic production to accommodate these new historical conditions. Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast examines the material culture of the period as visual evidence of historical flux and shifting social relations within Native groups. It focuses on transitional or boundary objects—the ones that do not fit well-established stylistic or cultural categories but instead document patterns of intercultural exchange and transformation. Aaron Glass, curator of the exhibition and BGC professor of anthropology has selected a wide range of objects for the exhibition from the collection of the American Museum of Natural History, including decorated clothing, containers, ritual masks, and trade goods.

The exhibitions are accompanied by fully-illustrated catalogues. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm and Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm. The admission fee is $7 general, $5 seniors and students (with valid ID); admission is free on Thursday evenings after 5 pm. For more information about the Bard Graduate Center and upcoming exhibitions, please visit bgc.bard.edu.

Thursday, February 24 5 to 8 pm (exhibition tours, program previews, music, and refreshments) BGC, 18 West 86th Street Admission is free.

Conversation

Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast

Mask, attributed to sdiihldaa/Simeon Stilthda (c. 1799-1889), Haida. Wood, paint, leather, metal. Collected by Israel W. Powell (1881-85). Donated by Heber R. Bishop. Courtesy of the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, 16/376. Photographer: Denis Finnin.

Neighborhood Open House

Group exhibition tours for adult and school groups are offered Tuesday through Friday between 11 am and 4 pm, and on Thursdays until 7 pm. Reservations are required for all groups. To schedule a tour, please call 212-501-3013 or e-mail tours@bgc.bard.edu.

Lecture

Scholar Zhang Peeks at Yingying: Pictorial Aspects of Cloisonné and Their Relationship to Chinese Painting Thursday, February 3 6 to 8 pm (lecture and exhibition-viewing reception) BGC, 38 West 86th Street Claudia Brown, professor of art history, School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University $20 general, $15 seniors and students

Lecture

The Artist in the Exchange: Charles Edenshaw, Master Haida Carver

Drawing on the Past: Activating the Legacies of Native Art from the North Pacific Coast Thursday, March 10 6 to 8 pm (conversation and exhibition-viewing reception) BGC, 38 West 86th Street Aldona Jonaitis, art historian Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Haida), visual artist Aaron Glass, assistant professor, BGC $20 general, $15 seniors and students Advance registration is required for all programs. To register, request a program brochure, or for more information, please call 212-501-3011 or e-mail programs@bgc.bard.edu.

Thursday, February 10 6 to 8 pm (lecture and exhibition-viewing reception) BGC, 38 West 86th Street Margaret Blackman, professor emerita, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York $20 general, $15 seniors and students

Model house with pole. Unknown maker, Haida. Wood, paint, metal. Likely collected by John Brady. Donated by Mrs. E. H. Harriman (1912). Courtesy of the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, 16.1/1164. Photographer: Denis Finnin.


InthisIssue 8-11 Theater MARK PEIKERT asks Michael Wilson why The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore should get another look; plus a look at this Broadway season’s many spring offerings. RYAN TRACY on how The Wooster Group dissects another Tennessee Williams play. MARK BLANKENSHIP on David Lindsay-Abaire’s path to his latest Broadway play, Good People.

12 At the Galleries Reviews: Five From L.A. at Galerie Lelong; In the Tonalist Mood at Spanierman Gallery; Heinz Mack at Sperone Westwater; Seth Price at Friedrich Petzel Gallery; Sharon Ellis at Greenberg Van Doren Gallery.

14 Classical JAY NORDLINGER on soprano Renée Fleming’s recent Carnegie concert, plus violinist Miranda Cuckson’s rising star.

15 Jazz HOWARD MANDEL enjoys himself at the recent Prince concert and figures out how it connects to a longer blues tradition.

16 Museums

THE NEW YEAR AT

NICHOLAS WELLS visits George Condo and his Artificial Realism land at The New Museum.

17 Arts Agenda Galleries, Art Events, Museums, Classical Music, Opera, Theater, Out of Town.

19 Paint the Town by Amanda Gordon EDITOR Jerry Portwood jportwood@manhattanmedia.com MANAGING EDITOR Adam Rathe arathe@ manhattanmedia.com ASSISTANT EDITOR

Christine Werthman ART DIRECTOR Jessica Balaschak CONTRIBUTING ART DIRECTOR

Wendy Hu

SENIOR ART CRITIC Lance Esplund SENIOR MUSIC CRITIC

Jay Nordlinger

SENIOR DANCE CRITIC

Joel Lobenthal

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Valerie Gladstone, John Goodrich, Amanda Gordon, Howard Mandel, Maureen Mullarkey, Mario Naves

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MARCH 6 — JUNE 19

The first exhibition to examine Warhol’s enduring fascination with cars as products of American consumer society spanning his career from 1946 to 1986. Also upcoming Will Barnet: A Centennial Celebration (February 4 – July 17) Features 10 new works by Will Barnet on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Robert Mapplethorpe Flowers: Selections from the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection (February 4 – July 17) Features 10 photographs exemplifying the same meticulous approach of Mapplethorpe to all of his subjects. 30 minutes from Manhattan: Visit montclairartmuseum.org for directions.

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January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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InBrief According to Gal, his self-described “indie opera” is written for trained opera singers, so don’t look for Broadway blats or Auto-Tune vocals in Mosheh. “You have to be a very skilled singer in order to pull it off,” Gal says. Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chin has worked on the opera over its five-year development and has also performed in The Wooster Group’s cult sci-fi opera La Didone. “In a way, all new opera is ‘indie’ in that we have to make it first before we put it on,” Chin says, “with the exception of a few lucky composers who receive commissions from the big opera houses.” Chin sings the role of Moses’ sister Miriam, and she also doubles as half of the Voice of God with her brother, countertenor Wesley Chin, who has also relished the opportunity to work on Mosheh. “You feel the change in your voice and your technique in a way that you don’t usually get working on a new piece,” Chin says. “As a singer [of new music], you’re constantly doing projects that people are hoping will be this kind of thing. But a lot of new opera projects just disappear.” Even with this premiere run at HERE, the future of Mosheh is still uncertain. But a world premiere is better than no premiere, which is, unfortunately, the fate of too many new operas. [Ryan Tracy]

Heather Green in a scene from Mosheh.

The Promised Land Composer Yoav Gal’s entrancing

chamber opera Mosheh is familiar to anyone who follows the city’s contemporary opera scene since it has been presented in any number of in-progress productions over the past five years. The opera received a semi-staged concert performance at Merkin Hall in 2006, has had excerpts performed by several new New York City music ensembles and was also included in New York City Opera’s high profile new opera incubator VOX in 2009. These, in addition to workshop presentations at HERE—where Gal has been an artistin-residence since 2007 and where the fully-staged work will receive its “world

premiere” this week—make it all the more confounding that Mosheh has not received a full production until now. “A problem is that a lot of this new opera is percolating but isn’t getting produced,” HERE Artistic Director Kristin Marting says. She was drawn to Mosheh because of Gal’s idea for creating not just music but also a fully immersive video environment for his opera. “He’s creating a three dimensional visual world that’s more nuanced and responsive to the music,” Marting explains. Based on the literal account of the early days of the life of Moses, Mosheh utilizes a rich multimedia environment to convey a psychedelic portrait of the young Jewish prophet and the four women who

were instrumental to his path of revelation: mother, sister, adoptive mother, then wife. Gal got the idea for Mosheh years ago when a personal crisis compelled him to reread the Bible, not as a moral guide, but as a work of fiction. “When you read it like that, it’s very odd,” Gal says. “It’s a tapestry of short segments. You get archetypal and dramatic events in just a few words—events that get skimmed over because they don’t fit with a particular philosophy, or just don’t make sense… I was looking for these moments. They bring the pagan back into the story.” Indeed, Mosheh’s narrative thrust is enchanting, intense and unorthodox. Think less Charlton Heston’s Moses and more The Who’s Tommy.

One for the History Books It usually takes at least a hundred

years to sort out which artists are of special significance. Sometimes it takes far longer. Consider that Antonio Vivaldi—more famous than Bach when they were alive— was nearly forgotten at the beginning of the 20th century. Necessarily, critics and audiences are just beginning to get a clear idea of which composers of the last hundred years provided the greatest music. Concerts to honor Elliot Carter, Milton Babbitt and Pierre Boulez are likely being organized even as you read this. That their names will

BARBARA SEGAL On GARdinER’S BAy Paintings and drawings

Feb. 1 - 26, 2011 Reception: Thursday, February 3 6-8 pm Blue Mountain Gallery 530 West 25th Street, 4th Floor new york, ny 10001 Gallery Hours: Tues - Sat. 11 - 6 646 486 4730 www.bluemountaingallery.org

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January 12 - February 20, 2011 Gallery 1: Deborah Brown: The Bushwick Paintings Gallery 2: Fractured Earth: Theresa Hackett Nicola López Lothar Osterburg Fran Siegel

Deborah Brown, Dick Chicken #1, 2010, oil on canvas, 78” x 96”

54 Orchard Street NY, NY 10002 212 410 6120 lesleyheller.com gallery hours: wed-sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm


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InBrief entirely unrelated. Will the performance prove memorable? Well, Botstein’s group has had a record of re-introducing important pieces and composers. Among this number are compositions by Zemlinsky, Pfitzner and Busoni. Audiences can judge whether Magnard’s Bérénice is equally significant. [Jonathan Leaf]

Green Room,” which shows a tense Davis, his back against the wall, surrounded by far more relaxed musicians and friends; “The Bow,” where members of the Marsalis band all bow together onstage at Carnegie Hall; and “Hammond B,” an image of the charred and weathered remains of a Hammond organ photographed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Stewart has plans for more extensive travels in Africa over the next year, having a new fascination with the Tuareg people of Mali. While he says he’ll never stop exploring, he also explains, “What you eventually realize is that you go out looking for yourself.” [Valerie Gladstone]

Bowed and Baptized be unknown a hundred years from now is beyond the point. One composer who is beginning to experience a belated renaissance is France’s Alberic Magnard. Part of this re-awakening of interest is reflected in a forthcoming performance in Gotham of his opera, Bérénice, under the baton of Leon Botstein, who’ll be guiding his American Symphony Orchestra. Interestingly, the piece premiered exactly a century ago. Yet this is believed to be its American premiere. The performance will be a concert version at Carnegie Hall Jan. 30 with the Orchestra backed by the chorus of the Collegiate Chorale. Oh, and best of all is the ticket price—all seats are just $25. Magnard was the sort of composer who appeared after the proper moment for the music he wrote. Writing in a full-throated and unabashed romantic style—which showed the influence of Franck, Bruckner and Wagner—his music contrasted with the leaner sound of “impressionist” composers such as Debussy and cool, cerebral neoclassicists like Stravinksy. That his music was pointedly Germanic in its origins was a further impediment to its acceptance as he was a Parisian composing in the years just before the First World War. (Ironically, he died defending his property from German invaders in the first weeks of the conflict.) Nonetheless, the last two decades have seen a re-birth in interest in his music in France, and his four symphonies are now available to collectors. (Both the Third and Fourth are worth listening to, the Third especially.) These complement a series of recordings that have recently appeared of his chamber music. More recently—in spite of their extensive vocal and orchestral demands—performances of his operas have sporadically been taking place. The old-fashioned story of Bérénice is based on a Racine play about a Judaean queen in love with her Roman Conqueror, the “good emperor” Titus. It’s a role that should give young mezzo Michaela Martens, who recently debuted at the Met in a well-reviewed supporting appearance in Lucia, the chance to show off her skills with Magnard’s long melodic lines. Strangely, Magnard was not the only composer to title an opera Bérénice. Handel did as well, though the two stories are

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Photographer Frank Stewart, 61, has been the senior staff photographer for Jazz at Lincoln Center for some time, but he has been transforming life into art since his artist mother bought him a camera when he was a teenager. “I’ve always been interested in the appearance of light on surfaces,” he says. In Frank Stewart’s Visual Music, an exhibition of his work at the Peter Jay Sharp Arcade in Frederick P. Rose Hall (running through May 21), visitors can see just how that sensibility informs his work. In eloquent portraits of jazz greats like Miles Davis and scenes of worship, as in “God’s Trombones,” in which hundreds of women and men gather as Father Divine baptizes the faithful, his humanity and keen eye uncover the essence of his subjects. “Frank Stewart’s photographs capture the most personal moments of his many subjects with warmth, insight and an eye for that which is most enduring,” Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, says. Stewart is the author of several books—including a collection of images of Marsalis and his band on the road—and is represented by Essie Green Galleries in Harlem. He first applied his knowledge to shooting jazz musicians and their friends in the 1950s, meeting major figures such Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. After studying at the Chicago Art Institute, Stewart attended Cooper Union to study under renowned photographer Roy DeCarava. “He taught a whole philosophy about how to approach a subject honestly and tell the truth,” Stewart explains. “I hope I got some of that.” Describing that period in his life, Stewart says, “All I did was take pictures and work so I could take more. I drove a cab, cooked in restaurants, washed dishes, anything just to be able to stay in New York and photograph. The only things in my apartment were a mattress and an enlarger. If your art doesn’t totally consume you, you’re just a dilettante.” In the ’60s, he started getting recognition for the images he contributed to Jet and Ebony magazines, but he remained driven to expand his understanding of African-American culture, so he began traveling in search of its roots in New Orleans, the Caribbean and Africa. Many of those photos are included in the current exhibit. Asked for some of his favorites, Stewart singles out “Miles in the

Writing Music Wesley Stace’s new novel, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, is a story of murder, music and love set in early-20thcentury England. The story centers on a composer, Charles Jessold, and a gentleman critic, Leslie Shepard, who form a bond over the goal of introducing British folk music to the classical world. They collaborate on an opera whose story tells of a Lord who murders his wife and her lover, and then kills himself. This opera mirrors Jessold’s own end, recounted in a newspaper clipping at the opening of the book, when he is found dead with his wife and her lover. Shepard uses this as a starting point for retelling Jessold’s story. Stace, who was born in England and lived in Brooklyn for 10 years before recently moving to Philadelphia, says that though the book starts with a murder, he didn’t start out intending to write a crime book. “I wanted to write a biography of a music person,” said Stace, who, in addition to writing, has been recording albums since 1989 as the singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding. “But my own modern world is

Jazz at Lincoln Center, © Frank Stewart/ Blacklight Productions

American Symphony Orchestra’s Leon Botstein.

so easy to satirize.” To distance himself, Stace looked to England and the birth of the Nationalist folk music movement, when the British were discovering their own musical lineage instead of simply following the traditional German model. The novel was derived from a variety of sources, but its inception came when Stace read a biography of Stravinksy and found himself taken with the composercritic relationship. “I was struck by how Stravinsky manipulated critics and how he was manipulated by them,” said Stace. “I loved the idea of the critic and artist being co-dependent.” He created Shepard as a buttoned-up critic who is more intrigued by ideology than music, and who needs Jessold’s wild talent to satisfy his ideas. Though Stace didn’t give up his modern sensibilities entirely. “I created Jessold as a [Bob] Dylan-like character. Like Dylan, Jessold used folk music as a stepping stone.” And like when Dylan went electric in Newport, and his fans turned on him, when Jessold moves beyond the folk movement, he loses his most ardent supporter, Shepard. The relationship between Jessold and Shepard is difficult to categorize, but fascinating to explore. At times Jessold is a son, at other times he is a figure of adulation, at others a jilted friend. It’s a testament to Stace that this friendship never feels static, and as the story deepens and Shepard reveals more of himself and of Jessold, the complexity of the relationship and the novel only deepens. Jessold, who is currently working on his fourth novel, continues his musical work as well. He’s been working on an album with The Decembrists that will be out at the end of the year, and he will also be in New York Feb. 11 at City Winery for John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders, featuring performances from Ted Leo and The Fiery Furnaces, among others. [Jeffrey Cretan]

Frank Stewart’s “God’s Trombones” on view at JALC.


ArtsNews

Musician Dan Deacon will score Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt Now and Sunrise. On Jan. 11, Thomas P. Campbell, director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced that a gift of $10 million from Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch will fund the museum’s creation of a new 4,200-square-foot exhibition space for its Costume Institute. Beginning in 2012, the Costume Institute’s galleries, study collection and conservation center will undergo complete renovation. Rotating installations on fashion and costumes will now be viewable at the museum at least 10 months out of the year… Also on Jan. 11, it was announced that as of July 1, after a 25-year tenure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, scholar James C.Y. Watt will step down from his post as Brooke Russell Astor Chairman of the Department of Asian Art, to become curator emeritus of the department. Maxwell K. Hearn, currently Douglas Dillon Curator for Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, will take over as Douglas Dillon Curator in Charge of the Department of Asian Art… On Jan. 13, New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert was named Julliard’s Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies, beginning in Fall 2011. James DePriest will become principal conductor and director emeritus… On Jan. 14, The Royal Shakespeare Company announced a change in the program for its Lincoln Center Festival residency this summer at Park Avenue Armory. RSC’s production of Julius Caesar, directed by Lucy Bailey, will replace Antony and Cleopatra. RSC’s engagement at Lincoln Center Festival runs from July 6 to Aug. 14, and includes performances of As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and The Winter’s Tale… El Museo del Barrio announced that Deborah Cullen, director of curatorial programs, has been appointed chief curator of the third installment of the Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan: América Latina y el Caribe, an exploration of Latin American graphic arts, which will take place in Puerto Rico in April 2012. Cullen has invited curator Antonio Sergio Bessa, director of programs at Bronx Museum of

the Arts, to join her curatorial team… Musician Dan Deacon has been selected to score Francis Ford Coppola’s next film, Twixt Now and Sunrise—starring Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern and others—due out later this year. The score is part of a larger collaboration between Deacon and Coppola… On Jan. 25, Melville House Publishing presents The Final Verdict, a discussion of the controversial Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case, with Michael Meeropol, Robert Meeropol and Miriam Moskowitz at Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives… On Jan. 27, The National Arts Club will present Paddy Maloney—Irish cultural ambassador for 50 years and founder of six-time Grammy Award-winning Irish ensemble The Chieftains—with the Gold Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Music… On Feb. 3, the French Institute Alliance Française begins a new season of its literary series, Write About Now, in which French and American-based authors come together in conversation. The first event, Starting from Here: Every Place Tells a Story, will feature authors Reif Larsen, Peter Turchi, Philippe Vasset and geographer Michel Lussault. The second installment, Staying Alive: Surviving Survival, will take place March 9 and feature novelists Philippe Forest and Francisco Goldman… Verge Art Fair has partnered with Two Trees Management, Brooklyn Arts Council and the Brooklyn Borough President’s office to launch Verge Art Brooklyn, the first Brooklyn-based international art fair, which will run from March 3-6 in various locations in Dumbo. On March 4, opening the High Line Art program’s 2011 Spring Season, artist Kim Beck presents Space Available—three rooftop sculptures near the southern end of the High Line. Mimicking the framework that supports advertising billboards, Beck’s sculptures are optical illusions that call attention to the recession’s impact on the urban landscape… In the process of selecting work for the Asia Week 2011 exhibit Saundarya: 35 Years on Madison Avenue, Art of the Past made an exciting discovery: a handwritten note dated April 9, 1895, was found inside a Mughal enameled silver jar. The note sheds light on an important event in Anglo-Indian history. Asia Week runs from March 18-26…On Jan. 20, Lincoln Center celebrated the 250,000th visitor to the David Rubenstein Atrium by awarding “A Year of Lincoln Center” to Mr. Ilya Geller. Brooklynite Geller received a pair of tickets for performances by resident organizations of Lincoln Center, including New York City Ballet, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Great Performers and American Songbook, among others.

Costa Rica: Pura Vida Adventure and romance are a zip away in the nearby Central American retreat By D. Callico During the depths of winter, when it’s 20 degrees in New York, few things sound more appealing than a getaway to the tropics. With its stunning beaches and warm ocean waters, Costa Rica is a great rehabilitation destination for the blizzard-battered East Coasters. It’s closer than Hawaii, more beautiful than the Bahamas and more exotic than Mexico. What puts it at the top of the list for most travelers, however, is the amazing abundance of things to do there: from high-octane adventures to pampered spa treatments in luxury hotels to treks in the most protected rainforests in the hemisphere. And Costa Rica is so conveniently sized that you could sample all of the above in one ambitious day.

You’ll most likely start things off in San Jose, the capital. Perhaps the best way to get there is on American Airlines’ non-stop flight 611from JFK, which operates five days a week, departing at 4 p.m. and arriving at San Jose at 8:20 p.m. It uses a 757 aircraft with 22 comfortable seats in the business class cabin and 166 in coach. While there’s world-class hotels here and more than enough to keep you busy, the town of Alajuela—just a few miles away from San Jose and actually closer to the airport—is a hidden gem with comfy bed-and-breakfasts, fewer tourists, and quaint, quiet orange-tree-lined streets. From either town you can rent a car or jump on a bus and head a few hours north to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve near the Quaker village of Santa Elena. Stay at the mountaintop lodge (if you can get a room), book a guided hike in search of the hard-to-pronounce quetzalcoatl (the elusive, regal, mystical national bird), and then zip-line through the humid forest canopy. Those low and ominous grumblings you hear in the distance are emanating from the still-active Volcano Arenal. Hike to the top for a glimpse of some lava, then descend to the botanical gardens at the bottom, where hot springs (and a massage) await. By now, you may have figured out that Costa Rica is the epicenter of sustainable eco-tourism, where development has been kept in check with a more noble desire to protect and preserve the country’s vast and pristine natural environment.

If you’re ready for the beach, the northwestern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula is just a stone’s throw away. Like swanky beachside hotels? Head to Tamarindo for some five-star service. Rather surf with the locals? Then Playa Grande Surf Camp is just across the river. Owner Gerry Gilhool will teach you to hang ten with the dolphins during the day and then take you to watch the turtles come ashore to lay their eggs at night. The options for your itinerary are endless, and—with the country so convenient and affordable—totally realistic. Cruise through the interior hills of the country and you’ll find coffee and fruit plantations and a traditional way of life that seems not to have changed much in the last century. The Peninsula de Osa in the south is almost completely untouched, and boasts wild jungles filled with scarlet macaws, parrots, and toucans. For a completely different vibe, head east to the Rasta-influenced Caribbean coast where you can snorkel in the warm, crystal-clear sea, play with monkeys in Cahuita National Park (one of the country’s 26 national parks) or mingle with the expatriates in Puerto Viejo, the town made infamous in Allan Weisbecker’s In Search of Captain Zero.

Each region, town and beach in Costa Rica has something unique to offer, but really it’s the country’s people that make the place so special. The Ticos, as they’re known, are not only peaceful (no standing national army!), they’re generous, friendly and welcoming. It’s their smiles as much as the tropical sun that’ll warm you up and infuse you with the Pura Vida spirit and make you consider extending your stay for eternity. But if you do decide to return, consider booking on American’s flight 622, which departs at 9 a.m. and arrives at JFK at 2:55 p.m. American Airlines flights between JFK and San Jose continue through April 2, at which point they take a seasonal hiatus until Nov. 17.

January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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Theater

Careful, He’s a Hustler

What to look forward to this Broadway season

F

Director Michael Wilson dusts off and polishes a languishing Tennessee Williams jewel

Joan Marcus

Darren Pettie and Olympia Dukakis star in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore. By Mark Peikert ennessee Williams’ playwrighting career has been neatly divided into two halves—however fair or unfair. The first half includes all of the shows that are dragged out every few years: The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The second half, however, consists of difficult, messy plays that are now almost exclusively tackled by ambitious Downtown theater companies looking for a little name recognition. Surprisingly, this season will see one of the playwright’s most notorious flops, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, in a sumptuous production from Roundabout Theatre Company just in time for the 100th anniversary of Williams’ birth. Located on the “cusp” of those two categories, according to director Michael Wilson, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore holds the dubious distinction of flopping twice on Broadway within two years, before becoming a notorious (and campy) film flop under the title Boom! that starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. But Wilson and his leading lady, Olympia Dukakis, have scraped off the layers of notoriety that have accumulated on the play after almost 50 years, revealing a flawed but fascinating script that is both vintage Tennessee Williams and also stretching for something new. “I think this play is the cusp play,” Wilson says over the phone, a few hours before a preview performance at the Laura Pels Theatre, Roundabout’s OffBroadway house. “What we’ve tried to do

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is show how it continues the long line of [Williams’] themes that deal with love, sex, being human, being a monster, power in relationships and power through class and money. I feel there is so much that is vital and relevant in the play that is tangible and accessible. I find it strange and mysterious in a fascinating way, and not ‘flop bad.’” Wilson, who has recently completed a decade-long examination of Williams’ plays at Hartford Stages, had Milk Train on his list as a possibility, but couldn’t imagine putting on the play without an actress powerful enough to grapple with the cagey, raging Flora Goforth, a wealthy, four-time widow who is now facing her own death at an Italian villa on the sea. He found her over the phone, when Olympia Dukakis called him up to say that she had unfinished business with the play, having performed it to her own dissatisfaction a few years before. Even that production at Hartford Stages, however, wasn’t enough to quell Wilson and Dukakis’ fascination and frustration with the play. “A play like this, as rich as it is and as mysterious… We felt still unresolved at the end and very much wanted another go,” Wilson says. “Todd Haines [the artistic director of the Roundabout] has been a great supporter of my work for years. Todd couldn’t get up to see it, but he said, ‘Let’s do a reading.’ And I think the play really haunted Todd the way it haunted Olympia and me. He called me one day last year and asked if I wanted to do it at the Pels. And I was excited about the idea of exploring the play in a more intimate setting, but still with the more

theatrical choices we had made in Hartford. It’s inspired by the Hartford production, but half the company is new and the design is allnew. I feel like the production here is deeper, more resonant. I think it’s clearer, too.” As for his leading lady, who is carrying a difficult production on her shoulders at almost 80 years old—without all the fuss that accompanies Angela Lansbury and Elaine Stritch when they return to the stage—Wilson can’t say enough. “She’s constantly in search of the truth on stage. It’s exciting to work with an artist like Olympia. She’s almost 80, but she feels like she’s at the peak of her career right now. She’s going forth right now in a very exciting way.” Dukakis is going forth with a stellar supporting cast, too, including Maggie Lacey as Flora’s increasingly agitated secretary, Edward Hibbert as the gossipy society creature the Witch of Capri (played by Nöel Coward in Boom!) and Darren Pettie as the mysterious Chris Flanders, who has a habit of befriending wealthy older women just before they die. Just in case you think this production is nothing more than a dry exercise in theatrical archeology, keep in mind that it is a play written by Tennessee Williams, after all, and Chris Flanders may be something more than just a hustler—but he’s still a hustler nonetheless. As Wilson says, “I think the more you bring the sex forward in the play, the better.” < Jan. 30-April 3, The Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th St., 212-719-1300; $71–$81.

ew audience members of the first half of this season’s crop of Broadway shows would argue that the season has been anything close to stellar. Trusty, crowd-pleasing warhorses were dusted off (mostly) and then trotted out; the few attempts at relevancy or modernity should have been left in the comfortable confines of an Off-Broadway house. But before the season ends this May, 19 new shows will try to turn the season around. The Roundabout kicked off the spring with The Importance of Being Earnest (Jan. 13), starring Brian Bedford—who also directs—as Lady Bracknell. Actually, The Roundabout (for once) is in the minority in producing musty, threadbare revivals. In addition to Earnest, there are only five other revivals: the starry That Championship Season (March 6); Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (March 17); an unnecessary revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (March 27), which is “made necessary” by the presence of Daniel Radcliffe; Anything Goes (April 7) with Sutton Foster; and Ben Stiller in The House of Blue Leaves (April 25). That leaves 12 brand-new shows: both War Horse (April 14) and Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (April 21) have been hits in London. Working overtime to apologize for the dismal Broadway musicals of the last four months, producers will be bringing to town six new musicals. One, however, is a new musical version of Alice in Wonderland titled Wonderland (April 17). The other two are The People in the Picture and Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s The Book of Mormon (March 24). Otherwise, we have musical versions of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (March 20), Catch Me If You Can (April 10) and Sister Act (April 20) to look forward to. But while those musicals, and David Lindsay-Abaire’s new play Good People (March 3), are cast with wellliked theater professionals, a season just wouldn’t be complete these days without some imported stardust. So we have Kiefer Sutherland in That Championship Season; Robin Williams making his Broadway debut in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (March 31), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Chris Rock and John Leguizamo battling it out in dueling one-man shows The Motherf**ker with the Hat (April 11) and Ghetto Klown (March 22), respectively. No matter the varying quality and success of these shows, theater fans can take heart in the fact that there is nothing—not even Anything Goes—to truly dread in the coming months. That may not sound terribly optimistic, but after the battering audiences took last fall, even the slightest glimmers of hope seem like searchlights. —Mark Peikert


To Moscow, With Bustles A storied Italian costume company outfits Russian sisters for the stage By. V. L. Hendrickson nton Chekhov’s three sisters may dream of Moscow—but their costumes are from Rome. The costume designer for Classic Stage Company’s production of the play, Marco Piemontese, knew right away the black, blue and white dresses worn by the sisters, as well as the military uniforms and other costumes, would come from Tirelli Costumi in Italy’s capital. “Every time I do period shows, I go there,” Piemontese, 32, says. “New York is a great city for costumes, but it has a history of comedy.” Tirelli may not be a household name, but in the theater, it’s legendary. The company has worked with designers to outfit movies and stage productions since 1964. From Federico Fellini’s Casanova to Amadeus to The English Patient, Tirelli has helped numerous costume designers create authentic-looking characters, as well as aided them on their road to the Academy Awards. Three Sisters, which opens Feb. 3 is getting a lot of attention because of its all-star Hollywood cast—which includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, her husband Peter Sarsgaard, Jessica Hecht and Juliet Rylance. As much as their talent brings to the show, it’s the bustled and corseted costumes that transform each of them from modern trendsetters to turn-of-the-century Russians. To do this, Piemontese, who grew up in Rome, spent a month sifting through period at the Tirelli warehouse. The designer started his career at Tirelli after studying painting as an undergraduate in Florence. He worked there for four years, finding and making costumes and working

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with “some of the greatest costume designers in the world.” “I’m lucky to know everything they have,” he says. He did extensive research on the period before arriving, using late-19th-century paintings and photographs as guides. Once in the warehouse, he went directly to the racks holding dresses from the 1890s. Although the play was written in 1902, Piemontese and director Austin Pendleton decided to create costumes from the 1890s since the sisters are stuck in that mindset with their desire to get back to Moscow. “You need to set a period, otherwise it’s a mess,” Piemontese explains. “There’s such a variety, you get lost.” With over 160,000 costumes, it’s easy to understand how the Tirelli warehouse might be overwhelming: 15,000 of these costumes are authentic period pieces used for exhibition and for designers to study in order to create replicas to be worn on stage. “When a costume designer needs to reproduce perioded costumes, he can study and realize them using our costumes and accessories as model,” Dino Trappetti, the president of Tirelli Costumi, explains. Umberto Tirelli, the founder of the company, began collecting these costumes in the 1960s, and Trappetti continues to acquire them. A 1964 production of Three Sisters was, coincidentally, one of the first shows Tirelli did as he began to amass the collection. “A lot of pieces belong to ancient noble Italian families. Other pieces have been collected, looking for all the most important marchés aux puces [flea markets] all over the world,” Trappetti says. Piemontese worked with the fabric cutters and tailors at Tirelli to create five

new dresses for Three Sisters. After showing them his sketches and discussing the patterns with them, as well as giving them the measurements of the actress, the Tirelli staff cut and created the dresses under Piemontese’s supervision. “A very important thing to underline about his work is that he used authentic fabrics to realize his wonderful costumes,” Trappetti explains. Once the costumes arrived at his Tribeca studio, the designer began fittings with the Three Sisters cast. Wig fittings with the legendary Broadway wig maker Paul Huntley were also scheduled. The show doesn’t incorporate huge wigs, but there are hairpieces that enhance the look of each actress. “Doing beautiful costumes is all about the proportions,” Piemontese says. “It’s all about proportion and volume. If the dress is big, then the hair must be in proportion.” The floor-length dresses accentuate the narrow waists of the three sisters, as well as adding volume to their backsides with bustles. “A famous costume designer, Piero Tosi, told me, ‘There are two costumes: the costume you, as the designer, sees and the costume the people, the audience sees,’” Piemontese says. “The one inside is harder to see with the bustles and corsets and crinolines. The real challenge is to change the shape of an actress.” Piemontese hopes the costumes will also change the way the cast walks and stands, ultimately creating the silhouette of someone who lived 100 years ago when people were much more formal. Although the shape may be the first thing Piemontese works on, he also pays close attention to the details. Classic Stage Company is an intimate black box

It’s a family affair for Juliet Rylance, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jessica Hecht in Three Sisters. theater, seating 199, and the audience can see every detail of the costumes, from the embroidered accents on the back of a dress to the braids on the soldiers’ epaulets. “This work is like a film,” he said. “The people are so close to the actors. It’s very intimate—like a jewel.” Piemontese knows from experience: Over the two weeks of previews, he is in the audience every night, taking notes on how to perfect the costumes. “There’s still so much to do,” he said after a recent performance. He will be worrying about each bit of trim and lace until opening night—and perhaps until the run is over in March. Much like Masha, Olga and Irina’s anguish over returning to Moscow, Piemontese is tormented by the details of his costumes: “You know where you enter, but you don’t know where you get out.” <

Signatures 11 N E W Y O R K T H E AT R E B A L L E T ’ S

“Here and Now” series at Bargemusic

American song cycles exploring literary themes: Russell Platt’s From Noon to Starry Night: A Walt Whitman Cantata and

Tom Cipullo’s A Visit With Emily, based on poems and letters between Emily Dickinson and T.W. Higginson. Both composers will introduce their work at the performance.

Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 8pm Fulton Ferry Landing - Brooklyn, NY

A Celebration of Legends & Visionaries

Works by:

John Butler Merce Cunningham Matthew Neenan Antony Tudor

February 11 & 12, 7pm Florence Gould Hall For tickets, call Ticketmaster 800.982.2787 or visit nytb.org

Tickets: $25 • $20 for seniors • $10 for students

Bargemusic | 718-624-2083 | bargemusic.org January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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Theater

Drawn and Quartered Tennessee Williams gets the Wooster treatment

A scene from a recent production of The Wooster Group’s Vieux Carré. By Ryan Tracy ennessee Williams’ play Vieux Carré is The Wooster Group’s first attempt at interpreting a work by the tortured and turbulent dramatist who gave us Stanley Kowalski, Big Daddy and a slew of iconic catchphrases. The troupe returns to its home at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, where it continues its tenure as the theaterin-residence, to present its version of the play after stints at the RedCat in L.A. and the Edinburgh Festival. Vieux Carré is an obscure, autobiographical Williams work that the playwright completed near the end of his life, and that ran on Broadway in 1977 before shuttering after only five performances. It may have had something to do with the conspicuous gayness of the work, which takes quite a bold step beyond the usual innuendo and veiled homoeroticism that one normally finds simmering beneath many of Williams’ texts. The play follows the coming-of-age of a young writer, a character drawn from Williams’ own memories of his time living in the French Quarter of New Orleans, trying to write plays, coming to terms with his and others people’s homosexuality (the words “gay” and “faggot” appear in the script) and ultimately turning his creative attention to the tortured heterosexual couple then living in the same attic loft as Williams, who would become the prototypes for some of Williams’ most memorable characters. While perhaps too hot—and too nuanced—for a highbrow Broadway audience hovering above the era of punk and disco, this is prime material for a Woosterian riff on sex, the creative process and self-deception. “We sort of embraced all of that,” says Ari Fliakos, a Wooster Group veteran who essays the lead role of The Writer. “We took his cues.” There isn’t likely a politics at work in Wooster Group’s Vieux Carré, however,

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where themes and agendas—political or narrative—tend to be discarded in favor of a process that is about the process of making theater. “We’re not really trying to pretend that’s not happening,” Fliakos says of the Wooster Group’s signature style. The company is known for its multi-leveled, multimedia approach to more conventional works of literature—such as Hamlet and, more notoriously, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman—and by utilizing extra-textual source material as a catalyst for creating its theater. Bluntly put: In a post-modern world, sometimes a script just isn’t enough. In addition to Williams’ play, the troupe has used his journals as well as visits to New Orleans and the house Williams lived in as clues to unlocking the theater within the drama. This process might have more in common with the Williams text than one might first assume. Throughout Williams’ quixotic play, The Writer’s role shifts from subject to storyteller, until the audience realizes that The Writer has become the writer, and what you’re watching is Thomas Lanier Williams’ metamorphosis into Tennessee Williams. “The Writer is making all of this happen,” Fliakos notes. But the actor is adamant that this synchronicity and these auxiliary references are not what Wooster’s work is about. “The source material is used more as a performance tool. It’s not a dominant aspect of the work. At the end of the day, what’s important is how the materials we’re using illuminate the characters and the text,” Fliakos explains, adding, “We’re performing the play pretty faithfully.” As to what the playwright—who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year—would think of Vieux Carré getting the Wooster Group treatment? “It’s entertaining and sexy,” Fliakos says. “I think he’d be happy.” < Feb. 2-27, Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W. 37th St., 212-868-4444; $20+.


The ‘Good’ News

Pulitzer-winner David Lindsay-Abaire’s new play comes to Broadway without a tryout

ROB BERMAN, MUSIC DIRECTOR

LOST IN THE STARS MUSIC BY

KURT WEILL BOOK AND LYRICS BY

MAXWELL ANDERSON BASED ON THE NOVEL

“CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY” BY ALAN PATON FEATURING

THE ENCORES! ORCHESTRA MUSIC DIRECTOR

ROB BERMAN DIRECTED BY

GARY GRIFFIN

FIVE PERFORMANCES ONLY!

FEBRUARY 3 – 6

THU-FRI 8PM, SAT 2 & 8PM, SUN 6:30PM TICKETS START AT $25

Frances McDormand stars in Good People.

Mark Blankenship edits TDF Stages (stages. tdf.org), Theatre Development Fund’s online magazine about the process of creating live performance.

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about Rabbit Hole’s debut, but not so much because it was on Broadway. Until then, he’d written wild comedies like Fuddy Meers, about an amnesiac whose husband may be a murderer. “Now I was writing a more naturalistic, straight-forward drama,” he recalls. “That felt like, ‘Holy cow, what am I doing here?’ more than ‘Holy cow, I’m on Broadway.’ They were all tied together, but I was much more scared about the other part of it.” Once again, he feels more urgency about the content of his new play than the theater where it’s being produced. He’s a native of south Boston, so the characters in Good People, with their dark humor and their class resentment, are drawn directly from his life. “I was interested in this myth that anyone in America can accomplish anything if they just work hard enough,” he says. “I never felt ready to write about that. I felt like I wanted to write responsibly about these people that I know and love deeply and make sure I didn’t condescend to them.” That’s one reason Good People is more in line with Rabbit Hole than with LindsayAbaire’s earlier work. “There’s a judgment on those comedies sometimes,” he explains. “The people that disliked them really hated them. They thought, ‘Oh, this is an absurdist, nonsensical play that I have no use for.’ I would never want these characters to be dismissed in the same way. They can be dismissed for other reasons, but not because of, ‘Well, they’re just silly people. They’re not real people.’” <

d eMon an Robin L

By Mark Blankenship It may be hogging all the attention, but Spider-Man isn’t the only show getting its world premiere on Broadway this spring. On Feb. 8, previews begin for David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, making it the rare play to hit the Rialto without a test run. That puts Lindsay-Abaire in a small club of writers, and it puts the play itself under unique scrutiny. “Right to Broadway,” he quips. “How stupid is that?” In many ways, of course, the opening of Good People—a class comedy about a scrappy south Boston woman who crashes the home of a wealthy friend—is the same as any other. “Every [playwriting] process is sort of the same: You get in there, you rehearse, you try to figure it out, and then you put it in front of an audience,” LindsayAbaire says. “It’s more people’s perceptions of it. It’s a ‘Broadway play.’ I’m thrilled to be on Broadway, but I’m putting a baby in front of an audience, whether it’s on Broadway or an Off-Off-Broadway theater.” Still, those perceptions are hard to ignore. Broadway shows get more media attention, and because the tickets cost more, they tend to generate an expectation of “excellence.” Plus, if Manhattan Theatre Club were presenting the show in one of its Off-Broadway houses, it might not have lured Oscar winners Frances McDormand and Estelle Parsons to the cast, and it certainly wouldn’t be eligible for Tony Awards. Those factors raise the play’s profile with the public and with theaters that might want to produce it later. That’s why productions so rarely come to Broadway without being tested downtown, out of town or in a workshop. “Usually there’s that safety net,” says Lindsay-Abaire. “‘OK, that was so informative and so useful. Now I understand the play. Let me now fix it before it goes to Broadway.’ This is, ‘No, no, you don’t get any of that. Figure it out now in the room.’” But the show wouldn’t be happening if Lindsay-Abaire hadn’t figured things out before. He wrote the books for the Rialto musicals High Fidelity and Shrek, and in 2006 he made his Broadway debut with Rabbit Hole, a drama about a couple waking up from the grief of losing a child. That play only had one workshop production before Manhattan Theatre Club took it to the Biltmore Theatre, and it went on to receive the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. (Nicole Kidman is currently getting Oscar buzz for starring in the film version, which Lindsay-Abaire also wrote.) At the time, the scribe felt nervous

JACK VIERTEL, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Joey Parsons

Janie B

rooksh

ire and

Patrick

Halley

By Molière Translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur Directed by Joseph Hanreddy Running through February 20, 2011 Photos by Jacob J. Goldberg

AT NEW YORK CITY CENTER STAGE II

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January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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AttheGALLERIES In the Tonalist Mood: Paintings from the 1860s to the Present

“Cinema, (LA Theater),” by Kirsten Everberg.

Five From L.A.

The title of Galerie Lelong’s current exhibition emphasizes the artists’ common home base, but they share other traits as well. All produce painterly canvases, all are women, all earned a masters degree within the past dozen years, and all already have serious exhibition records. What’s more important, their work—limited unfortunately to just two pieces by most of the artists—reveals that they all engage, with postmodernist élan, in explorations of the meaning and conventions of representation. But here the similarities end, and Lelong’s spacious installation handsomely sets off their different approaches. With their feathery eruptions in paint, Whitney Bedford’s abstracted seascapes could be tidy upgrades of J.M.W. Turner. Two of her panels describe upended, sinking ships or watery explosions on sheeny oceans. Her quick paint strokes, strategically elaborated with flurries of ink, frame these apocalyptic scenes with considerable skill. The artist, however, both proffers and withholds: Her technique evokes, but her color reveals more of the elegant control of a designer than the go-for-broke weightiness of Turner. Slyly, these paintings picture rather than embody their own dramas.

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Alexandra Grant’s paintings, with their profusions of single words ringed in ovals like dialogue balloons, conjure a unique blend of Tibetan mandalas and comic books. The symmetrical piling of forms in these recent works at Lelong adds another possibility: theater marquees. In these collaborations with poet Michael Joyce, words are visual poems reassembled according to each viewer’s own perceptions. Words occupy space, while paint-marks conjugate thoughts, with an omnidirectional energy cohered in large part by the artist’s humor. Like Gerhard Richter, Kirsten Everberg carefully depicts her subjects while appearing to doubt the very act of depiction. Employing a luscious, liquidy medium of oil and enamel paint, the artist has painted the flamboyant, Beaux-Arts interior of a theater in all its teeming detail, with a palette of oddly mute colors that tend to quash any enticing impression of light and space. Where, these paintings shrewdly ask, does paint end and ornament begin? If fervor is a quality that’s metered or sublimated in most works here, it rings loudly in the strange paintings of the Bulgarian-born Iva Gueorguieva. In two large canvases combining collage and paint, twisting rays—articulated like girders or

tickertape—wheel through deep, complex spaces. No clear narrative emerges—other than, perhaps, the digital-mechanical overload of modern life—but a certain heft to the drawing and color gives conviction to the paintings’ rhythmic urgency. Annie Lapin’s paintings, too, show an ardor for plastic rhythms, while leaving narratives struggling to catch up. One of her canvases borrows from a painting by Goya (or possibly his assistant), covering its features with broad, slashing strokes suggesting a hangman’s scaffold. This would amount to an angry, ignorant exploitation of a masterpiece were it not for Lapin’s keen feel for locating gestures with pressures of color. Her crude, almost ugly technique yields some subtle effects: the scaffold’s dense, smeared grays hanging palpably before the limpid blues of sky, and the delicate gray-purple of a cloud slipping poignantly in-between. The canvas fascinatingly records the struggle between planned effect and the autonomy of paint—an old standby of Expressionism, perhaps, but refreshing in a time when artists tend to illustrate, rather than experience, situations of painting. [John Goodrich] Through Feb. 5, Galerie Lelong, 528 W. 26th St., 212-315-0470.

Tonalism developed from two European springs: the French Barbizon School, by way of its American disciples, and Aestheticism. Practiced from the mid-19thcentury into the early 20th, it was less a coherent movement than a shared sensibility among Europhile American artists. Chief among these were George Inness (and his followers) and James McNeil Whistler, American expatriate and evangelist of tonal harmony. Whistler’s low-toned atmospheric arrangements, those ethereal nocturnes and harmonies, were a prime impetus behind the spread of a loose convergence of styles that did not even have a name until the 1890s and still earns sparse mention in art survey textbooks. There are many gratifying surprises in this show, delicious work by names less familiar today than in their time. Kenyon Cox, one of the best-known painters and art critics of his day, personified academic classicism with an American flavor. His “After the Harvest” is a poetic vista of a sloping field broken by the delicate mass of a low-growing tree. An Ohio Valley pastoral, it paraphrases Inness’ rejection of explicit detail in order to heighten suggestions of space and distance. The misted contours of Corot lie a generation behind it. Elliott Daingerfield’s prim little “Garden of Eden,” with its silly rabbit and distant classical ruin, illustrates the academic pitfalls Cox had the wit to evade in his landscapes. Arthur Wesley Dow, deeply engaged by Asian aesthetics and the tenets of the Arts & Crafts movement, is wonderfully represented with two very different natural scenes. “Moon Through the Trees” epitomizes the evocative power of subdued light on diffuse contours, that refined spatial ambiguity inherited from Aestheticism. It carries the warm, vespertine tones used earlier by Théodore Rousseau in scenes of Fontainebleau Forest. “Study for a Field Kerlaouen,” a much-reproduced Breton landscape, has the clarity and lively coloration of a motif begun in the open air. Both are so lovely it does not matter what tag is placed on them. “In the Forest” is a small jewel by John

“Sunset from Quebec,” by Birge Harrison.


La Farge. An autumnal woodland scene, its luminous russets and ochres convey light with the richness of stained glass. The painter’s love of Delacroix shows in the intensity and depth of color. American museumgoers are familiar with his floral still lifes, evocative of Fantin-Latour. Here is reason to know his landscapes better. Henry Prellwitz’s “Swirling Clouds in the Moonlight” typifies the splendid nocturnes that were his forte. This captivating view of a turbulent sky over Peconic Bay embodies the fluctuating Tonalist straddle—of 19thcentury academicism on one hand and modern motives on the other—tipping it decidedly toward the modern. You cannot leave this exhibition without wanting to see more of John Francis Murphy, Leonard Ochtman, Arthur Hoeber, Charles Warren Eaton, George Fuller, Hugh Bolton Jones and Birge Harrison. It is precisely the unselfconscious beauty and pictorial intelligence of these more underrecognized painters that makes the exhibition revelatory. The mongrel character of Tonalism welcomes in its name almost any low-keyed landscape with indistinct forms. Even ones not so low-keyed, such as Terry DeLapp’s highly abstract “Passing Storm,” slip in under the umbrella term. Among the more contemporary aspirants to Tonalist aims, Lisa Breslow earns her place here. “Central Park No. 4” bows to the spirit, if not the pyrotechnics, of Whistler’s “Nocturne in Black and Gold.” [Maureen Mullarkey] Through Feb. 12, Spanierman Gallery, 45 E. 58th St., 212-832-0208.

Heinz Mack: Early Metal Reliefs 1957-1967

be dots and fragmented lines. They form seductively glowing abstract patterns, borrowing from Minimalism but warmer because of their intrinsic light. “Spiegel-Spirale,” constructed of aluminum, Plexiglas, wood and stainless steel, draws you into its spirals, one superimposed on the other and creating a hypnotic whirlpool. Glittering sharp edges, like those created by a smashed mirror give “Grosses Splitter-Bild (Hommage à Arman)” its intimidating power, dangerous and seductive, a heady mix in many of the intriguing works here. Mack fans can look forward to an exhibit of his very different earthworks—experimental interventions in the Sahara and the Arctic, which he began in 1959—in a big “Land Art” show, scheduled for 2012 or 2013 in Los Angeles. [Valerie Gladstone] Through Feb. 19, Sperone Westwater, 257 Bowery, 212-999-7337.

Seth Price: Non Speech, Fire & Smoke

The videos in Seth Price’s Non Speech, Fire & Smoke were uploaded to YouTube last year and, with this show, Friedrich Petzel Gallery maintains the isolating nature of the Internet. Each video is individually packaged in its own mini cubicle with a single set of headphones. The viewer must press play on the DVD player, an unusual feature that most don’t realize: They stand before the title card for a minute or so before realizing they have to take action. There is a quiet sort of beauty in experiencing artwork as a personal interaction between oneself and a TV screen. It harkens back to Edison’s Kinetoscope, one of the first motion picture devices into which the viewer would look and see silent, flickering images of dancers, boxers and sneezes. The movies serve as music videos for the tracks on Price’s album Honesty, which is out on Audio Visual Arts Records this month. The videos range from footage that Price shot (“N.Y. Sorrow”) to footage from the Internet (“Keep Hollywood Close”) to U.S. military training and promotion videos (“Non Speech”). The music was written over the last 12 years. Short descriptions of each piece show them to be cobbled together from surplus material in his studio;

Heinz Mack figured prominently in the resurgence of art in post-war Germany both through his striking metal reliefs and his co-founding in 1957, with Otto Piene, of the ZERO group, an experimental laboratory where artists investigated new art practices and held exhibitions. Now almost 80, he worked in Plexiglas, wood, glass and stainless steel, all relatively new to sculpture at the time. But in spite of his influence and his remarkable pieces, as well as being collected by 130 institutions around the world, this marks the first survey of his early works. Inspired by mirages that he had seen in the North African desert, Mack set out to catch their luminous beauty by employing the metallic surfaces of modern industry. A seemingly incongruous juxtaposition of influence and materials, his idea led to the beautiful, shimmering works in this show, which includes reliefs, stainless steel assemblages, free-standing sculptures and boxes of light. “Struktur zum Lesen,” which is made of transparent foil and metal foil, “Relief mit Spiegelquadraten,” by Heinz Mack. consists of three rows of what appear to

“Samhain,” by Sharon Ellis.

about “Non Speech,” he writes, “The track was made this past fall, using recordings from a 2003 voice experiment that I never figured out what to do with.” This nonchalance seems slightly disingenuous in a gallery setting, but links to the increasingly recycled nature of our mass production media. Price concerns himself with the mediation between art and production, and even the scraps of his work paint the negative space around an artist obsessed with transforming the everyday into the unusual. [Nicholas Wells] Through Feb. 19, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, 535 W. 22nd St., 212-680-9467.

Sharon Ellis: Paintings

Los Angeles-based Sharon Ellis produces hallucinatory landscapes of impressive vibrancy and complexity. Using a rich and varied palette, she delves deep into the essence of nature, imbuing it with sensational powers. She finds her scenes near her home in Southern California and while her paintings could be described as Californian, they really portray an imaginary world, where clouds, grass, sunlight and stars seem more from the Land of Oz than from our own. Clearly in love with paint, she layers each canvas many times over,

obtaining an unusual tactility. This tactility reinforces the energy that emanates from all her works. On first look, her paintings might seem pretty rather than profound—for instance, “Reminisence,” in which rays of light stream from a cloud-filled blue sky onto a glowing, green field, where daisies grow. But the leafless tree that frames the scene, with its tangle of spidery branches, casts an ominous spell, and eventually, one feels that something is wrong and that anticipating a simple, sunny, optimistic picture was naïve. No one would for a moment have the same expectations with the resonant “Samhain.” Under a deep yellow and red sky, with a malicious face emerging from the clouds, a figure appears to be sitting in the midst of a haunted bower. Dead, black branches frame these strange creatures, leaving us only wanting to see more and know more, even though we shudder at the implications. That’s not to say that many of her paintings aren’t also gorgeous, like “Gardenia Dream,” with its glittery stars in a bright blue night. Here you see her debt to Van Gogh, who also had strange and wonderful dreams. [VG] Through Feb. 19, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, 730 5th Ave., 212-445-0444. January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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ClassicalMUSIC&Opera

Recitals with a Difference

Renée Fleming, the starry soprano, and Miranda Cuckson, a violinist who should be more starry

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Chris Lee.

credit

R

By Jay Nordlinger enée Fleming gave a recital in Carnegie Hall, as a great singer should. Is it your impression that we have fewer recitals today than we used to? It’s mine too. And there are statistics to back this. Orchestras, opera companies and chamber music are doing just fine (much as we like to wail that the sky is falling). Recitals, however, are becoming unfortunately rarer. Fleming sang an unusual program, whose first half consisted of Schoenberg, Zemlinsky and Korngold. These were composers considered by the Nazis “degenerate.” In the Nazi period, their music was banned, where Nazis ruled. And afterward? Schoenberg was performed and esteemed, all over the world. The others, not so much. As the music scholar and recording executive Michael Haas once put it, composers such as Zemlinsky and Korngold faced a “second dictatorship”: modernists, who were determined to keep anything that smacked of the Romantic out. Often, these modernists denounced Zemlinsky et al. in the very same terms the Nazis had used. On the second half of her program, Fleming sang songs by Brad Mehldau— an American born in 1970—and Richard Strauss. She is of course one of the great Straussians of our time. And Mehldau is lucky to have her as a champion. He has a champion in the Swedish mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter, too. Some of us don’t see what these women see in his songs. But their judgment is to be respected. Fleming sang with her usual beauty of sound and musical intelligence. You could have quibbled with interpretation here and there, of course. You normally can. Fleming has the ability to make her sound “wide” or “thin”—to vary the ribbon of that sound, the stream of it. And she likes to “dig” into her lower notes, the way string players “dig” into their strings. The best-known of the Strauss songs was “Traum durch die Dämmerung”—one of nature’s perfect songs, a piece of F-sharpmajor perfection. Fleming was virtually made for the long, long lines at the end. She sang four encores, beginning with another Strauss song, “Zueignung.” Of all the world’s songs, this is the one most frequently used as an encore. I base this rather bald observation on many years of attendance at voice recitals. Fleming’s (commendable) pianist, Hartmut Höll, began the song with one tempo; Fleming, when she entered, established a faster one, which is her right. In the final bars, she did something surprising: some sort of interpolation or improvisation. It was almost jazz-style. She then sang the beloved aria from Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt, known as “Marietta’s Lied.” Following that was “I

Renée Fleming performing with Hartmut Höll at Carnegie Hall. Feel Pretty,” from you-know-what, by youknow-whom. In this, Fleming was fast-fast. The song is a waltz, and she really kept your feet moving. The soprano closed the evening with Strauss’s “Morgen,” another favorite encore, particularly of sopranos. Fleming did her best singing of the night in it. A colleague of mine wrote to me, “The ‘Morgen’ was sublime, with all the control, nuance, simplicity and beauty of sound that one could want.” I hate to farm out my music criticism, but I cannot improve on that.

A Pianist Not Needed Miranda Cuckson is an American violinist with a busy career in both solo playing and chamber music. She is a notable friend to contemporary composers. And she teaches at Mannes College The New School for Music—which must be the most awkwardly named institution in America. She played something unusual: an allunaccompanied violin recital. In other words, she offered a program consisting entirely of music for unaccompanied violin. The great Russian Maxim Vengerov did this in Carnegie Hall about 10 years ago. Cuckson had a more exotic venue: the James Memorial Chapel in the Union Theological Seminary. The chapel was a little echo-y but interesting. Naturally, she played Bach, the king of

unaccompanied violin music (and much else). She also played music by two recent composers: Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) and Ralph Shapey (1921-2002). Mainly, she played music by Michael Hersch, the American composer born in 1971. In everything, she showed complete and uncanny assurance. Seldom do you hear a player so confident—and with so much to be confident about. She has plenty of technique, but wears it lightly: The technique is strictly at the service of musical communication. She was bold and refined, straightforward and sensitive, proving that these are not contradictory qualities. And she played with exceptional concentration— as though she could not be budged from her task or purpose, no matter what. There were two Hersch works on the program: in the snowy margins and Fourteen Pieces. The first is based on, or inspired by, or associated with, words of Bruno Schulz, a Polish-Jewish writer who was shot and killed by a Gestapo officer in 1942. The second is based on poetry by Primo Levi, the Italian-Jewish writer who survived Auschwitz and may or may not have committed suicide in 1987. These two compositions are typically Herschian. They are different from each other, but we can still make some general points about the two of them, together. Their movements are short, sometimes

in the nature of fragments. (I should mention that in the snowy margins has seven movements. The second work, as the title tells you, is divided into 14.) The movements are like distilled emotions, or thoughts. Hersch is very economical in his expression—economical without being parsimonious. And, like his performer on this evening, he has intense concentration. The works have variety, for Hersch knows enough to sustain interest. He has a sense of balance, of how a work is coming off as a whole. For instance, just when things are getting heavy and taxing, he gives you a little relief—maybe something scherzo-like. Fourteen Pieces and in the snowy margins, to give the order of their composition— the first was written in 2007, the second in 2010—are intellectual, emotional and virtuosic, all three. They take a serious violinist who is also a serious musician. Cuckson met all the requirements (though perhaps only the composer can know for sure). As I said, Cuckson has a busy career, but I believe she should have a bigger reputation than she does. I definitely know more ballyhooed violinists who play less well. Departing from recently established practice, she did no talking from the stage. She had written extensive program notes, available for anyone to read. Otherwise, she was content to be a violinist, letting the music speak for itself. Is that still legal? <


Jazz

Avatar of Blues America

Sheer entertainment: Prince and his court at Madison Square Garden

THE SPRING SHOW

March 9–13, 2011 Park Avenue Armory

643 Park Avenue at 67th Street | New York City For show details and tickets, please visit avenueshows.com or call 646.442.1627

April 30, 2011 10 am-7 pm |@ Center548 Featuring Youth Bikes and Dutch Cargo Bikes for The Family! Tickets available at

www.newambikeshow.com

By Howard Mandel Screaming electric blues guitar. Singing raspy as the street and pure as purported heaven. Sassy songs the self-adoring Royal and his pumped-up favorites enact, partying to celebrate the body salacious. Dance moves of sexy slink and pep-rally ebullience. Drums rumbling with rhythms to break up the earth. Twenty thousand people cheering with pleasure from their seats. How sweet it is to reclaim one’s roots! I first heard Prince on my 30th birthday—30 years ago—during his Dirty Mind tour in Chicago’s Uptown Theatre. I thought his act, which involved him clad in a leopard-skin stretch onesie, rolling across the floor and bouncing off onstage flats while hugging his guitar like a teddy bear, was hugely derivative and a passing fad. I was right, but I was wrong. Back then and there, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Son Seals and a raft of other long laborers could be heard almost any night doing the heavy lifting of perpetuating America’s under-valued black blues tradition. The memory of Jimi Hendrix was palpable, Howlin’ Wolf was dead only four years, Muddy Waters was in the throes of late-life fame, and Chuck Berry was always headlining somewhere. By comparison to them, Prince seemed shallow. Rock guitar, then as now, meant blues guitar, but Prince was not an individualist among the guitar heroes. He was grandiose but scuzzy, greasy, grimy: dirty. He appealed to listeners who wanted flash from a show, not substance. Three decades later, in his Welcome 2 America tour, Prince sustains his popularity and enriches his audience by rocking, rolling and righteously riling us up with performance extravaganzas that pinpoint, elevate and consecrate the humble blues as the point of origin and main source of American pop. He understands the eternal power of just a couple chords chucked with spunk and funk, and he triumphs with a vocal style—and amazing, effortless falsetto—that conflates gospel worship with devilish merriment. He’s honed and polished old, raw materials to sparkling sleekness, amplified them to levels that shake arenas and now embodies an unstated myth: that he is the inevitable, victorious embodiment of an enduring dynasty. What would father of the delta blues Charlie Patton think to see the stances (guitar jutting out from crotch, swung behind back, tossed away) and hear the licks (Work those blue notes! Squeeze that tremolo!) that he practiced in the lowly taverns of sharecropper settlements in Mississippi 100 years ago, now raised to the heights of visibility and influence Prince commands? Assume Patton would have loved it, because Prince

had the entirety of his all-ages, all-races audience in his purple palm. After an intense warm-up set by ferociously hardworking Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, the pencil-thin 52-year-old in a gray tunic emblazoned with his own face was discovered by a single spotlight, posing coyly for fans’ photos while standing atop a grand piano. Then he hopped off to play, play, play. “Kiss,” “U Got The Look,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Let’s Work,” “Delirious,” “1999,” his signature ballad “Purple Rain,” which it’s possible to dislike but I find unforgettable… “I’ve got a lot of hits,” Prince announced early on, and proved it. He commanded sing-alongs, clap-alongs, waving-hands-in-the-air, got everyone to hold up their lighted cellphones and said he was about to ask us to toss our phones into the air. We would have. He featured guest stars prominently, hailing alto saxophonist Maceo Parker, who took two biting solos, but the Artist never for a moment allowed anyone’s attention on him to lapse. Yes, he is vainglorious, stroking his hair (hint of gray at the temples?), unleashing precise steps, flaunting his taut bottom. Yes, he has remarkable energy, providing climax upon climax in a series of false endings and encores. Yes, he surrounds himself with pretty props like the twins in hot pants and roller-shoes and the girl he brought up from the VIP section to whom he sang “I Love U, But I Don’t Trust U Anymore.” She swooned. Who wouldn’t? Was he really focused on little her? As for his “Welcome 2 America” theme: Prince mentioned President Obama once, along with the throwaway, “We’ve still got a long way to go regarding race relations in this country,” but his true interests seemed far from political. Asking for applause for the Dap-Kings, he complimented them: “Real music by real musicians.” That’s his standard, and it’s admirable. He really plays, sings, moves, writes catchy hooks and leads a super troupe. He’s no pretender, though still a party boy. Would he be king? Why? Princes have more fun. < January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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MUSEUM

Condo Moves In

George Condo and his Artificial Realism land at The New Museum

“The Stockbroker” by George Condo.

“Figures in a Garden” by George Condo. By Nicholas Wells t’s hard to talk about George Condo these days without mentioning Kanye West. Luckily, it’s The New Museum to the rescue. Mental States, a monumental collection of Condo’s work to date, opens Jan. 26 on the Bowery. The exhibition ranges from classically inspired landscapes to gilded bronze busts, but concentrates on the Old Master-meets-Cubist portraits that Condo calls Artificial Realism and has made his hallmark. Condo’s work is best viewed en masse. His endless productivity and singular style make the arc of his oeuvre unmistakable and a mid-career survey welcome. Recently, his work has shown up in popular culture in interesting ways: Last year, Supreme released a series of Condo skate decks and he created freaky Halloween-like masks for New York designer Adam Kimmel. He may be best known in certain circles for his album art in Phish’s 1998 album The Story of the Ghost. Coming from a working-class town in Massachusetts—he studied Baroque and Rococo painting before dropping out of college—Condo arrived in New York in 1981. He quickly fell in with Downtown artists like Julian Schnabel, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring, and briefly worked as an assistant in Andy Warhol’s Factory. He

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never seemed taken with the prevalent drive to innovate and absorb new artistic methods, but rather concentrated on reclaiming centuries-old composition and technique. Representational painting dominated Western art until the 20th century. From the cave paintings of Lascaux to Van Gogh, artists have repeated reality in a mimetic frenzy to preserve and communicate. But representational painting can never be reality itself. Even its ideas and concepts are tied up in the symbology of the object. A sword may slash, jab or lay lifeless, but it may never be a sword. “The Madonna,” Condo’s “breakthrough” painting of 1982, is on display for the first time in Mental States. An Old Master-style bust portrait, it depicts a redrobed figure silhouetted against a lightly cloudy and textured sky. After overlaying the oil paint with varnish, he scraped away a few layers, creating a Francis Bacon-lite sort of effect. “The Madonna” was not based on source images but on memories Condo had accrued of the various Virgin portraits he had seen in museums and books. After his initial success in New York, Condo was able to move to France in 1985. There, he continued his interest in the Old Masters, adopting more influence and their

practices. He began using a gray primer like the Flemish painters Bruegel and Rubens, and studying his other great art-historical influence, the Cubists. His Expanding Canvas series (1984 through 1986) illustrates the emergence of the Cubist influence. In “Dancing to Miles,” abstract shapes derived from frenetic figures and Picassoid masks fill the canvas in a catacomb of rhythm and anxiety. Images emerge and meld in an overlaid composition that seems to radiate from its center and sweep the eye around the crammed canvas. Félix Guattari, French psychoanalyst and Condo’s upstairs neighbor in Paris, compared the series’ paintings to the “psychotic repair processes” painted by mental patients in art therapy. By locating his artistic ancestors in the Old Masters and early Modernists, Condo taps into a connection between abstraction and psychoanalysis. After all, it was in 1910 that Wassily Kandinsky painted “First Abstract Watercolour” and Sigmund Freud founded the International Psychoanalytical Association. Abstraction allows for a painting to become more realistic in that it’s not a representation. The paint(ing) gains an independence that representational painters could not achieve. Thus, early

Modernists—Kandinsky and Malevich among them—rejected concrete form in favor of pure abstraction. But Condo inserts himself in a different tradition, recalibrating the methods and practices of Old Masters as well as Modernists. It’s no wonder that psychoanalytical buzzwords would be invoked in Condo’s first American survey. The exhibition’s title, and those of the catalog’s essays, “Abstraction as a State of Mind” and Will Self’s excellent “Believing in the Cow: The Psychopathoanathemas Pronounced by George Condo,” hint at the language of clinical diagnoses. In 1995, Condo returned to New York and hit his stride with “portraits of imaginary people.” Rarely painting actual living people, his universe is populated by maniacal faces and recurrent characters from his imagination. In “Uncle Joe,” a hairy, pants-less man lies in the grass with a bottle and a cigarette. His face twisted in a hideous grin, he balances a wine glass on an outstretched leg as the bubbles of anxiety or drunkenness float away into the sky. The solitary figure maintains the energy of “Dancing” and exudes a certain elegant alienation in his debaucherous nonchalance. If Modernism was a response to the societal upheavals of the Industrial Revolution, then Condo serves as a bellwether to the cultural schizophrenia that has permeated since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Certainly his progeny (John Currin, Dana Schultz and Maurizio Cattelan, among them) have continued this exploration into a world mediated by capitalism as a foregone conclusion. Indeed, it’s in the last 20 years that we see Condo’s genius manifest in truly original portraiture of the meek and wild and generally criminally insane among us. George Condo: Mental States Through May 8, New Museum, 235 Bowery, 212-219-1222.


ArtsAGENDA Exhibition Openings A.I.R. Gallery: Megan Biddle, Emily Harris &

Beatrice Wolert: “Impermanent Fixtures.” Opens Feb. 2. Elisabeth Munro Smith: “Going From Here to There.” Opens Feb. 3, 111 Front St. #228, Brooklyn, 212-255-6651. Alexandre Gallery: Lois Dodd: “Shadows.” Opens Feb. 3, The Fuller Building, 41 E. 57th St., 212755-2828. Anita Shapolsky Gallery: “’50s & ’60s Abstract Artists.” Opens Feb. 2, 152 E. 65th St., 212-4521094. Benrimon Contemporary: Trey Speegle: “It’s Not About You.” Opens Feb. 3, 514 W. 24th St., 2nd Fl., 212-924-2400. Blue Mountain Gallery: Barbara Segal: “On Gardiner’s Bay - Paintings & Drawings.” Opens Feb. 1, 530 W. 25th St., 4th Fl., 646-486-4730. China Institute Gallery: “Along the Yangzi River: Regional Culture of the Bronze Age from Hunan.” Opens Jan. 27, 125 E. 65th St., 212-7448181. DC Moore Gallery: Romare Bearden: “Idea to Realization.” Opens Feb. 3, 535 W. 22nd St., 212-247-2111. Gagosian Gallery: Francesco Vezzoli: “Sacrilegio.” Opens Feb. 5, 522 W. 21st St., 212-741-1717. Hasted Kraeutler: Michael Benson: “Beyond.” Opens Feb. 3, 537 W. 24th St., 212-627-0006. Haunch of Venison: León Ferrari. Opens Jan. 28, 1230 6th Ave., 212-259-0000. Hosfelt Gallery: Jim Campbell: “4 Works.” Opens Feb. 3, 531 W. 36th St., 212-563-5454. Nancy Margolis Gallery: “Abstraction.” Opens Feb. 3, 523 W. 25th St., 212-242-3013. Onishi Gallery: David Chang: “Sacred Dialogues.” Opens Jan. 29, 521 W. 26th St., 212-695-8035. Paul Kasmin Gallery: Kenny Scharf: “Naturafutura.”

Opens Jan. 27, 293 10th Ave., 212-563-4474.

Phoenix Gallery: Pamela Flynn: “Demarcation:

Exclusion/Exclusive.” Opens Feb. 1, 210 11th Ave., 212-226-8711. Soho Photo Gallery: “Small Works.” Opens Feb. 1, 15 White St., 212-226-8571. Spazio 522: Janet Mait: “New Shoes.” Opens Jan. 27, 526 W. 26th St., Ste. 522, 212-929-1981. Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects: “Pairings: Gandy Brodie/Bob Thompson - The Ecstasy of Influence.” Opens Feb. 1, 24 E. 73rd St., #2F, 917-861-7312.

Exhibition Closings Able Fine Art NY Gallery: “Five Sculptors.” Ends

Feb. 8, 511 W. 25th St., Ste. 507, 212-675-3057.

ACA Galleries: “Small & Everlasting.” Ends Jan.

29. John Dobbs: “Equilibrium/Disequilibrium.” Ends Jan. 29, 529 W. 20th St., 5th Fl., 212-2068080. Andrew Edlin Gallery: Felipe Jesus Consalvos. Ends Jan. 29, 134 10th Ave., 212-206-9723. Anna Kustera Gallery: “Material Witness.” Ends Feb. 5, 520 W. 21st St., 212-989-0082. ArtGate Gallery: “New Wave of Asia.” Ends Jan. 26, 520 W. 27th St., #101, 646-455-0986. Atlantic Gallery: Michael K. Yamaoka: “Photographic Encounters - A Crystallization of Inner Imagery.” Ends Jan. 29, 135 W. 29th St., Ste. 601, 212-219-3183. Benrimon Contemporary: Amanda Burnham: “From the Land of Pleasant Living.” Ends Jan. 27, 514 W. 24th St., 2nd Fl., 212-924-2400. Blank Space: Stanford Kay. Ends Feb. 4, 511 W. 25th St., Ste. 204, 212-924-2025. Blue Mountain Gallery: Janet Sawyer. Ends Jan. 29, 530 W. 25th St., 4th Fl., 646-486-4730. Bold Hype Gallery: “Fracture.” Ends Feb. 5, 547 W. 27th St., 5th Fl., 212-868-2322.

Out of Town EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS THE ALDRICH CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM: The

Aldrich presents a commissioned & controversial work by Shimon Attie, “MetroPAL. IS.” The high-definition video focuses on the hybrid identities of New York City’s Israeli & Palestinian populations. Opens Jan. 30, 258 Main St., Ridgefield, Conn., 203-438-4519, www.aldrichart.org.

BERKSHIRE MUSEUM: “Henry Klimowicz: Paper &

Light” is a site-specific installation utilizing natural light & used cardboard to resemble the ephemeral & delicate work of insects. Ongoing, 39 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., 413-4437171, www.berkshiremuseum.org.

BRUCE MUSEUM: Spanning two thousand years, “Hu-

man Connections: Figural Art from the Bruce Museum Collection” presents approximately 40 paintings, sculptures, photographs & works on paper depicting the human body. Opens Feb. 15, 1 Museum Dr., Greenwich, Conn., 203869-0376, www.brucemuseum.org.

ELAYNE P. BERNSTEIN THEATRE: “The Mystery of

Irma Vep,” by Charles Ludlam & directed by Kevin G. Coleman, features two actors in eight roles, spanning all storytelling genres to create a hilarious romp that will leave you falling out of your seat with laughter. Performed by Shakespeare & Co. Opens Feb. 4, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox,

Mass., 413-637-3353, www.shakespeare.org. NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM: “Looking Back: The

Celebrating its 15th year, the American International Fine Art Fair is the most broad-ranging fine art and antiques event in the country. This year’s dynamic program will feature a major one-artist exhibition of more than 20 works by Pierre Auguste Renoir, presented by Hammer Galleries of New York. The Vernissage preview party is a highlight of the Palm Beach social season and will be held on February 4th. Tickets available at www.aifaf.com

Feb 5-13, 2011 Palm Beach County Convention Center West Palm Beach, FL USA +1 239 495 7293

Alexandre CityArts Jan 2011

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Lois Dodd SHADOWS: RECENT PAINTING S

Reception for the artist Thursday, February 3, from 5 to 7 pm

Problem We All Live With” returns to 1964 with Norman Rockwell’s depiction of Ruby Bridges taking her first steps toward integrating a public school. The installation focuses on Rockwell’s art, reference photographs & reactionary letters from the public. Ends Jan 31, 9 Rte. 183, Stockbridge, Mass., 413-2984100, www.nrm.org.

MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM: “Engaging Nature:

American & Native American Artists (A.D. 1200-2004)” is the Museum’s first attempt to integrate American & Native American art from the collection around a central theme. The pieces span from prehistoric ceramics to 19th-century landscape paintings. Ends Sept. 25, 3 S. Mountain Ave., Montclair, N.J., 973746-5555, www.montclair-art.com.

YALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART: After spending six

years living & working in Japan as a ceramist, Rebecca Salter returned to England & took up drawing, woodblock printing & painting. The retrospective “‘into the light of things’: Rebecca Salter works, 1981-2010” creates a dialogue between Western & Japanese aesthetics, artistic practice & architecture. Opens Feb. 3, 1080 Chapel St.‚ New Haven‚ Conn., 203-432-2800, www.ycba.yale.edu.

A l e x a n d r e Ga l l e r y 41 East 57th 212.755.2828 www.alexandregallery.com January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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ArtsAGENDA The Painting Center: Julie Shapiro & Rachael Wren:

“Thought Patterns.” Ends Jan. 29. Lorraine Tady: “Small Abstract Paintings.” Ends Jan. 29, 547 W. 27th St., Ste. 500, 212-343-1060. Palitz Gallery: Marco Maggi: “American Ream.” Ends Feb. 3, 11 E. 61st St., 212-826-0320. Pandemic Gallery: “Trespass.” Ends Feb. 6, 37 Broadway, Brooklyn, 917-727-3466. The Pen & Brush, Inc.: “Fay Lansner (1921-2010): A Memorial Exhibition.” Ends Jan. 30, 16 E. 10th St., 212-475-3669. Phoenix Gallery: “New Blood: National MFA Exhibition.” Ends Jan. 29. Ming-Jen Hsu: “The Interior Landscape.” Ends Jan. 29, 210 11th Ave., 212-226-8711. Ronald Feldman Fine Arts: “En-Garde II: omg.” Ends Feb. 5, 31 Mercer St., 212-226-3232. Soho Photo Gallery: Norman H. Gershman: “Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews During World War II.” Ends Jan. 29, 15 White St., 212-226-8571. Sous Les Etoiles Gallery: Ichigo Sugawara: “The Bright Forest.” Ends Jan. 29, 560 Broadway, Ste. 205, 212-966-0796. Spanierman gallery: “January Gallery Selections.” Ends Feb. 5, 45 E. 58th St., 212-832-0208. Studio 601: Paul Kolker: “The Pandora Syndrome... Go Gesundheit!” Ends February 2011, 511 W. 25th St., 212-367-7300. Tenri Cultural Institute: Amalia Piccinini: “Rewards for Solitude.” Ends Jan. 29, 43A W. 13th St., 212-645-2800. Westside Gallery: “Ground Control.” Ends Feb. 5, 133/141 W. 21st St., 212-592-2145.

Museums American Folk Art Museum: “Perspectives: Forming

“I May Never Get To Heaven,” by Matt Straub at Lyons Wier Limited. Bowery Gallery: David Mollett: “Paintings &

Prints.” Ends Jan. 29, 530 W. 25th St., 646-2306655. Ceres Gallery: Joyce Ellen Weinstein: “Denial.” Ends Jan. 29, 547 W. 27th St., Ste. 201, 212947-6100. ClampArt: John Arsenault: “A Ghost Is Occupying My Heart.” Ends Feb. 5, 521-531 W. 25th St., Ground Floor, 646-230-0020. David Findlay Jr. Fine Art: David Aronson: “Music of the Soul.” Ends Jan. 29, 41 E. 57th St., 11th Fl., 212-486-7660. Denise Bibro Fine Art: H. Lloyd Weston: “ColorConcepts-Creativity.” Ends Jan. 29, 529 W. 20th St., #4W, 212-647-7030. Exit Art: “Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated.” Ends Feb. 5. “Fracking: Art & Activism Against the Drill.” Ends Feb. 5, 475 10th Ave., 212-966-7745. Franklin 54 Gallery + Projects: James Loparo: “Before & After - Harmonic Cycles of Creation & Destruction.” Ends Jan. 29, 526 W. 26th St., Rm. 403, 917-821-0753.

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Frederico Sève Gallery: Tony Bechara: “Minima

Visibilia.” Ends Feb. 5, 37 W. 57th St., 4th Fl., 212-334-7813. Gary Snyder Project Space: Sven Lukin: “Paintings, 1960-1971.” Ends Jan. 29, 250 W. 26th St., 212929-1351. Half King Gallery: Carolyn Drake: “Becoming Chinese.” Ends Jan. 29, 505 W. 23rd St., 212462-4300. Hasted Kraeutler: Nathan Harger. Ends Jan. 29, 537 W. 24th St., 212-627-0006. Heidi Cho Gallery: Steven Alexander & Taro Suzuki: “Paintings.” Ends Feb. 5, 522 W. 23rd St., 212255-6783. Hollis Taggart Galleries: “Modernist Works From a California Collection.” Ends Jan. 29, 958 Madison Ave., 212-628-4000. Icosahedron Gallery: “Into the Void.” Ends Jan. 29, 606 W. 26th St., 212-966-3897. Jason McCoy Inc.: “Galaxy & Cosmos.” Ends Jan. 31, 41 E. 57th St., 11th Fl., 212-310-1996. Katharina Rich Perlow: George McNeil. Ends Feb. 10, 980 Madison Ave., 3rd Fl., 212-644-7171.

Kim Foster Gallery: E.E. Smith: “Bubble.” Ends

Feb. 5, 529 W. 20th St., 1st Fl., 212-229-0044.

Kouros Gallery: Stanley Boxer & Guy Danella:

“Two Modernists Revisited.” Ends Jan. 29, 23 E. 73rd, 212-288-5888. Lyons Wier Gallery: “Here & Now.” Ends Jan. 29, 542 W. 24th St., 212-242-6220. Lyons Wier Limited: Matt Straub: “I’m Hit. But I Can Make It.” Ends Jan. 29, 175 7th Ave., 212242-6220. Marc Jancou Contemporary: “Private Future.” Ends Jan. 29, 524 W. 24th St., 212-473-2100. Nancy Margolis Gallery: Scott Davis: “New Drawings & Paintings.” Ends Jan. 29. Noa Warren: “New Paintings.” Ends Jan. 29, 523 W. 25th St., 212-242-3013. Nohra Haime Gallery: Eve Sonneman: “Sight/ Sound.” Ends Jan. 29, 730 5th Ave., Ste. 701, 212-888-3550. The Pace Gallery: Jennifer Bartlett. Ends Feb. 5, 545 W. 22nd St., 212-989-4258. The Pace Gallery: Keith Tyson. Ends Feb. 5, 510 W. 25th St., 212-255-4044.

the Figure.” Ends August. “Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum.” Ends Oct. 16, 45 W. 53rd St., 212-265-1040. American Museum of Natural History: “Brain: The Inside Story.” Ends Aug. 14, Central Park West at West 79th Street, 212-769-5100. Art Gallery: “60 from the ’60s.” Ends Feb. 28, 1285 Avenue of the Americas, no phone. Austrian Cultural Forum: “Alpine Desire.” Jan. 27May 8, 11 E. 52nd St., 212-319-5300. Bronx Museum: “Stargazers: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation With 21 Contemporary Artists.” Jan. 27-May 29, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, 718-681-6000. Brooklyn Historical Society: “Home Base: Memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.” Ends Apr. 24. “It Happened in Brooklyn.” Ongoing, 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn, 718-2224111. Brooklyn Museum: “Lorna Simpson: Gathered.” Jan. 28-Aug. 21. “Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera.” Ends Apr. 10. Sam Taylor-Wood: “Ghosts.” Ends Aug. 14, 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn, 718-638-5000. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum: “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels.” Feb. 18-June 5, 2 E. 91st St., 212-849-8400. The Drawing Center: “Day Job.” Ends Feb. 3, 35 Wooster St., 212-219-2166. Frick Collection: “Rembrandt & His School: Masterworks From the Frick & Lugt Collections.” Feb. 15-May 15, 1 E. 70th St., 212-288-0700. International Center of Photography: “Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide.” Ends May 8. “Jasper, Texas: The Community Photographs of Alonzo Jordan.” Ends May 8. “Take Me to the Water: Photographs of River Baptisms.” Ends May 8, 1133 6th Ave., 212-857-0000. Japan Society: “Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven & Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art.” March 18-June 12, 333 E. 47th St., 212-832-1155. Jewish Museum: “A Hanukkah Project: Daniel Libe-


Feb. 9-May 1. “Lynda Benglis.” Feb. 9-July 13, 235 Bowery, 212-219-1222. New York Public Library: “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.” Ends Feb. 27, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Print Gallery & Stokes Gallery, East 42nd Street & Fifth Avenue, 917275-6975. Noguchi Museum: “On Becoming An Artist: Isamu Noguchi & His Contemporaries, 1922-1960.” Ends Apr. 24, 33rd Road at Vernon Boulevard, Queens, 718-721-2308. Rubin Museum of Art: “Body Language: The Yogis of India & Nepal.” Jan. 28-May 30. “From the Land of the Gods.” Ends Feb. 7. “Embodying the Holy: Icons in Eastern Orthodox Christianity & Tibetan Buddhism.” Ends March 7. “Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-Inspired Contemporary

Art.” Ends Apr. 11. “The Nepalese Legacy in Tibetan Painting.” Ends May 23, 150 W. 17th St., 212-620-5000. Society of Illustrators: “Illustrators 53: Book & Editorial Exhibit.” Jan. 26-Feb. 19, 128 E. 63rd St., 212-838-2560. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: “The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918.” Feb. 4-June 1. “Kandinsky at the Bauhaus, 1922-1933.” Ongoing, 1071 5th Ave., 212-423-3500. Studio Museum: “VideoStudio: Changing Same.” Ends March 13. “The Production of Space.” Ends March 13. “StudioSound: Matana Roberts.” Ends March 13. “Harlem Postcards: Fall/Winter 2010-11.” Ends March 13. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: “Any Number of Preoc-

STEVE RIEDELL RECENT PAINTINGS THROUGH 12 FEBRUARY 2011

Jacob J. Goldberg

Howard Scott Gallery 529 West 20th Street | Tues-Sat 10:30-6 646 486 7004 | howardscottgallery.com

Joey Parsons in Pearl Theatre Company’s The Misanthrope. skind’s Line of Fire.” Ends Jan. 30. “Shifting the Gaze: Painting & Feminism.” Ends Jan. 30. “Houdini: Art & Magic.” Ends March 27, 1109 5th Ave., 212-423-3200. Merchant’s House Museum: “19th-Century Valentines - Confections of Affection.” Jan. 27-Feb. 28, 29 E. 4th St., 212-777-1089. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures From Forbidden City.” Feb. 1-May 1. “Cézanne’s Card Players.” Feb. 9-May 8. “Howard Hodgkin: Prints from the Collection, 1987-2002.” Ends Feb. 13. “Between Here & There: Passages in Contemporary Photography.” Ends Feb. 21. “Katrin Sigurdardottir at the Met.” Ends March 6. “The Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel.” Ends Apr. 3. “Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand.” Ends Apr. 10. “Our Future Is in the Air: Photographs From the 1910s.” Ends Apr. 10. “Rugs & Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism.” Ends June 26. “Haremhab, The General Who Became King.” Ends July 4, 1000 5th Ave., 212-535-7710. Montclair Art Museum: “Will Barnet: A Centennial Celebration.” Feb. 4-July 17. “Warhol & Cars: American Icons.” March 6-June 19, 3 S. Mountain Ave., Montclair, N.J., 973-746-5555. The Morgan Library & Museum: “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.” Ends May 22. “Mannerism & Modernism: The Kasper Collection of Drawings & Photographs.” Ends May 1. “The Changing Face of William Shakespeare.” Feb. 4-May 1, 225 Madison Ave., 212-685-0008. El Museo del Barrio: “Luis Camnitzer.” Feb. 2-May 29, 1230 5th Ave., 212-831-7272. Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology: “Japan Fashion Now.” Ends Apr. 2, Seventh Avenue at West 27th Street, 212-217-4558.

George McNeil

Darkening Trees / Darkening Night, 2010 Oil and wax on canvas mounted on wood 36x 36 x 3.25 in

Paintings 1970’s 1980’s

Museum of American Finance: “America’s First IPO.”

Ends March. “Scandal! Financial Crime, Chicanery & Corruption That Rocked America.” Ends Apr. 29, 48 Wall St., 212-908-4110. Museum of Arts & Design: “Eat Drink Art Design.” Ends Feb. 13. “Think Again: New Latin American Jewelry.” Ends Feb. 27. Patrick Jouin: “Design & Gesture.” Ends Apr. 17. “The Global Africa Project.” Ends May 15, 2 Columbus Cir., 212-299-7777. Museum of Jewish Heritage: “Project Mah Jongg.” Ends Feb. 27. “Last Folio: Remnants of Jewish Life in Slovakia.” Opens March 25. “Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh.” Ends Aug. 7. “The Morgenthaus: A Legacy of Service.” Ends Sept. 5, 36 Battery Pl., 646-437-4200. Museum of Modern Art: “Action! Design Over Time.” Ends Jan. 31. “On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century.” Ends Feb. 7. “Paula Hayes, Nocturne of the Limax Maximus.” Ends Feb. 28. “Weimar Cinema, 1919-1933: Daydreams & Nightmares.” Ends March 7. “Counter Space: Design & the Modern Kitchen.” Ends March 14. “Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures.” Ends March 21. “Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography.” Ends Apr. 4. “On to Pop.” Ends Apr. 25. “Abstract Expressionist New York.” Ends Apr. 25. “Contemporary Art From the Collection.” Ends May 9, 11 W. 53rd St., 212-708-9400. Museum of the City of New York: “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment.” Feb. 8-May 1, 1220 5th Ave., 212-534-1672. New Museum: “George Condo: Mental States.” Jan. 26-May 8. “Museum As Hub: The Accords.”

katharina rich perlow gallery Contemporary Painting Sculpture and Photography 980 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor New York, NY, 10075 Tel: 212/644-7171 Fax: 212/644-2519 perlowgallery@aol.com www.artnet.com

Thru February 11, 2011

January 26, 2011 | City Arts

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ArtsAGENDA cupations.” Ends March 13. Mark Bradford: “Alphabet.” Ends March 13, 144 W. 125th St., 212-864-4500. Whitney Museum of American Art: Charles LeDray: “workworkworkworkwork.” Ends Feb. 13. “Modern Life: Edward Hopper & His Time.” Ends Apr. 10, 945 Madison Ave., 212-570-3600.

Auctions Christie’s: Old Master & 19th-Century Paintings,

Drawings & Watercolors Part I. Jan. 26, 10 a.m. Part II. Jan. 26, 2 & 4:30. Christie’s Interiors. Feb. 8 & 9, 10 a.m. & 2, 20 Rockefeller Plz., 212-636-2000. Doyle New York: Important English & Continental Furniture/Old Master Paintings. Jan. 26, 10 a.m. The Estate of Joseph A. Patrick. Jan. 26, 10 a.m. The Estate of a Distinguished Gentleman. Jan. 26, 10 a.m. Belle Epoque: 19th & 20th Century Decorative Arts. Feb. 9, 10 a.m., 175 E. 87th St., 212-427-2730. ROGALLERY.com: Fine art buyers & sellers in online live art auctions. 800-888-1063, www.rogallery.com. Swann Auction Galleries: Ocean Liner & Transportation Memorabilia. Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m. & 2:30. Vintage Posters. Feb. 8, 1:30, 104 E. 25th St., 212-254-4710.

Art Events ActNow - New Voices in Black Cinema: BAMciné-

matek & the ActNow Foundation present an inaugral five-day film festival that reflects the spectrum of views within the African diasporan communities in Brooklyn & beyond. Feb. 4-9, BAM, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, 718-6364129, www.bam.org. Lower East Side Art Gallery Tour: Come take a guided tour of the week’s top seven gallery exhibits in the downtown center for contemporary art. Jan. 29, 196 Bowery, 212-946-1548; 1, $20. Master Drawings New York: The event, now in its fifth year, returns to New York City’s Upper East Side to provide collectors with a rare opportunity to visit more than 20 galleries that specialize in drawings & fine art. Ends Jan. 29, locations vary, 212-755-8500, www.masterdrawingsinnewyork.com. Music Memorabilia Show: In honor of Black History Month, the show will feature rare jazz records of legendary performers including Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong & others. Feb. 5, Tip Top Shoe Building, 155 W. 72nd St., 4th Fl., 212-5790689; 10 a.m., free. The Roses: Paul Kasmin Gallery, in conjunction with New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation & the Fund for the Park Avenue Sculpture Committee, announces Will Ryman’s “The Roses,” a new site-specific installation of towering rose blossoms. Ends May 31, Park Avenue Mall betw. East 57th & East 67th Streets, www.paulkasmingallery.com.

Music & Opera 92nd Street Y: Alumni of the Yale Russian Chorus

perform a concert of traditional Russian folk, composed & liturgical songs, led by conductor Daniel Gsovski. Jan. 30, 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500; 3, $35. 92nd Street Y: Guitarist Eliot Fisk performs with flutist Tara Helen O’Connor as part of the Art of the Guitar series. Feb. 5, 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500; 8, $25+. American Irish Historical Society: In celebration of James Joyce’s birthday, soprano Judith Kellock & pianist Janice Weber assembled a program

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City Arts | www.cityartsnyc.com

featuring the composition of Ross Lee Finney, which incorporates all of Joyce’s 36 “Chamber Music” poems into an hour-long cycle. Feb. 2, 991 5th Ave., 212-288-2263; 2, $10+. Avery Fisher Hall: Alan Gilbert conducts the Philharmonic’s School Day Concerts, designed exclusively for children in grades 3-12. Feb. 2-4, Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plz., 212-7216500; times vary, $6. Avery Fisher Hall: Broadway star Idina Menzel makes her New York Philharmonic debut, with conductor Marvin Hamlisch. Feb. 5, Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plz., 212-721-6500; 8, $35+. Juilliard: Harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss performs J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Jan. 31, Paul Hall, 155 W. 65th St., 212-769-7406; 8, free. Juilliard: Juilliard’s annual recital by Paul Jacobs’ organ students takes place on the Holtkamp organ in Paul Hall and features six organists. Feb. 9, Paul Hall, 155 W. 65th St., 212-7697406; 8, free. Merchant’s House Museum: “Love in the Parlors: A Valentine in Concert” features romantic songs & arias by 19th-century composers performed by members of the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society. Feb. 14, 29 E. 4th St., 212-7771089; 7, $15+. Merkin Concert Hall: Soprano Meagan Miller performs songs & arias by Barber, Wolf, Debussy, Faure & Beethoven in the annual Vidda Award Recital with pianist Brian Zeger. Feb. 9, 129 W. 67th St., 212-501-3300; 8, $10+. Miller Theatre: The music of Charles Ives is performed in a series of concerts featuring the Voxare String Quartet, pianist Stephen Gosling & soprano Sarah Wolfson. Feb. 7-9, Philosophy Hall at Columbia University, 212-854-7799; 12:30, free. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral: The Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York performs with soloist Stephen Tharp on organ. Feb. 3, 460 Madison Ave., 212-753-2261; 7, free. Stern Auditorium: Music for Life International, Inc., & American Pakistan Foundation present Beethoven for the Indus Valley, a benefit concert of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Jan. 31, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., 212-247-7800; 8, $35+. Stern Auditorium: Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs an all-Liszt recital as part of Carnegie Hall’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt. Feb. 2, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., 212-247-7800; 8, $17+. Temple Emanu-El: Members of the Clarion Music Society perform songs by Jewish-Italian composer Salamone Rossi in the program “From Ghetto to Palazzo” as part of the Salon Sanctuary Concerts series. Jan. 30, East 65th Street & Fifth Avenue, 212-866-0468; 4, $15+. Weill Recital Hall: James Levine & the MET Chamber Ensemble perform their final Carnegie Hall concert this season. Jan. 30, 881 7th Ave., 212-247-7800; 5, $97+. WMP Concert Hall: Violinist Gregory Harrington & pianist Williams Lewis perform works by Bach, Bartok & others. Jan. 26. Violinist Christina McGann & pianist Becky Lu perform works by Mozart, Webern & Strauss. Feb. 2. Violinist Jin Woo Lee & pianist Eunice Kim perform works by Chausson, Szymanowski & Mozart. Feb. 9, 31 E. 28th St., 212-582-7536; 12:30, $10. Zankel Hall: Acclaimed pianist Brad Mehldau continues his residency with a solo recital of original compositions & pieces by Bach, Brahms & Fauré. Jan. 26, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., 212-247-7800; 7:30, $46+. Zankel Hall: New music ensemble eighth blackbird performs. Jan. 31, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., 212-247-7800; 7:30, $37+.

Jazz ArtsEcho Galleria: Chris Crocco’s Fluidic Duo

performs with Crocco on guitar and Peter Slavov on bass. Feb. 4, 455 W. 43rd St., 646-692-6277; 8, $10. Jazz Standard: The Wayne Escoffery Quartet. Jan. 26. The John Abercrombie Quartet featuring Greg Osby. Jan. 27-30. Mingus Big Band. Jan. 31, 116 E. 27th St., 212-576-2232; times vary, $20+. Miles Cafe: The Audrey Silver Quartet performs, featuring vocalist Silver, pianist Joshua Wolff, bassist Paul Beaudry & drummer Vito Lesczak. Feb. 5, 212 E. 52nd St., 212-371-7657; times vary, $20+. Miles Cafe: Manhattan-based French vocalist Pascalito & his Brazilian musicians perform songs from his new album, “Neostalgia.” Feb. 9, 212 E. 52nd St., 212-371-7657; times vary, $20+. Miller Theatre: Drummer Neal Smith performs with his quartet as part of the season’s jazz series. Feb. 7-9, Philosophy Hall at Columbia University, 212-854-7799; 8, $15+. Port 41: Mac Gollehon performs on trumpet & trombone, with trombonist Michael Grey, organist Noriko Kamo & drummer Craig Haynes. Feb. 3, 355 W. 41st St., 212-947-1188; 8, $10. Zankel Hall: Carnegie Hall’s “Shape of Jazz” series continues with husband-&-wife jazz pianists Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes. Feb. 9, Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave., 212-247-7800; 8:30, $38+.

Dance Balé Folclórico da Bahia: Direct from Brazil, this

troupe of 25 celebrates its 20th anniversary with a folkloric Bahian dance program “Sacred Heritage.” Jan. 29 & 30, Skirball Center, New York University, 566 LaGuardia Pl., 212-352-3101; times vary, $50+. Girl Meat: Choreographer Victoria Libertore performs her new work, based on the true story of a female serial killer. Feb. 3-6, Dance New Amsterdam, 280 Broadway, 2nd Fl., 212-6258369; times vary, $12+. Natalie Green & Juliana F. May: Green presents “nerves like tombs, nerves like nettles,” while May & MAYDANCE offer “Gutter Gate.” Feb. 1-5, Dance Theater Workshop, 219 W. 19th St., 212-691-6500; 7:30, $20. New Chamber Ballet: Miro Magloire presents his New Chamber Ballet in three world premieres. Feb. 4 & 5, City Center Studios, 130 W. 56th St., 4th Fl., 212-868-4444; 8, $12+. New York City Ballet: The company performs The Magic Flute, the comedic tale for all ages, set to a score by Riccardo Drigo. Feb. 2, 4, 6 & 8, David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center, 212-7216500; times vary, $20+. New York Theatre Ballet: The company revives Merce Cunningham’s “Septet” at “Signatures II.” Feb. 11 & 12, Florence Gould Hall, 55 E. 59th St., 212-355-6160; 7, $25. Parsons Dance: Parsons Dance returns to the Joyce with three programs featuring two world premiere dances. Jan. 26-Feb. 6, The Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave., 212-242-0800; times vary, $10+. Ronald K. Brown & Evidence: The company celebrates 25 years at The Joyce with the world premiere of “On Earth Together.” Feb. 8-13, The Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave., 212-242-0800; times vary, $10+. SPLICE: Choreographers Clarinda Mac Low & Jordana Che Toback present separate performances & the world premiere of a collaborative work. Jan. 27-30, Dance New Amsterdam, 280 Broadway, 2nd Fl., 212-625-8369; times vary, $12+. Summation Dance Company: The company presents the world premiere of its first evening-length

work, “Keep Your Feathers Dry.” Feb. 4 & 5, Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W. 37th St., 212868-4444; 7:30, $12+. Thunderbird American Indian Dancers: Theater for the New City hosts the 36th annual Dance Concert & Pow Wow, featuring dance, stories & traditional music. Jan. 28-Feb. 6, Theater for the New City, 155 1st Ave., 212-254-1109; times vary, $10. Tisch Dance: Tisch alumni choreographers present a one-night performance of their works. Jan. 28, Skirball Center, New York University, 566 LaGuardia Pl., 212-352-3101; 8, $12+.

Theater Billy Elliot: This Tony-winning adaptation of the

2000 film chronicles a young British boy’s desire to dance ballet in a poverty-choked, coal-mining town. Open run, Imperial Theatre, 249 W. 45th St., 212-239-6200. La Casa de Bernarda Alba: Tyrannical mother Bernarda Alba attempts to dominate her five unmarried daughters, all of whom harbor a secret passion for the same man. Ends May 27, Repertorio Español, 138 E. 27th St., 212-225-9999. Chicago: The long-running revival of Kander & Ebb’s musical about sex, murder & celebrity continues to razzle-dazzle. Open run, Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St., 212-239-6200. Driving Miss Daisy: James Earl Jones & Vanessa Redgrave star in Alfred Uhry’s play. Ends Apr. 9, Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St., 212-239-6200. Fuerza Bruta - Look Up: A visual dance-rave, technoride, Latino walking-on-the-ceiling fiesta from Buenos Aires. Open run, Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 E. 15th St., 212-239-2600. Gentrifusion: Six playwrights explore the gentrification of New York’s neighborhoods. Jan. 27-Feb. 13, The LABA Theatre at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th St., 866-811-4111. John Gabriel Borkman: Irish poet Frank McGuinness presents a new version of Henrik Ibsen’s play, starring Fiona Shaw, Alan Rickman & Lindsay Duncan. Ends Feb. 6, BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St., 718-636-4100. Knickerbocker Holiday: The Collegiate Chorale presents Kurt Weill’s romantic comedy, first performed in 1938. Jan. 26, Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway, 646-202-9623. Lost in the Stars: The music of Kurt Weill joins with Maxwell Anderson’s book & lyrics to bring Alan Paton’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” to life in a musical tragedy about South Africa under apartheid.” Feb. 3-6, 130 W. 56th St., 212-581-1212. Memphis - A New Musical: Set in the titular city during the segregated 1950s, this musical charts the romance between a white DJ & a black singer as rock-&-roll begins to emerge. Open run, Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St., 212-239-6200. Spider-Man - Turn Off the Dark: Julie Taymor directs while Bono & The Edge provide the score as the comic-book classic hits Broadway. Opens March 15, Foxwoods Theatre, 213 W. 42nd St., 877-250-2929. Seussical: Dr. Seuss’s stories collide in this adaptation of the Broadway production. Jan. 30, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Rd., Brooklyn, 718-951-4500. The Misanthrope:The Pearl presents the Moliere classic. Through Feb. 20. New York City Center Stage II, 131 W. 55th St., 212-505-3401. Way to Heaven: Matthew Earnest directs Juan Mayorga’s depiction of the fake Jewish settlement of Theresienstadt, used by the Nazis during the Holocaust to convince outsiders that its camps were humane. Ends Jan. 27, Gramercy Arts Theater, 138 E. 27th St., 212-225-9999.


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PainttheTOWN

By Amanda Gordon

A Worthy Cause Kevin Kline, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson convened in Manhattan Jan. 17 for an evening of political theater as they read letters from imprisoned Belorussians. The benefit at The Public Theater was part of its acclaimed show Being Harold Pinter, which wrapped up a run at the Under the Radar Festival. Amid protests last December in Minsk following a disputed presidential election, some members of the troupe were jailed and others went into hiding. They arrived in New York just in time for the run. “Today we can’t move back, we’d get arrested,” said Nikolai Khalezin, co-founder of the company, at a reception featuring Polish dumplings and lemon poppy-seed cake. Playwright Tony Kushner, who co-hosted the benefit, said the celebrity readers struck “exactly the right tone.” “I was moved to tears the moment they changed hands with the theater troupe,” he said. The gala raised $25,000 for Belarus Free Theatre. Dzianis Tarasenka, an actor in the troupe, said that he enjoys the abundance of bodegas in New York and their soup offerings. “It’s also great to be able to walk around without police watching us all the time,” he said.

Loving Lewis Aarne Anton, owner of American Primitive Gallery of New York, stands to the left of a shooting target used in traveling arcades.

Knick-Knacks and Nora Writers Nora Ephron and Nicholas Pileggi arrived at the gala preview of the American Antiques Show Jan. 19 looking for “a very reasonably priced small rug to put next to the bed.” After browsing weathervanes and flags costing more than $100,000, Ephron said, “We’re absolutely not going to find it here.” The preview, a benefit for the American Folk Art Museum, offered a first look at 41 dealers’ booths on display at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea through Jan. 23. Guests included Citigroup Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons; Neuberger Berman LLC’s Marvin C. Schwartz; Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.’s Jerry Lauren; the eldest daughter of former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, Lynda Johnson Robb; and domestic diva Martha Stewart, who snapped photographs for her blog. Standing next to a waiter serving brisket, antiques dealer John Rosselli showed off his purchase: a plate with his first name on it. “It was made for a little boy. I’ll put it on my dresser, for my cufflinks,” he said. Rosselli’s wife, interior designer Bunny Williams, liked the vanity-plate concept. “With a name like Bunny I could buy five rabbits here,” she said.

On Jan. 20, Lapham’s Quarterly celebrated its new winter issue at Joe’s Pub. Devoted to the complexities of celebrity, the issue attracted several stars of its own. Alec Baldwin delivered this Andy Warhol riff: “Some company recently was interested in buying my ‘aura,’ they didn’t want my product.” Editor Lewis Lapham, who also podcasts The World in Time every Friday for Bloomberg News, spoke about the perils of a society in which celebrity is the “most precious consumer product.” Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of The Public Theater, shared his impression of Lapham and his Quarterly. “He does this intellectual disco dancing, I love talking to him and I love reading him.” The star of HBO’s Entourage, Adrian Grenier, agreed, thusly providing a celebrity endorsement.

Photos: Courtesy Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg. Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Lewis Lapham at a celebration of the Winter 2011 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly in New York. The theme of the issue is celebrity. Courtesy Bloomberg. To contact the writer on this story: agordon01@bloomberg.net

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City Arts | www.cityartsnyc.com


Exhibitions on view January 26– April 17 This season the Gallery at the Bard Graduate Center features two groundbreaking exhibitions and inaugurates the Focus Gallery, a space devoted to exhibitions curated by BGC faculty.

Gallery Programs

Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties

The BGC offers a diverse range of exhibition-related programs for adults, educators, students, seniors, and families, including lectures, conversations, study days, gallery talks, films, concerts, tours, and family days. Each program brings visitors into close contact with objects in the galleries, as they engage in lively conversation with curators, scholars, artists, educators, and other specialists in the decorative arts.

The art of applying brilliantly colored enamels to metalware dates to ancient times, but the cloisonné enamel technique truly flourished in China from the fourteenth century onward, and an array of objects were made destined for Buddhist temples and personal use. A remarkable selection of these form the basis for the exhibition Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, a collaboration between the Bard Graduate Center and Les Arts Décoratifs - musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. The presentation that is organized around three aspects of Chinese cloisonné production— decoration, form and intended function includes loans from the museum in Paris, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Springfield Museums, Massachusetts, among others.

Gallery Talk

A Curator’s View: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties Thursday, January 27 6 to 8 pm (gallery talk and reception) BGC, 18 West 86th Street Béatrice Quette, head of education, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, and curator of the Cloisonné exhibition $20 general, $15 seniors and students “Champion vase,” Qing dynasty. Cloisonné enamel on cast copper alloy; gilded bronze. Phoenix Art Museum. Museum purchase and gift of Mr. Robert H. Clague, 1982.209 a,b. Photographer: Ken Howie.

The second half of the nineteenth century was a period of rapid and dramatic change for the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America. Faced with increasing colonial interventions regarding commerce, Christianity, and settlement, they began to refigure earlier modes of cultural practice and artistic production to accommodate these new historical conditions. Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast examines the material culture of the period as visual evidence of historical flux and shifting social relations within Native groups. It focuses on transitional or boundary objects—the ones that do not fit well-established stylistic or cultural categories but instead document patterns of intercultural exchange and transformation. Aaron Glass, curator of the exhibition and BGC professor of anthropology has selected a wide range of objects for the exhibition from the collection of the American Museum of Natural History, including decorated clothing, containers, ritual masks, and trade goods.

The exhibitions are accompanied by fully-illustrated catalogues. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm and Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm. The admission fee is $7 general, $5 seniors and students (with valid ID); admission is free on Thursday evenings after 5 pm. For more information about the Bard Graduate Center and upcoming exhibitions, please visit bgc.bard.edu.

Thursday, February 24 5 to 8 pm (exhibition tours, program previews, music, and refreshments) BGC, 18 West 86th Street Admission is free.

Conversation

Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast

Mask, attributed to sdiihldaa/Simeon Stilthda (c. 1799-1889), Haida. Wood, paint, leather, metal. Collected by Israel W. Powell (1881-85). Donated by Heber R. Bishop. Courtesy of the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, 16/376. Photographer: Denis Finnin.

Neighborhood Open House

Group exhibition tours for adult and school groups are offered Tuesday through Friday between 11 am and 4 pm, and on Thursdays until 7 pm. Reservations are required for all groups. To schedule a tour, please call 212-501-3013 or e-mail tours@bgc.bard.edu.

Lecture

Scholar Zhang Peeks at Yingying: Pictorial Aspects of Cloisonné and Their Relationship to Chinese Painting Thursday, February 3 6 to 8 pm (lecture and exhibition-viewing reception) BGC, 38 West 86th Street Claudia Brown, professor of art history, School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University $20 general, $15 seniors and students

Lecture

The Artist in the Exchange: Charles Edenshaw, Master Haida Carver

Drawing on the Past: Activating the Legacies of Native Art from the North Pacific Coast Thursday, March 10 6 to 8 pm (conversation and exhibition-viewing reception) BGC, 38 West 86th Street Aldona Jonaitis, art historian Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Haida), visual artist Aaron Glass, assistant professor, BGC $20 general, $15 seniors and students Advance registration is required for all programs. To register, request a program brochure, or for more information, please call 212-501-3011 or e-mail programs@bgc.bard.edu.

Thursday, February 10 6 to 8 pm (lecture and exhibition-viewing reception) BGC, 38 West 86th Street Margaret Blackman, professor emerita, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York $20 general, $15 seniors and students

Model house with pole. Unknown maker, Haida. Wood, paint, metal. Likely collected by John Brady. Donated by Mrs. E. H. Harriman (1912). Courtesy of the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, 16.1/1164. Photographer: Denis Finnin.


Our MA & PhD Programs focus on the cultural history of the material world.

In our classrooms and galleries we combine the object-centered vision of the curator with the question-driven horizons of the university professor. The curricular approach of the BGC evades the professional and disciplinary boundaries that so often keep the most interesting questions from view. Our work is at the crossroads of where decorative arts, design history, and material culture meet. Areas of special strength: New York and American Material Culture Modern Design History Early Modern Europe History and Theory of Museums Comparative Medieval Material Culture: China, Islam, Europe Archaeology and Material Culture

For more information, contact:

Qilin, Qing dynasty, Qianlong period. Cloisonné enamel on cast copper alloy. Les Arts Décoratifs - musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Gift of David David-Weill, 23.663. Photographer: Laurent-Sully Jaulmes.

Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture 38 West 86th Street New York, NY 10024 T 212-501-3019 E admissions@bgc.bard.edu

cityArts January 26, 2011  

The January 26, 2011 issue of cityArts. CityArts, published twice a month (20 times a year) is an essential voice on the best to see, hear...

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