Art Break: Engage in the Thrill of Discovery at Galleries Around Town
By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, September 24, 2018
One of the best things about a new season of art shows and exhibitions is that moment when you walk into the room, look around, and say “Wow – this is where I want to be!” If you want that thrill of discovery, Art Break has some great exhibitions for you. There’s the little-known Surrealist Maruja Mallo at Ortuzar Projects; Van Doren Waxter showing Jeronimo Elespe, who creates drawings that demand careful viewing; and the photographer George Tice, who prints his beautiful images with a masterly technique honed over decades, showing at Nailya Alexander Gallery.
As well as these solo offerings, there are two group shows that will give you that feeling of excitement: Austrian Cultural Forum is presenting Women.Now, with seventeen female artists examining issues of artistic and social interest to their gender. The Whitney has an exhibition that traces the history a specific aspect of conceptual art: the role of instruction as both art and the means of making art. We guarantee you’ll leave with a brand-new appreciation for this challenging and intriguing form of artistic expression.
Ortuzar Projects: Maruja Mallo: Paintings 1926-1952 (September 26 – November 17) brings attention to this little-known Surrealist painter. A contemporary of Buñuel and Dalí, she brought a distinctive and necessary correction to the relentless male-centric focus of the movement. As a bonus, we recommend taking a look at this TV special on the artist to get a feel for the scope and variety of her career. Even if you don’t know the language, it’s easy to figure out the basic details of why she is so important to 20th century Spanish art. Ortuzar Projects, 9 White Street, Hours: Mon – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free
Austrian Cultural Forum: Women.Now (September 26, 2018 – February 18, 2019) covers a cross section of 17 contemporary female artists working in Austria and the US. In addition, on Tuesday, September 25, there will be an artists’ talk at 6pm, followed by the show opening at 7pm; to reserve a free ticket to attend the talk click here. Austrian Cultural Forum, 11 East 52nd Street, Hours: Mon – Sun: 10-6, Admission: Free
Martha Wilson: Mona/Marcel/Marge, 2014; Lenticular photograph shot by Vincent Bruns and turned into a composite by Kathy Grove; 20 x 12 inches (50.8 x 30.5 cm); courtesy of the artist and P.P.O.W., New York / Austrian Cultural Forum.
The Whitney: Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art 1965-2018 (September 28, 2018 – April 14, 2019) is an intriguing exhibition exploring a form of art not easily understood by the public. From the 1960’s, when conceptual art was breaking down the long-established rules of creating to the present day, where this art is embedded in the international culture of the internet, there will be plenty to see and discuss. The Whitney, 99 Gansevoort Street, Hours: Wed – Thur: 10:30-6, Fri – Sat: 10:30-10, Sun: 10:30-6. For information on admission prices click here.
Some shows located uptown that Art Break recently enjoyed are:
Van Doren Waxter: Jeronimo Elespe (September 13 – October 27) is an artist who believes strongly in the technique of drawing, whether on canvas, paper, or etching plate. His work moves easily between representational and abstract styles, appealing to a wide audience. Van Doren Waxter, 23 East 73rd Street, Hours: Tue – Sat: 10-6, Admission: Free
Nailya Alexander Gallery: George Tice: A Celebration (September 6 – October 13) is a sampling of this great American photographer’s work. His ability to capture the nuances of natural and artificial light, combined with a phenomenal printing technique, give the images a compelling quality. Nailya Alexander Gallery, 41 East 57th Street, Suite 704, Hours: Tue – Sat: 11-6, Admission: Free
Cover: Joan Semmel: ‘Centered,’ 2002; oil on canvas; 48 x 53 inches (121.9 x 134.6 cm); courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates; copyright 2018 Joan Semmel / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.