The invitations, event notices, emails, and review copies are pouring in. The fall arts season has officially arrived. If only I could clone myself, then perhaps, I’d have a chance of catching even a handful of these concerts, openings, and shows.
I wish I could attend everything listed here, but since I can’t, I hope you’ll venture out in the coming weeks and report back on what you loved (and what you didn’t).
Here is my completely biased Don’t-Miss List for the coming month (in no particular order).
Slinkachu in London and New York
British street artist Slinkachu (a favorite here at Gwarlingo) is celebrating the launch of his new book with two solo shows in London and New York. Global Model Village opens to the public September 27th at Andipa Gallery in London and runs until October 27th. There will also be a pop-up show in New York City from October 3rd through the 7th. Both shows will feature new work shot in different cities around the world.
Also be sure to check out Slinkachu‘s new book Global Model Village: The International Street Art of Slinkachu, which collects together images of installations the street artist has left in cities around the world, including New York, Moscow, Cape Town, Beijing, Berlin, Hong Kong and, of course, his hometown of London. The books is available in UK, US, and German editions. There will also be a Japanese version released in the new year by Sogensha (図書出版 創元社), along with a Japanese version of Slinkachu’s original book. 驚くべき.
John Kelly at Joe’s Pub in New York City
When performance artist-actor-writer-video artist-singer-dancer John Kelly is scheduled to perform, count me in. Kelly has the reputation as an artist’s artist. Over the years, he has worked with everyone from Nan Goldin to Antony and the Johnsons and James Franco. His work is so daring and original it can be difficult to boil down to a bite-sized blurb. He has received numerous awards, including Obies, Bessies, and The Rome Prize (a testament to how diverse his work is). If you don’t know Kelly’s work yet, keep him on your radar. I’m building an entire New York trip around his upcoming cabaret performances at Joe’s Pub. Seeing Kelly perform is always revelatory.
John Kelly makes his solo Joe’s Pub debut performing songs by Kurt Weill, Charles Aznavour, Holcombe Waller, Richard Einhorn, The Incredible String Band and Richard Thompson, among others. Tickets are $20. Performances are October 14th, October 28th, and November 4th. Visit the Joe’s Pub website for more information or to purchase tickets. You can also read more about the show on John Kelly’s Facebook event page.
OPERAtion Brooklyn Brings Opera to The BEAT Festival
American Opera Projects and Opera on Tap’s acclaimed series returns for a new showcase of operatic works from and inspired by Brooklyn.
Composer Daniel Felsenfeld will premiere A Genuine Willingness to Help (Book I), the first installment in the composer’s “Author Project,” which features music and multi-media performance based on texts by living writers and songwriters, such as Rick Moody, Jonathan Lethem, Stephen Elliott, and Fiona Maazel. Felsenfeld’s Raw Footage: Composer’s Cut, based on Robert Coover’s novel The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Director’s Cut, is also on the program, along with Stop and Frisk by composer Sidney Marquez Boquiren and librettist Daniel Neer and Male Identity by composer Zach Redler and librettist Sara Cooper.
Topping off the program are four songs drawn from One Ring Zero’s album As Smart As We Are (The Author Project). Viggo Mortensen (yes, that Viggo Mortensen) calls these “mysterious pop songs,” arranged for piano and chamber ensemble by Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp, “…a well-orchestrated booby trap for music lovers everywhere…“ The works feature texts by Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and David Wondrich.
OPERAtion Brooklyn is part of the first annual BEAT Festival. BEAT creates a platform to celebrate Brooklyn’s finest performing artists, ”extraordinary world-class performers who stand as the greatest innovators of the performing arts,” says festival artistic director Stephen Shelley. From September 12-23, artists will perform in venues throughout the borough. For complete information and festival passes visit www.beatbrooklyn.com.
Thursday, Sept. 13 – 7:30 PM
Flatbush Reformed Church
890 Flatbush Avenue, Flatbush
Wednesday, Sept. 19 – 7:30 PM
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 7th Avenue, Park Slope
Saturday, Sept. 22 – 7:30 PM
The Irondale Center
85 S. Oxford Street, Ft Greene
Andrew Ohanesian’s The House Party at Pierogi’s The Boiler in Williamsburg
Artist Andrew Ohanesian is fascinated with art that imitates reality. He’s built a confessional-booth-sized bar for one (with beer on tap), a row house and a fully stocked, walk-in, refrigerated cooler (installed at English Kills Art Gallery). For his latest work, The House Party, Ohanesian has constructed a full-sized suburban home inside Pierogi’s satellite gallery, The Boiler, a former factory boiler room with 40 foot ceilings located at 191 N. 14th St. in Willisamburg.
Ohanesian’s house will be opened up to the public for a house party on September 14th, the opening night of the exhibition. In this at once creative and destructive act, the artist enlists the audience to provide the final element of the work itself, giving each viewer the unique opportunity to physically leave his or her own scar on the House, by partying within it throughout the evening. You can see an animation of the house in this video:
As Stephen Truax reported on Hyperallergic, “depending on New York Fire Department’s ruling on the certificate of occupancy, visitors may or may not have to sign a waiver to enter the space. However, if you do get in, you will enjoy a functional bathroom and kitchen with plumbing (as well as, thankfully, ventilation), a working stove (including an oven hood), dishwasher, fridge (complete with water dispenser), garbage disposal, 94,000 BTUs of AC cooling power, dish cable, and wifi.”
There will be a lot of openings to choose from the night of the 14th, but be sure to put this one on the must-see list.
Andrew Ohanesian’s The House Party is on view at Pierogi’s The Boiler at 191 North 14th Street in Brooklyn September 14th-November 18th.
Fred Hersch Trio at the Village Vanguard and On Tour
Composer and pianist Fred Hersch’s return to jazz after several months in an AIDS-related coma was nothing short of miraculous. (You can hear Hersch discuss his illness and recovery with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross here). Hersch is back with a new tour, a new album, and is better than ever.
The Grammy-nominated performer is currently performing at the Village Vanguard with his trio, John Hébert on bass and Eric McPherson on drums, to celebrate the release of his new two-disk CD, Alive at the Vanguard. Recorded in February 2012, the new album contains seven new Hersch compositions, as well as music by Coleman, Kern, Porter and Monk.
I’ve seen Hersch perform over seven times now, and he never disappoints. If you can’t catch The Fred Hersch Trio for their six-night performance at the Village Vanguard in New York, you can also see them on tour this September in Boston, Chicago, D.C., Baltimore, and Cincinnati. Tour dates and venues are listed below. You can listen to tracks off the new album right here:
Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus in New York City
Thanks to the Public Art Fund, Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi has created a different kind of “house party” at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Discovering Columbus places the 13-foot-tall statue of Columbus in the center of an American living room six stories above the city streets, temporarily transforming it into a contemporary artwork. According to the Public Art Fund website, the room will feature many of the trappings of a domestic living room—lamps, a couch, a coffee table, a television, and more—as well as custom wallpaper by the artist. Through large, loft-style windows, visitors will have dramatic views of Central Park and Midtown Manhattan that will be seen from Columbus’s perspective for the first time.
In a stroke of genius, the Public Art Fund is simultaneously overseeing the conservation of the 1892 Columbus Monument in cooperation with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. The scaffolding supporting Nishi’s living room is allowing conservators to access the column and figure at its top. The restoration is expected to be completed by January of 2013. (Why can’t all government bureaucracies be this creative with their resources?)
Over 100,000 people are expected to visit the installation, which is on view from September 20th through November 18th.
Tickets to climb six stories to this home-away-from-home are free, but must be booked in advance. (Elevator access is available for those who require special assistance.) Register for free tickets at the Public Art website.
Norman Mooney’s Close Your Eyes at Causey Contemporary in Williamsburg
If you’re in Williamsburg Friday night to catch the opening of Andrew Ohanesian’s The House Party, stop by Causey Contemporary for Norman Mooney’s solo show of monumental carbon smoke drawings, Close Your Eyes. The Irish artist’s carbon drawings are created with layers of billowing smoke preserved on aluminum panel and have both a physical and metaphysical presence.
Causey Contemporary is located at 92 Wythe Avenue in Brooklyn. The gallery will be participating in the Williamsburg Gallery Association‘s Every Second Friday on September 14, 2012 from 6-10 p.m. along with Art101, Figureworks, Front Room, Gitana Rosa, Parker’s Box, Pierogi, P339, Skink Ink Editions, T.A.P.S. Gallery, The Boiler, Ventana 244 and Williamsburg Art and Historical Society. Galleries will be open late and the wine and cheese will be in heavy supply. More information is available at the Causey Contemporary website.
Bill Jacobson at the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston
I’ve shared Bill Jacobson‘s striking photographs with Gwarlingo readers before. Boston art lovers don’t get many opportunities to see a show of Jacobson’s work. On Saturday I’ll be heading South for the opening of Bill’s most recent exhibit, Place (Series), at the Robert Klein Gallery.
This new body of work, for which Jacobson won a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, consists of minimal still-life images. These rectangles suggest both a range of architectures and the contradictions between architecture and nature. Like Jacobson’s earlier out-of-focus work, the new series makes the viewer wonder what is real and what is abstract.
Robert Klein opened his Newbury Street space in 1980 with early exhibitions of Diane Arbus, Annie Leibovitz, Sally Mann, and Hiroshi Sugimoto and has become THE place to see photography in Boston. Klein’s remarkable eye and international following has earned this Newbury Street boutique gallery a Best of Boston award two years in a row.
The opening of Bill Jacobson’s Place (Series) is Saturday, September 15th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the Robert Klein Gallery on 38 Newbury Street in Boston. The show is on view through October 27th. For more information, visit the gallery website.
Release Party for Will Oldham on Bonnie “Prince” Billy at Housing Works in New York City
And now for something completely different… If you’re a fan of singer-songwriter, actor, and cult figure Will Oldham (aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy), you’ll want to stop by Housing Works at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 24th for the release party of Oldham’s new book, Will Oldham on Bonnie “Prince” Billy, just published by W.W. Norton.
Oldham’s work in indie rock and independent cinema has found him intersecting with such disparate figures as Johnny Cash, Bjork, James Earl Jones, and R. Kelly; each is discussed at length in the book with editor, longtime friend and associate Alan Licht. Housing Works reports that at present, Will Oldham is NOT scheduled to attend the event, which is a big disappointment to fans. (I guess The Prince has important royal business that night). But the launch party is free and Oldham fans in New York will finally have a chance to sport their best cowboy boots and trucker hats in honor of the Appalachian, post-punk song writer.
Housing Works bookstore and cafe is located at 126 Crosby Street in Manhattan. For more information, please visit their website.
Vetiver on Tour in Peterborough, New England, New York, and Canada
Lest you think that only big cities have fun, indie-folk band Vetiver will be making one of their semi-regular tour stops in Peterborough, New Hampshire, on Monday, September 17th (and yes, it really is New Hampshire in spite of what the above poster says). I’ve been a fan of this band since I first heard their 2006 album To Find Me Gone. Vetiver has toured and collaborated with Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan, and Joanna Newsom. Thanks to local musician and concert organizer Eric Gagne, Vetiver has once-again put Peterborough on their tour list.
The band is touring to promote their most recent album The Errant Charm (from Sub Pop Records). If you aren’t in Peterborough, you can also catch Andy and the rest of the gang in Hudson, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Cambridge, Northampton, Montreal, and more. Visit the Vetiver website for full tour information.
And here’s a little Vetiver sampler to wet your whistle…
Tickets to Vetiver’s Peterborough concert are no longer available online, but you can still purchase tickets at the door for $15. The show starts at 7 p.m. at the Peterborough Historical Society on 19 Grove Street. Habibi and Bar Harbor band Coke Weed will open. Visit the Historical Society website or this Facebook page for more information.
The Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets at MoMA
The first time I saw a film by the Quay Brothers many years ago, I was simultaneously awed, baffled, and distrubed by their offbeat, haunting world. The brothers are best known for their stop-motion puppet animations, Street of Crocodiles in particular, an adaptation of a story by Bruno Schulz, a Polish writer murdered by the Nazis in 1942.
The Quay Brothers were born outside Philadelphia and have worked from their London studio, Atelier Koninck, since the late 1970s. For over 30 years, they have been creating avant-garde, stop-motion puppet animation and live-action films in the Eastern European tradition of filmmakers like Walerian Borowczyk and Jan Svankmajer and the Russian Yuri Norstein (featured here on Gwarlingo).
This MoMA gallery exhibition and accompanying film retrospective is the first presentation of the Quay Brothers’ work in all their fields of creative activity. In addition to their better known films, this exhibition also includes never-before-seen moving image works and graphic design, drawings, and calligraphy, music videos, presenting animated and live-action films alongside installations, objects, and works on paper.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Brothers Quay or just discovering them, this exhibit offers a worthy departure from some of the minimalist gallery shows I’ve highlighted here. Heaven knows they’re boldness and originality are difficult to top.
Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets is on view at the Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan) through January 7, 2013. For more information and an in-depth look at the show, check out the Hyperallergic website.
Brendan Cass’s 7 North at KANSAS in New York City
The new Tribeca gallery KANSAS has been on my radar since I saw Matthew Northridge’s stunning show there a year ago.
In his newest body of work and first solo show at KANSAS, painter Brendan Cass deviates from his trademark neon (mostly European) landscapes and delves into a darkly chromatic palette. Cass’s latest series was made within the last year while residing in the historic (and inoperative) Cornwall Bridge train station in Connecticut. The Housatonic Railroad runs parallel with one of America’s earliest highways, Route 7, from Norwalk, Connecticut, into Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The atmosphere of New England mixed with the lingering history of the station play a special role in this major transformation of Cass’s aesthetic tone.
Personally, I think this is an exciting, new direction for Cass. His inky images evoke night, loss, and New England Puritanism and are certainly worth a visit to Tribeca.
KANSAS is located at 59 Franklin Street in Manhattan. 7 North opens September 13th and is on view through October 27th. For more information visit the KANSAS website.
Robert Irwin’s Dotting the i’s & Crossing the t’s: Part II at Pace Gallery in New York City
Along with James Turrell and Larry Bell, Robert Irwin is one of the major artists of the Light and Space Movement. Although Irwin started his art career as a painter in the 1950s, he eventually moved away from the idea of “art as object” and instead, embraced the notion of “art as experience.”
New materials and technology have allowed Irwin to realize his iconic acrylic columns as he always envisioned them — nearly transparent prisms stretching more than fifteen feet into the air. These acrylic columns are the last works Irwin conceived prior to abandoning his studio practice more than fifty years ago. The artist will turn 85 this month, so it’s a great time to revisit his work. This video gives a preview of the exhibit.
Robert lrwin: Dotting the i’s & Crossing the… by vernissagetv
Robert Irwin’s Dotting the i’s & Crossing the t’s: Part II is on view at two Pace Gallery spaces — at 510 W 25th Street and 32 E 57th Street, September 6th through October 20th.
Tektonik at the New Museum’s Sky Room in Manhattan
On Wednesday, September 19th, composer Dana Leong will lead a quartet of cello, tabla, sitar, and electronics for a one-of-a-kind sundown concert in the breathtaking New Museum Sky Room, which offers panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.
Leong’s collage of musical styles has garnered critical acclaim and led to collaborations with artists as diverse as Paquito D’Rivera, Christian McBride, Ray Charles, Kanye West, Wynton Marsalis, Bjork, Yoko Ono, and Lila Downs. He was a featured guest music director and performer in Fela! on Broadway in 2010 and is the first ever Composer-In-Residence for The Museum of Chinese in America in New York City.
Hailing from Japan, China, Haiti, and India — all countries recently affected by earthquakes, also known as “tectonic disruptions” – the quartet musicians of Tektonik will create a unique musical collaboration in this memorable space.
The event is part of the Locating the Sacred Festival, a 12-day, 25-event arts festival coordinated by the Asian American Arts Alliance.
Tickets have been released for purchase and are limited due to the intimate space of the venue.
The debut performance of Tektonik in conjunction with the Asian American Art Alliance’s inaugural Locating the Sacred Festival will be presented at sunset on Wednesday, Sept. 19 2012 from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the New Museum’s Sky Room. For more information, visit the festival website or go directly to the box office web page to purchase tickets.
The Brooklyn Book Festival & the Pen American Center’s Stand Up For Freedom Comedy Event
On Sunday, September 23, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., more than 280 authors and participants will join bibliophiles, booksellers and literary organizations on 14 stages for the seventh annual Brooklyn Book Festival. This year’s participants include Paul Auster, Sapphire, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Edwidge Danticat, Dennis Lehane, Kwame Dawes, Walter Mosley, Philip Levine, Kurt Andersen, and more.
According to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn has more writers per square inch than almost anywhere else in the country, all contributing to the area’s growing literary reputation. “With an entire week of literary events celebrating the written and spoken word, the seventh annual Brooklyn Book Festival will be bigger and better than ever,” said Johnny Temple, chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council. “The Festival has matured into one of the world’s premier literary destinations, attracting renowned authors, publishers of all sizes, musicians, humorists, graphic novelists, and all of the creative forces that make up our eclectic and constantly evolving literary universe.”
All Festival events on Sunday, September 23, are free and—for the first time this year—there will be “Clix not Tix,” meaning no more tickets or ticket lines. Additionally, for the first time ever, the expanded “Bookend” literary-themed events comprise a full week of more than 50 happenings at venues that include clubs, bookstores, theaters and libraries across the borough from September 17 – 23.
One of the “Bookend events” literary types have on their radar is the PEN American Center’s Stand Up For Freedom comedy event. Some of New York’s top progressive performers will joke, jab, vent, and revel in their right to express themselves at a one-night comedy event celebrating freedom of expression. For the first time ever, PEN American Center will partner with Laughing Liberally, whose performers have appeared on Comedy Central, HBO, MSNBC, and in the pages of The Onion, The Nation and The Huffington Post. No topic is off-limits, and no politician is safe.
Stand Up For Freedom will take place on Wednesday, September 19 at the Galapagos Art Space on 16 Main Street in Brooklyn. Participants include Baratunde Thurston, Katie Halper, and John Fugelsang.
Tickets are $15 at the PEN website, but Gwarlingo readers can receive a $5 discount on their ticket by choosing the MEMBER option when checking out. Thanks to the Pen American Center for offering this special discount!
For a full schedule of events for the Brooklyn Book Festival, please visit the festival’s website.
D I S Q U I E T U D E at Geoffrey Young in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
And here, finally, is a wildcard event to top off the list — Disquietude at Geoffrey Young’s Gallery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Images from this show, which opens on the 15th of September, are sorely lacking on the gallery’s website, so I honestly have no idea what you’ll find if you stop by. But Michael Aaron Lee’s work caught my eye, while wading through all of the emails and press releases in my email inbox this week. Lee’s work looks intriguing, and I’d like to see more.
Other artists included in the show: Mike Glier, Donald Baechler, Daniel Heidkamp, Amy Lincoln, Zohar Lazar, Cary Smith, Sue Knoll, Phil Knoll, Fred Cooper, Morgan Bulkeley, Valaire Van Slyck, and Vince Contarino.
Also, at 6 p.m. on October 4th, London-based writer and artist Tom Raworth will give a special reading at the gallery.
The opening reception for D I S Q U I E T U D E is Saturday, September 15th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The show runs through October 13, 2012. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 11-5 p.m. Geoffrey Young Gallery is located at 40 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
This is just a handful of the many quality arts events that are happening this month. I’ll be covering additional shows in more detail in the coming weeks (Stacey Steers’ exhibit, Night Hunter House, at the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, is not to be missed, for instance). Stay tuned!
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