Sure, the weekend schedule of the 7 train is harder to translate than ancient Sanskrit, and many still think of the “international express” as the route to culinary delights, or even as the last leg in the journey to booooooo the stinkin’ Mets, but there is always some amazing art directly off the platform steps. Don’t believe me, check these exhibitions out:
Greater New York
May - October 2010
The third installment of “Greater New York”—P.S. 1’s quintennial state-of-the-city address—showcases new work, including a number of site-specific projects and performances, by seventy-plus emerging artists based around the five boroughs. Participants—the expansive list features Amy Yao, Hank Willis Thomas, and Xaviera Simmons— were chosen in part via the institution’s new Studio Visit website, thus saving the curatorial team a trek around a thousand-odd actual workspaces. One gallery will be dedicated to a best-of review of Big Apple culture from the past half decade, with entries suggested by a cadre of curators and critics, while a “rotating gallery” will be commandeered by a different local curator every five weeks (four rotations in all). Such a dispersed curatorial effort promises, if nothing else, a markedly democratic effort.
May – July 2010
As the one piece on the board that moves either forward or backward but always laterally in the same gesture, the knight's move is a tactical one, relying upon stealth, surprise, and sidelong views. This exhibition brings together artists prominent to the dialog of New York's recent past as well as those at the very beginning of their careers. This survey of new sculpture in New York embodies an informed yet playful and questioning view of the contemporary. Has Modernism and its various aftermaths approached the status of an inventory to be studied, borrowed from, and traded upon in ways that move beyond the anxiety of influence and endgame maneuvers? How can strategies of estrangement, appropriation, and abstraction exist alongside direct engagements with materiality, figuration, and storytelling? Can the makeshift, readymade, and precarious exist in dialog with the meticulous, obsessive, and finely crafted? Does political agency require a process of collaborative rehearsal? And how has the art of production challenged the presumed roles of performer and observer, director and spectator?
The Curse of Bigness
May - October 2010
The exhibition is inspired by the Museum’s “gigantic miniatures”-the Panorama of New York City, the model of the Watershed, and the Unisphere in our front yard-which, when you think about it, are large and small at the same time. Similarly, in many of the artworks, opposites are intertwined–small organizations have global reach; cutting-edge technology requires hours of hand labor; objects appear alive, animals dead, and humans far from civilized. Taking its title from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ 1914 warning about the concentration of industry and finance in his era, Bigness also nods towards the Museum’s expansion project. QMA will add 50,000 square feet of gallery space by 2012-which, while obviously bringing new opportunities, may introduce new challenges as well.