“Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art”
Melding influences that range from Russian Constructivism to traditional Persian calligraphy to digital aesthetics, the art and architecture of Iranian- born artist Siah Armajani suggest powerful cross-cultural connections. This survey of his work, which arrives in New York from the Walker Art Center, includes more than eighty pieces made over the past six decades, from architectonic sculptures to large-scale building plans. A resident of the Twin Cities since 1960, Armajani has realized several key projects there, including an iconic footbridge that links downtown Minneapolis to the municipal sculpture garden.
Having participated in Works Progress Administration arts projects and, in the late 1940s, spent some time with the revolutionary Taller de Gráfica Popular print collective in Mexico, Charles White (1918–1979) pursued a social realist path that was worlds apart from what he once called “the inhuman and abstract direction in which so many of the young artists of my own country were moving.” Debuting at the Art Institute of Chicago, from whose school he graduated in 1938, this survey features around eighty prints, drawings, and paintings by this Chicago-born figure who sought to convey the dignity of working people and to instill African Americans with a sense of cultural pride.
Vincent van Gogh traveled to London in 1873, at age twenty, and resided there for three years. Presenting this as a formative period for his art—even if he would not devote himself to painting until the 1880s—this exhibition features forty works exemplifying the Post-Impressionist’s engagement with British culture. The show also includes paintings by Constable and Millais, whose work he would have seen in London, as well as pieces by postwar British artists who were inspired by his expressive approach, such as Francis Bacon and David Bomberg.
An Italian contemporary of pioneering American color photographers William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, Luigi Ghirri (1943–1992)—whose first photo book, Kodachrome (1978), appeared just two years after Eggleston’s Guide—began taking pictures in the early 1970s. Often juxtaposing reality with its representation (a wall mural, advertisement, or reflection), his surrealistic images tease, charm, and bewilder. But they also evoke the dislocations wrought by postwar consumer culture on Emilia-Romagna, the Northern Italian region where Ghirri was born and where he lived for most of his life. Comprising around 250 photographs, this exhibition, which began its tour at the Museum Folkwang, Essen, focuses on the first decade of Ghirri’s career.
What to see in Paris: NYU’s Grey Art Gallery director Lynn Gumpert on four shows up now [posted 4/23/19]
What to see in Los Angeles: Artist Gelare Khoshgozaran on three shows up now [posted 3/5/19]
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