Thursday, October 31, 2013

Expose Yourself to Art: Past, Present & Future - The Armory Show & Curate NYC

By Jacquelin Carnegie - (New York, NY)
Matisse, Blue Nude (photo: Mitro Hood)



Artists are always harbingers of change. In Western Europe in the 1880s, a rebellion against politically repressive regimes and authoritarian views of what constituted “art” emerged. Avant-garde movements rejected prior bourgeois notions of beauty. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, this group of "modernist" artists fundamentally changed the aesthetics of painting, architecture, and design. What are today's artists heralding?
The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution
Brancusi, Portrait of Mlle Pogany

The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West (btw 76th & 77th St.); Tel: 212/873-3400; www.nyhistory.org; Cost: Fee [Exhibit up until 2/23/14]

Their art is now so loved and lauded, it's hard to believe that the work of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul C├ęzanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp, and Constantin Brancusi, was once vilified. But, back in 1913 at The Armory Show in New York, what have become iconic images were called "rubbish" and "freakish absurdities" by the art critics of the day.
Yet, that 1913 Armory Show is still considered one of the most important exhibitions ever held in the United States, credited with introducing the American public to European avant-garde painting and sculpture. The exhibit, organized by members of the Association of American Painters & Sculptors frustrated with the lack of venues to show their own work, also gave exposure to several talented American artists such as Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, John Marin, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and John Sloan.
John Sloan, Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair
The outstanding The Armory Show at 100 at the New-York Historical Society is a centennial celebration highlighting groundbreaking artwork from the original exhibit. That landmark show, The International Exhibition of Modern Art, was dubbed "The Armory Show" because it was held in the 69th Regiment Armory (a magnificent building that still stands at Lexington Avenue & 25th Street). As you enter the exhibit today, just imagine what it was like to see this work for the very first time!
[I usually like to wander around an exhibit forming my own impressions, but the guided tours here are terrific. The docents (Deb Freeman is especially good) trained with the show's curators. Anyone can take a tour, but groups (families, friends, etc.) can arrange one in advance.]
CURATE NYC
Art Exhibits in 7 Galleries in all 5 Boroughs thru November 24, 2013 

Kazue Taguchi, llum/stream
Back in 1913, artists were frustrated trying to get their work shown and they still are today. While the number of talented artists in New York City is astounding, emerging and mid-career artists struggle to get their work seen by important curators and to get a gallery show. To help these artists gain some meaningful exposure, The New York City Economic Development Corporation partnered with Full Spectrum Experience, Inc., a nonprofit arts organization run by two creative dynamos: marketing strategist Brian Tate and arts philanthropist Danny Simmons. The result: Curate NYC
Now in its third year, Curate NYC 2013 received 1,900 entries from artists in all visual media who live and make art in New York City's five boroughs (Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, & Staten Island). This being NYC, of course, the artists' ethnic diversity and the varied countries of origin is as impressive as the artwork.

Curators from prestigious, international arts institutions reviewed all the entries. The selected artwork can be seen in 7 galleries in all 5 boroughs throughout November. After the shows close, the artwork will be viewable on the Curate NYC website.
Chanel Kennebrew, The NYC Future Project
This year a special Curate NYC exhibit, "NYC25: Visual Arts Imagine New York City 25 Years In The Future," is at the renowned Westwood Gallery NYC (10/25-11/14, www.westwoodgallery.com).
Curate NYC's other shows: Gallery Brooklyn (10/27-11/17, gallerybrooklyn.com); Elisa Contemporary Art, The Bronx (10/29- 11/23, elisacontemporaryart.com); chashama @ Times Square, Manhattan (10/30- 11/8, www.chashama.org/event/curatenyc2013); Local Project, Queens (11/1-15, www.localproject.org); & Gallery at 139 Bay, Staten Island (11/2-24, www.sicreative.org). In addition to helping artists, Curate NYC lets people in each borough know there are local artists and galleries to be supported right where they live!




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