Confession: I've been in a bit of a productivity rut over the past two months. It's been challenging enough to find motivations to stay productive at work, let along to sit in a studio throughout an entire Sunday when there are barbecues, beach days, and mini-weekend trips to take. I have my own opinions about how siestas should be more commonplace in American culture, but I've also seen from other artists I've follow on Instagram that taking a break or even an actual vacation in July and August is more common than I thought. Getting back to a regular routine finally crosses people's mind in mid-August, probably because of many years of being trained to gear up for going back to school. I'm slowly starting to get back into a more regular routine but need some inspiration to motivate me to complete a few more projects before the end of the year, and my favorite way to do so is to view other artists' work.
Art's summer season wraps in late September, but lucky for me, because it's not officially summer, all the shows that were crowded by tourists are still available for more casual viewing. In light of recent recent news about Jeffrey Epstein, activist groups like Decolonize This Place protesting the Whitney, and the release of the CreateNYC Action Plan, I've been thinking a lot about how just as much as we may try to be conscious consumers in what we buy, we should also consider the institutions we choose to visit, pay entrance fees, or annual memberships. Showcasing diverse or "outsider" artists has become a trending topic over the past couple of years, along with considering who is the board behind our favorite art institutions. Vulture published a list of New York's Most Toxic Museum Boards, which I encourage everyone to read and make their own judgement about which museums they'll support in the future.
Below is a quick list of exhibitions and shows I want to catch before they're gone, somewhat partially because love the museums in particular or it's showcasing up and coming or diverse artists.
New Museum's Marta Minujin: Reloaded
The New Museum is one of my favorite museums period, and Marta Minujin: Reloaded is an example of why: immersive, unexpected, and educational on artists you should know. The exhibition is a retrospective of the Argentinian artist has been appearing all of my Instagram feed throughout the summer, especially from my friends who brought their kids, which just warms my heart thinking about exposing children to art at such an early age. The retrospective wraps 9/29.
2. Neue Galerie Eclipse of the Sun: Art of the Weimar Republic
Neue Galerie is another one of my favorites, primarily because I love Gustav Klimt. This year I also watched the Netflix series Babylon Berlin, which means I'm now obsessed with the Weimar Republic, a politically turbulent time in Germany's history that also led to a burst of creativity. The main feature of Eclipse of the Sun is George Grosz’s "Eclipse of the Sun", which anchors a showcase of multiple artworks highlighting the multiple cultural shifts during the time, including changing gender roles. The showcase ends 9/2, which means I'll probably be rushing to see this before it wraps.
3. Moma PS1 MOOD: Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2018–19
While MOMA is listed as one of the museums with a toxic board, MOMA PS1 is the family member who went to college and came back vegan at Thanksgiving (this literally was me my freshman year and it did not go over well). "MOOD" in particular is one worth supporting. While The Studio Museum in Harlem constructs a new building on the site of their longtime home on West 125th Street, MoMA PS1 is presenting the Studio Museum’s annual Artist-in-Residence exhibition, which "explores site, place, and time as they relate to American identity and popular culture, past and present. The exhibition resituates the often trending social media hashtag (#mood), which describes moments both profound and banal: anything can be “a #mood.” Working across a range of media and materials, each artist manifests their perception of the present moment in the United States, while creating passageways to new worlds. MOOD maps out each artist’s psychic landscape, presenting distinct snapshots that travel through and beyond the fabric of digital culture." I believe the exhibition also ends literally in a week, so I'll be rushing to see it as well (procrastination at it's finest).
4. National Museum of the American's Indian T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America
I honestly never knew this museum existed, but this show looks amazing. I can't do the description justice, so I'll just leave this here: "One of the most influential, innovative, and talented Native American artists of the 20th-century, T.C. Cannon embodied the activism, cultural transition and creative expression that defined America in the 1960s and 1970s. Cannon’s work—as an artist, poet, and aspiring musician—is deeply personal yet undeniably political, reflecting his cultural heritage, experience as a Vietnam War veteran, and the turbulent social and political period during which he worked. Cannon preferred bold color combinations, mash-ups between Native and non-Native elements and never shied away from the complexity and nuance of identity politics. Cannon interrogated American history and popular culture through his Native lens, and exercised a rigorous mastery of Western art historical tropes while creating an entirely fresh visual vocabulary. T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America celebrates Cannon’s creative range and artistic legacy through numerous paintings and works on paper, as well as his poetry and music." This wraps mid-September.
5. The Affordable Art Fair
I'm ashamed to say I've never been to the Affordable Art Fair, but there is no time like the present. The Affordable Art Fair comes to New York September 26th - 29th, and I'm very curious to see the artists showcased, what is "selling" and if there might be something I could pick up to start my own personal art collection.
Are there any exhibitions or shows I missed that I should check out? What are you planning to see before the end of the summer season?