Monday, November 14, 2011

A Wealth of Exhibits on the Upper East Side (Pun Intended)

Image above "The Starecase" by Thomas Rowlandson isctually part of an exhibit at the Met (Infinite Jest Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine)but fits this post.
The Upper East Side, land of many 1 percenters, is home to a number of outstanding exhibits this fall. John Morris and I saw several of these on a recent trip to NYC.
The Braque exhibit at Aquavella Gallery is an stunning exhibit in an exquisite 19th or early 20th century townhouse space. Actually the elegant townhouse is reminiscent of the Rowlandson drawing above, without the huge crowds. Though if you go on a weekend, you may well have to wait outside for awhile. The exhibit a wonderful survey of Braque's work.
To quote the NY Times on the subject of blue chip gallery exhibits and the Aquavella exhibit:
other blue-chip galleries including Acquavella and Pace have been presenting them on and off for decades. “I’ll never forget in the early ’70s when we had a Matisse show,” William Acquavella recalled. “We had people waiting on line in the pouring rain.”
His gallery, just two blocks north of Gagosian’s Madison Avenue headquarters, is attracting crowds right now with “Georges Braque: Pioneer of Modernism,” which opened on Oct. 12. The show, which was organized by Dieter Buchhart, an Austrian curator, includes 42 paintings, many on loan from museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Tate in London. “It’s good advertising,” Mr. Acquavella said. “Braque is an amazing artist and hasn’t really gotten his due.”
A review of the exhibit can be found here
The Gagosian Gallery on Madison has a very large exhibit of the private collection of Robert Rauschenberg. Again to quote the Times, " [the exhibit]will give visitors an inside peek at the art that Rauschenberg lived with, both in Manhattan and at his home and studio on Captiva Island in Florida. There will be examples of work by some of his old friends, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns and Cy Twombly as well as others he collected over the decades by Magritte, Robert Mapplethorpe and Brice Marden. " This is a very large exhibit and fascinating. For more information go here
An article in the NY Times discusses these, and other exhibits at very high-end galleries this fall here They include the reminder that these exhibits are free, as opposed to the ever
increasing museum entrance charges (be they suggested or required) in Manhattan these days.
John and I also went to some other exhibits in the area....and it proved yet again that the degrees of separation in the artworld are not too far apart. A visit to Sheperd and Derom Gallery to see a group exhibit including work by George Nama (John's old teacher at Pratt) led to the gallery director's query, "He's here! Would you like to see him?". An added bonus for an afternoon of gallery going. For information on this gallery (which actually deals mostly in 19th century work, go here
For more information on the Rowlandson drawing of gallery goers taking a tumble at a Royal Academy exhibit circa 1800, see here

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