Kaivana writes in from New York with the latest low-down on what’s buzzing in The Big Apple’s art scene. This is the second in a series of postcards from The Big Apple. You can read the first one here.
A first-ever for NYC
Who? KAWS: WHAT PARTY
Where? Exhibited at Brooklyn Museum
One of the most exciting exhibitions in NYC happening currently in Brooklyn Museum is KAWS: What Party. The exhibition is a first-ever in NYC for the Brooklyn-based artist KAWS, born Brian Donnelly. The artist’s work — you would have probably seen his cartoon-like characters with ‘X’ eyes — has garnered attention from various pop culture artists and musicians like Jay Z and Pharrell Williams. KAWS: What Party, as the gallery describes, is: “A sweeping survey featuring more than one hundred broad-ranging works, such as rarely seen graffiti drawings and notebooks, paintings and sculptures, smaller collectibles, furniture, and monumental installations of his popular COMPANION figures. It also features new pieces made uniquely for the exhibition along with his early-career altered advertisements.”A 25-year liaison in the world of art, he has critiqued the consumerism nature of the 21st century. Through his work, he addresses, participates and bridges the gap between consumerism, art and pop culture.
Who? Jackson Pollock – Away from the easel
Where? Exhibited at Guggenheim
Probably one of the most famous pop artists, Jackson Pollock’s largest ever painting, Mural, made in 1943, is on exhibit at the Guggenheim. The painting was made for Ms. Peggy Guggenheim and so it is only befitting that it is on exhibit at her namesake museum in the Upper East Side. This painting takes you back to the lesser-known working style of Pollock, before he discovered the dripping and splattering. Mural was the artist’s life/career changing ‘eureka’ painting. Through the painting, Pollock was exploring the subconscious mind in a surrealist style. Pollock had experimented with vibrant colour, gestures and mythical imagery in this painting which later paved the way for his more abstract colour splattering style. Ms. Peggy had generously donated the painting to University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and it is revisiting NY after 20 long years. It would be one breathtaking, not-to-be-missed sight.
Addressing the ‘issue’
Who? Hassan Hajjaj, Vogue, The Arab Issue
Where? Exhibited at Fotografiska, NY
Bold patterns and vibrant colours will capture your eyes in the photography exhibition titled Vogue, The Arab Issue. A self-taught artist and photographer, Hassan Hajjaj from Morocco has an eclectic art portfolio that includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and furniture design. Often known as the “Andy Warhol of Marrakesh” he has worked with different stylists on fashion shoots which brought in the idea for his next big project. The exhibition showcases five series developed over the course of 30 years and captures local women dressed up in haute couture and street wear, photographed on the streets of Medina. The title addresses and parodies the “Issue” of cultural stereotyping and cultural appropriation done by fashion magazines and designers.
Who? Julius Klinger: Posters for a Modern Age
Where? Exhibited at Poster House
A one-of-a-kind museum dedicated exclusively to posters, the Poster House is exhibiting the work of Julius Klinger, one of the leading graphic artists of the modern age. The gallery describes him as: “An advocate of ‘Americanismus’, and the progressive attitudes towards modern business and media. He transformed commercial visual culture through his innovative advertising posters, book and magazine illustrations, mass promotional campaigns, ornamental and typographical design, and brand development.” He was an Austrian designer born in 1876, and set up his art studio in the European nation during the World War I. He is credited to have transformed the way advertisements, brands and logos were looked in the 20th century. This particular exhibition explores his personal experiences with the history of design, cultural displacement and identity. He transformed the role of commercial art in the modern world.