Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last Call: Seismic Shifts and The Annual: 2013 at the National Academy Museum, through May 5

Vik Muniz, Woman Ironing (Isis) and The Gypsy (Magna
from the series Pictures of Garbarge, 2008-11
portfolio of 7 chromogenic prints, 30 x 23½ inches , edition of 30
Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & co., New York; art © Vik muniz/licensed by VaGa, New York, NY

Housed in the former Archer Milton and Anne Hyatt Huntington beaux-arts mansion at 1083 Fifth Avenue between 89th and 90th Streets, the National Academy Museum remains one of the ever-twinkling jewels in New York's treasure chest of art.  Rarely disappointing, these temporary exhibitions should be on everyone's list of must-see art shows every season. Since January 31, Seismic Shifts: 10 Visionary in Contemporary Art and Architecture, features a thrilling collection of works by an international group of artists: Vik Muniz, Bill Viola, Betye Saar, Tom Friedman, Thornton Dial, Wangechi Mutu, Moshe Safdie, Gregg Lynn, Kate Orff and Nick Cave. The online catalog offers a sneak peek of these glorious art works and architectural models/photographs. Among the best known are Brazilian artist Vik Muniz's portraits of garbage pickers in Rio de Janeiro from his documentary Waste Land (2010).  

Here is a link to the film's trailer on YouTube.

Betye Saar, Red Ascension (from RED TIME), 2011
mixed media assemblage, 17½ x 96½ x 3¼ inches
Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery llc, New York, NY

Still going strong, 86-year-old Betye Saar contributed her recent works to Seismic Shifts, installed at the very beginning of the exhibition to emphasize the rich multi-media aspect of this curatorial endeavor.  Saar is known for her vast collection of found or received objects that she embeds into exceptionally imaginative environments.  Her Flight of the Trickster (2012) was created especially for the National Academy's show.  (Composed of layered black handmade paper and other materials, it does not reproduce well as a digital form.)  Here I have included Red Ascension from her RED TIME show which references the bloody journey of Africans to the New World - from slave ships to shackles to emancipation (following the stars to freedom with the underground railroad).

For a preview of Seismic Shifts conducted by curator Marshall Price, click on the embedded video posted below.

Seismic Shifts has been paired with the National Academy's annual exhibition of members.  This year, The Annual: 2013 features works by Julie Heffernan, Faith Ringgold, Judith Shea, Richard Kalina, Robert Kushner, Howardena Pindell, and many, many more.  The National Academy's annual exhibition often rivals the Whitney biannual resume of what's new and noteworthy in contemporary art.  Please click here to see the digital images on the NA website.

The New York Arts Exchange will tour the exhibitions on Wednesday, May 1, meeting in the lobby at 1 pm.  To confirm or make reservations, please contact me at nyarts.exchange@verizon.net 

Best regards,
Beth New York

aka  Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.

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