200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, April 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00
The Brooklyn Museum focuses on numerous aspects of the word “blue” in its April First Saturday program, “Beyond the Blues.” There will be live music and dance by the Martha Redbone Roots Project, Geko Jones and Chiquita Brujita with Fogo Azul and Aina Luz, the Brooklyn Dance Festival (with a workshop), and Queen GodIs with special guests; the pop-up poetry event “An Address of the Times” with Pamela Sneed, Heather Johnson, t’ai freedom ford, and Timothy Du White; a screening of Marcie Begleiter’s Eva Hesse, followed by a discussion with Helen Charash (Hesse’s sister) and producer Karen Shapiro; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make marbled paper using the Japanese suminagashi (“floating ink”) technique; an Emerging Leaders of New York Arts booth where participants can write postcards in support of the arts, take part in a public art project, and take a #SaveTheNEA selfie; the lecture performance #sky #nofilter by Chloë Bass exploring racial trauma; and a “New York City Participatory Budgeting” program where people can propose and vote on projects in their community. In addition, you can check out such exhibits as “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and, at a discounted admission price of $12, “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern.”
Who: Sanford Biggers, Saya Woolfalk
What: Artist conversation
Where: Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, 535 West 22nd St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves., sixth floor, 212-255-8450
When: Saturday, March 25, free, 6:00
Why: In conjunction with the multimedia solo exhibition “Saya Woolfalk: ChimaCloud and the Pose System,” which continues at Leslie Tonkonow through April 1, New York–based artists Saya Woolfalk and Sanford Biggers will talk about their work. Woolfalk, who is from Japan, builds dramatic, fantastical worlds inspired by her family background, while Biggers, from Los Angeles, creates provocative installations, as evidenced by his 2011–12 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, “Sanford Biggers: Sweet Funk — An Introspective.”
The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St.
Thursday - Tuesday through March 26, $7.50 - $15 (free admission Saturday 11:00 am - 5:45 pm, pay-what-you-wish Thursday 5:00 - 8:00)
You might not know who Pierre Chareau is, but you’re not likely to forget him after experiencing the Jewish Museum’s exhilarating exhibition about his life and career. “Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design” shines a light on his fascinating work as a furniture designer, architect, and, with his wife, Dollie, art collector and salon host. Born in France in 1883, Chareau had Jewish roots but was raised Catholic; he married Jewish London native Dollie Dyte and counted many Jews among his clients. A success in Paris, where he owned his own design store, in 1940 he fled after the Nazi occupation and two years later was joined by his wife in New York City but was never able to reach the heights he had achieved in Paris. This revelatory show spotlights his unique designs, which prove absolutely exquisite, a blend of modern, traditional, and functional, displayed in dazzling ways by innovative studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Six furniture groupings are enhanced by screens with shadow projections of figures using the beautifully crafted and unusual tables, chairs, desks, couches, beds, and lamps. One room holds artworks (by Mondrian, Modigliani, Lipchitz, Ernst, and others) the Chareaus owned and incorporated into their home and shop, la Boutique Pierre Chareau. Photographs depict the extraordinary house and open-plan studio Chareau designed for Robert Motherwell in East Hampton; Chareau later became the architectural editor for the journal possibilities, working with art editor Motherwell, music and dance editor John Cage, and literature editor Harold Rosenberg. (Sadly, the house was torn down in 1985.)
Visitors put on virtual reality headsets to immerse themselves in four of Chareau’s most splendid environments: his home study in Paris, the Farhi Apartment, and the Grand Salon and garden of his most famous commission, the Maison de Verre, also known as the Glass House, which he built in Paris with Dutch architect Bernard Bijvoet and ironsmith Louis Dalbet for Annie and Jean Dalsace. In the final room of the exhibit, Diller Scofidio + Renfro have outdone themselves with a multimedia tour of the Maison de Verre; a central two-sided video screen slides above an architectural rendering of the house, showing cross-sections of the interior and exterior and stopping as it reaches a specific room; then, on one of the walls, a video shows that space in use by a man and a woman, their interactions marked by sly Gallic wit. Built between 1928 and 1932, the Maison de Verre itself was clearly ahead of its time, and today it remains as forward-looking as ever by virtue of the mesmerizing manner in which it is displayed. In the 1950s, Chareau sought to have a show at MoMA but was turned down by Philip Johnson; thus, it’s about time he had a major show in his adopted hometown, and what a show it is.
In 2014, New York–based Japanese teacher, dancer, and visual artist Eiko Otake brought her “Body in Places” solo project to Fukushima, site of the devastating 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. On March 11, Eiko, the current Dignity Initiative Artist in Residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, will commemorate the sixth anniversary of the tragedy with a special memorial program at the church, held in conjunction with the closing of the exhibition “The Christa Project: Manifesting Divine Bodies,” which Eiko cocurated and includes William Johnston’s photographs of Eiko in Fukushima. “Remembering Fukushima” will feature William Johnston, Marilyn Ivy, Thomas Looser, Mark McCloughan, Alexis Moh, Nora Thompson, Megu Tagami, John Kelly, Carol Lipnik, DonChristian Jones, Geo Wyeth, Ronald Ebrecht, Ralph Samuelson, Elizabeth Brown, Jake Price, Katja Kolcio, and NYC iSCHOOL and is dedicated to writer Kyoko Hayashi, who was scheduled to participate but passed away on February 19 at the age of eighty-six. Writing about a “practice run” of the program, Eiko explained in a statement, “I found myself speaking not only of how this artmaking was a way for me to personally empathize with the destruction caused by nuclear energy but also about how much it meant to me to be a part of this larger event with so many intelligent and creative people. I felt (and feel) honored to be one of many figuring out how to empathize with, speak truth of, and remember the Fukushima disaster.” Conceived and directed by Eiko, “Remembering Fukushima,” presented in association with Asia Society and Danspace Project, will take place from 1:00 to 5:00; admission is free with advance RSVP.
150 West 17th St. at Seventh Ave.
Wednesday - Monday through May 8, $10-$15 (free Fridays 6:00 - 10:00)
People have been chanting the sacred Sanskrit syllable “OM” for three centuries, believing it is “the sum total of everything.” Visitors are now offered the opportunity to become part of the largest collective OM in history in the participatory Rubin Museum exhibit “OM Lab.” Through May 8, everyone is invited to go to the sixth floor of the former Barney’s home and share their cosmic vibration in a sound booth. As you record your “OM,” your personal sound waves are projected on the wall behind the booth. As you wait in line, you can read banners that explore the derivation and utilization of the sound, including “The Supreme Mantra and Imperishable Truth,” “The Instrument of Transformation,” and “The Mantra of Many Faiths” (Hindu, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism). “OM connects you to history,” Rosanne Cash explains in her “Why I OM” video made for the Rubin. “We connect to those who have done it before us. . . . There’s something about it; it just feels so good in your head, and in your chest, and in your mouth. It’s familiar.” That connection will be felt when the Rubin turns all of the “OM Lab” recordings into a single, collective chant that will be on display beginning June 16 in “The World Is Sound” exhibit. “Sound has always been a primary aspect of spiritual inquiry,” yoga master Rodney Yee says in his “Why I OM” video. “There is an open sound, and then there is an ending, a closure. So, ‘Amen,’ ‘OM,’ I think they do something to the physiology of the human body. They create both a giving and a receiving. It ends up actually having an amazing unifying effect if people allow themselves to drop into it.” And you don’t have to be a practitioner to participate; going into that booth and letting your OM sing is a freeing, cathartic experience, even if you’ve never done it before. In conjunction with the exhibit, on April 22 ($25) calligrapher and artist Tashi Mannox will host “Sacred Syllables and Their Sounds,” followed by the launch of the second edition of his book Sacred Scripts: A Meditative Journey Through Tibetan Calligraphy, and on May 6 ($108), Satya Scainetti will lead the workshop “Mala for Mother’s Day,” in which participants can create a garland of prayer beads made from angelite, black onyx, carnelian, fancy jasper, green onyx, or rose quartz, each of which has different peaceful properties for the mind, body, and soul.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St.
Through March 10 (closed Thursday), $18 - $25 (pay-what-you-wish Saturday 5:45-7:45)
The Guggenheim’s “Tales of Our Time” exhibition, featuring half a dozen contemporary Chinese artists and collectives, comes to a close this week with several final events. On March 7 and 8 at 7:00 and 9:30, Raimundas Malašauskas and Marcos Lutyens’s hour-long, site-specific “Hypnotic Show” is a conceptual, imaginary experiment in cognitive narrative. On Wednesday afternoon, 1:30 to 5:45, Yangjiang Group’s “Unwritten Rules Cannot Be Broken” will be activated for the last time, a tea gathering in which visitors can sit down in a peaceful environment, sip tea, contemplate calligraphy, and measure their heart rate and blood pressure before and after the communal experience. The second exhibition of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, “Tales of Our Time” consists of specially commissioned works commenting on place and history, inspired by the 1936 book Gushi xin bian (Old Tales Retold) by Lu Xun. In “Taxi,” Taipei artist Chia-En Jao films his political conversations with cabdrivers as he goes to historically significant locations; meanwhile, his unique coat-of-arms flag titled “Arms No. 31” reveals key moments in Taiwan’s history through detailed symbolism. Zhou Tao’s two-channel video “Land of the Throat” depicts current landscapes undergoing development, with some futuristic, otherworldly elements added. Kan Xuan’s “Kū Lüè Er,” which translates as “to circle a piece of land,” is a multichannel installation of stop-motion cell-phone pictures and sandstone sculptures of barbed wire exploring the evolution and erosion of cities and the relationship between nature and humanity.
In addition to the Wednesday tea gathering, Yangiang Group’s “Unwritten Rules Cannot Be Broken” boasts a balcony garden and a three-level green post of calligraphy that references a newspaper headline in which former vice president Joe Biden discussed healthy competition between China and the United States. Hong Kong artist Tsang Kin-Wah’s “In the End Is the Word” references the battle between China and Japan as ships fight it out on the ocean, concluding with a stream of phrases from such philosophers as Marx, Sartre, Derrida, and Nietzsche (“The end of its miserable life,” “Fill and refill all over again”) pouring off the screen, morphing into “No(thing/Fact) Outside,” the vinyl words spreading over nearby walls, a staircase, the floor, and even an elevator. Sun Xun’s “Mythological Time” revisits the coalmine of his hometown of Fuxin in a stop-motion charcoal animation and mural reminiscent of the work of William Kentridge. Finally, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Can’t Help Myself” is a giant industrial robot that performs balletic moves as it tries to keep viscous red liquid resembling blood into a confined area around it while the liquid inevitably oozes away and at times ends up splattered on the polycarbonate wall, referencing both automation and endless violence. Speaking of place and history, the Guggenheim is also celebrating its eightieth anniversary with the greatest-hits exhibition “Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim,” exploring the past, present, and future of the collection.