Source Vera Lutter

Chrysler Building, 2014.  Unique gelatin silver print.  95 1/4″ x 56″ Source Vera Lutter

Born in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Vera Lutter moved to New York after receiving her diploma in 1991 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.  She went on to study at the School of Visual Arts, where she received an MFA in 1995.  Her love of New York and its ever changing cityscapes gave way to a most unique experiment.  She turned her loft into a pinhole camera and captured huge images on the interior walls.  Using large sheets of photographic paper, she was able to capture these inverted images in black and white and retained the negative images, which is what we are seeing in this self-titled exhibit currently at The Gagosian Gallery on the Upper East Side.


© Brøndum A/S, Photo: Paul Buchard via Archidose © Brøndum A/S, Photo: Paul Buchard via Archidose

MONDAY, JUNE 24: Underground Eats Mad Men Dinner. Chef Santos at Louro will be channeling his inner ad man on June 24th as he prepares a tasting menu inspired by the Man Men era. As you prepare to say goodbye to the folks of Sterling Cooper & Partners on June 23rd, you may want to think about making plans for the following day to distract you from your depression. 7-9pm at Louro, 142 West 10th Street. $60. Buy tickets here and check out our Mad Men Guide to New York City.

TUESDAY, JUNE 25: Join Neil Goldberg and members of Elastic City (Juan Betancurth, Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith) for “Evening Stars” in various locations within Times Square for a performance that responds to Goldberg’s video, “Surfacing.” Fifteen performers will be stationed around Times Square with specially calibrated telescopes that will allow for an utterly unique stargazing experience in the heart of New York. 11:40pm at 1560 Broadway. FREE. Read our review of Admission, an Elastic City walk at the New Museum.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26: Brooklyn EATS! This is Brooklyn’s first food & beverage trade show, supporting our food manufacturing businesses and creating a borough- wide community of food producers. 10am-5:30pm at 630 Flushing Avenue, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. FREE. Register here(more…)

Douglas Gordon Play Dead Real Time elephant MoMA Untapped Cities

Currently on view in the Contemporary Galleries at The Museum of Modern Art is a large-scale video installation by the Scottish artist Douglas Gordon. The piece, titled Play Dead; Real Time (2003), consists of two large screens on which footage plays of an elephant striding and tumbling around the glistening floors of New York’s Gagosian Gallery. (The piece also includes two monitors placed in opposite corners of the large gallery, which, though smaller and less trafficked by guests, somehow seem to offer a less intimate view.) The circus elephant was brought to New York expressly for Gordon’s piece, and the result is a work of art that also takes the viewer elsewhere, as the piece is a stellar jumping off point for some heavy subjects.


"Untitled", 1981 © The Estate of Jean-­Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris, ARS, New York 2013. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

“Untitled”, 1981 © The Estate of Jean-­Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris, ARS, New York 2013. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

Just last week, the Gagosian opened a major exhibit paying homage to one of New York’s most talented but tortured artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). A charismatic character bristling with self-destructive creative energy, Basquiat was known for expressing and juxtaposing conflicting qualities in his work. In his visceral, spontaneous pieces, he celebrated the tension between such disparate elements as aloofness and instinctual expression, wit and savagery, urbanity and primitivism. (more…)

philistines basquiat events untapped new york

Philistines by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1982)

Our curated events picks for this week: Basquiat at Gagosian, No Longer Empty’s Tiki Tiki Club performance, David Zwirner’s new gallery opening.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11: Jean-Michel Basquiat at Gagosian. Featuring over fifty works from public and private collections, the exhibition spans Basquiat’s brief but meteoric career, which ended with his death at the age of twenty-seven. Thirty years after Larry Gagosian first presented his work in Los Angeles, twenty years after the first posthumous survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1992–93), and eight years after the Brooklyn Museum of Art retrospective (2005), viewers will have a fresh opportunity to consider Basquiat’s central role in his artistic generation as a lightning rod and a bridge between cultures. Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street. FREE.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12: New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman will lead a conversation about how New York City can tackle large-scale public projects in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, both effectively and fairly. With architectural historian Hilary Ballon, University Professor at NYU and curator of the Museum’s blockbuster exhibitions on Robert Moses and the Grid; Adam Freed, Director of the Global Securing Water Program at the Nature Conservancy; Adriaan Geuze, founding Principal of West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture (Rotterdam and New York); and Philip Orton, Research Scientist at Stevens Institute of Technology and an expert on storm surges and physical oceanography. 6:30pm at MCNY, 1220 Fifth Avenue. Reservations required. $6 Museum members; $8 seniors and students; $12 general public. Buy tickets here.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13: The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) presents Shoe Obsession, an exhibition that examines our culture’s ever-growing fascination with extravagant and fashionable shoes. Shoes by established designers such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin continue to be bestsellers, while the number of rising stars within the footwear industry is multiplying. Over the past decade, heels have reached new heights —as have prices. High-heeled shoes—the fashion shoes of the 21st century—have become so tall that even a 4-inch heel is considered “low.” Shoe Obsession will feature approximately 150 examples of contemporary footwear, highlighting the extreme, lavish, and imaginative styles that have made shoes central to fashion. 12-8pm at MFIT, 7th Ave at 27th Street. FREE.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14: Kostume Kult‘s Original Sin Valentine Party. The apocalyptic year is over and rebirth is at hand. Some call it sin, most call it love and we call it an all-night, naughty garden of Eden — starting with a happy-hour community gathering and growing into hot-house dance party with heavenly visions and sinful delights. (And extra special DJs after midnight.) Mixing the Chinese Year of the Snake with forbidden fruits, phallic flowers and suggestible natives, expect a night of divine naughtiness and dirty pleasures in a crazily creative venue with a pumping sound system and convenient downtown access. 8pm-4am at Kostume Kult, 34 Vandam Street (between 6th Ave & Varick). $5 before 10pm; $10 after 10pm.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15: The day after Valentine’s day, join No Longer Empty and artists Shaun Leonardo, Andrew Leonardo and Ivan Monforte in re-defining the Tiki Tiki club, a popular Queens nightclub phenomenon. Originating from Mexican and Central American nightlife culture, these clubs invite men to pay a female $2 to be their dance partner for a song. Unlike strip clubs, women do not take off their clothes – just provide companionship during a cumbia, salsa, merengue or bachata song. The Tiki Tiki Club revises this ‘romantic transaction’ by giving women the chance to pay men for a dance – reversing the exchange. The exhibition space will be transformed into into a nightclub for the evening, with music and drinks contributing to the night club atmosphere. 7-10pm at The Clocktower, 29-27 41st Avenue, Long Island City, Queens. FREE.

Also on Friday:  Coinciding with the gallery’s 20-year anniversary, David Zwirner is pleased to inaugurate a new five-storied exhibition and project space with a presentation of works by Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. Designed by Selldorf Architects, the building incorporates ca. 30,000 square feet over five stories. It will be the first commercial art gallery to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Its outdoor garden spaces will be created by Piet Oudolf, who designed the gardens and plantings on the nearby High Line. Also contributing to the project are Renfro Design Group (for architectural lighting) and Atelier Ten, engineering design consultants and engineers. David Zwirner Gallery, 537 West 20th Street. FREE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16: Marcel Proust‘s In Search of Lost Time is one of the most influential and ambitious literary works of all time. The Morgan celebrates the 1913 publication of the first of its seven volumes, Swann’s Way, with a fascinating selection of the author’s notebooks, preliminary drafts, galley-proofs, and other documents from the collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The works on display will provide unique insight into Proust’s creative process and the birth of his masterpiece. Also on view will be period postcards with depictions of Illiers, which served as the inspiration for Proust’s fictional town Combray, and Paris. Several letters between Proust and his mother, Jeanne, from the Morgan’s collection, will be included. Ongoing until April 28, 10am-6pm at The Morgan Library, 225 Madison Avenue (at 36th Street). $15 adults; $10 students/seniors/children.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17: Check out Chinatown’s annual Lunar New Year celebration for stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food and festivities for all ages. Walk the main streets of Lower Manhattan—from Little Italy through Chinatown—to catch a glimpse. 1pm starting at Mott & Hester Streets, continuing down Mott toward East Broadway, then onto Eldridge and finally finishing at Forsythe & Broome. Cultural Festival & Booth: Sara Roosevelt Park (Canal & Forsyth St.). FREE. Check out our column Sunday in Chinatown for restaurant recommendations.

One of the Municipal Art Society‘s exciting initiatives is the tour series offered every weekend in a variety of locations in New York City. This weekend I had the chance to go along on their tour of Chelsea Art Galleries and assess the tour for myself. Our guide was art historian Sylvia Laudien Meo, who teaches art history at Fairleigh Dickinson University and works as a gallery educator at the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA and the Jewish Museum. Sylvia led the group on a two hour tour of eight galleries, telling everyone about the artists featured in each one. As someone who writes about the arts on a regular basis, I can say that I was very impressed by Sylvia’s extensive knowledge and her ability to make the topic both interesting and accessible. Each time she leads the tour, she chooses a different group of galleries to visit based on what they’re exhibiting at the time. Here are the galleries she led us to this weekend:

1. On My Way Gone by Joianne Bittle at Churner and Churner