No matter which side of the bridge you’re on (YO-OY, as you’ll see below), November in New York City is shaping up to have a lot of urban art to offer, both indoors and out. Below are fifteen exhibits and installations that will take you from the turn of the twentieth century to a 70th anniversary – exploring windows and never-built highways, opening doors at new locations, and even to a sacred room of meditation.
15. In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway and the Battle for Downtown
In the Municipal Archives Building is a two-room exhibit that explores Robert Moses‘ plan for a 10-lane downtown expressway (LOMEX) that would have cut through Soho and Little Italy, and the community response that eventually defeated the plan and ended Moses’ reign in New York. In the exhibit, a replica of the highway is built under which are photographs from the archives that are part of the collection.
14. Nova Brightens the Flatiron for the Holidays
The Flatiron Partnership and Van Alen Institute announced the winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition. SOFTlab‘s proposal, Nova, will be unveiled on November 18, and will remain on view through the holidays. This large-scale installation will entail the careful placement of scopes, or viewing cones, arranged to represent a North Star for the Flatiron District. Each scope point to a distinct landmark – The Flatiron Building, Met Life Tower Clock, Empire State Building, and other surrounding landmarks. This is part of the 23 Days of Flatiron Cheer and while you’re there don’t miss the Flatiron Prow architectural exhibit, “Constructing the Razor’s Edge.”
13. Christo: Show Windows and Store Front
Known for bigger-than-life, over-the-top, large-scale installations, New Yorkers may best remember Christo and Jeanne-Claude for their colorful project, The Gates in Central Park in 2005. In 2009, Christo lost Jeanne-Claude to a brain aneurysm, but has kept his promise to continue creating in both of their names. Now, ten years after The Gates, Christo returns to New York in a solo exhibit at the Craig Starr Gallery.
Christo: Show Windows and Store Fronts, 1963-68, is an architectural installation he started making in the early 1960s shortly after he and Jeanne-Claude emigrated to New York. The proportions of these pieces recall the gigantic dimensions of the city’s architecture as seen by them upon their arrival. The curtains of fabric draped on the inside of the panes can be seen as forerunners to many of their projects, including The Gates. This exhibit is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication designed by Christo, with a forward by Craig F. Starr.
Located at the Craig F. Starr Gallery, 5 East 73rd Street, Christo: Show Windows and Store Fronts, 1963-68 will be on view from November 6 through January 23, 2016.
12. Enlightened Universe Marks the 70th Anniversary of the UN
The installation Enlightened Universe by artist Cristobal Gabarron
On Saturday, October 24, the United Nations celebrated its 70th Anniversary by unveiling artist Cristobal Gabarron’s sculpture, Enlightened Universe in Central Park‘s Rumsey Playing Field. Over one hundred people were in attendance for the celebration and ribbon cutting including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Mitchell J. Silver, the President of the UN General Assembly, Morgens Lykketoft, and the artist, Cristobal Gabarron.
The seventy life-size figures each represent one year of the UN’s existence. They surround a twenty-four ton, stainless steel sphere, which is a scaled down model of the Earth. This installation will eventually travel to different major cities throughout the world, repeating the same program of promise. To get to the Rumsey Playing Field, enter Central Park from East 72nd Street.
11. OYYO In Brooklyn Bridge Park
The sculpture artist Deborah Kass will be installing her piece OYYO in Brooklyn Bridge Park on November 9. As you can see, the installation consists of huge yellow aluminum letters, which can be seen from the FDR Drive with a view toward Brooklyn, and the letters appearing as YO. However from the Brooklyn side, overlooking Manhattan, the letters will appear to be OY. The artwork was commissioned by The Two Trees Management Company, the Dumbo-based real estate developer also building the Domino sugar site in Williamsburg.
OYYO was originally created as a painting by Kass, as her answer to Edward Ruscha’s 1962 painting OOF. Ms Kass is also an Honoree at this years ArtWalk NY on November 17, and an up and coming opening exhibit at Paul Yasmin Gallery in Chelsea entitled “No Kidding,” on December 9.
10. Drawing Ambience at Cooper Union
Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984, from the Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive
Drawing Ambience, an exhibition by Cooper Union, presents the early drawings of architects like Frank Gehry, Michael Webb, Rem Koolhaas and many more. Many of these drawing, which come from the private collection of the Architectural Assocation’s Alvin Boyarsky, have never before been seen.
As part of the exhibition, there will be a panel on architectural education held on November 6 at 6:30 pm. Drawing Ambience is presented in association with Archtober and is located in the Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery of Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, 2nd Floor. The exhibit will be on view through November 25.
Daniel Libeskind, The Garden, 1979, from the Collection of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive
9. Sacred Spaces at The Rubin Museum
Sacred Spaces, a Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at The Rubin Museum
Sacred Spaces opened at The Rubin Museum on October 23, with the intention of immersing visitors in the sacred art of the Himalayas. With three distinctly different spaces, the centerpiece of this installation is an expanded Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room. Visitors are also invited to contribute their thoughts by leaving a note in a reflecting bowl. On view is also a panoramic photograph taken in the province of Mustang, in northern Nepal, by Jaroslav Poncar, and a video installation of an Indian ritual created by Deidi von Schaewen. A video showcases a communal ritual where devotees pour offerings over a stone sculpture. The three spaces on view show the various devotional activities that are practiced in that particular region. The Rubin Museum is located at 150 West 17th Street.
8. Pen + Brush Reopens With Domesticity Revisited
The Pen + Brush reopens at their new location
After a three year renovation at their new 5,500 square foot location, Pen+Brush opened its door to the exhibit Domesticity Revisited. Curated by Rick Kinsel, Executive Director of The Vilcek Foundation, the group show will be on view through December 30th. Since its foundation in 1894, Pen + Brush has offered an outlet for women in both the literary and visual arts. This new, larger space will accommodate the exhibition of all forms of visual arts. They will also be electronically publishing literary fiction and poetry under their own imprint. Now located in the Flatiron District at 29 East 22nd Street.
7. The 2015 Print Fair at The Park Avenue Armory
The International Fine Print Dealers Association will be holding its 2015 Print Fair from November 5th to 8th inside the stunning Park Avenue Armory. Now in its 24th year, IFPDA has been promoting prints as original works of art, and once again this year they have a lively schedule for Print Week of lectures, exhibitions, demonstrations, and gallery talks with over 80 IFPDA members exhibiting. On view will be new editions, rare editions, and never-before-seen prints, with works ranging from as far back as the 15th Century, to Post War masters to 21st Century. Located at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue at 66th/67th Streets.
6. Affordable Housing: A Housing Legacy
The NYCHA exhibit at the 1939-40 World’s Fair, June 8, 1940. La Guardia and Wagner Archives, La Guardia Community College/The City University of New York, courtesy of the New York City Housing Authority
No exhibit may be more timely than Affordable Housing: A Housing Legacy at the Museum of the City of New York. While it may seem that affordable housing has become a hot topic under the administration of Mayor Bill deBlasio (and somewhat under Bloomberg), the exhibit aims to show that the history of affordable housing not only goes back more than a century, but has its roots here in the city. This extensive exhibit, curated by architectural historian and author Thomas Mellins, is a must for the urbanists among us, exploring the ways in which activists and policy makers have fought to promote subsidized housing. It offers a timeline of the past, current and even the future of our housing initiatives, giving the public a rare glimpse inside the system.
5. Printed Matter Reopens With an Art Homage to Ray Johnson
The bookstore Printed Matter has opened the doors to its new location at 231 Eleventh Avenue at 26th Street, with a homage to Ray Johnson as its first exhibit. Please Add To and Return To: Mail Art Homage to Ray Johnson will be on view from October 27 through November 28. Founded in 1976, the non-profit first opened its doors on Lispenard Street in Tribeca. They allow artists and indie publishers to submit books for sale in their shop. The bookstore circulates over 32,000 publications annually on behalf of the artists and small presses, and in addition, offer support services and activities, including art installations, talks, books launches and performances.
4. If You Leave Me Can I Come Too? at Hunter East Harlem
Keith Haring new gallery rendition created from the #crackiswack hashtag. at Hunter East Harlem
The Hunter East Harlem Gallery is currently highlighting the artwork of twelve contemporary artists, working in a variety of media. The exhibit, named If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?, is meant to reveal the power and beauty arising from the acknowledgement of death. The question posed is: how do individuals and societies revolve around the common denominator of death, this being a question that is experienced by all that live. Some of the artworks are the result of the artists’ meditation on their own mortality, as seen in the title painting by Friedrich Kunath. Other works are an observation on greater societal influences and communities around death, like Keith Haring’s famous Crack Is Wack mural. Located at 2180 Third Avenue at 119th Street, the exhibit will run through January 9, 2016.
3. Pink Lotus On Peninsula Hotel Facade
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, installation by artist Grimanesa Amoros for the Peninsula Hotel. Rendering by Grimanesa Amoro.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and no where is it more prominently supported and visible than here in New York. Even the NYPD went pink this month! Many events take place, bringing awareness and showing support. One of the many installations is a collaboration between Circa 1881 and the Peninsula Hotel, with the adornment on the facade of the hotel of a large-scale, site specific light sculpture by Peruvian artist Grimanesa Amoros. The installation is part of the larger initiative “The Art of Pink”, an ongoing partnership to produce rotating art exhibitions for the public spaces within the hotel. Pink Lotus will remain on display through November 15.
The Think Pink Rocks 2015 TCS NYC Marathon will be held this Sunday, November 1st in partnership with the New York Road Runners Club. All money raised by Think Pink Rocks will go toward supporting breast cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
2. This Land Is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures
Collage at the entrance to the exhibit “This Land is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures”
The Jonathan LeVine Gallery currently has an exhibit of large-format paintings of many of our favorite places – some of them gone, but some still standing. The gallery walls are filled with the likes of The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Pyramid Club, Moshe’s Bakery, a painting of the Graffiti House, Katz Deli, CBGB and so many more in an exhibit aptly named This Land is Not For Sale: Forgotten, Past and Foreseeable Futures. In his protest for the ones that disappeared, artist Brett Amory also installed a faux construction site underpass at the entrance to the gallery, to parody the constant sledgehammering of gentrification. In the center the gallery is a running video of the documentary “Captured”, the story of the Lower East Side legendary photographer Clayton Patterson – and a display of LES posters. This colorful ode to the Lower East Side we all love and remember will be on display through November 14. Located at 557 C West 23rd Street.
Artist Brett Amory solo exhibit at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery
1. Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half at MCNY
Bandit’s Roost, 59 1/2 Mulberry Street. Jacob A. Riis, c.1890 from Museum of the City of New York
Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half opened at the Museum of the City of New York in October. Riis, who was a newspaper reporter and social reformer, was known for reporting on the crisis in housing, poverty, crime and education in New York at the turn of the 20th century. This is the first major retrospective of his photographic work, and will include the Jacob A. Riis Papers from the Library of Congress. The exhibit will be on view through March 20, 2016.
Next, check out additional NYC urban art installations from October. Get in touch with the author AFineLyne.