The month of March kicks off with a whirlwind of artistic activities, beginning with The Armory Show and the moveable three-day art feast surrounding the event. Fasten your seat belts – here are 10 art exhibits, installations and events not to miss, plus a separate guide to the many art festivals returning this month for Armory Art Week.
1. Issa Genzken’s Two Orchids
At an entrance to Central Park on 60th Street and 5th Avenue, you can always count on a great art installation by the Public Art Fund. Installed on the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, is Two Orchids by German artist Isa Genzken. Genzken was the subject of a retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 2013.
The work here, featuring two enormous orchid flowers at 28 feet and 34 feet tall, is a commentary on the ubiquity of the once-rare and exotic flowers. The Public Art Fund describes as an “idealized, colossal version of the familiar plant: a civic monument to the perfect orchid, now the chosen ornament of contemporary culture…the mass-produced white orchid has become the quintessential flower of our age: global, accessible, and open to interpretation”
2. The Opening of The Met Breuer
In 1963, Marcel Breuer received the commission to build the Whitney Museum of American Art with the intension of creating “a solid, permanent sanctuary for the art within.” Mr. Breuer would be pleased to see that not only will his vision not endure with the Metropolitan Museum of Art taking residence in the building, but that the new collection will also bear his name.
With much anticipation, The Met Breuer will open to the public on March 18, providing additional space for the Met in which they can include performances, residencies, educational initiatives and more exhibitions and artist commissions.
The new Met Breuer is located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street. Check out our sneak preview photos inside the new Met Breuer.
3. Closed Worlds at Storefront for Art and Architecture
Self-sustaining physical environments, though always a utopian goal of architecture, takes on particular meaning today as discussions about global warming and sustainability have come to the forefront. The exhibit, Closed Worlds, at the always interesting Storefront for Art & Architecture explores 41 historical living prototypes of closed environments. Also on view will be the 2015 winner of the Closed Worlds Design Competition, entitled Some World Games, which is a virtual reality ecosystem.
Closed Worlds is located at Storefront for Art and Architecture, 97 Kenmore Street, and will be on view through April 9, 2016.
4. Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play
Photography as an art form can show us views we might never see in person, and people we will never meet. It allows us to see through time and over continents. This month, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will exhibit a form of photography seldom explored, with its new exhibit, Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play. Here we’ll see photography used to gather evidence at crime scenes, identify suspects and report events from the 19th century ‘rogues’ galleries, along with works by contemporary artists.
This exhibit will feature 70 works from the Met collection that range in date from the 185os to present, and include such highlights as Alexander Gardner’s documentation of the events following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Also on view will be a selection of vintage news photographs related to John Dillinger, the Jack Ruby shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the bank surveillance from Patty Hearst’s abduction in 1974.
Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play will be on view from March 7 through July 31, 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A gallery talk on this exhibit will be held on March 23 from 10:30-11:30 am.
5. Disorder: 9 Uneven Angles in Union Square
Disorder: 9 Uneven Angles by French artist Bernar Venet is located on Broadway and 17th Street, displayed in conjunction with The Armory Show, where Mr. Venet has a major piece of work on display. It’s also a preface to an April exhibition planned at the Paul Kasmin Gallery. The twenty-five foot tall installation is made of nine rusted Cor-ten steel beams, part of Venet’s series Angles “which overall explores the sharp angular aesthetics that he began his career with in the 1970s,” says the Gallery.
The Union Square installation was commissioned by New York City’s Department of Transportation Art Program, in collaboration with the Paul Kasmin Gallery and the Union Square Partnership. As the press description describes, the “structure plays off of the verticality of the surrounding buildings in the Union Square area and is situated at an intersection where high volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic all cross at different ‘angles.'”
6. The New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show
The 14th Annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden will be held from February 27 to April 17. This colorful and popular event is filled with not only orchards, but also music, art and poetry. There will also be film screenings walking the viewer through a full-year cycle of Vanilla: The Sacred Orchid, and a film screening of the 2002 feature film Adaptation, inspired by Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief.
The New York Botanical Garden, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, is located 2900 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx.
7. Affordable Housing in New York at Hunter East Harlem Gallery
With affordable housing high on the agenda of our current administration, and on the minds of New Yorkers, Hunter East Harlem Gallery is exploring this highly charged topic from its inception to present day, with the new exhibit Affordable Housing in New York. The exhibit is located in East Harlem’s El Barrio, a neighborhood sure to be impacted by the administrations decisions.
In addition to exploring the past 100 years of affordable housing, the exhibition will host walking tours to the affordable housing buildings that are on display in the gallery. There will also be related talks based on the companion book Affordable Housing in New York.
Affordable Housing in New York will be on view at Hunter East Harlem, 2180 Third Avenue at 119th Street (enter on 119th Street) through May 15, 2016. The exhibit and related walking tours are free.
8. Harlem is….Downtown at Federal Hall
Celebrate the history of Harlem’s roots in downtown Manhattan at the exhibit Harlem is….Downtown at historic Federal Hall. The exhibit includes original works by Bryan Collier taken from his book Uptown, historically themed quilts, documentary photography, and creative works by young artists from Children’s Art Carnival. The exhibition traces the journey of Americans of African descent from the arrival of the first slave ships in Lower Manhattan in the 1600s to present day.
Harlem is….Downtown will be on view at Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street, through April 15, 2016, with the companion exhibit, Harlem is….A State of Mind, located at MIST in Harlem, 46 West 116th Street, on view through June 30, 2016.
9. Dinosaurs Among Us at American Museum of Natural History
In an effort to pique our interest in the world of paleontology, The American Museum of Natural History has put forth a series of events, public programs, exhibitions, and digital offerings. They certainly caught our attention recently with the unveiling of a 122-foot-long Titanosaur (above), which is now part of the permanent collection. The series continues on to explore a new exhibit, Dinosaurs Among Us, which will feature ancient, rarely seen fossils and life-like models, including a 23-foot-long feathered Tyrannosaur (Yutyrannus haui).
Dinosaurs Among Us will be on view from March 19 through January 2, 2017, as well as a dinosaur symposium of weekend programs, and a new dinosaur app from the Museum. The American Museum of Natural History is located at Central Park West and 79th Street.
10. The Armory Art Show 2016
Held annually on Piers 92 and 94, The Armory Show, showcases over 200 galleries from around the world. Now in its 22nd year, 2016 offers an exciting list of programming around this year’s theme, which takes an in-depth look at African Diaspora art, and art from an international African perspective. We were excited to see on the lengthy list of programming, a March 3rd panel discussion, “Looking Back, Leading the Way,” a conversation with artist El Anatsui and Sam Nhlengethwa, moderated by Bisi Silva, Founder and Artistic Director, Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos.
The Armory Art Show will be on view from March 3-6, with The Armory Party at MoMA on March 2.
11. ADAA: The Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory
The Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory is an annual event organized by The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), a non-profit membership organization made up of the nation’s leading galleries in the fine arts. All ticket proceeds benefit the Henry Street Settlement. This year, there will be 72 ADAA members exhibiting a variety of works from masters like Picasso, Miro and Dali, to photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Steichen. The below collage by Frank Stella is in the joint gallery booth of the Dominique Levy Gallery and Marianne Bosky Gallery.
ADAA: The Art Show, part of Armory Art Week, is located at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue and will be on view from March 2-6, with the Gala Preview on March 1.
12. Moving Image New York
Moving Image New York, familiar to New Yorkers for being behind Midnight Moment in Times Square for the past three years, is a festival that showcases moving image-based artworks. Here you will find a selection of commercial galleries and non-profit institutions exhibiting single-channel videos, projections and video sculptures. As part of Armory Art Week, Moving Image New York is located at The Waterfront Tunnel (the former Tunnel nightclub) at 269 Eleventh Avenue between 27/28th Streets, and will be on view from March 3-6. This is a free event.
Next, check out our guide to the many art festivals returning this month for Armory Art Week. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.