November is kicking off with artistic explorations of current affairs, ranging from topics like immigration to feeding the hungry. Viewers will have the opportunity to nostalgically look back at the East Village art scene in the 1970’s – 1980’s, while our parks and public spaces will light-up with dazzling displays. In addition, a major Kusama exhibit will infuse this month with color, and photo exhibits will present our city through different lens.
Here are 14 art installations and exhibits not to miss in November (with a look back at installations from the summer still on view):
14. Future Expansion Wins the Fourth Annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition
Rendering of Flatiron Reflections by Future Expansion. Image courtesy of Flatiron Partnership
This week, the winner of the fourth annual Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition was announced by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and Van Alan Institute. Brooklyn-based architectural firm, Future Expansion, took home the title with its installation, Flatiron Reflections.
The structure is comprised of a bundle of shimmering tubes that create a fragmented column at the scale of the public plaza; in addition to a panoramic central space that opens out like a stage onto the plaza, Flatiron Reflection’s fluted perimeter offers niches that can be occupied while its conical interior form isolates images of the Flatiron Building and other structures on the skyline. Flatiron Reflections was designed for viewers to experience both up-close and from a distance.
Flatiron Reflections will be installed for the annual ’23 Days of Flatiron Cheer’ in December of this year
The competition has “become a valuable platform for launching new practices, a visible celebration of inventive, temporary designs that enliven public space during a chillier season, and an opportunity to understand how these spaces impact our minds and bodies,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alan Institute. Last year, visitors to the plaza had the opportunity to relax in a hammock with Flatiron Skyline; other past installations include Nova by SOFTlab in 2015, and INABA’s New York Lights in 2014.
Flatiron Reflection by Future Expansion will be on view this December on the North Flatiron Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, and through the holidays as part of the Partnership’s “23 Days of Flatiron Cheer” programming. The installation is permitted through NYC DOT Art and is open to the public daily, weather permitting, through January 1, 2018.
14. Yayoi Kusama: Two Concurrent Exhibitions at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea and Upper East Side
David Zwirner Gallery is presenting recent work by Yayoi Kusama in two major concurrent exhibitions, which will be spread across three separate gallery spaces. The shows include sixty-six paintings from Kusama’s iconic My Eternal Soul series, new large-scale flower sculptures, a polka-dotted environment, two Infinity Mirror Rooms, and a selection of new Infinity Nets paintings.
Festival of Life, on view at 525 & 533 West 19th Street in Chelsea, opens on November 2 with an Opening Reception from 6-8pm.
Infinity Nets also opens on November 2, with an Opening Reception from 5-8pm; the exhibition will be on view at 23 East 69th Street on the Upper East Side. The Infinity Net paintings are the latest works that are part of a series begun in New York in the 1950s. Donald Judd was an early admirer of such pieces and an exhibition presenting them is currently on view at Judd Foundation.
Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life and Infinity Nets will be on view through to December 16, 2017.
12. Inside the Iconic East Village Club 57 at MoMA
The Museum of Modern Art will give viewers a rare glimpse into an iconic East Village nightclub, Club 57, in its new exhibit, Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983. Located in the basement of the Holy Cross Polish National Church at 57 St. Marks Place, the Club was a hub for creativity, which boasted a founding curatorial staff that included the likes of Keith Haring, who was the exhibition organizer, Ann Magnuson, the performance curator, and Susan Hannaford and Tom Scully, film programmers.
In an effort to bring the Club’s history to life, the exhibit does a deep-dive into the low-rent, no-budget artistic culture that characterized the downtown area. Club 57 is the first major exhibition examining this seminal alternative space in full, presenting its accomplishments in every artistic area from film to fashion, and featuring many works that have not been exhibited publicly since the 1980s.
Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983 will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street until April 1, 2018. Additional programming includes three film series and various MoMA classes including Gender Trouble and Photography at The Museum of Modern Art. This exhibit is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, and Sophie Cavoulacos, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, with Guest Curator, Ann Magnuson.
11. FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures at Museum of Chinese in America
The subject of immigration during a time of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment is the underlying theme of FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures, being presented by Museum of Chinese in America. The exhibit features unique folk art created by Chinese immigrants detained when their ship, Golden Venture, ran aground off the coast of Rockaway Beach in Queens on June 6, 1993. 286 passengers were detained at York County Prison in Pennsylvania from 1993 to 1997, where they created sculptures of everyday objects and scenes. Reflecting back on memories of home, feelings about imprisonment and the interpretation of American ideals, the artwork that emerged was a surprising new style of folk art called Qian Zhi, or “a thousand papers” — a variation of traditional paper folding.
Included in the exhibit are photographs and archival materials, providing the social and political context of the story, along with a newly produced video chronicling key immigration legislation since the detainment. In addition, related programming will also include a screening series, panel discussions, performances, and workshops to help expand the conversation especially during a time when the world’s population of displaced people is at unprecedented levels.
FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures will be on view through March 25, 2018 at Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre Street.
10. Jean-François Rauzier: Hyperphotos at Waterhouse & Dodd
The internationally acclaimed French photographer, Jean-François Rauzier, will present his exhibit, Jean-François Rauzier: Hyperphotos, at Waterhouse & Dodd’s pop-up location this week. His work is an artistic exploration of landscape and architecture in iconic places like New York, Chicago and various cities in his home, France. The exhibit also presents a selection of new works just completed in Cuba.
Jean-François Rauzier: Hyperphotos will be on view from October 27 to November 18 at 1070 Madison Avenue between 80-81st Streets. Catalogue is also on view.
9. The Socrates Annual 2017 at Socrates Sculpture Garden
The Socrates Annual is currently on view at Socrates Sculpture Garden. Formerly known as The Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition, The Socrates Annual is a group presentation of public work addressing “the most urgent issues of today.” Included in the body of work that includes 15 distinct sculptures are “A Failed Presidential Amusement Park,” a “Potus, 2017” insignia sculpture made of tile, and “Only One Way“, a skewed sign of the “good ol’ boys” thumbs up, which references the advertising slogan of Mumbai’s Trump Tower.
The 2017 Socrates Annual will be on view through March 11, 2018 at Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. You can now reach Socrates Sculpture Garden by ferry, which leaves your five-minutes away.
8. Canstruction Returns to Brookfield Place
Let’s Put Hunger in a Museum, 2016 for Canstruction at Brookfield Place
The 10th annual Canstruction Design Competition at Brookfield Place begins on Thursday, November 2nd. The creative and colorful food charity will present 27 structures made from unopened cans of food, which will later be donated to City Harvest to help feed over 500 soup kitchens across New York City. The sculptures will be created by 27 teams of New York’s top architects, engineers and students, hoping to win sculpture awards in categories like “Best Original Design,” “Structural Ingenuity,” “Best Meal,” “Most Cans,” and many more, including the popular “People’s Choice” title.
Canstruction can be found on the second floor of Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street. The installations will be on view from November 2 to November 15. The event is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to contribute to Canstruction by dropping off a non-perishable food item as a donation.
7. Percent for Art Unveils ‘Ought To’ at Myrtle Avenue Plaza
‘I Ought To’ by Matthew Geller at Myrtle Avenue Plaza. Rendering via myrtleavenue.org/plaza
This month, a new Percent for Art permanent public art installation arrived at the Myrtle Avenue Plaza. Created by artist Matthew Geller, the piece, entitled I Ought To, brings a bit of shaded seating to the area thanks to its round canopy inset. The installation is made of cortex steel, standing nine-feet tall, with a 14-foot wide canopy that is dotted with colorful cast glass bulbs.
The New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYC DDC) will unveil “I Ought To” on November 4th at the new Myrtle Avenue Pedestrian Plaza, 550 Myrtle Avenue, between Emerson Place and Steuben Street.
6. Madison Square Park Unveils ‘Whiteout’
A look at the future Whiteout installation in Madison Square Park. Image ©Erwin Redl, Proposal for Whiteout, 2017. Steel and animated white LEDs, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist.
A luminous carpet of lights will cover the central oval lawn in Madison Square Park beginning on November 16th. The new art installation, entitled Whiteout by artist Erwin Redl, consists of 900 programmed white LEDs suspended from steel cable structures, which allow the orbs to move with the wind during the up-coming dark months of autumn and winter. They are arranged 46 inches apart, and two-feet off the ground, in a grid of squares.
Redl, who was born in Austria, splits his time between Ohio and New York City, and is a product of the Southern California Light and Space movement of the late 1960s. He is known for creating spectacular light projects, primarily on building facades, that have included the facade of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Breuer building (now the MET Breuer) for its 2002 Whitney Biennial.
Whiteout, by artist Erwin Redl, is the 35th outdoor exhibition organized by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, and will be on view in Madison Square Park through April 2018.
2017 brought us a plethora of spectacular installations by renowned artists like Chihuly at the Bronx Botanical Garden and in Union Square; 300 installations by the Public Art Fund created by Ai WeiWei and Debra Kass’ OY/YO at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Many of these unique and magical installations are still on view. Here are an additional five to catch before they close.
5. Public Art Fund’s ‘Earth Potential’ at City Hall Park to Close on November 9
City Hall Park has been invaded by seven large, flat cut aluminum sculptures as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Public Art Fund. Entitled Earth Potential, by artist Katja Novitskova, the installations were created using digitally printed imagery of terrestrial animals and organisms over celestial bodies and planets. Focusing on human advancement, Novitskova imagines worlds unseen by the naked eye.
The exhibit will be on view from June 22 to November 9, 2017 at City Hall Park.
4. Joy Brown on Broadway on View Through November
Joy Brown on Broadway at 72nd Street. Sculpture entitled ‘One Leaning on Another’
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, The Broadway Mall Association, in cooperation with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Morrison Gallery of Kent, Connecticut, commissioned the new installation, Joy Brown on Broadway. Nine adorable, site-specific bronze works now rest on the Broadway malls from 72nd Street to 168th Street, greeting pedestrians crossing the street, and subway riders emerging from below ground. The larger-than-life figures will remain on view through November, 2017.
3. ‘What a Wonderful World’ in Tribeca Park
What a Wonderful World by Leonard Ursachi in Tribeca Park
Artist Leonard Ursachi has created an installation that he views as “evoking nests, birth, history, and nature.” What a Wonderful World is an 8-foot high by 5.5-foot in diameter egg-shaped sculpture, woven from branches and featuring a sketch of the world map in pigmented cement. The two recessed “embrasures” have a stainless steel mirror set in each, and the piece is set on a 7″ high, circular step. Leonard Ursachi’s What a Wonderful World will be on view until December 15, 2017 at Tribeca Park, which was once part of the Lispenard Swamp. It is located where Beach Street and Avenue of the Americas merge.
2. Katie Merz ‘Brooklyn Glyphs’ at 80 Flatbush
We’ve been keeping up with Katie Merz @Muralat80flatbush for some time now. Thanks to an Instagram post, we now know that the first of the two adjoining buildings has been completed.
Commissioned by Alloy Development, Merz has been working with the community to “compile a rich and diverse dossier of gathered stories and information,” which will spread across the surface of the buildings, from the sidewalk to the top floor, in the form of Merz’s signature black and white hieroglyphs. The community has been having a lot of fun with this project, as evidenced on Instagram. Stop by and say “Hi,” or follow the 80 Flatbush Mural, The Brooklyn Glyphs, on Instagram. If you have a Brooklyn story to share, post it with the hashtage #mystory80, and follow the artist at Katie Merz.
1. New York Talking Statues
Mahatma Gandhi at 10 Union Square West
New York Talking Statues launched this past summer at the New York Historical Society’s West 77th street entrance. The project lets you hear the stories behind 35 famous statues around New York City honoring notable people from Shakespeare to Frederick Douglass.
Here’s how it works: You can scope out the locations of all 35 statues on this map. Next to each statue is a sign with a QR code, which you can then scan on your smartphone. You’ll need Internet access and a QR code scanning app to do this. (If you don’t have one, you can download an app for free.) As an alternative, you can also type the web address on the sign into your smartphone’s browser, which will also initiate the process. After scanning the code, you’ll get a “call” from the statue. You can then listen to pre-recorded speech right from your phone, lasting about 90 seconds. Each recording was written by a modern author and voiced by an actor.
Take your own Untapped adventure this month with an Insider Tour of the Members Only Players Club or go Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital. In closing, we would like to wish a Happy 50th Birthday to one of our favorite art installations, the Astor Place Cube “Alamo.” Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.