THE WEEK: APRIL 23-27.

EDITOR’S PICKS: 

The 22 Magazine is putting on a show this Thursday at Vaudeville Park in Brooklyn. Hope you can join us!

Check out a preview for the show.

The 22 Magazine Presents: Fixins
http://www.the22magazine.com/Pages/upcomingevents.html
04/26/2012-04/26/2012

The 22 Magazine is pleased to present an evening of music, art, food and puppetry with Andru Bemis, Anna Gevalt, Elizabeth Laprelle and Katherine Fahey, who along with singing, will be presenting a cranky. Also known as scrolling panorama, or crank box, the cranky is an old-fashioned hand-cranked scrolling device, illustrating a story or song. They will be joined by FAHEY, puppeteer Daniel Patrick Fay, and visual artists Jimmy McBride, Megan Canning, Eileen Hoffman, Reineke Hollander and more. There will be a potluck style buffet, so feel free to bring something to contribute! The event will take place on April 26, at Vaudeville Park in Brooklyn.


 

Continue reading

THE WEEKEND: MARCH 16-18.

EDITOR’S PICKS: 

Left Forum
http://www.leftforum.org/
03/16/2012-03/18/2012

A unique phenomenon in the U.S. and the world, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The conference is held each spring in New York City.

Baby Soda
http://barbesbrooklyn.com/calendar.html
03/18/2012-03/18/2012
9pm-

They play an eclectic mix influenced by New Orleans brass bands, jug music, southern gospel and hot jazz and feel at home at the Village Vanguard or playing on the street. The band features members New Orleans band the Loose Marbles and alumni of Stephane Wrembel’s Hot Club of NY. With Ben Polcer, Trumpet; Patrick Harison, Accordion; Jared Engel, Banjo; David Langlois, Washboard and Peter Ford, Washtub bass.

Presentation Party Night!
http://www.facebook.com/events/108551925941948/
03/18/2012-03/18/2012
7pm-11pm

It’s that time again! You bring the brains, we bring the beer. This month we are happy to be hosted by our friends @ the 538 Johnson lofts. Topics on the bill: • Indie Publishing • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: 1912 to 2012 • Slugs! • Edith Wilson: Our First Female President • The Novartis/RFID Scandal • TBD Presentation Party Night is a lecture series that combines a love of community, education, and drinking. We offer the chance for individuals to share a short presentation on any topic and spark group discussion. The evening will consist of 6 brief/educational/entertaining presentations followed by Q&A, with free food and beer while it lasts. The event is traditionally held potluck style. Bring a snack to share and BYOB if you can. Let me stress that THIS IS A FREE EVENT and no one is required to bring a damn thing if they don’t feel like it. Come join us for a night of drinking with friends and learning from your peers — there’s nothing else quite like it!

THE CAVE
http://TheCave2012.blogspot.com/
03/16/2012-03/31/2012

A group show, THE CAVE will be presented at Frontrunner Gallery March 16th-31st.  Produced by Corinne Beardsley, 20 artists and performers are building a cave out of cardboard and wheat pasting newsprint to paint, draw, install sculpture, projections, soundscapes, and host performances of music and theater.  The show will inhabit two spaces at 59 Franklin St.- the 400 sq. foot gallery, and it’s project space in the deep caverns of the building.  The audience will discover the dark spaces using crafted flashlight torches.

Tu-Sunday 11-6
Opening: March 16th 6-9 pm
Performance nights: March 30/31st 8 PM

THE WEEK: Dec 5-9.

MONDAY:

Photographing the Dead: The History of Postmortem Photography from The Burns Collection and Archive
Postmortem photography, photographing a deceased person, was a common practice in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These photographs, from the beginning of the practice until now, are special mementos that hold deep meaning for mourners through visually “embalming” the dead. Although postmortem photographs make up the largest group of nineteenth-century American genre photographs, until recent years they were largely unseen and unknown. Dr. Burns recognized the importance of this phenomenon in his early collecting when he bought his first postmortem photographs in 1976. Since that time he has amassed the most comprehensive collection of postmortem photography in the world and has curated several exhibits and published three books on the subject: the Sleeping Beauty series. Tonight, Dr. Burns will speak about the practice of postmortem photography from the 19th century until today and share hundreds of images from his collection.

FIRST BOOK BROOKLYN HOLIDAY PARTY & FUNDRAISER
first book–brooklyn is a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting new books to children in need.  join us tonight for their first annual holiday party and fundraiser.

Continue reading

THE WEEK: OCT 17-21.

MONDAY:

SONIC: Sounds of a New Century (ONGOING)
SONiC – Sounds of a New Century – a brand new festival of 21st century music by more than 100 composers age 40 and under, will take over New York from Friday, October 14 through Saturday, October 22, 2011. Events will range from a daylong marathon to a DJ/VJ night, from a free symphony concert at the World Financial Center Winter Garden to collaborations between emerging choreographers and composers. SONiC concerts will take place at ten different venues throughout New York, and will include performances by 16 extraordinary ensembles featuring at least 18 world premieres, eight US premieres, and eight New York premieres. SONiC is co-curated by composer Derek Bermel and pianist Stephen Gosling, and is a production of American Composers Orchestra and The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University. SONiC is presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall and Miller Theatre at Columbia University. New York Public Radio’s online radio station, Q2, is the media partner and digital venue.

Secret Science Club “Controlled Experiment
SPECIAL EVENT: The Secret Science Club is teaming up with the Imagine Science Film Festival for “Controlled Experiment,” a night of science-inspired short films.


EYES WIDE SHUT: CONTEMPORARY DRAWINGS FROM GERMANY

Vogt Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of contemporary German drawing, “Eyes Wide Shut,” featuring work by Jonathan Meese, Andy Hope 1930, Ralf Ziervogel, Hansjoerg Dobliar, Marc Brandenburg, Ulla von Brandenburg, Claudia Wieser, Bo Christian Larsson, and Florian Meisenberg. The exhibition brings together some of the most well-known German artists working in drawing today and is guest curated by Birgit Sonna, a Berlin-based writer and curator.

Dario Azzellini, Immanuel Ness & Victor Wallis
Capitalism would have us believe we need our bosses. This volume, edited by Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini, reveals the history of workers who dare to disagree. From the dawning of the industrial epoch, wage earners have gone so far as to challenge the very premises of the system by creating institutions of democratic self-management aimed at controlling production without bosses. With specific examples drawn from every corner of the globe and every period of modern history, this new book comprehensively traces this often underappreciated historical tradition.

La MaMa 50 Gala
TAR SANDS ACTION: Manhattan Obama for America office
CHRISTOPHER LUECK AND GUESTS:THE DOWNTOWN CLOWN REVU
Collaborative Means
Life Hack: How to Live Rent-Free in NYC
Robert Fernandez & Jennifer Tamayo
Stargazing Party Finalé
APERTURE 2011 Benefit and Auction
Author Julia Alvarez
A Dead Animal Man: Screening and Q and A with Film Maker Lily Henderson
Dr. Queen’s Drag Academy: The Martin Worman Papers
Around the Campfire: A Night of Ghost Stories with Storychord.com
Real and Scary Historical Halloween
LARS FROM MARS

Continue reading

The Week: OCT 11-14th.

MARTIN WITTFOOTH: The Passions
October 13 – November 12, 2011
Artist’s Reception Thursday, October 13th 6-8PM

The Passions, Martin Wittfooth’s first solo show in New York, is a contemporary exploration of sainthood, martyrdom, and religiosity that still dominates the ideological landscape of the modern world, and displays the prerequisite acts most often performed to attain such states of veneration such as violence, self-sacrifice, and suffering. In Western philosophy, “The Passions” refer to strong biologically driven emotional states that seduce one away from reason. Yet the term’s origin is to be found in the Latin word, “passio”, which means, simply, “suffering”. Consequently, the term is connected to the most famous act of martyrdom: the crucifixion of Christ.

 COLLECTIVE BRIGHTNESS READING
Thursday, October 13 · 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Join editor Kevin Simmonds & 10 contributors for the NY launch of this groundbreaking anthology!

Andrew Salgado-Anxious
 Reception:Thursday October 13th, 6-9pm
Exhibition October 13th – November 18th, 2011

Doug Jeck: “Early Works”
Thursday, October 13th – Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 13, 2011 6 – 8pm

Klemens Gasser and Tanja Grunert are pleased to present “Early Works”, the first solo exhibition of Doug Jeck at Gasser Grunert gallery. Doug Jeck is a Seattle, Washington based artist whose sculptures are influenced by static physicality and historicity, with the human object at the center. His life-like sculptures are an amalgamation of clay, hair, concrete, fur and wood that explore Jeck’s perception of various early historical periods and figures.

Continue reading

THE WEEKEND: June 17-19.



UGLY ART ROOM PRESENTS:

Cutters, a group exhibition at The Parlour Brooklyn (72 Greenpoint Ave) a hair salon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. June 18-July , 2011 Opening reception: Saturday, June 18th, 2011, 8-10pm

Pull the Devil’s Tail, a group exhibition of print-based work at the
Greenpoint Church (136 Milton St). Guests will take turns to “pull the
Devil’s tail” on an antique iron hand press in the church basement.
June 18 & 19, 2011 – 12-6pm.
Opening reception: Saturday, June 18th, 2011, 6-8pm.
For more details about each exhibit, visit: www.uglyartroom.com

FOWLER ARTS COLLECTIVE:

Paint It Now, wall installation (floor to ceiling)

Fowler Arts Collective is pleased to be participating in this summer’s Northside Open Studios event which will be taking place in the Williamsburg/ Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn from Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19. NOS coincides with the L Magazine’s Northside Festival of music, art, film, and ideas.

Please join us for a reception celebrating the launch of Northside Open Studios on Friday, June 17 from 7-11pm. We will also be open during the day Sat. + Sun., June 18 + 19 from 12-6pm for Northside Open Studios.
Fowler Arts Collective, 67 West Street, #216, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Fowler has a nice lounge area to rest your tired feet during the weekend, and we will have maps and information about the participating NOS studios and corresponding events.
Fowler’s 18 artist studios will be open for visitors the entire weekend, and our exhibition, Paint It Now, continues to rock the Fowler gallery.
Fowler studio artists include: Elana Alder, Melissa Dyanne Bartlett, Catherine Behan, Cameron Bishop, C.M. Butzer, Scott Chasse, Jennifer Galatioto, Daniel St. George, Andrew Gordon, Paul Hoppe, Heidi Howard, Aya Kakeda, Deanna Lee, Michael Aaron Lee, Chris Mottalini, Kate Nielsen, Cecelia Post, Krista Quick, Tory Sica, Kim Sielbeck, Hannah Lamar Simmons, Ramon Urenia, James Vanderberg, Jing Wei, and Fletcher Williams.For more information on our current exhibition, Paint It Now, go here: http://www.fowlerartsbrooklyn.org/paintitnow2011.html

SUMI INK CLUB @ RAWSON PROJECTS.
Meeting: Saturday, June 18, 12 – 6 pmThe gallery will be conducting a collaborative drawing event as a part of The L Magazine’s Northside Festival. The event is free + all ages.sumi ink club is a Los Angeles-based drawing collective founded in 2005 by Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck. The group holds regular, open-to-the-public meetings to execute topsy-turvy, detailed, collaborative drawings using ink on various surfaces. In each of its permutations, sumi ink club uses group drawing as a means to open and fortify social interactions that bleed into everyday life. sumi ink club is non-hierarchical: all ages, all humans, all styles.http://sumiinkclub.com

Honesty Box @ THE END.
Date(s): 18 Jun 2011
Time: 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Where: The End, Brooklyn
Event Details: “Honesty Box” is a live amalgam of the old Facebook app “Honesty Box”and the Catholic confessional. A white person-sized box with a light blue banner, replicating the Facebook aesthetic, is built to confessional proportions, so that participants can step in, and speak with honesty and confidentiality to the performance artist. The performance artist offers witnessing, listening, infinite patience and guidance, as she and the participant meet in the space between the communal intimacy of the old-school confessional and the flirtatious anonymity of the Facebook application. Most of us crave a safe and honest conference, and have lost faith in both religious models and cheap apps. What does it mean to unburden and receive comfort? Find out!

Crest Hardware Art Show 
Since opening Crest Hardware in 1962, Manny Franquinha has become an icon in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn through his dedication to customer service and focus on community improvement. Crest Hardware is an exemplary family business that has strengthened and transformed with their community’s ever-evolving needs and passions. As current owner of Crest Hardware and curator of the art show, Manny’s son Joe Franquinha creates a unique non-traditional atmosphere to showcase the hardware inspired artwork of over 120 artists; representing areas within and beyond the borders of the five boroughs, including places as close as Massachusetts and as far as Munich, Germany.The Crest Hardware Art Show is a unique experience appealing to a broad range of patrons while exhibiting numerous artistic mediums. The ideas and concepts in the art show are rendered on multiple creative levels, allowing for an accessible experience and journey throughout the 10,000+ square feet of indoor and outdoor retail space. Crest Hardware is retooled into a recognized art gallery from June 18th to July 30th, 2011 & showcases over 150 pieces. This year will proudly mark the 10th anniversary of the art show.(READ MORE.)

BRIC Media Arts Presents: The Books w/ Junip & Doveman
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell
June 17, 2011
7:00 PM
FREE

The 4th Annual Red Hook Jazz Fest 2011 in the URBAN MEADOW
Adults $5, kids free!

Once again the Urban Meadow will be hosting the Red Hook Jazz Festival in June 2011.   This is the fourth year of a homegrown jazz festival featuring an amazing line-up of mostly local talent. When we say local we mean they often live and work in NYC but these musicians regularly play all over the country and the world  – and we love that they also play in their own backyard. The RHJF is known for great music, a laid back vibe, an outdoor setting, and it’s family friendly good times.  Adults pay $5 and kids are free.


Saturday, June 18 – 1PM – 6 PM

RENKU
michael atias (sax), john hébert (bass), satoshi takeishi (percussion)
STEPHANE WREMBEL’S DJANGO EXPERIMENT
stephane wrembel (guitar), koran hasanagic (guitar), richard lee (percussions), ari folman cohen (bass)
JEFF DAVIS BAND
oscar noriega (alto sax/clarinet/bass clarinet), kirk knuffke (cornet), jon goldberger (guitar), matt pavolka (bass), jeff davis (drums/compositions)
JOSH SINTON’S HOLUS-BOLUS 
josh sinton (sax), jon irabagon (sax), jonathan goldberger (guitar), peter bitenc (bass), mike pride (drums)
INGRID LAUBROCK
group w/Ben Gerstein, Mary Halvorson, Dan Peck & Tom Rainey

Sunday, June 12 1PM – 6 PM
ON DAVIS’ FAMOUS ORIGINAL DJUKE MUSIC PLAYERS
pete barr (drums), nick gianni (baritone sax & flute), welf dorr (alto sax), cavassa (bass), ibrahiim muhamad (percussion)
VINNIE SPERAZZA/MATT BLOSTEIN BAND
vinnie sperrazza (drums), matt blostein (sax), jacob garchik (trombone), geoff kraly (electric bass)
MARCO CAPELLI PROJECT
THE WEE TRIO
james westfall (vibraphonist), dan loomis (bassist), jared schonig (drummer)
ANDREA WOLPER TRIO
andrea wolper (vocals), ken filiano (bass), michael howell (guitar), michael T.A. thompson (drums)
JEFF NEWLETT’S NEW TRAD 
jeff newell (sax), isrea butler (trombone), dan peck (tuba), brian woodruff (drums)

Announcements for RHJF, visit Facebook/RedHookJazzFestival.com.
Directions:  http://urbanmeadowbrooklyn.blogspot.com/p/directions-to-urban-meadow.html

Radio Happy Hourwith special guests Sun Airway and Hank & Cupcakes at City Winery
June 18, 2011
1pm doors | 2pm taping tickets:http://wwww.citywinery.com/events/177181

“Old fashioned radio is making a comeback in Greenwich Village!” – WCBS NewsRadio

“On occasion, you stumble upon something special and unique. This happened to me this past Saturday. I attendedRadio Happy Hour.” –Music Taster’s Choice

“I’m so hungover.” – author, Geoff Herbach

“Scallywags, the lot of ye.” -author, Arthur Phillips

“weird” – Norah Jones
Radio Happy Hour, a live variety show featuring a made-for-radio murder mystery sitcom, is kicking off the summer season with their first ever live taping at City Winery. The episode will feature two musical guests with both Sun Airway and rising indie-darlings Hank & Cupcakes. There will be murder. There will be music. And everyone will go home regretting something they’ve done. These bands, and another guest yet to be announced, will join Radio Happy Hour host Sam Osterhout, RHH regulars Robin Reed and Matt Skibiak, as well as RHH’s own Jim Ed Poole, Rich Bologna.

With the start of a new season it’s a perfect time to catch up on (or discover) past episodes of Radio Happy Hour through their podcast, such as the most recent episode, “The Tax Murderer,” featuring musical guest Franz Nicolay and comedian Arden Myrin. Or maybe it’s a good time to realize that you should never miss a show because you never know what’s going to happen. Cloud Cult could show up as a surprise guest in the middle of an episode featuring Norah Jones and comedian Gabe Liedman. Or 2009 Air Guitar World Champion William Ocean might leap on stage in the middle of a performance by The Postelles to wail on his air guitar. You just never know. And that is why you should never miss a live taping of Radio Happy Hour. (READ MORE.)


Radiolab Concerts: Curious Sounds

Join Jad for a night of electrifying music and fascinating conversation on June 18th at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York. Jad will present three musical acts during a live taping for an upcoming short podcast. Glenn Kotche, Buke and Gass, and a surprise special guest will all perform live. Tickets are on sale now, and you get $5 off with the code “radiolab.”

Each act has a distinct, one-of-a-kind sound, but all three share a spirit of exploration and musical adventure. The evening will showcase riveting live performances, and delve into the process each artist engages when creating these musical experiences. (READ MORE.)



Avant-Garde-Arama Wrecking Ball! @ PS122 
Friday, June 17 + Saturday, June 18

Performance Space 122’s longest running series kicks it up a notch and presents a demolition derby of theatre, dance, music, and video installation.
Hosted by: Murray Hill & Uncle Jimmy
Confirmed performers include: Koosil-Ja, M Lamar, John Kelly, Edgar Oliver, Urban Bush Women, Tigger, Lisa Kron, Janet Clancy, Peggy Pettitt, Karen Therese and many more TBA. (READ MORE.)

Floating Kabarette @ GALAPAGOS ART SPACE.
SATURDAY JUNE 18

“… The risqué Floating Kabarette show at Galapagos Art Space will put an end to your weekend woes for good.” – DailyCandy

“If you want your low necklines with a highbrow gloss, head for Galapagos to catch the Floating Kabarette.”— Brooklyn Paper

“Some of New York City’s best performers.
— The New York Times

Floating Kabarette is a unique weekly variety show featuring the very best of New York City’s cabaret, burlesque, music, circus, skill & feats, aerial/trapeze, and performance art communities. Its polished, well-produced show fills up the space with alluring narratives of society and culture. Check our events page for a detailed  description of performers for each night.

Floating Kabarette
“… The risqué Floating Kabarette show at Galapagos Art Space will put an end to your weekend woes for good.” – DailyCandy
“If you want your low necklines with a highbrow gloss, head for Galapagos to catch the Floating Kabarette.”— Brooklyn Paper
“Some of New York City’s best performers.“
— The New York Times

Floating Kabarette is a unique weekly variety show featuring the very best of New York City’s cabaret, burlesque, music, circus, skill & feats, aerial/trapeze, and performance art communities. Its polished, well-produced show fills up the space with alluring narratives of society and culture. Check our events page for a detailed description of performers for each night. (READ MORE.)



MERMAID PARADE!
SATURDAY JUNE 18, 2PM
A completely original creation of Coney Island USA, the MermaidParade is the nation’s largest art parade and one of New York City’s greatest summer events!

Announcing this year’s King Neptune and Queen Mermaid of The 2011 Mermaid Parade! Please welcome Brooklyn native Adam Richman from the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food and Cat Greenleaffrom the New York Emmy Award winning television show, Talk Stoop with Cat Greenleaf! (READ MORE.)



THE SECRET CITY
Sunday, June 19th

11:30 a.m.Dixon Place
161A Chrystie St
Suggested Donation: $10
And remember, FREE CHILDCARE!!

“People are as free as they want to be.” — James Baldwin

THE SECRET CITY is an Obie Award winning organization serving the spiritual, social and human needs of artists. We do this by creating and providing live, interactive programs that engage a growing community in restoring the sacred roots of art-making. Our primary program is our monthly service.
http://www.thesecretcity.org

The Secret City
We worship art.

thesecretcity.org

BANNERS AND CRANKS OPENING CELEBRATION! @ BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK.

MORE:
Rainbow City @ The Highline (30th st lot)

Løök: A Retrospective of the Future @CultureFix.
24/7 at Lyons Wier Gallery
Williamsburg Walks
Gaming the System: Dissimulation. Manipulation. Scams, cons and ruses.
Portrait of a Dime Museum: The Niagra Falls Museum (1827-1999)
SUPDERCODA @ CAFE ORWELL
UGLY KID GUMO @ DORIAN GRAY. 

LAST CALL: Susan Graham, Cletus Johnson, Brian DeGraw & Daniel Subkoff/Will Chancellor .

AS THE WORLD BURNS & PAST FITS, FUTURE PULLS @ JAMES FUENTES.

Closing May 8th.
Brian DeGraw

As The World Burns
Final Week at James Fuentes LLC, Gallery hours; Wed. – Sun., 11-6pm.
Special New York Gallery Week extended day, Sunday, May 8th, 12-8pm.
View exhibition images: here
New York Gallery Week link: here
MAP

James Fuentes LLC proudly presents, as part of The New Museum’s Festival of Ideas For The New City;
Daniel Subkoff & Will Chancellor 
Past Fits and Future Pulls
Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center at 107 Suffolk St between Rivington and Delancey.
If you have trouble locating this project please text; (917) 509-2250
Saturday from 10am to midnight
Sunday from 2:30pm until 7pm
Festival of Ideaslink

Subkoff & Chancellor are offering their artwork for free to everyone who joins them, and ultimately back to the earth itself. Having traded their cash for living native seeds, soil and local clay, they’ve constructed a 13 foot tall sculpture with this material that they invite the public to help disassemble. Visitors are welcome to grab a handful of the sculpture and recast it in a provided mold, walking away with a small sculpture of their own. If left in an appropriate place such as an abandoned lot, garden or any soft ground it should dissolve and yield a significant number of native wildflowers within a month. If taken home and treated as an art object, it will likely dry out, crack and expire worthless.  The main small sculptural casting will be of a rendition of Tlaloc, the elemental Aztec god of water, rain and fertility whose name translates as “he who is made of earth”.


Susan Graham & Cletus Johnson @ Schroeder Romero & Shredder

Closing May14th
531 West 26th Street
New York NY 10001

Susan Graham
New Gardens

April 14, 2011–May 14, 2011

Susan Graham’s exhibition, New Gardens, features sculpture, photography and video that use strategies of pattern and decoration to poetically depict the eternal struggle between nature and technology. Central to the exhibition are Toile Landscape, a large scale installation of Graham’s delicate sugar sculptures, and the intimate porcelain Toile Floating Landscape sculptures. Mimicking the recurring patterns of complex pastoral scenes found on Toile de Jouy, these works depict clusters of invented flora interspersed with industrial structures such as transmission towers, satellite dishes, or even cell phone towers disguised as trees. Charming, delicate and foreboding, each small pastoral scene compresses nature and technology in a bittersweet attempt at reconciliation. Graham’s photographs and videos on view in New Gardens depict skies choked with flocks of airplanes, modern-day birds staking their claim on the atmosphere. These works showcase Graham’s deft touch and ability to evoke rich, multivalent narratives from a few simple, quiet gestures. New Gardens is Graham’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

Cletus Johnson 
Collage 1968–2010

April 14, 2011–May 14, 2011

Cletus Johnson: Collage 1968–2010 presents a selection of Johnson’s beguiling collages, including collaborative pieces made with famed Black Mountain poet Robert Creeley. Johnson’s works are composed of deceptively simple materials inviting private, almost meditative contemplation on subjects of longing, erotic love and primal lust. Their quietude evokes a Cagean musicality, while a minimal juxtaposition of images wrings endless narrative associations. Envelopes containing black and white photographs of a woman’s breast are intimate love letters being sent and received, revealing a desire to both contain and set free the object of affection. Amusement park ride tickets are coupled with cropped images of naked male youths, granting the viewer permission to experience desire. Portrayals of Antinous—Roman Emperor Hadrian’s lover—as Cyclops become homorobotic emblems of a carnal hunger for an idealized beauty. Johnson’s collages show him as a master of the simple, poetic intervention.

Future Perfect: Reconstructing the 1939 New York World’s Fair @ Queens Museum.

Opening Reception

Sunday, April 10, 2011 3:00 to 6:00pm

DURATION: April 10 – August 14, 2011

http://www.queensmuseum.org/future-perfect-re-constructing-the-1939-new-york-world’s-fair

Reaching from Flushing Bay on the north side to Kew Gardens on the south, and from the Federal Building on the east side in Flushing to the western entrance gate on 111th Street in Corona, the New York World’s Fair comprised a massive area covering 1,216 acres when it opened on April 30, 1939. The fair broke ground on June 29, 1935 and took over three arduous years to construct, through a nearly miraculous evolution from a salt marsh formerly utilized in the mid to late nineteenth century as a bucolic recreational area and for commercial ventures such as beer gardens and oyster farming. From the turn of the century to 1934, these wetlands were profoundly transformed into the notorious ash dumps of Tammany Hall crony Fishhooks McCarthy’s Brooklyn Ash Removal Company, which were originally introduced into the American vernacular by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

“…This is a valley of ashes–a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations from your sight…

The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passengers on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an
hour…”

Project Guttenberg.net.au/

Mountains of ash almost one hundred feet high were created by the dumping and subsequent burning of over one hundred rail cars per day packed with household refuse, stove ash and animal carcasses. These mountains were excavated and moved, then mixed with meadow mat and top soil, to create land fill on the future fairgrounds. This rigorous reclamation of the landscape took one year by teams of laborers working in 24-hour shifts eerily illuminated by Westinghouse Corporation’s “manmade perpetual sunlight:” over three hundred 80′ towers each shining 1500-watts of light, to prepare the land for construction.

Under the stewardship of NYWF Corporation President Grover Whalen, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, and bookended by the foment of the Great Depression and the commencement of World War II, a fabulously futuristic and harmoniously conceived fair arose in Queens, far away from Manhattan. Beckoning like the magical Emerald City of Frank L. Baum’s 1939 work, The Wizard of Oz, the fair’s exuberantly planned utopian vision of “The World of Tomorrow,” as close as a 10 minute train ride, still proved to be financially unattainable to the majority of immigrant populations whose businesses and homes bordered its periphery.

With vintage gelatin silver prints, blueprints and original documents, Future Perfect: Re-Constructing the 1939 New York World’s Fair will illustrate the colossal undertaking that was the creation of the fair. Copies of the original blueprints for Harrison and Fouilhoux’s symbolic Trylon and Perisphere’s steelwork (inspired by the domes of San Marco in Venice) provide the underpinning of this exhibition along with a marvelous cache of photographs ground out on a non-stop basis by the official NYWF Department of Press. Whalen’s publicity machine produced heroic captions for these photographs such as “the 1,216 acre site was made in a 190-day engineering feat of moving nearly 7,000,000 cubic yards of ash “mountain” and meadow mat in a ‘once worthless area’ on Flushing Bay and within a few minutes by rail from mid-town Manhattan…to be a permanent city park after the fair.”

From the fair’s inception, Robert Moses envisioned the remains of the fairgrounds after the closing in 1940 as a people’s park, his “Versailles” for the city as today, Versailles is France’s patrimony, a stately LeVau and Hardouin-Mansart’s design integrated with gloriously landscaped gardens. It wasn’t until much later, after the subsequent 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, that Moses was able to realize much of his original ambitious plans for what is presently Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The Queens Museum of Art’s permanent home in the New York City Building is one of the very few original structures left standing, and was designed to be the future home of a skating/roller rink. Optimistically touted by the press office as “… a $1,200,000 ‘Glass House’ (permanent) almost ready for the placing of fascinating exhibits depicting modern municipal service to man,” numerous city agencies had exhibits including the NYC Police Department whose “Murder at Midnight,” was a staged re-enactment of a crime scene investigation, the ‘30s version of CSI’s crime detection techniques. The building became La Guardia’s favorite location and the site of his summer office for the two summers the fair was in existence.

Other vintage prints of previously unexhibited scenes from the collection will be on view: Whalen and La Guardia breaking ground on the fair’s future site; designers’ scale model of the fair in the making which was subsequently shipped to Chicago as La Guardia’s promotional tool for selling the fair to businesses and the masses; clearing the Corona ash dumps; building of sewer, water, roadways and other infrastructure projects; plantings of trees, shrubs and flower beds; the erection of pavilions; aerial views of planes flying over the incomplete steelwork of the Trylon and Perisphere and the New York City building; carpenters and painters building Con Edison’s City of Light; and even vintage prints and original documents relating to the design and construction of Salvador Dali’s fabulist pavilion, Dream of Venus, realized in the fair’s Amusement Zone.

Future Perfect: Re-Constructing the 1939 New York World’s Fair is curated by Louise Weinberg, Registrar/Archives Manager.

The Queens Museum of Art is grateful to numerous donors to our World’s Fair collection who have made this exhibition possible, some anonymous and others too numerous to mention. We are especially indebted to Irene Feldman and Charles W. Schwartz whose contributions of the NYWF Department of Press photographs form the core of this exhibition. Thanks to Kenny Greenberg – Krypton Neon LLC http://www.neonshop.com for his generous contribution of neon lighting for this exhibition. Exhibition design by Arnold Kanarvogel, Queens Museum of Art.

Future Perfect: Re-Constructing the 1939 New York World’s Fair is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.