Begin the New Year in style with a rare opportunitie to see some pretty incredible works. Here are my choice picks for an eclectic and experimental mix of modern and classic art:
Sculptures of the Mind: 1968 to Now
Agnes Denes‘ sculptures, works on paper, and mixed media artwork reveal her versatility as an artist. A 35-year survey of her portfolio, on display at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects in Chelsea, offers a great selection of her creations. Her art is often described as experimental and ecological in theme. You can see this in pieces like The World of Thorns in bright pink plexiglass and The Plant in acrylic- psychedelic works with a neat use of color and light.
A lot of the exhibit works involve transparency, reflection, and light- which the gallery helps enhance by maintaining dim lighting. It’s a great way to show off Denes’ brilliance.
The displays aren’t all plant forms, however, and some of them are a little creepy- like Denes’ glass serving platter filled with combusted human remains. I’m not sure what her inspiration was for that, but I’ll give her credit for thinking outside the box! Sculptures of the Mind indeed.
Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects
535 West 22nd Street, Sixth Floor
New York, N.Y. 10011
Exhibit until Jan. 19
Henry Moore: Late Large Forms
Henry Moore’s giant, robust statues at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea make as big of an impression as their size warrants. Oddly shaped yet well-structured blobs adorn this tribute to the pioneer of modern British sculpture. Their curvy lines and stretching heights almost make you think you’re in a sculpture park- which is where these pieces are more often featured. It’s nice to see them inside for the winter however, where you can still enjoy how amazing they are.
Apparently Moore, who died in 1986, wanted viewers to interact directly with the sculptures- to view them up close and touch them. I loved being able to do that.
The exhibit also includes a small display of models and natural objects taken from Moore’s studio in Hertfordshire. These objects- bones, shells, etc., served as inspiration for Moore’s awesome creations. You can easily see the correlation.
522 W. 21st St.
New York, NY 10011
Exhibit until Jan. 19
Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery
I usually like to balance my modern art and classical art, and The Frick Collection is always a great place to see some classics. In a rare occasion they are currently showcasing 58 drawings from London’s renowned Courtauld Gallery. The drawings span the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century and include artists from all over Europe. This is an incredible chance to see works from famous artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat and many others.
Each drawing is beautifully executed and there are lots of different techniques and styles on display. Fans of art history will especially appreciate this vast collection and the talented names attached to it- it’s not too often you can see so much in just one exhibit. This is the first time Courtauld has loaned out so many pieces at once, so take advantage of the opportunity.
*While you’re at the Frick, make sure you stop and check out Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Portrait of a Peasant as well, on loan through Jan. 20 from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. This is the first time in 40 years the painting has left its home.
The Frick Collection
1 E. 70th St.
New York, NY 10021
Exhibit until Jan. 27