Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mile of must-see art

New York shows include Picasso, Matisse

  • Print

NEW YORK -- To see great art in New York City this holiday season, take a festive walk along the Upper East Side's museum mile. The neighbourhood is hosting a number of must-see exhibitions.

Begin at the Guggenheim Museum, at Fifth Avenue and 89th Street, with the tour-de-force Picasso: Black and White (through Jan. 23). Like fellow Spaniards Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya before him, Pablo Picasso had a lifelong love affair with black, white and grey, pushing tones to metaphoric extremes to create form.

An odalisque, like a gathering storm, is bruised greenish-plum while two lovers are incised in burnished smoke. One portrait glints like gilded silver. Marie-Thérèse Walter seems churned out of butter.

Next, travel down Fifth to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (through Jan. 6) and Matisse: In Search of True Painting (through Mar. 17).

These are monumental shows, one of works by a modernist master, and the other of small terracotta studies -- preparatory drawings in clay -- by a baroque tempest. The exhibitions complement one another and seeing them together puts the focus on each artist's unique creative process.

Avoid the gift shops: Museum catalogs and coffee-table books weigh you down.

Then head to L&M Arts for Calder: The Complete Bronzes (through Feb. 9). Just off Madison Avenue on 78th Street, this beautiful townhouse offers an intimate, two-floor show of Alexander Calder's small bronze sculptures and many of the original plasters.

Ring the bell for admittance. Inside, primitive and playful elephants, acrobats, abstract snakes, vines, fingers and flowers enliven the galleries with their erotic balancing acts and menacing tendrils.

A bit farther down Madison, on the second floor of the Carlyle Hotel, is Blain/Di Donna's Jean Arp: A Collection of Wood Reliefs and Collages (through Dec. 11).

Not everything here is a masterwork, but Arp shows are rare. Grab this last-chance opportunity to see a range of the abstract sculptor's artworks, as well as his creative process, from paper cutout to finished wood relief.

One marble sculpture conflates hand, bone, hammer and cloud. Another is like a keyhole into an alternate universe.

Overstimulated? Then go downstairs to the Carlyle's Bemelmans Bar, a classic New York institution where you can enjoy the Madeline murals, live piano, great bar snacks and a stiff drink.

But if you still have energy, save Bemelmans for later: Mix things up just one block south at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Check out the Richard Artschwager! retrospective. His paintings are frivolous photorealism, while his sculptures -- highly crafted useless furniture in wood and Formica -- conjure 1970 kitchens yet touch on Kafkaesque conundrums.

Don't miss Sinister Pop and Dark and Deadpan: Pop in TV and the Movies" (both through Mar. 31).

Their wildly diverse subjects and objects are jazzy, raw, psychedelic, humorous, documentary and political.

They include Lee Bontecou's sculpted, threatening orifices, Andy Warhol's Marilyn, Nancy Grossman's S&M Head 1968, Claes Oldenburg's giant, floppy cigarette butts and wonderful contextual photographs by William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Bill Owens and Weegee.

Working in dialogue, the artworks here create a sense of the zeitgeist that brought civil rights to the South, man to the moon and Nixon to China.

Together, these two strong exhibitions make for the most cohesive grouping of pop art I've ever seen.

-- Bloomberg News


-- Picasso: Black and White runs through Jan. 23 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-423-3500; .

-- Bernini: Sculpting in Clay continues through Jan. 6 and Matisse: In Search of True Painting runs through Mar. 17 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-535-7710; .

-- Calder: The Complete Bronzes runs through Feb. 9 at L&M Arts, 45 E. 78th St. Information: +1-212-861-0020; .

-- Jean Arp: A Collection of Wood Reliefs and Collages runs through Dec. 11 at Blain/Di Donna, 981 Madison Ave. Information: +1-212-259-0444; .

-- Richard Artschwager! until Feb. 3 and Sinister Pop and Dark and Deadpan: Pop in TV and the Movies until Mar. 31 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. Information: +1-212-570-3600; .

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2012 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets fan gets inked

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google