Last weekend, a more-bang-for-your-buck cluster of exhibitions at MoMA PS1 and nearby SculptureCenter seduced art lovers to Long Island City in spite of the foul weather.
The draw at MoMA PS1 was a survey of work by the strange, self-involved Laurel Nakadate (b. 1975). Curated by PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach, “Only the Lonely” comprises photography and video projects spanning the past 10 years. The artist stood out among the parkas in a revealing black mini-dress.
The show begins in a narrow, dimly lit gallery, the walls almost entirely covered—to beautiful effect—by three rows of large color photographs. These self-portraits show Nakadate on the verge of tears, in the midst of sobbing or in a contemplative post-cry state (all in various stages of undress). Part of an extensive new series titled “365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears,” these images document a year’s worth of weeping. Leaving one to wonder which, if any, tears came naturally, the whole thing felt a bit forced.
LAUREL NAKADATE IN FRONT OF HER WORK; KLAUS BIESENBACH, THE DRUMS’ JONATHAN PIERCE, AND FRIEND. PHOTOS BY CHRISTOS KATSIAOUNI.
Delicate abstract paintings by Berlin-based Sergej Jensen came as a welcome reprieve. Jensen starts with found pieces of fabric—linen, burlap, etc.—then stretches, bleaches and otherwise manipulates them, subtly playing off the preexisting stains and marks. Curated by Aspen Art Museum director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, the show includes a number of works recently created on site in Long Island City—a rarity for the typically close-quartered Jensen.
A third PS1 offering, “Modern Women: Single Channel,” was drawn from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection, bringing together videos by 11 canonical female artists, including Lynda Benglis, Joan Jonas and Pipilotti Rist (dates range from the ’60s through the ’90s).
Just down the street, SculptureCenter lured people in from the biting wind with 10 monumental abstract works from the past 20 years by New York-based Ursula von Rydingsvard (b. 1942). Installed in the cavernous ground-level space, the vessels transformed the room into a foreign terrain, filled with simultaneously eccentric and organic formations carved from cedar, the artist’s signature medium.
Don’t miss “Vide-Poche,” a group show of emerging artists in the lower level galleries. The title means “empty pocket” in French and it’s also the name for a catch-all tray or pouch to store keys, coins, and other daily miscellany. The common thread is a playful attempt to capture and contemplate mundane objects, done so in a variety of mediums. Standouts are photographs of colorful, quasi-abstract tableaux by New York-based Michele Abeles and a two-minute film of money shot under colorful filtered lights by the French artist Isabelle Cornaro.
Outside in SculptureCenter’s foyer-cum-rock garden stood a lone piece unmistakably by von Rydingsvard. A relatively small resin tower, it appeared to have naturally risen from the ice and snow covering the otherwise barren space. Lit from within, the translucent form glowed whitish blue in the quickly darkening courtyard.
SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT.