Gateway to Himalayan Art
The Rubin Museum’s collection includes thousands of paintings, sculptures, textiles and ritual objects from the 2nd to the 20th Centuries. These artworks come from countries and cultures representing the 1,800 mile arc of the Himalayas. This region extends from Afghanistan to Myanmar and includes Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia and Bhutan. One of the exhibitions currently on view — “Gateway to Himalayan Art” — introduces visitors to this cultural sphere. It gives them the tools to appreciate and contextualize the works on display in the six floors of galleries. The first section of this exhibition explains the symbolism and iconography used in most Himalayan paintings and sculptures. Here you can learn about the distinguishing characteristics of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and many other deities. Another section demonstrates the use of traditional materials and techniques in painting and sculpture. One of the highlights is the three-dimensional installation that presents the “lost wax technique” process of Nepalese metal casting. A spectacular Buddhist shrine room presents Tibetan art in its religious context. On long-term loan from the Alice S. Kandell Collection, it features almost 200 works of art. They were created between the 13th and the 19th Centuries in the Tibetan Plateau, China and Mongolia. All of the objects are arranged on traditional Tibetan furniture and according to the hierarchy characteristic to Tibetan Buddhist practices.
The Last Supper
In preparation for the winter holidays, the Park Avenue Armory hosts “Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper: A Vision by Peter Greenaway.” This is the first U.S. presentation of this multimedia work. It brings new insight into one of the world’s most celebrated masterpieces. Visitors will first view a collage of Classical and Renaissance painting that highlights the formal pictorial elements integral to the last supper. Then they will explore a detailed recreation of the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie for a contemplative viewing of The Last Supper “clone,” followed by Greenaway’s masterful reworking of the painting. The last stage is a multimedia exploration based on Paolo Veronese’s late-Renaissance painting “The Wedding at Cana.”
“Momentum” is another holiday show that features multimedia, but this time with high energy dance and music. You can catch the action at The New Victory Theatre through January 2nd. The cast is made of 13 outstanding young talents, coming from 10 different countries. Exploring concepts of time and space, these artists have created a new performance language with live music, stunning visuals and daredevil dance moves. Each “Momentum” show is unique, as audiences are invited to help create the show itself.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center
Alvin Ailey — one of the most famous choreographers of the 20th century — created unforgettable dances inspired by the rich African-American tradition. The current season of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater runs through January 2nd at New York City Center. This season marks the celebration of five decades of Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,” widely considered to be an American classic. Ailey created this piece inspired by the African-American cultural heritage, which he described as “sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” Using African-American religious music, this suite explores moments of deep grief and holy joy. Other highlights are new productions of “Cry” – Ailey’s birthday gift for his mother – and “Mary Lou’s Mass” – a celebration of life, jazz and gospel. This season will also pay tribute to Artistic Director Judith Jamison. After 20 years at the helm of this renowned company, she will pass the mantle to choreographer Robert Battle. A personal inspiration to Alvin Ailey, with whom she worked so closely, Jamison has led the company to new heights and an outstanding reputation worldwide.