The Bearden Project
A 20th century master of the visual arts, Romare Bearden was deeply involved in the founding of the Studio Museum in Harlem. For most of this year, the museum continues to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Bearden’s birth. “The Bearden Project” showcases works by contemporary artists who have been influenced by this innovator in the use of collage as a means of personal reflection and social commentary. For many of the younger artists in this exhibition, Bearden was one of the first black artists they ever encountered. The works on view reflect the multifaceted and varied aspects of Bearden’s own career.
Who, What, Wear: Selections from the Permanent Collection
Also at the Studio Museum, “Who, What, Wear: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” looks at evolutions in style, from self-expression and artistic technique, to ideals of beauty as sanctioned by different societies. The scope of this exhibition starts from the Harlem community, as an arbiter of style and extends to international artists and subjects, from West Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South. The artworks presented here refuse a singular “look” or aesthetic. They rather act as symbols of the constantly changing character of culture and tradition.
Family Films at Lincoln Center
Through late February, the Film Society of Lincoln Center continues its “Family Films” series with kid-friendly choices dedicated to “Fantastic Voyages.” All of these matinee screenings take place in the Amphitheater of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Next on this month’s program are two classic films made in 1963: “The Incredible Journey” features three house pets on a 200-mile journey in the Canadian wilderness. “Jason and the Argonauts” brings to life the legendary Greek hero’s adventures on his quest for the mythic Golden Fleece.
Parsons Dance at the Joyce
Through January 22nd, David Parsons and Parsons Dance return to The Joyce Theater with a varied program that includes two world premieres. David Parsons’ newest dance, “Round My World,” is set to digitized solo cello music by musician/composer Zoe Keating. “A Stray’s Lullaby” is a new work by emerging choreographer Kate Skarpetowska, who is a former Parsons dancer. The program also features some of the company’s favorites, such as “Caught,” “Slow Dance” and “Hand Dance.”
The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951
The Jewish Museum presents a remarkable exhibition of nearly 150 vintage photographs. It’s titled, “The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951.” It captures fragments of everyday life, the significance of which transcends the period when the photos were taken. The artists in the Photo League were primarily focusing on New York City and its vibrant streets. Their images are not only beautiful, but also rich with social commentary on issues of race, class and opportunity. The themes covered in this exhibition are wide ranging: memorable cityscapes and images of businesses that may be long gone; childhood memories, some quite somber; snapshots of youthful games; people at work; and the special atmosphere of holidays.
A new comedy running at Broadway’s Cort Theatre, examines race and class dynamics as seen through the eyes of contemporary characters on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. The play “Stick Fly,” written by Lydia R. Diamond and directed by Kenny Leon, focuses on the LeVay family. One of the plot lines follows the generational conflict between the neurosurgeon father Joe and his sons (known mostly by their nicknames): Spoon, a first-time novelist, and Flip, an over-confident plastic surgeon. Additional tensions stem from the presence and reactions of the sons’ respective girlfriends. Privilege, opportunity, and liberal guilt are just some of the issues that come up in the witty verbal sparring throughout this production.