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SundayArts News 12/18/2011
Posted: December 18th, 2011
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Making American Taste
Welcoming visitors as never before, the New-York Historical Society reopened its doors to the public a month ago. After a three-year renovation of its Central Park West building, New York City’s oldest museum now has a new face. The new architectural design makes this institution even more inviting to visitors of all ages, from the moment they step in. Through engaging installations and interactive displays, they get introduced to a collection of extraordinary treasures. One of the main exhibitions currently on view is “Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy.” It offers a compelling presentation of American cultural ideals formed in the span between the 1830s and the late 1860s. These years marked a crucial period when the role of the arts in a democracy was hotly debated in the United States. Going beyond the well-known examples of landscape painting and rural and domestic genre scenes, the exhibition also integrates historical, literary and religious subjects into the story of American art during these years.

MOMIX dance at the Joyce
MOMIX is a dance company known internationally for work of exceptional inventiveness and physical beauty. The company returns to The Joyce Theater for the holiday season with “Botanica,” a show that conjures up a world of surrealistic images by using props, light, shadow, humor, and the human body in surprising ways. Featuring music that ranges from Vivaldi to birdsong, “Botanica” follows the passing of a day, the rhythms of the seasons, as well as the evolution of the world. Flowers bloom, go to seed and die. Vegetable, animal and mineral forms – all created by human bodies – undergo spectacular metamorphic changes in this magical production.

Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation
Through January 27th, the Yale School of Architecture Gallery celebrates one of the most influential architectural firms of the modern period. Titled “Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation,” this is the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the firm founded in 1968 by architects Charles Gwathmey and Robert Siegel. The exhibition focuses on the interplay between art and architecture. Most of the projects on view were designed to showcase art, because they belonged to artists or they contained gallery spaces. Among the highlights are two residences located on Long Island: The “Gwathmey House and Studio” is widely considered to be an important example of American Modernism. The “De Menil House” pays homage to Le Corbusier’s style, while also referencing ocean liner design of the early 20th century.

Relatively Speaking
Relatively Speaking” — at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway — is made up of three one-act comedies penned by three prolific writers: Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen. The show’s director, John Turturro — another film and theatre veteran — said about this trio of plays: “The only thing that connects them all is there’s humor in every one and they’re all about crazy families.” “Talking Cure” uncovers the sort of insanity that can only come from family… “George is Dead” explores the unexpected bond revealed by a sudden death… And “Honeymoon Motel” invites you to the sort of wedding day you won’t forget!

Hero, Villain, Yeti
The exhibition “Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics” at The Rubin Museum of Art presents the most complete collection of comics related to Tibet ever assembled. It features more than 50 comic books from around the world and provides audiences with unprecedented access to fantastic Tibetan adventures. Characters as diverse as Bugs Bunny and the Green Lama journey through Tibet, gaining superpowers from ancient Tibetan teachings and legends along the way. The exhibition sheds light on global perceptions of Tibet, stereotypes about the country and its people, and the universal appeal of superheroes.

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.