Glenn Ligon: America
Glenn Ligon’s multi-disciplinary body of work, on display at the Whitney, tackles issues of race and identity. He primarily employs appropriated text and quotations as the basis for his work. Away from their original context, Ligon transforms language into art. In well-known works, passages from James Baldwin’s reflective essay “Stranger in the Village” become mysteriously powerful under the texture of coal dust. As paintings, Richard Pryor’s comedy routines become colorful in more than one sense. And his newest piece, a simple turn of phrase by Gertrude Stein in neon is a provocative calling card. On view are roughly one hundred incredibly thought-provoking works including self-portraiture, prints and sculpture that bring to light the importance of this influential artist. Glenn Ligon: America is on view through June 5th.
Feminist Art at the Zimmerli
March has been Women’s History Month, but you can honor women artists through the spring in New Jersey at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum. Leading feminist artist Joan Snyder gets her first retrospective of her print work in the exhibition Dancing with the Dark. Combining various printmaking techniques with painterly strokes of bright color, her prints are a frenetic and passionate contribution to the contemporary landscape. Modernist printmaking is featured in a rare showing of the work of Hungarian-American artist Jolan Gross-Bettelheim. The pioneer’s cubist and futrurist styles reflect the time and place in which she worked, spanning from the depression to post-war America.
In dance, choreographer Stephen Petronio brings his signature blend of music and visual art to the Joyce Theater with a compelling restaging. The work to be performed is “Underland,” which was originally created for the Sydney Dance Company, premiering in 2003. This upcoming reconstruction will be performed by the Stephen Petronio Company starting April 5th, marking its New York premiere.
That Championship Season
On Broadway, the year is 1972 and former high school basketball stars are re-living their glory days in the revival of “That Championship Season.” Gregory Mosher directs the all-star cast in Jason Miller’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play. Brian Cox stars as the coach reuniting the 1952 Pennsylvania state champions. Co-starring is Chris Noth, Keifer Sutherland, Jim Gaffigan and Jason Patric – who is also the son of the playwright. Over the course of the play the weaknesses of each character unravel the reunion, and ugliness rears its head as infidelity, racism and dark secrets eclipse the memory of the glory days.
Broadway in the Bronx
You can catch the magic of Broadway in the Bronx at the New York Botanical Garden. The Great White Way inspires the artistry of the outdoors in the garden’s 9th annual orchid show. Orchids in 300 varieties take center stage in a stunning display. Details like a chandelier and a proscenium arch recreate the majesty of a Broadway theater in a riot of color and fragrance. Across from the conservatory, don’t miss the Library Gallery’s complementary exhibition Hirschfeld’s Broadway Scrapbook, a survey of the illustrator’s famed caricatures.
Color and Style at Cooper-Hewitt
Step into worlds of color and style with two exhibitions at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Abstract painting translates to design with artist and colorist Sonia Delaunay in the exhibition Color Moves. With a focus on more than 300 works from the 1920s through the 40s, the survey shows off her exploration of the relationship between fabric, shape and color through her fashion designs, textiles and illustrations. Dazzling fashion continues with Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef and Arpels. The French company has designed some of the most exquisite and imaginative precious objects since the early 1900s. Many of the items on view were created exclusively for American clientele, and reflect the trends and taste of the 20th Century.