The Gagosian Gallery spaces are among the top international art institutions with ten locations including Beverly Hills, Rome and London. Currently on view here on West 21st Street is the exhibition Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour Fou. It’s an ambitious gathering of work focusing on the artist’s enigmatic mistress and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter. The show has been insightfully co-curated by renowned Picasso scholar John Richardson and Diana Widmaier Picasso, the granddaughter of Picasso and Marie- Thérèse. Walter inspired much of Picasso’s life and work. On view are 80 works including paintings, drawings and sculpture spanning the years from 1927 to1940: the artist’s most prolific and studied period. Many of the pieces on view have never been seen in the U.S. Catch the exhibition through June 25th.
In music, the French Institute Alliance Francaise presents a rich program of musicians from Morocco. On May 21st, catch a unique performance of Gnaoua music performed by master musicians Mustapha Babkou and Mahmoud Guinea. Gnaoua originates from sub-Saharan Africa, and serves as a form prayer and a celebration of life with distinctive rhythms and dancing. On May 26th, pianist Marouan Benabdallah makes his New York – and Carnegie Hall – debut. The Moroccan sensation takes a thoughtful approach to classical western music, and will perform pieces by Rachmaninoff and more in a varied evening program. These performances are part of the annual World Nomads Festival. Check fiaf.org for the full schedule of events continuing through May.
Liz Taylor and Norman Jewison Retrospectives
Several retrospectives are coming up at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In March the world mourned the loss of Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth: The Golden Age honors the icon with a film series and photography exhibit. Next weekend, catch the screen legend in her most memorable roles from a young Liz in National Velvet to special screenings including a 70 millimeter print of Cleopatra, and the 60th anniversary of A Place in the Sun. Later this month director Norman Jewison is honored with the series Relentless Renegade. With 7 Oscar nominations across the Best Director and Best Picture categories, Jewison’s films have been a vital force in the motion picture industry for forty years. Jewison himself will attend screenings of films including The Cincinatti Kid, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Hurricane. On May 28th, Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis joins the director for a discussion of Moonstruck.
American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Season
A few steps away from the Walter Reade Theater, the spring season of the American Ballet Theatre returns to the Metropolitan Opera House. The season begins May 16th with an opening night gala tribute to principal dancer Jose Manuel Carreño, in honor of his final season with the company. Highlights of the eight-week engagement include the return of guest artists Natalia Osipova and Alina Cojocaru. Full length works will include performances of Don Quixote and Giselle. The season also features the New York Company premiere of Ratmansky’s The Bright Stream, and a U.S. premiere by Benjamin Millepied.
Amore Opera in the East Village
It’s easy to think of the Metropolitan Opera when you think of opera in New York, but in the East Village, the Amore Opera Company makes their mark with intimate performances. The company debuted last year, rising from the ashes of the beloved Amato Opera on the Bowery. Their passionate community productions are a platform for aspiring singers and musicians, performing with the goal of presenting grand opera at a reasonable price. This season, the company performs Bizet’s Carmen. Carmen will be sung as an opera comique version with English dialogue and fully staged with orchestra. Performances run through May 29th at the Connelly Theatre in the East Village.
Elizabeth Catlett at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
You still have a few weeks to head to the Bronx Museum of the Arts for a look at the work of pioneering artist Elizabeth Catlett, and a generation she inspired. Born in 1915, Catlett has have left an indelible mark on sculpture and printmaking. She continues to work today in the United States and Mexico. The exhibition’s title “Stargazers” takes its name from Catlett’s 2007 sculpture of the same name. Presented as a dialogue with contemporary artists, the exhibition displays her work alongside those who have followed in her footsteps, with a focus on issues of racial identity and politics, and the female form.