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SundayArts News 5/22/2011
Posted: May 23rd, 2011
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Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour Fou
As part of a continuing exploration of Picasso’s work, The Gagosian Gallery presents “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour Fou.” Pablo Picasso and Marie-Thérèse Walter met on a street in Paris in 1927, and she immediately became his muse and lover. For much of their life together, her identity was kept a mystery. Despite Picasso’s pervasive romantic entanglements, Marie-Thérèse remained a constant subject. Her striking features fueled Picasso’s imagination, assisting in some his most innovative abstractions in painting and sculpture. 80 Works have been assembled, dating from their early encounters through 1940, including some rarely seen gems. Catch “Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour Fou” in Chelsea through June 25th. Around town at the other Gagosian locations this month: new sculptures by John chamberlain at West 24th Street, and on Madison Avenue, the work of Arshile Gorky.

Contemporary ballet at The Joyce
In dance news, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company returns to the Joyce Theater. Founded in 1994 by former Ailey stars Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, the company celebrates a mix of methods, styles and cultures. Programs this spring will showcase Rhoden’s choreography. In “Moon Over Jupiter,” the music of Rachmaninoff is the backdrop for a solar system of movement. An homage to the blues guitar comes to dance in “Moody Booty Blues.” And “Rise,” set to the music of U2, explores the complexities of life, and the power of love.

Anticipating the Tonys
Awards season is in full swing for the theater world. As speculation for this year’s Tony winners gears up, SundayArts takes a look at some of the hottest nominees on Broadway. Nominated for four Tonys, “Catch Me if You Can” is the new musical adapted from the book and Steven Spielberg film of the same name, chronicling the true story of jet-setting young con artist, Frank Abagnale, Jr. The musical tells the story in the form of a televised variety show. The creative team behind “Hairspray” infuses the production with swinging musical arrangements and slick 60’s style. “Catch Me if You Can” stars Aaron Tveit as Frank Abagnale, Jr., Norbert Leo Butz as F.B.I. agent Carl Hanratty, Tom Wopat as Frank Senior, and Kerry Butler as Brenda Strong.

Our next look at Broadway comes from a 2009 Royal Court Theatre production. Heaped with praise and awards from the London critics, Mark Rylance transforms the stage with a stunning performance in “Jerusalem.” The title “Jerusalem” takes its name from an English hymn and poem by William Blake, and serves as a metaphor for Heaven on Earth. Rylance stars Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron: equal parts degenerate, madman and ringleader. The action centers on Johnny’s mobile home and his group of young hangers-on in the woods of England. A day in the life of Johnny finds the audience captivated by the St. George’s Day carnival, a visit from Johnny’s ex-wife, and his impending eviction. Written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Ian Rickson, “Jersusalem” also stars Mackenzie Crook and much of the original Royal Court cast. Catch the limited engagement through July 24th.

Alexander McQueen at the Met
Earlier this month a record-breaking opening day kicked off the Costume Institute’s exhibition “Savage Beauty,” a retrospective of designer Alexander McQueen, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hailed as a genius, McQueen tragically took his own life in February 2010. He leaves behind a legacy of design revered for its sublime and provocative complexities. Organized thematically, the dramatic exhibition features roughly one hundred ensembles and seventy accessories from McQueen’s 19-year career. He was a highly skilled craftsman whose technical skill and imagination are unrivaled. Visitors start with his earliest work, and travel through the galleries for up-close looks at his recurring themes and inspiration, including his Scottish heritage, naturalism, primitivism, and the Romantic and Victorian.

Ai Weiwei’s installation at the Pulitzer Fountain
Artist Ai Weiwei has been detained by Beijing authorities since April 3rd, under an accusation of “economic crimes.” To date, his whereabouts and conditions are unknown. His absence continues to be felt while his work is on view here in New York. The acclaimed artist and activist is known for his critical views of the Chinese government and his commitment to freedom of expression. His latest work, “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” is now on view at the Pulitzer Fountain. It’s not only his first public installation, but it’s also the first time public art has appeared at the historic fountain. Inspired by an 18th-century imperial retreat, Ai has produced playful monumental bronze animal heads representing the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. A companion photography exhibition at Central Park’s Arsenal Gallery looks behind the scenes at the history and concept of the project. Both are on view through July 15th.

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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.