The Lands at the End of the World
Some twenty years ago, when the Chelsea art scene was just beginning to flourish, Artur Walther became a tenant here. He began collecting photography in earnest in the late 1990s eventually amassing one of the most important private holdings of african and Asian photography. In April of this year he opened this space as a satellite gallery for his Walther Family Foundation, a private non-profit based in Germany. The inaugural exhibition, “As Terras do Fim do Mundo” –- The Lands at the End of the World –- is the first U.S. solo exhibition of South African photographer Jo Ractliffe. The luminous platinum prints of haunting images taken in Angola in 2009 and 2010 were produced specifically for the Foundation. What appear to be quiet, desolate countrysides, turn out to be unmarked mass graves, minefields, and abandoned bases — remnants of the Cold War rivalries and wars that consumed southern Africa for nearly three decades.
Power Incarnate: Allan Stone’s Collection of Sculpture from the Congo
For New York art dealer and gallerist Allan Stone, collecting art was a passion that bordered on the obsessive. Now on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, is “Power Incarnate: Allan Stone’s Collection of Sculpture from the Congo.” The exhibition features a selection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century African power figures drawn from Stone’s personal collection. According to the African cultures that created them, these figures protect communities from malevolent forces. They acquire power by the application of additional materials on their surface. Prized by early collectors who strictly appreciated the formal aspects of the works as sculpture, the accumulated layers of power were often removed. Visitors to the Bruce Museum can learn more about collector Allan Stone through the film “The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art” which will be shown here on June 29th. You can experience the power of these figures in person through September 4th.
11th annual Peking Opera Festival
The NYU Skirball Center of the Performing Arts welcomes the Peking Opera to its World Stage Series for a single performance on June 25. Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company presents the 11th annual Peking Opera Festival, featuring selected scenes from Peking opera classics. This year’s festival presents the legendary Monkey King’s battle with Princess Iron Fan from “The Journey to the West,” one of great epic tales of the Tang Dynasty. The performance features Qi Shu Fang as the Princess Iron Fan, who is known both in China and the United States as a master performer. The company brings the Chinese tradition to life with music, mime, costumes, and martial arts and acrobatics.
Youssou N’Dour at Terminal 5
Youssou N’Dour’s combination of tradional Senegalese music and western pop has won him an international fan base and a Grammy Award. Now the African superstar returns to New York with a new sound in his eclectic mix. His latest album makes the trip from the singer’s hometown in Dakar to Kingston, Jamaica, discovering the African heart of reggae. Reflecting on reggae’s deep impact on West African music and culture, N’Dour puts several of his songs to reggae anthems. Youssou N’Dour will perform at New York’s Terminal 5 on June 24th.
Knoll Textiles 1945 – 2010
Color. Texture. Upholstery. Where would the twentieth century’s great designers be without fabric? The Bard Graduate Center presents an exhibition that asks if Eero Saarinen’s iconic chairs would have become quite so iconic in another hue. “Knoll Textiles 1945 – 2010” brings together 175 examples of textiles, furniture, and photographs to tell the story of a company that has been a leading proponent of progressive furnishings and interior design since the early 1940s. It’s the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to a leading producer of modern textile design. The show considers how Knoll created, shaped and disseminated its brand over time, but also how it ushered in the modern era where color and texture became primary design elements. “Knoll Textiles” is on view at the Bard Graduate Center through July 31st.
Jennifer Muller’s “The White Room”
And finally, Jennifer Muller/The Works presents the world premiere of an evening-length dance work in Chelsea. For more than 37 years, contemporary dance company Jennifer Muller/The Works has applied a multi-disciplinary approach that weaves dance, theater and visual arts to create evocative, passionate, and engaging work. Muller’s latest work is entitled “The White Room” and was created in her Chelsea studio. The music is a combination of cello-based music from traditional sources and contemporary composers. “The White Room” will be presented at the Cedar Lake Theater June 22-26.