Art Talks and Events Coming Up in NYC

By Alison Durkee

From “Starry Night” to Monet’s water lilies, New York City is home to some of the greatest art in the worldand from the city’s most iconic museums to its smaller galleries, there are plenty of works and artists to discover. Learn more about the art world from past to present at these upcoming talks, exhibitions, and events.

Annette Lemieux (b. 1957), Black Mass, 1991. Latex, rhoplex, gesso, and oil on canvas, 95 13/16 × 105 × 1 13/16 in. (243.4 × 266.7 × 4.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of Emily Fisher Landau P.2010.173 © Annette Lemieux

New York City’s best-known museums will have plenty to see this August and September, with current and upcoming exhibitions spanning the worlds of sculpture, architecture, fashion, and more. The Metropolitan Museum of Art will open a new exhibition featuring the iconic works of sculptor Auguste Rodin on September 16, and current offerings include exhibitions on Japanese bamboo art, World War I and the visual arts, and other diverse subjects. The Museum of Modern Art will steal a page from the Met’s Costume Institute this September with Items: Is Fashion Modern? , and the museum is currently celebrating the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Further downtown, the Whitney Museum of Art is showcasing mobile sculptures with the exhibition Calder: Hypermobility; the museum will showcase protest art from past to present when An Incomplete History of Protest opens at the museum on August 18.

Of course, there’s plenty of incredible art to discover at the city’s smaller galleries as well. Head to the China Institute to see Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou and discover some Chinese treats and traditions at the institute’s Mid-Autumn Festival on September 9, or discover some particularly delicious artworks at the third annual TasteMakers food art exhibit, which will be displayed in a one-night-only popup on September 1. On August 23, head up to Harlem for the opening reception of Spiritual Connections, a new exhibition from the Harlem Arts Festival that explores hidden subcultures through photography and art.

Image: David Scher, Excerpt from sketchbooks. Courtesy of the artist.

Some art displays this summer and fall, meanwhile, will blend the performing and visual arts. Visitors to the High Line on August 25 can enjoy an evening of readings hosted by PEN America and the Artists at Risk Connection, which will express solidarity with artists facing risks and censorship of their work. September 7 through 9, artist David Scher will appear at the Drawing Center alongside poets and musicians for several performances in conjunction with an exhibition of his sketchbooks and musical scores. Also taking place at the Drawing Center is The Stone at the Drawing Center: Music and Visuals, a series of performances September 12 through 17 by various artists that explore the relationship between music, drawing and cinema.

Intarsia Quilt with Soldiers and Musicians, artist unidentified; initialed J.S.J.

Those who’d rather learn more about art historyor the artists of todaythis August and September are also in luck. Head to the Frick Collection on September 8 for a one-day symposium on the study of medals within the art history sphere, or spend that evening learning about the significance of quilts made from military fabrics at the American Folk Art Museum. To learn more about the world of photography, delve into the work of Henri-Cartier Bresson at an illustrated lecture by Peter Galassi on September 13, or discover the work of contemporary interdisciplinary artist Kamau Amu Patton as part of MoMA’s Modern Mondays series on September 18. To learn more about the intersection between visual art and the broader cultural issues of today, head to a conversation with Olafur Eliasson, whose work explores the tension between humanity and nature in the wake of climate change, or delve into issues of race and activism within the arts with a panel discussion hosted by poet Claudia Rankine and The Racial Imaginary Institute on September 26.

Several artistic talks this August and September will specifically focus on female artists and women throughout art history. Time travel back to 19th century Paris at a conversation with Laurence Madeline and Bridget Alsdorf on the era’s female artists on September 7, or explore the female artists of Helsinki, Finland at the turn of the 20th century with Nordic Women Painting Race and Place on September 11. On September 10, the Brainery Annex will take a broad look at the women of art history with their Feminist Art Club, which will feature a crash-course in feminist art history and the chance to create your own feminist art works.

For a more interactive look at the art world, try your hand at Watoji, the art of Japanese bookbinding, at a workshop with mixed-media artist Amanda Hu on September 12. Art lovers looking for a change can also take part in several upcoming tours, including a look at the origin stories behind the city’s major art institutions on August 26 and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Society of Illustrators on September 5.

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