The Met Fifth Avenue Roof Top Garden: The Theatre of Disappearance by Adrian Villar Rojas, April 14 – October 29, 2017

Adrián Villar Rojas: The Theatre of Disappearance at The Met Fifth Avenue Roof Top Garden

On view April 14 – October 29, 2017

The Roof Top Garden of the Met Fifth Avenue Museum is hosting a fascinating exhibition titled “The Theater of Disappearance” by Argentinean artist Adrian Villar Rojas. The exhibition, which includes 16 large sculptures by Villar Rojas, is intertwined with multiple other events under the same umbrella title this year including film series at Berlin Film Festival and visual art shows in Greece, Austria and Los Angeles. This overarching theme seems timely today as our accelerated pace of life with at times endless pileup of stuff leads to its opposite, a void or disappearance.

Villar Rojas came to fame when at the age 32 he was selected to represent Argentina at the 2011 Venice Biennial. His next big engagement on the international art scene was at the Documenta 2013 and Istanbul Biennial 2015. Villa Rojas is known for making life-size sculptures from large animals caring heavy loads as at the Istanbul Biennial to the ruins of tumbled staircase at MoMA PS1 “LA INOCENCIA DE LOS ANIMALES” in 2013.

For current installation at the Met the artist used spectrometry and 3D scans of the artifacts from the Met collection mixing up the time periods, places, ideas and facts. Ideally the viewers have to visit this installation after seeing the originals on the floors below. The FT review notes that at times it seems that the artists is “undoing all of art history”. The ArtNews reports about Rojas’s laborious study of the Met Museum collection encompassing its all 17 departments as well as interviews with the staff as part of the creation process.  

The photos from Art Summary blog lets you get a taste of the exhibition:

The Met Fifth Avenue Roof Top Garden: The Theatre of Disappearance by Adrian Villar Rojas, April 14 – October 29, 2017

Photographs by Corrado Serra. Artist’s Statement The Met’s history as an institution is a testimony to America’s path as a nation. Its doors opened in 1870 with a large collection of plaster casts of sculptural masterpieces. By the mid-twentieth century, genuine artifacts had displaced the copies. Departments quickly emerged, dividing the cultural endowment into regions […]

via The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theatre of Disappearance at The Met Fifth Avenue, April 14 – October 29, 2017 — Arts Summary

The Roof Top floors had to be redone with the tiles created by the artists for this installation . The particularly designed greenery were added as well as the bar. The effect of the spectacular Manhattan skyline in the background accentuates the bacchanal in the garden. Come and see it yourself.

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Venue: The Met Museum on Fifth Avenue        Time: till October 29, 2017

May 5 – September 24, 2017: Florine Stettheimer at the Jewish Museum

May 5 – September 24, 2017: Florine Stettheimer at the Jewish Museum

Painting Poetry 

An exhibition of paintings, theatrical costumes and poems of an American Modernist artist Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944) is on view at Jewish Museum through the summer. The collection presented here paints the world of Jazz Age New York as its experienced by high society of that time with witty satire and warm touch. The playful nature, light tones and elegant scenes were the reasons for relegating this artist to a decorative camp. However her talent is evident in everything she made and her oeuvre places her among the greatest artists of 20th century.

May - September, 2017: Florine Stettheimer at Jewish Museum
From the exhibition via

“Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is the first major U.S. exhibition in over 20 years focused on artist Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944). The exhibition showcases over 50 paintings and drawings in addition to costume and theater designs, photographs, and ephemera, offering a timely reconsideration of this influential American artist with a sharp satirical wit, placing her centrally in the modern […]

via Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry at Jewish Museum, May 5 – September 24, 2017 — Arts Summary

Florine Stettheimer studied at the Arts Student League of New York from 1892 to 1895. She continued to refine her artistic style in pre-World War I Germany following Symbolist artists of the time. Another strong influence on Stettheimer work was made by the Ballets Russes. Upon returning to New York, she adapted her style to depict the life of her family and its circle of friends in her paintings and poetry. Continuing her connection to the world of ballet, she worked on costume and stage design incorporating new materials in her work. Because she didn’t depend on the sales of her works, she preferred to show her work only to her acquaintances and close friends and remained largely unknown to the public. After her death her close friend Marcel Duchamp organized a retrospective of her work at MOMA in 1946.

The history of the celebrated Ballets Russes is masterfully shown in The Ballets Russes by Zeitgeist Films.

Jewish Museum exhibition gives us a chance to understand this sensible artist. For museum hours click here.


Venue: Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue, NY                 

Dates: May 5 – September 24, 2017 

Beyond NYC: Jason Vieaux, Guitar with Julien Labro, Bandoneon and Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Caramoor at Katonah, NY

Beyond NYC: Jason Vieaux, Guitar with Julien Labro, Bandoneon and Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Caramoor at Katonah, NY

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Piazzolla on July 16, 2017

Jason Vieaux, Guitar with Julien Labro, Bandoneon and Orchestra of St. Luke's at Caramoor at Katonah, NY
Jason Vieaux, photo by Tyler Boye; image source

With a program of chamber music heavily influenced by the genius of Vivaldi, this concert on July Sunday afternoon is promising to be a meditation on the past with classical guitar, bandoneon, violin and a chamber orchestra serenading the summer.

Jason Vieaux, a winner of 2015 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Solo, is returning to Caramoor with Julien Labro on bandoneon and Krista Benin Fenney on violin. Vieaux’s impeccable technique and musicality “makes the guitar sing” in the words of Tom Huizenga, NPR host. From the beginning of Vieaux’s engagement with the NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series when he was young-artist-in-residence, his mastery have flourished adding on a diverse sound palette of West-African rhythms, Argentinian tangos and classical preludes. On his return to the Tiny Desk Concert studio as a renown international musician seven years later, his music had transformed the studio into “a quiet, jasmine-scented garden in Andalusia” as described by Huizenga.

Jason Vieaux, Guitar with Julien Labro, Bandoneon and Orchestra of St. Luke's at Caramoor at Katonah, NY
Julien Labro photo by Anna Webber / image source

Julien Labro is a well-known accordionist whose music blends folk and classical melodies into an eclectic and rich mix. In the course of his career Labro’s main influence was the music of an Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. According to Labro’s autobiography, Piazzolla was the reason for Labro to pick up a bandoneon. Sharing this affection, Vieaux and Labro had already recorded 7 albums on the music by Piazzolla with the most recent one Infusion by Azica produced in 2016.

The combination of top quality music performance and spectacular Caramoor gardens and grounds makes it an ideal place for a summer night out. At Caramoor the visitors can enjoy architecture, history, art, horticulture and music all in one place. Arrive early to have a chance to explore them all.

Click here to book your tickets.

Venue: Caramoor Center for Music and Arts, Katonah, NY                                       Date: July 16, 4pm

Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival: Don Giovanni by Budapest Festival Orchestra

Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival: Don Giovanni by Budapest Festival Orchestra

Ivan Fischer, conductor and director 

Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival: Don Giovanni by Budapest Festival Orchestra
Don Giovanni by Max Slevogt, 1912

This year Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center brings back to New York a fascinating production of opera Don Giovanni. The performance will take place at the Rose Theater at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Frederick P. Rose Hall.

Mozart wrote this opera to a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte which was based on the legend about Don Juan, a philanderer and seducer. Premiered at the National Theater of Bohemia in Prague in 1787, it was billed by Mozart himself as opera buffa. However, this particular rendition of the story is much more a tragedy and a learning lesson than a comedy or a melodrama.

Ivan Fischer, co-founder and conductor of Budapest Festival Orchestra, was also directing the production. In an interview  by NPR in anticipation of the opening in 2011, Fischer points out that this dual role as conductor and director lets him offer “much more unified experience” for the actors. The resulting accents in the story are on bringing the villain to justice. The costume, stage design and casting of the students of Bucharest Acting Academy in the supporting ensemble are both innovative and highly appropriate. Instead of a singing statue, the actors costumes are designed to resemble the stones serving as both the silent elements of the design and the embodiment of the fate and consequence that gets a final say. The New York Times review of the performance back in 2011 highlights the “climactic moment staged to such haunting effect” under Fischer’s direction.

Venue: Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 10 Columbus Circle, NY                               Dates: August 17, 19, 20

Kevin Spacey in One-Man Show on June 15-16, 2017 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, NY

Kevin Spacey in One-Man Show on June 15-16, 2017 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, NY

Starring as Clarence Darrow in American Debut of the Play

Kevin Spacey will star as Clarence Darrow in a one-man play by David. W. Lintels. The play has already had its successful run at London’s Old Vic Theater in 2014-2015 season. The raving reviews by the British press rightfully emphasize the close connection that Spacey builds with the theatergoers with The Telegraph stressing that Spacey’s artistic power “remains a masterclass in how to woo an audience”.  The Guardian called Spacey’s performance “a barnstorming” which given the venue in NY, found by the actor himself, can be paraphrased as “stadium-storming” with an expectation of even more power from the actor.

You can read more about the play in the review on the re-blogged below:

Kevin Spacey in One-Man Show on June 15-16, 2017 at Arthur Ashe Stadium, NY

Kevin Spacey will star in Clarence Darrow, a one-man play about the famed “Monkey Trial” lawyer by David. W. Rintels and directed by Thea Sharrock. First presented at the Old Vic Theatre in London, it will now come to New York for a two-night event at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY, on June 15-16. […]

via Kevin Spacey Will Appear In (Tennis) Court As Clarence Darrow — Deadline

For tickets click here.

Venue: Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing, NY                          Dates: June 15-16, 2017

Art in NYC: Cindy Sherman at Mnuchin Gallery till June 10, 2017

Art in NYC: Cindy Sherman at Mnuchin Gallery till June 10, 2017

Cindy Sherman: Once Upon a Time, 1981 – 2011

Art event in NYC: Cindy Sherman at Mnuchin Gallery till June 10, 2017
From Centerfolds series

As the title of this exhibition suggests, there is a tale behind each picture. The collection the photographs by the greatest portrait artist of our time on view at Mnuchin Gallery presents the works from three distinct periods in chronological order. In each of her works Sherman as always plays a dual role of the sole subject and the artist. In the words of R. Smith from the New York Times review of Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at MoMA in 2012, the artist can be seen as “consummate manipulator of space, scale, color and pattern textiles”.

The earliest images on view this time at Mnuchin Gallery are from Centerfolds series that had brought Sherman to fame in 1981. The theme of these pictures is in capturing pensive moments positioning the image of young woman as an erotic close up similar to what can be found in mens’ magazines.

Art in NYC: Cindy Sherman at Mnuchin Gallery till June 10, 2017
From Historical Portraits series

The History Portraits series , created from 1988 to 1990,  are staged images from the past. From afar they can be taken for the paintings belonging to the Renaissance or Neoclassical  periods hang at a provincial museum.  Sherman transforms herself into historical sitters, females and males, using elaborate props, costumes and framing.

The last period in the exhibition is from the Society Portraits series made from 2008. It tells the sorry tale of a desperate search of eternal youth so celebrated by today’s popular culture yet hard to shake off. Posed as society dames of our time, Sherman portraits mix the glamour with the excess of effort set against the backdrop of grand sites of  New York City. The New Yorker points to the fact that this exhibition at Mnuchin Gallery is spot on in terms of its location where the subjects of the Society Portraits “look right at home on the Upper East Side, amid the ladies who lunch”.

Art in NYC: Cindy Sherman at Mnuchin Gallery till June 10, 2017
From Society Portraits series



Venue: Mnuhcin Gallery, 45 East 78 Street, NY               

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10am – 6pm 

Dates: till June 10, 2017


May 2017 Jazz Concert: Vijay Iyer at Village Vanguard

May 2017 Jazz Concert: Vijay Iyer Trio at Village Vanguard

May 2017 Jazz Concert: Vijay Iyer Trio at Village Vanguard
Vijay Iyer; credit Jimmy Katz

Listening to jazz music at Village Vanguard, a celebrated New York jazz spot, is part of a sacred ritual for music fans. This week the club is hosting Vijay Iyer Trio from May 9 to May 14.  Iyer’s trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass) is particularly famous for its albums Accelerando(2012) and Historicity (2009). Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year for 2012 by three separate critics polls at DownBeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody.

The concert at the Village Vanguard starts with simple introduction of the musicians by Iyer with a compulsory explanation of the pronunciation of Iyer’s name. It then gets into continuous musical journey seemingly uninterrupted and fluid. It feels that one tune smoothly leads to the next like sea waves so the audience is getting deep into the sound. The musicians’ high calibre is in full view. There is no solos per se as the band improvises together.

Iyer was interested in music from his childhood playing in school orchestra and continuing performing when studying at Yale University which he graduated with a degree in Physics and Mathematics. He then pursued his scientific and musical exploration at the University of California at Berkeley getting a Ph. D. in the cognitive science of music. In addition to performing and writing his own compositions, he is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. Before Harvard University he was teaching at Manhattan School of Music, NYU and The New School. Iyer started playing professionally with Steve Coleman, a bandleader and a saxophone player back when he was still at Berkeley.

In talking to Oberlin Review at the time of a Master program there at Oberlin Conservatory in April 2017, he stressed the importance of keeping the music within “the living context” and for the artists to think broadly about the world and their responsibility in serving it.

Vijay Iyer, a 2013 McArthur Fellow, had been “the most lauded piano player in jazz” according to The New Yorker profile in February 1, 2016 issue. It is quite interesting that in that same profile the fact that Iyer until then was not invited to play at Village Vanguard was brought up. The record is corrected now.

Tickets can be booked here.

Venue: Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue, NY                           Dates: May 9 – 14, 2017 at 8.30pm and 10.30pm


August 2017 Jazz Concert: Cyrille Aimee at (Le) Poisson Rouge

August 2017 Jazz Concert: Cyrille Aimee at (Le) Poisson Rouge

French jazz-cabaret singer

August 2017 Jazz Concert: Cyrille Aimee at (Le) Poisson Rouge
Cyrille Aimee / image source

Crisp and delicate voice, playful style, dizzying mix of jazz, soul and ethnic music from France to Brazil –  at the concert of this talented singer Cyrille Aimee you will hear them all.

Born in Fontainebleau, France and raised in the village of Samois-sur-Seine where a famous french gypsy jazz musician Django Reinhardt lived, Aimee had a chance to learn and experience jazz music from her school days. Aimee writes in her bio that with easy proximity to the place of the annual Django Reinhardt Festival held at Samois-sur-Seine attracting gypsy musicians from around the world, she was sneaking out from her bedroom to hear the musicians at the encampment. Her rebellious character can be heard in her singing and in her selection of the songs to perform.

In 2012 Aimee had won Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition which invigorated her international career. Her singing can be described as mixing Sarah Vaughan in name and Michael Jackson in electronics. At her concerts she introduces the loop machine to the audience and delivers brilliant performance with it. “She is a one-woman rhythm machine” in the words of New York Times music critic S. Holden.  The AllAboutJazz calls her “the face of post-modernity”.

Check out Aimee’s website and youtube channel for the latest recordings and much more.

The informal setting at Le Poisson Rouge will make it a delightful musical experience with this amazing jazz singer!

To book tickets, click here.

Venue: (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NY             Date: August 16, 2017 


2017 Lincoln Center Festival: Taming of the Shrew by Bolshoi Ballet

2017 Lincoln Center Festival: Taming of the Shrew by Bolshoi Ballet

Ballet in two acts by Jean-Christophe Maillot

2017 Lincoln Center Festival: Taming of the Shrew by Bolshoi Ballet
Image source:

Elegant and witty choreography, superb technique, a swirl of energy  – what else can one wish to see at the ballet performance? The fans of this colorful art genre will be absolutely delighted to see this smart staging of the classic tale of the battle of the sexes. Ballet de Monte-Carlo director-choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot masterly production of  W. Shakespeare play for the Bolshoi to the selected compositions by D. Shostakovich had won a strong acclaim from the time of its opening in 2014. The Telegraph review praised Maillot choreographic style as “an eclectic, high-octane and often witty fusion of classical and modern”.

Bolshoi Ballet dancers bring their well-known mastery to the high-speed love story. The Guardian review points to “mesmerizing” rendering of Katarina’s role by Ekaterina Krysanova and “hypnotic energy” of Vladislav Lantratov as Petruchio. The rest of the main characters and ballet cast are as articulate and infectious in telling the story as the principals. In the critics’ opinion the high-speed of the production is the only comment that can be made. The rest is just a sheer joy!

Tickets can be booked here.


Venue: David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NY                             Dates: July 26 – July 30, 2017


Elsewhere in NYC: Morgan Library & Museum and New York Public Library

Elsewhere in NYC: Morgan Library & Museum and New York Public Library

Perfect places for the art of reading

In the bustling city of New York where everyone is in a hurry, the quiet spaces are especially precious. By a perfect coincidence these two libraries are situated a few blocks apart in midtown Manhattan. Both are the celebrated havens for those who appreciate the art and the history of the written words or are making the first steps in the world of books.

Elsewhere in NYC: Morgan Library & Museum and New York Public Library
Image source

John Pierpont Morgan has been called the most influential financier in U.S. history. Between 1890 and 1913, his company was instrumental in the establishment of 42 major corporations including General Electric, International Harvester, AT & T, and the Atchison Topeka Santa Fe railway. He financially backed countless projects, including Thomas Edison’s Edison Electric Illuminating Company, as […]

via A tale of two libraries — magpie learner

Its fascinating to think about the unity of  places dedicated to books. The libraries while very distinct in their characters, are wonderfully complementing each other.

While NY Public Library will rightly impress with its depth of material and expertise of people working there, Morgan Library offers a treasured  and well-researched collection of illuminated manuscripts, rare prints, music manuscripts, Renaissance paintings and Chinese porcelain. In addition to its exhibitions, Morgan Library holds music programs and lectures.  This summer there will be several concerts combining music performed by St. Luke Chamber Ensemble with the reading by a well-known literary master Adam Gopnik.

The NY Public Library is know for its premier series LIVE from NYPL. In May and June of this year the guest list includes Anselm Kiefer, a German painter and sculptor,  Alec Baldwinan American actor, and Phillip Glass, an American composer  to name just a few. It is a true cultural kaleidoscope!

Venue: Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, NY           Hours: click here

Venue: NYPL Schwarzman Building, 476 5th Avenue, NY                       Hours: click here