Holiday notePad

By Peggy Roalf   Tuesday July 3, 2018

The Big Holiday Weekend—The Fourth, that is—could be as big as it gets this year. It being on a Wednesday, anyone crafty enough to grab a few vacay-days along with some comp time is looking at an escape. And if you plan to be in New York City, there are some major art destinations under the sun and stars, with women artists leading the way.


The octogenarian wunderkind Yayoi Kusama, who was among the pioneering performance artists of the 1960s, knows how to turn leftover spaces into enduring art experiences. Starting this week her shimmering Narcissus Garden takes over the former train garage of Fort Tilden as part of MoMA PS1’s Rockaway! Ms. Kusama originally created this installation of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres as an unofficial entry at the 1966 Venice Biennial. Subtitled “Your Narcissism for Sale,” the action was conducted on its opening day by the artist, wearing a gold kimono. This “happening” was seen as both a self-promotion and a critique on the commercialization of contemporary art. The presentations became increasingly more elaborate and brought together multiple participants in or near NYC parks and cultural landmarks, and in subsequent art venues worldwide. This year it promises to be Selfie Central, so plan to arrive early. Photo courtesy MoMA PS1 

The installation of Narcissus Garden is accompanied by an exhibition in the neighboring Rockaway Artist Alliance gallery that charts the history of Rockaway! and the ongoing work of the Rockaway Artist Alliance. Info Free and open to the public on July 4 and September 3 from noon to 6 pm. Directions


Meanwhile in the Bronx, The New York Botanical Garden continues the presentation of Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i—a living display in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory of the subjects the artist portrayed in paintings commissioned by the Hawiian [now Dole] Pineapple Company, along with the exhibition of 17 of the 20 paintings she produced during her 9-week residence in the Hawaiian Islands. 

The 51-year-old artist found a sense of place in an environment unfamiliar to her, and to most who later saw these paintings. Her stunning depictions of mountains and waterfalls as well as her signature close-cropped views of flowers and plants she observed are the precursors of her subsequent motifs and visions of the great beyond. Integrating art, horticulture, and historical interpretation, the exhibition will explore the Hawai‘i that O’Keeffe experienced and also reveal the complex history of the Hawaiian Islands.

Visitors to the Conservatory will see a wide variety of Hawaiian plants, with pineapples and bananas, among other favorites on view in the Central Courtyard, while hundreds of hibiscus, gardenia and bougainvillea fill the Hardy Courtyard. Canoe plants and other edible and useful tropicals such as papaya and sugarcane will be on display the Tropical Courtyard. 

Outdoor installations by contemporary Hawaiian-Chinese sculptor Mark Chai, inspired by the forms of the plants that O’Keeffe encountered while visiting Hawai‘i, are on view in the Leon Levy Visitor Center and along Garden Way and illuminated for evening events. 

NYBG has organized a season-long series of public programs and events, from lei-making workshops and tattoo demonstrations to music and dance performances, film screenings, fashion shows and more Info

New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Parkway and Fordham Road, Bronx, NY Info


The Public Art Fund takes to the New York waterways with Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation, a commission by the New York-based artist which transforms the historic Fireboat John J. Harvey into a contemporary “dazzle ship.” 

Dazzle camouflage patterns, invented by British painter Norman Wilkinson during World War I, were painted onto warships to optically distort their forms to confuse enemy submarines. Ms. Auerbach’s iteration was designed to dazzle the eye as well as the mind, and painted in red to echo the utility of its host craft. Her design draws inspiration from fluid dynamics and forms found in wake patterns left behind objects, such as boats, as they move through water. Auerbach created her design for the surface of the fireboat through the process of marbling paper, floating inks on a fluid bath and combing the surface to create various wake patterns before transferring them on to paper. The fireboat also flies a flag diagramming “flow separation” — the phenomenon when areas of fluid in a wake move backwards, thereby creating eddies. 

Tauba Auerbach: Flow Separation is on view through at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6 through August 12. It will subsequently sail to Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 and Pier 66a. Info Boat trips will run on Saturdays and Sudays from July 14th through September 23, 2019. Tickets at the Pier, free, FC/FS Info Photo © Nicholas Knight, courtesy of The Public Art Fund


Governors Island is a summer destination in New York Harbor, with biking, kayaking, miniature golf and always, lots of art. This year the centerpiece is an exhibition of two monumental works by New York-based artist Jacob Hashimoto. Showcased in New York City for the first time, Hashimoto’s The Eclipse is a monumental work of thousands of delicate rice paper kites, enveloping viewers in a tangible, yet ever shifting fog. Originally installed at the Palazzo Flangini during the 57th Venice Biennale, the cloud-like work has been newly adapted for the Chapel, winding, bending and at times consuming the architecture. 

Hashimoto’s Never Comes Tomorrowa colorful, whimsical overhead outdoor installation constructed of hundreds of wooden cubes and massive steel funnels, plays with the architecture of the Ligett Hall Archway, creating a virtual time tunnel between the Island’s Historic District and newly designed park. Through October 31, 2018. Info

During the month of July a pop-up arts program is on view in the Colonial Revival House 403 on Colonel’s Row. Organized by the New Art Dealers Alliance/NADAA, Close Quarters presents installations by eight member galleries across two floors of the historic officer’s home. Among them are: Michael Mahalchick (CANADA); Asif Mian (False Flag); Rainer Ganahl (Kai Matsumiya); Fabienne Lasserre (Safe Gallery); Jerry the Marble Faun (SITUATIONS); Hayley Martell and; Devin Morris (Signal); Johanna Unzueta (Proyectos Ultravioleta); Jeff Williams (Jack Hanley Gallery). Close Quarters runs through July 29thand is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-5 pm. Info

New this year is overnight camping, luxury style, offered by Collective Retreats. An oasis of tents nestled at The Hills includes everything you could wish for in an island escape, from deluxe linens to spa baths and a complimentary breakfast. The adjacent Three Peaks Lodge offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, with BBQ in a take-out Box available all day. Info

Governors Island Ferry Info Photo courtesy Governors Island Alliance




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