Art21 New York Close Up

Weekly Roundup

Kiki Smith. Chorus at The Last Lot. Photo courtesy Billy Farrell Agency/

Kiki Smith. "Chorus at The Last Lot," 2012. Photo courtesy Billy Farrell Agency/

In this week’s roundup Kiki Smith pays tribute to Josephine Baker, Tom Waits narrates for John Baldessari and more.

  • Kiki Smith will be the third artist to be featured in the Art Production Fund’s Last Lot series that brings art to a deserted lot in Times Square at 8th Avenue and West 46th Street (NYC). Smith’s rainbow-colored star clusters will pay tribute to Josephine Baker, the American-born French burlesque dancer, singer and actress, who epitomized the sensuality and spectacle of the burlesque follies of the 1920’s. The piece will be in Times Square until September 4.
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s work is part of a  large-scale exhibition of contemporary art organized by the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco). Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past features more than 60 works by 31 contemporary artists, including Sugimoto. The works on display explore the complex, diverse, cross-cultural perspectives of Asian cosmology and spirituality through a compelling interplay of art from the past and present. The show closes September 2.


  • Josiah McElheny‘s Some thoughts about the abstract body is on view at the Andrea Rosen Gallery (NYC). McElheny uses historical examples of artistic clothing and costume design as a starting point to present his own set of models for abstract form today. The show consists of a series of sculptural assemblages, wall works, and performance with props to present a diverse library of possible forms for the expression of images of an abstract physical and psychic body. This exhibition runs through June 30.
  • John Baldessari requested singer Tom Waits narrate A Brief History of John Baldessari which has been recently posted online. Waits moves between facts from the artist’s life, and includes a mash-up of his creations – films, sculptures, paintings, photographs, billboards, credit cards and an iPhone app – paired with details of the artist’s day, such as his push pins, coffee machine and Wi-Fi password.


  • LaToya Ruby Frazier’s A Haunted Capital which was to have opened at the Brooklyn Museum (NYC) in June 2012 has been postponed to March 2013. The change in dates is due to scheduling conflicts.