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New Year’s Resolution: See More Art! (NYC)

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Norman Rockwell, Dug Out with frame, Brooklyn Museum Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera
From camera to canvas, the process of Norman Rockwell’s depictions of quintessential Americana is taken apart for viewers to see how masterful direction was the basis Rockwell’s iconic works. Step by step, delicately staged photographs are transformed into captivating stills painted in oil. The subjects are delightfully interesting and we see how, from photos and sketches, Rockwell projects moments in time. The works in the early fifties were so authentically precise in detail that you can hear the buzzing of a tattoo gun as a sailor gets inked, you can feel the tension as new fathers pace the waiting room corridor. I enjoyed the subtle changes he would sometimes make from photograph to his paintings; expressions were altered, dresses adjusted and domestic pets added to a scene depicting the life that followed post-newlywed bliss. Despite it’s playfulness the works shown all display a clear purpose and demonstrate how meticulous he worked at each stage leading up to the final painting. The end of the
exhibition is closed with a short film about the artist who seemed to be incredibly modest about his talent to document the spirit of a nation in every piece of his work, which in itself has become part of American nostalgia.
Runs until April 10th 2011, Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

Feng Mengbo-Long March: Restart
Chinese artist Feng Mengbo has created a large-scale interactive video game installation with a serious dose of politics. Visitors are given the opportunity to lead the games hero, who is a Red Army soldier, using wireless controllers to defeat enemies. The provocative twist here is that the gamer will be entering a world that blends communist Chinese propaganda with imagery loaned from old-school arcade favorites such as Street Fighter II and Super Mario Bros. With a not so subtle nod and wink to the regime in China the display also hearkens a reminder to the nation’s grip on expression concerning technology, new media and visual arts in general.
Runs until April 4th 2011, MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

Atta Kim, On Air Project 160-13, Grains of EmptinessGrain of Emptiness
This exhibition focuses on Buddhism in particular the core concepts on weight (emptiness) and the transiency of life (impermanence). It contains work by several artists: Atta Kim, Wolfgang Laib, Charmion von Wiegand, Sanford Biggers and Theaster Gates. The artists all bring their various skill to the exhibit, which features paintings, photography, video, installation and even some performance art is included. The exhibition is incredibly accessible and great for families as it is consistently engaging as well as deeply philosophical. Remember to check the program for discussions and special performances.
Runs Until April 11th 2011, Rubin Museum of Art, West 17th Street (Chelsea), Manhattan

Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen
This exhibit looks at the significance of pragmatic design in the the 20th Century and the need for good design, order, function and practicality in our home space. We are to begin with the “Frankfurt Kitchen” (1926-7) by Gerte Schutte-Lihotzky, which was a unit designed specifically for German public housing following WWI. The exhibition explains how it is the task of designers to use modern design concepts in order to re-structure, and to even dictate or test consumers by offering new materials and new methods. It also notes on how consumerism, politics and media all have a place in the modern kitchen, and to an even greater extent how it affects identity with concerns to the role of women. The exhibition is also part of a series of shows that features women in the art world and their contributions.
Runs until March 14th 2011, MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan

Graphic Radicals: World War 3 Illustrated
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the political comic magazine ‘World War 3 Illustrated’ the show consists of some of the original artwork featured by the publication. Curated by the founders of the publication, Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper, there are murals, posters and paintings in abundance. All of which are centered around cutting edge political concerns and events. Making use of animation and film visitors can connect with post-Cold War terrorism, homelessness, natural disasters and sustainability. It vividly portrays a doomsday
perspective of the world and political events occurring in the last three decades. Every week special talks will take place all of which will focus closely on some of the themes explored by special guests or the featured
Runs until February 5th 2011, Exit Art, 10th Avenue, Manhattan

–Nikkita Flavius-Gottschalk is a Contributor to The Free George.

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