Yours Truly, Georgia Brown
Opening Tuesday September 13 at International Studio and Curatorial Program, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 11.
In this show, artist Raque Ford takes on the character of Georgia Brown, a “temptress” figure from the 1940s film and Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky. The show made history as the first production to feature an entirely African-American cast, but the creators were (shocking!) all white. Using a variety of techniques, including plexiglass sculpture and a zine of handwritten letters that attendees can take home with them, Ford will reexamine and rewrite the narrative of Georgia Brown through a rigorous and contemporary lens.
Rather than the archetypal, “simplistic and short-sighted” depictions Ford sees in the original source material and the surrounding time period’s portrayal of black culture, she will examine this character as someone who is complex, who struggles with issues like depression rather than just a femme fatale rendered years ago. Though Cabin in the Sky premiered decades ago, the New York City Center’s Encores! series, showcasing rare of forgotten works of musical theater, performed the show in February. If you saw it, check out another interpretation. If you didn’t, start with this one.
Fließend: Stories of Gender Non-Conforming Designers
Opening Thursday September 15 at Garment District Alliance Storefront Gallery, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. On view through September 30.
Androgyny has always been fairly trendy in the world of fashion. But usually, that has meant tall skinny white men and women with pixie cuts wearing blazers, or something. No, not Glazers. Lately, some designers have taken the notion of fashion that defies gender binaries seriously, and have been whipping up some seriously interesting stuff.
This exhibit, fittingly on view in the Garment District just in time for Fashion Week, showcases five of these designers, artists, and activists who are working to create compelling wearables while tossing gender norms out with their fabric scraps. These creations aren’t just your average clothes: highlights include Vincent Tiley’s “sculptural performance” bodysuits meant to seem like a new skin, LACTIC’s pieces recycled from advertising banners, and Angie Chuang’s clothing line fabricated in a New Delhi tailoring school that also works to create sustainable careers for women in the fashion industry. When you’re not constricted by matters of pink and blue, anything is possible.
The Guests All Crowded Into The Dining Room
Opening Thursday September 15 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 1.
This is the third time this Chelsea gallery has shown the solo work of installation artist Jessica Stockholder, so they really must like her. Even the exhibit’s title recalls a brightly energetic demand for something, or a hustle and bustle at a dinner party of some sort. Seeing as Stockholder is rather familiar with the gallery space, she’s created a large and colorful piece made with the room in mind. Many of the other pieces on view are made from “purchased and found materials”– things like furniture, paint, and fabric– that could end up looking plain but instead take the form of a sort of Dr. Seuss Pottery Barn fusion. Some are what she calls “Assists,” which are pieces that cannot exist on their own; they must attach onto something else, which questions the power (or lack thereof) in human-made objects.
It’s All True: The East Village Eye Show
Opening Friday September 16 at Howl Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 9.
The East Village Eye was a monthly magazine published from 1979 until 1987 that focused on avant-garde art and culture in and around the East Village, resulting in notable coverage of the hip-hop, new wave, and punk scenes, as well as well-known artists like Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Hell, and the Beastie Boys. This show dives deep into the Eye‘s massive archives (4,000 pages and 3,000 photos, to start) that managed to chronicle the rise and fall of an artistic scene (complete with an “obituary for the neighborhood’s art scene”) that has shaped much of New York culture and beyond. Throughout the show’s run there will be accompanying events like panel discussions, readings, and film screenings, and the catalogue for the show will exist in the form of a new issue of the Eye.