Summer is in full swing in New York which means smoldering afternoon sidewalks and iced teas, the clanging of glass and porcelain plates in the evening and fever-inducing wafts of bus exhaust on your way home. Many businesses feel a slow down of work and sales: colleagues, clients and customers leave for vacation, the pipeline staggers to accommodate new hires or travel plans. Many welcome this time as an opportunity to learn new skills, plan for Q4 or prepare to make a career move. It's also a perfect time to treat yourself. Maybe you're not traveling this summer, or maybe you've returned from a holiday and feel a continued sense of restlessness.
This summer, sip caipirinhas in a large-scale horticultural tribute to Brazil and stand before awesome, grand sculptures of natural deities at the Met Breuer. Below, our recommendations for some of the city's best exhibits and experiences this summer:
A Fifty-year Retrospective of the Gay Liberation Movement
Fort Gansevoort, located at 5 9th Avenue just off Little West 12th Street, is holding a month-long exhibition of art from over a dozen LBGTQIA+ artists that includes a documentary of the Liberation Movement and works made by artists beginning at the onset of the AIDs crisis. Notably, the artist Nelson Sullivan lived at 5 9th Avenue in the 80s and took footage of the neighborhood and nightlife community during that time. Many of the figures who appear in his films - a young RuPaul and Lady Bunny prominently among them - are some of the most well-known artists and performers of the LGBTQIA+ community today. Equal parts moving and uplifting, you'll find everything from pride buttons to the 1970s Lesbian newspaper The Furies.
A Look Back: 50 Years After Stonewall ends August 10th, 2019. Don't miss it!
Hop-On the 6 to Rio de Janeiro
In a tribute to the esteemed Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, the New York Botanical Garden is holding a summer-long exploration of the music, art and flora that inspired Burle Marx to create breathtaking gardens and landscapes. Visitors stroll along his patterned pathways, observing native plants of Brazil, taking shade under tall Palms and listening to the sounds of samba, Carnaval and the late João Gilberto. A special note: for two more nights this summer, the NYBG invites exhibition guests to enjoy the exhibit after hours. Caipirinhas, the Brazilian national drink, will be served while local bands play acoustic guitar performances as the sun sets on the lush exhibit.
Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx is open through September 29th, 2019. After hours are July 27th and August 10th.
Food through a Different Lens
Artists are deeply curious about the role of social media in how we experience our realities. Lucia Fainzilber, an Argentine artist, asks us to look again at our relationship with food through Instagram and other social channels. Has food become to us what a diamond necklace in a shop display window has been? For Fainzilber, the question lingering on her mind is if food is an indicator of privilege. We're able to visually desire certain foods that may be unattainable to some of us, while others can desire and acquire it at once. She begins with this premise, drawing upon the scholarly research into still-life compositions of food that served figurative purposes in older styles, and explores deep nuances of food including cultural identity and class structuralism.
Lucia Fainzilber: The Cookbook is open through September 7th, 2019 at Praxis. Praxis is located at 501 West 20th street. Be sure to visit before lunch or dinner.
A Tribute to the Natural Gods
Intricate and grand, the late Indian artist Mrinalini Mukherjee's "Phenomenal Nature" is a creation of deities sprung from her imagination. Throughout her life, Mukherjee experienced tension from Anglo-European critics framing her work as of Hindu mythology and Indian critics labeling her work as purely catering to Western tastes. Her work is neither, as she strongly proclaimed, and is instead concerned with the relationship between the natural and spiritual realms. Her sculptures are, however, a loving nod to the practices of knotting and textile forms in Indian tradition. Giant in scale and inscrutable in their forms, her deities supposedly don't frighten so much as connect us to the wild nature of the world.
Mrinalini Mukherjee: Phenomenal Nature is open through September 29th, 2019 at the Met Breuer.
Retro-Fashion of the Future
The swinging 60s were radical for activism and art. No artist has better demonstrated the optimism and imagination of futurism than Pierre Cardin. Jean-Paul Gaulthier's former mentor led the wave of 'mod', using synthetic materials, exaggerated shoulders and spherical helmets, inspired by the space race. Most clear from the Brooklyn Museum's new exhibit is how ahead of the branding trend Cardin was. Gradually evolving beyond fashion, he launched into home furnishings, restaurant design and even automobile upholstery. The 97-year-old Cardin still retains control of his company, despite the consolidation of brands under holding firms like LVMH. An artist who has withstood the forces of a century.
Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion is open through January 5th, 2020 at the Brooklyn Museum.
While summer is always a great time to take stock of your progress this year, it's important to treat yourself! All of us are capable of succumbing to exhaustion and creative burnout. These exhibits are fun, affordable ways to rejuvenate and gather your bearings for work on the autumnal horizon.