DUMBO Arts Center offers two unique experiences of art this month. The free 13th Annual D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival runs from Sept 25–27. The three-day, multi-site, neighborhood-wide event is a one-of-a-kind art happening where serendipity meets the haphazard and where the unpredictable, spontaneous and downright weird thrive. In addition to the 80-plus projects throughout the historical post-industrial waterfront span, visitors can tour local artists’ studios or check out the indoor video_dumbo, a non-stop program of cutting-edge video art from New York City and around the world. Then, Sept 25–Nov 29, Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen will fill the center with their enormous site-specific installation, The Experience of Green. The exhibition will emphasize the contrast between the organic and the built environment. Viewers will step out of Dumbo’s stark brick-and-glass commercial district into a fantastical forest; a walk-through labyrinth of old growth trees made entirely from red kraft paper. The spectacular network of gnarled tree trunks and twisted roots will extend over every inch of the gallery, suspending the boundaries of space and time while fully immersing the viewer.
Sept 16–24, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation presents San Francisco: The Making of a Gay Mecca, featuring early photography by Rink Foto and rarely-seen photos by LGBT equality pioneer Harvey Milk. Comprised of just a fraction of Rink’s nearly half-million images, this exhibition chronicles the transformation of San Francisco into the epicenter of the gay and lesbian movement. Like Cartier-Bresson, Rink seems to have a gift for being there at the right moment, not only to catch the action but also to catch the image that is rich enough, dense enough and strange enough to tell a complex story without words.
Beginning Sept 25 at the Whitney, check out a new restrospective of works by iconic artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Although O’Keeffe has long been celebrated as a central figure in 20th-century art, the abstract works she created throughout her career have remained overlooked by critics and the public in favor of her representational subjects. By devoting itself to this largely unexplored area of her work, Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction is an overdue acknowledgment of her place as one of America’s first abstract artists. The exhibition includes more than 130 paintings, drawings, watercolors, and sculptures by O’Keeffe, as well as selected examples of Alfred Stieglitz’s famous photographic portrait series of the artist.
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present MY SECRET LIFE, Lutz Bacher’s first museum survey exhibition, which spans several decades of the artist’s wide-ranging conceptual practice. Bacher’s career is marked by restrained yet comprehensive interventions into exhibition frameworks, highlighting her particular pairing of work and context, on view through Sept 14.
Sept 10–Oct 10, Morgan Lehman Gallery presents States of Union, photographs by Alix Smith. Acutely aware of being different in a world of New York society, Smith struggled for years with her identity as a lesbian and an artist. For that reason, a common thread in much of Smith’s work has been the theme of identity: her subjects’ perceived and expected identity versus their true selves. For the project Constructed Identities, Smith asked friends from privileged backgrounds to dress as if they were going to work or dinner. The result was a series of portraits revealing what The New York Times called, “a triumph of custom over self expression.