Artwork Analyzed

These three exhibits look deeply at influential works.

Artwork can take many forms and shapes, being presented in the context of fashion, architecture, photography, painting and countless other mediums. NYC museums are known for showcasing the best and most unique of these items, and this month does not disappoint.

Charles James (The Met)

Charles James (The Met)

At the Met, ballroom gowns take center stage as the design process of one of the world’s greatest courtiers is explored in the exhibit Charles James: Beyond Fashion. James constructed the stunning gowns in the 1940s and 50s using revolutionary sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches that remain influential to this day.  In total, seventy-five of James’s designs are on display in the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, but the gowns can be found in the Museum’s first floor special exhibition galleries. Other design elements attributed to James include wrap-over trousers, figure-eight skirts, body-hugging sheaths, ribbon capes and dresses, spiral-cut garments, and poufs, all of which are also showcased. (Through 8/10, 5th Ave. at 82nd St.)

A World of Its Own (MoMA)

A World of Its Own (MoMA)

At the MoMA, A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio examines the way photographers have experimented within the walls of their studios since photography’s inception. It’s a fascinating concept, and perhaps one that laymen and novices usually overlook when studying artwork, as there is arguably plenty more to document in the outdoor world such as sprawling landscapes and worldly events. However, in this exhibit, roughly 180 works by approximately 90 different artists are on display showing the unique ways that studio space has been exploited over time along with the varying identities that space has adopted. Works will comprise of both new acquisitions and rarely viewed items from the MoMA’s comprehensive holdings. (Through 10/5, 53rd St. nr. 6th Ave.)

Schiava Turca (Frick Collection)

Schiava Turca (Frick Collection)

Francesco Mazzola – known as Parmigianino after his native city of Parm – was one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of the sixteenth century. He was considered a “Raphael reborn”, in reference to famed Italian painter and architect Raffaello Sanzio, who along with Michelangelo and da Vinci formed a trio of great masters from the Renaissance period. Now, Parmigianino’s “Schiava Turca”, an extraordinary portrait of a beautiful young woman “that exemplifies a tradition established by Leonardo’s Mona Lisa”, comes to the United States for the first time, a rare departure from its home in Italy’s Galleria Nazionale di Parma. In the exhibit The Poetry of Parmigianino’s “Schiava Turca” at the Frick Collection art museum, a new interpretation of the mysterious woman in the portrait is put forward, suggesting that she may have been a poet, since there are several characteristics that distinguish her from other female portraits of the era. (Through 7/20, 70th St. nr. 5th Ave.)