August Art

Two eras of avant-garde and athletes on camera
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Late summertime in New York, it can get steamy. On those days when the heat index soars and the streets feel like a sauna, tourists and natives alike cool off in the city’s many cultural institutions. The perfect antidote to the lazy, hazy days of August, these three stimulating museum exhibitions are just the thing to snap you out of a heat-induced languor.

A kind of follow-up to the Guggenheim’s 2014-15 exhibition AZIMUT/H: Continuity and Newness (which covered the post–World War II neo-avant-garde in Italy), Imagine: New Imagery in Italian Art, 1960–1969 explores new approaches to figuration and imagery during the 1960s. Creative experimentation in Italy flourished at an unprecedented pace during this decade, as young artists strove to produce a new vocabulary to depict the change and excitement of contemporary culture. Artists including Franco Angeli, Mario Ceroli, Giosetta Fioroni, Domenico Gnoli, Fabio Mauri, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Mario Schifano — whose works are included in this show — often collaborated and shared ideas during this nine-year period, creating a new world that bridged traditional and contemporary conventions. This exhibition captures the vitality of that time via a dynamic sequence of these works, many of which featured artistic inventions that would influence avant-garde artists of the next several decades. (Through 9/19, 1071 Fifth Ave.)

In 1920, poet and Dada cofounder Tristan Tzara asked 50 artists and writers in 10 countries to submit works for an anthology he was compiling called Dadaglobe. Due to financial and interpersonal reasons, the book was never published. Thanks to the research of Dada scholar Adrian Sudhalter, these various pieces have been reunited for the first time and are currently on view at MoMA’s Dadaglobe Reconstructed. The subversive Dada movement, which originated at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich, rejected the idea of art as a commodity, showing that it could be anything from a letter to a performance, an idea that changed modern art forever. Organized by Kunsthaus Zürich in collaboration with MoMA, this exhibition brings together the various photographs, drawings, photomontages, collages, and manuscripts that were sent to Tzara for reproduction, along with related archival material. Included in the show’s approximately 160 pieces are works from iconic artists including Hans Arp, Sophie Taeubeur, André Breton, Kurt Schwitters Max Ernst, and Hannah Höch, all of whom were major lights in the movement and art world in general. (Through 8/18; 11 W. 53rd St.)

Sports photography is an art form unto itself, as shown in the rousing exhibition Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present at the Brooklyn Museum. One of the first museum shows to focus on sports photographers, Who Shot Sports includes approximately 230 works—from daguerreotypes and salted paper prints to digital images—that capture more than a century and half of the drama and excitement of sporting events around the world. Organized by guest curator Gail Buckland, who was responsible for the museum’s 2009 show Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, the show features the work of 170 photographers including Richard Avedon, Rineke Dijkstra, Stanley Kubrick, Catherine Opie, Leni Reifenstahl, and Andy Warhol, among many others who have documented competitive sports. Whether taken at the Olympic Games or far humbler occasions, these shots capture perfect moments in time, some of which have become indelible over the years. (Through 1/8/17, 200 Eastern Pkwy.)

Photo Credit: Bob Martin (British, born 1959). Avi Torres of Spain sets off at the start of the 200m freestyle heats, Paralympic Games, Athens, September 1, 2004, printed 2016. Inkjet print, 14 x 9.5. Courtesy of Bob Martin/Sports Illustrated