Last-Minute Art Getaways: ‘The Art of Zero’ at the Neuberger Museum
Pop up to Purchase, New York, to spend some downtime with these postwar artists.
So you woke up late on the weekend, and need to get out of the city to see some art, but you haven’t had time to plan. No problem: We’ve done the research for you. Here’s our pick for a great emergency art getaway this week.
What: Zero: Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günther Uecker & Friends is a dynamic exhibition of work by artists of the postwar movement known as Zero. Born of the minds of two Düsseldorf artists, Otto Piene and Heinz Mack, who sought a new aesthetic that reimagined the relationship between humans and nature, it had no formal manifesto. Its philosophy could be boiled down to this statement of Piene’s: “Zero was the last number in the countdown before a rocket takes off. “They adapted the materials of science and industry to an exploration of light and kinetics in an attempt at “finding beauty in everyday life.” Drawn from the George and Edith Rickey Collection of Constructivist Art in the permanent collection of the Neuberger, the show includes such works as Neon Medusa (1969), a radiant and recently restored work by Piene composed of neon glow lamps and gooseneck rods, as well as Günther Uecker’s Column of Nails (1964) assembled with paint, nails and an unfinished wood beam. Also in the mix are works by Hans Haacke and Lucio Fontana, among others.
When: Roughly 45 minutes from midtown Manhattan, the Neuberger is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. through September 28.
Where: Purchase College, State University of New York, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York.
Why: It’s a great way to get versed in the work of the artists of the Zero movement, especially with the large-scale historical survey at the Guggenheim, Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, around the corner. And maybe we can all take a lesson from the artists who were trying to move on from the nihilistic mood of postwar Germany.
Perks: Upstairs, in the current show When Modern Was Contemporary (timed with the museum’s just-published first collection catalogue of the same name), you can check out selections from the permanent collection, featuring some of the original works (by artists including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marsden Hartley) donated by founding patron Roy R. Neuberger in 1974. There’s also an outdoor sculpture collection.
How: If you’re taking a train, use the Harlem Line of the Metro-North Railroad and jump off in White Plains. From there, hail a taxicab. If driving, you should park in the Purchase College Parking Lot #1. Weekend parking is free. But if you come during the week, you’ll have to pay a $6 campus parking fee.
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