Brushed Off

For Women Artists, Recognition Comes Late

What is there to look forward to as the art scene shifts from August idle into high gear? Call it justice, long overdue. It had a head start in the summer, with Alice Neel and Martha Rosler's work featured in museum shows. Now four more innovative, influential, and unduly ignored women artists get their due: Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, Bridget Riley, and Lee Krasner. If they were male, surely we wouldn't have had to wait so long.

First up is a big show of dizzying stripe paintings from the mid '60s to the mid '80s by British artist Bridget Riley, the once and forever high priestess of op art. With neo-op enjoying a resurgence, this should be of more than historical interest. (September 20-June 17, Dia Center for the Arts, 548 West 22nd Street, 229-2744.)

Next, the traveling retrospective of Lee Krasner's art (organized by Independent Curators International) lands in Brooklyn, its final stop. Among the 60 paintings and collages spanning five decades are early works from her days as a student of Hans Hofmann and large collages from the 1950s, made by ripping, cutting, and violently merging husband Jackson Pollock's drawings with her own. "A posthumous homecoming," says the museum. (October 6-January 7, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 718-638-5000.)

A comprehensive exhibition of Yoko Ono's work opens at Japan Society.
photo: Jayne Wexler, courtesy of Lennono Photo Archive
A comprehensive exhibition of Yoko Ono's work opens at Japan Society.

"YES YOKO ONO" follows at Japan Society. A comprehensive exhibition, it includes some 150 quirky objects, instruction pieces, installations, films, videos, and performance works done since 1960 by the daring Japanese-born artist, who, like Krasner, was long in the shadow of a celebrated spouse. This show should clarify her pioneering role not only within Fluxus but in pre-conceptual, interactive, and site-specific art. (October 18-January 14, Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, 715-1200.)

And finally, organized by the University of Maryland Fine Arts Gallery, "Adrian Piper: A Retrospective" comes to the New Museum. This African American philosopher-artist's identity-probing, race- and gender-bending work of the '60s and '70s played a part in the emergence of conceptual art and, later, in the development of identity-based art, as this retrospective of her confrontational objects, videos, installations, performances, and soundworks should reveal. (October 26-January 21, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 583 Broadway, 219-1222.)

That's not all. The Gugg makes up for past omissions with "Amazons of the Avant-Garde," featuring work by six radical women artists who took part in the revolutionary art scene of early-20th-century Russia: Alexandra Exter, Natalia Goncharova, Liubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Varvara Stepanova, and Nadezhda Udaltsova. (September 7-January 7, Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 423-3500.)

What else is new? Older women, younger men. New York gets introduced this fall to the work of Bjarne Melgaard and Uri Tzaig, two artists who've made their names in Europe and elsewhere but are still unknown here. Artists Space devotes its entire gallery to recent work by Tzaig, an Israeli artist whose deceptively sportive art encompasses video, sculpture, installation, design, sociological issues, and quirky gamesmanship. Expect it to unnerve and possibly bewilder. (September 8-November 4, Artists Space, 38 Greene Street, 226-3970.)

Melgaard, a Norwegian artist with a big vision and a bad-boy reputation (in Europe and Australia) lets loose in Alleged's space. His over-the-top and sometimes out-of-control installations (which incorporate everything from drawings, video, string, and mutant wax dolls to a helicopter dropping hot dogs) have been described as "a mixture of Jason Rhoades, Martin Kippenberger, and Romper Room." Wrong. Involving hybridity, humor, rage, and gay martyrdom, his subject matter and sensibility are uniquely his own. (October 25-November 25, Alleged Galleries, 809 Washington Street, 646-486-1110.)

September 7-October 7
Lehmann Maupin, 39 Greene Street, 965-0753

This site-specific installation by the smart young artist promises a glass floor, 180,000 tiny plastic figures, and allusions to individuality, collectivity, and cultural displacement.

September 7-October 30
Galerie Lelong, 20 West 57th Street, 315-0470

Initially projected beneath the A-Bomb Dome in Japan, The Hiroshima Projection is now here.

September 9-October 28
Exit Art, 548 Broadway, 966-7745

It's not only scientists who are obsessed with the human genome. Curated by Marvin Heiferman and Carole Kismaric, this show includes 39 artists—Nancy Burson, Alexis Rockman, Eduardo Kac, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Julian LaVerdiere among them—who explore the implications of genetics.

September 9-October 14
Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, 255-1105

Can anything top her transformation of P.S. 1's duplex gallery a while ago into a waterfall and limpid pool? This show promises an undulating ceramic-tile floor piece and a lagoon environment.

September 13-June 17
Dia Center for the Arts, 548 West 22nd Street, 229-2744

As utilitarian as it is off-the-wall, Pardo's hybrid art—a mix of installation, product design, life, and post-utopian desire—transforms Dia's lobby. The new bookstore, the reconfigured gallery, and an exhibition are all part of it.

September 22-December 31
Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 718-638-5000

Organized by the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, this show traces the evolution of hip-hop culture from its birth in the Bronx to its global influence on fashion, music, and language today.

September 28-November 4
303 Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, 255-1121

The British video twins return from Moscow with Star City, a four-panel projection made at the formerly off-limits space center, plus another new projection and photographs.

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