This week: Alfred Stieglitz, Picasso’s women, Lincoln Center’s birthday & more from the world of culture.
Alfred Stieglitz: Taking Pictures, Making Painters, by Phyllis Rose (Yale): As a photographer, magazine publisher, and owner of the influential 291 gallery (named after its Fifth Avenue address in Midtown Manhattan), Alfred Stieglitz was a crucial figure in introducing the innovations of the European avant-garde to the United States. Now known chiefly as Mr. Georgia O’Keeffe (he began living with the painter in 1917 and married her in 1924), Stieglitz not only launched the careers of some of our nation’s first modernists—including Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and John Marin—but also made an early case for photography as its own valued art form. Now, a new biography of Stieglitz by the critic Phyllis Rose, the latest in Yale’s “Jewish Lives” series, provides an in-depth look at the man and his work. —AS
“Picasso’s Women: Fernande to Jacqueline,” at Gagosian (May 3 through June 22): Picasso joked that he had an eye at the end of his penis. In his multivolume Life of Picasso, the late John Richardson, Picasso’s ribald biographer, excelled at writing from this point of view, dutifully following his visionary subject from the studio to the bedroom and back again as the priapic Andalusian cycled through his various models, muses, and mistresses. Opening this Friday at Gagosian on the Upper East Side, the exhibition “Picasso’s Women: Fernande to Jacqueline” will be offered as tribute to Richardson, who died in March, by tracking Picasso’s conquests in paint and in bed, beginning with Fernande Olivier and continuing on through his portraits of Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot, Sylvette David, and Jacqueline Roque. —JP
“60th Anniversary Block Party,” at Lincoln Center (May 4): On May 14, 1959, President Eisenhower presided over the groundbreaking ceremony of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. John D. Rockefeller III, Lincoln Center’s first president, said one of its founding principles was that the place of the performing arts should be “not in the periphery of daily life, but at its center.” Sixty years later, Lincoln Center has become a capital of the entire performing arts world: home to the New York City Ballet’s David H. Koch Theater, the New York Philharmonic’s David Geffen Hall, the Vivian Beaumont and Mitzi E. Newhouse theaters, the Metropolitan Opera House, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, and others. This Saturday, Lincoln Center is throwing a campus-wide birthday party with indoor and outdoor performances, arts and crafts, food trucks, and more. Highlights include “Inside NYCB: Originating Roles”; members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing Gershwin, Mendelssohn, and more in the Joanna S. Rose Studio; an exhibition of Cecily Brown’s paintings and Marc Chagall’s murals in The Metropolitan Opera’s lobby; and free programming throughout the event in the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s amphitheater. Admission is free, but events are first come, first served, so be there by 10:00 a.m. to score seats for the ticketed performances. —HN
“Children of Paris: 1939–1945,” at Albertine (May 4): An unavoidable feature of the Paris streetscape are the countless memorials to those who lost their lives during the Second World War. This Saturday Philippe Apeloig, a graphic designer, will speak at Albertine on overlooked aspects of these plaques, such as their typographic elements. —BR
From the archive: “Marriage and morals among the Victorians,” by Gertrude Himmelfarb (November 1983). On the social mores of Victorian-era London.
From the current issue: “Power outage,” by Laura Jacobs. On the year in dance.