| November 19, 2008 | Lifestyle
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Thelonious Monk with Pannonica de Koenigswarter, at the wheel of her legendary Bentley; Marc Yankus's Bush Building; Picasso's Nude in a Black Armchair.
WE LIVE IN THAT EVER-CHANGING art installation called New York, which inspires as many creative representations of itself as it has inhabitants. Amazingly, it manages to be peaceful and riotous, bleak and sensual all at the same time. Case in point: the lush, computer-bewitched photographs being shown by artist Marc Yankus at ClampArt from November 29 through January 3, 2009. His series of quiet, arresting images shows New York as a teeming and timeless place where a constant metamorphosis is occurring among the steel structures and blinking lights. He extols the virtues of the city and some of its intriguing and elegant inhabitants with muted reverence, and manipulates each piece with a sense of the romantic that’s both melancholy and rapturous. It’s a wondrous celebration of our home, one that allows the viewer’s personal infatuation with it to grow anew. Don’t miss it. ClampArt, 521–531 West 25th Street, 646-230-0020.—ANDREW STONE
When it came to Pablo Picasso, muses made his world go round. And in “Picasso’s Marie-Thérèse” at Acquavella Galleries, one of his favorite muses, Marie-Thérèse Walter, takes center stage. The collection of works— including Nude in a Black Armchair (1932), Head of a Woman (1931), and Still Life with Tulips (1932)—hasn’t been seen together since 1932, when they were shown in Paris. Culled from the likes of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim, the paintings explore the interplay between creator and inspiration, and illustrate how Walter spurred Picasso into new artistic territory. She held the artist’s attention for years, becoming the subject of many of his vibrant largescale paintings and signaling a shift in his professional and personal life: Picasso had a daughter with Walter in 1935 while he was still married to another woman. He died in 1973, and Walter hanged herself four years later; what their collaboration left behind is something to behold. Acquavella Galleries, 18 East 79th Street, 212-734-6300.—INGRID SKJONG
The Gallery at Hermès presents a must-see collection this month with “Pannonica de Koenigswarter: Jazz Musicians and Their Three Wishes.” Known as patron of jazz musicians and friend to such legends as Thelonious Monk (whose “Pannonica” appears on his 1956 album Brilliant Corners), Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Lionel Hampton, and Art Blakey, de Koenigswarter photographed a staggering number of jazz greats in and around New York City throughout her life. Hermès displays a selection of her work—a look back at an artistically rich and racially tense time, with an astounding soundtrack—through the end of November. Gallery at Hermès, 691 Madison Avenue, 212- 751-3181.—ANNE-MARIE GUARNIERI
BEST-SELLING ALBUMS of all time: rock ’n’ roll, The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975; R&B, Michael Jackson’s Thriller; and jazz, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, which this fall celebrates its 50th anniversary with a massive, comprehensive box set (RIGHT) (Columbia/Legacy). Kind of Blue was recorded in under 10 hours over two sessions in the spring of 1959 and featured a dream lineup of players: Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Davis, the bandleader. The set includes two CDs (the original album and alternate takes); a DVD documentary with commentary from Bill Cosby, Q-Tip, Herbie Hancock, and others, plus archival interviews with the album’s musicians, a commemorative book, an enormous fold-out poster, and a 12-inch LP of the original recording on blue vinyl. The Morrison Hotel Gallery continues to celebrate the iconic musician with an exhibition called “The Genius of Miles,” on display November 13 through December 13. Morrison Hotel Gallery, 124 Prince Street, 212-941-8770.—ANNE-MARIE GUARNIERI
FEW COLORS in the spectrum resonate like Tiffany blue, and Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design (RIGHT) (Abrams) by John Loring gives the institution behind the hue its due. Corralling some of Tiffany’s most impressive pieces, Loring, design director of Tiffany & Co., also dips into the work of the storied designers who lent their handiwork, including Paloma Picasso, Frank Gehry, Elsa Perretti, and Jean Schlumberger. The images are lovely: Diamonds by the Yard necklaces; ropes of lusty pearls; a broach anchored by a 107-carat canary diamond; the Belmont Stakes trophy designed in 1867; Tiffany lamps. And the iconic images often involve equally iconic faces— Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Brooke Shields, Raquel Welch, Sophia Lauren—which makes the desire for that box of a certain color all the more acute.—INGRID SKJONG
Front-row seats will buy you a closer look at your favorite artist, but Mark Seliger: The Music Book (RIGHT) (TeNeues), is a backstage pass to that artist’s persona. With each photo, Seliger, who’s shot more than 100 covers for Rolling Stone, gives a visual definition of the artist—behind the mic and behind closed doors. Headlining the book are some of the most influential voices ever to storm the stage, from Johnny Cash to Jay-Z.— APRIL WALLOGA
HENRY ROLLINS—former lead singer of the hardcore punk band Black Flag and later the Rollins Band—is well known for his no-holdsbarred commentary on, well, just about everything. Out to “confound and enrage ‘The Man,’” Rollins rolls a sharp vocabulary and a craving for exploration into society-skewering humor and storytelling that’s at once smart, intense, and very funny. This month IFC premieres Henry Rollins: Uncut from New Orleans (November 7), Henry Rollins: Uncut from South Africa (November 14), and Henry Rollins: Uncut from Northern Ireland (RIGHT) (November 21)—three specials melding Rollins’ stage shows with footage of him touring and interviewing locals. The subject matter is pretty real: depressed townships in South Africa discussing apartheid and the AIDS epidemic; Hurricane Katrina’s lingering effects on New Orleans; vivid recollections of violence in Northern Ireland. But Rollins, who won a Grammy in 1995 for best spoken-word album, tells some great stories, gives the locals a good bit of ribbing, and offers a view of tumultuous areas that clearly aren’t ready to give up quite yet.—INGRID SKJONG
YOKO ONO, Anna Wintour, Demi Moore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hillary Clinton, Keith Richards—all these disparate personalities have one thing in common: an admiration for photographer Annie Leibovitz. Released this month, Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (RIGHT) (Warner Home Video), a documentary about the artist’s life and work, provides insight on the woman behind some of the most iconic imagery in the entertainment world and includes interviews from a number of her subjects. Leibovitz got her start at a nascent Rolling Stone magazine in the late 1960s, shooting the musicians and personalities who defined the era, like the Grateful Dead, Hunter S. Thompson, and John Lennon, eventually moving on to Vanity Fair, where she remains today and still shoots many of its most memorable covers and features.
A particularly entertaining part of the film focuses on the time she spent on the road with the Rolling Stones capturing unforgettable scenes of the band in its debauched heyday. “She’s one of the first female photographers that I remember,” says Richards with a laugh. “We thought, ‘This is interesting. See how long she lasts.’ But she hung in.” As Leibovitz recalls, “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I did everything you’re supposed to do when you go on tour with the Rolling Stones. Just imagine everything you can possibly do, and I did it.”—ANNE-MARIE GUARNIERI
Photographs courtesy of ClampArt, Richard Gray Gallery (YANKUS); estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society, Acquavella Galleries (PICASSO); Pannonica de Koenigswarter; courtesy of the Koenigswarter family (HERMÈS); Carter Smith (TIFFANY STYLE); Carla Van Wagoner/WireImage.com (LEIBOVITZ); Kelly Walsh/IFC (ROLLINS)