Baryshnikov’s 'The Art I've Lived With'

December 17, 2012 | by —simona rabinovitch | Homepage


Male Beauty Parlor, by Sergei Sudeikin

Art aficionados back from Art Basel Miami Beach are just in time for Manhattan's next must-see exhibit. And it's by appointment only. Baryshnikov Arts Center artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov presents a rare public showing of works from his private collection.

On view at the ABA Gallery, which specializes in 19th and 20th century Russian Art, the show is appropriately called The Art I've Lived With. The stunning collection of 106 paintings, drawings, and photographs acquired over the years by this world-renowned dancer, choreographer, actor (you may remember him as “The Russian” on Sex and the City), photographer, and all-around arts patron have graced his homes and offices and will be traveling to Moscow's Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts next year. While official limited gallery hours have closed, limited private viewings are still available to collectors and Russian art enthusiasts by calling the ABA Gallery for an appointment.

The show is well worth a visit. Highlights include works by Jean Cocteau, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léon Bakst, Raoul Dufy, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, and Pavel Tchelitchew; costume design sketches by Alexandre Benois, Sergei Sudeikin, and Christian Bérard; and a drawing by Baryshnikov's close friend—famed master choreographer Merce Cunningham, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 90. As a fellow dancer and choreographer, Baryshnikov collaborated with him frequently over the  years. (In 2008, Baryshnikov published a stunning book of kinetic dance photographs he himself took of Cunningham's choreography, called Merce My Way.)

Interestingly, since the works are all from Baryshnikov's personal collection, one can't help but feel like a fly on the wall of Baryshnikov's life, to wonder about the stories and circumstances in which he acquired each piece. If these walls could talk… 7 East 17th St., 212-677-2367

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