In preparation for his upcoming retrospective Nobody's Fool at Asia Society, Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara is joining forces with Hideki Toyoshima's design team YNG at the Park Avenue Armory to rebuild Nara's installation piece Home and create a series of new drawings that will all be included in the museum exhibition. From Monday, August 23rd - Friday, August 27th Nara and YNG will be holding "Open Studios" at the Armory between 4:00-7:00pm each day. The free event allows visitors to drop by and check out the artist's temporary studio and works-in-progress before they are moved and installed at Asia Society.
I dropped by the Armory at 4:45 Monday afternoon. Sadly, I was told by one of the friendly staffers that the artists were on a coffee break (45 minutes after the open studio opens?) so all I and the other visitors saw were the wooden Home structure in the front right corner of the hall and a few drawings of Nara's signature angry girls and shifty-eyed dogs through its window. Cans of paint and a few crates sat outside Home and a loud garbage truck was in the middle of the hall's floor picking up trash from the unrelated construction being done to the Armory's roof. While I realize I can always return later in the week, I still left disappointed - what if I can't make it back? And if I do return will it be as underwhelming? I'll chalk it up to my being unlucky and having bad timing. Hopefully if others visit, they'll have a more interesting experience. Learn more at armoryonpark.org. Through August 27th.
*Dress code: Due to the construction if you plan on checking out the open studio, be sure to wear closed-toed shoes and cover your shoulders. The Armory is providing hardhats that must be worn in the exhibition hall.
Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool opens at Asia Society on September 9th. The major exhibition will cover 20 years of Nara's career and will feature over 100 works including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and installations. Asia Society will host a variety of events throughout the duration of the exhibit including an artist talk with Nara and Hideki Toyoshima, a gala benefit dee-jayed by Yo La Tengo, a performance by Japanese punk/pop trio Shonen Knife, and much more. Visit asiasociety.org for more info. I'll post more if I return to the Armory and definitely when I see the Asia Society exhibit which will be on view from September 9 - January 2, 2011.