Pop culture and conceptual art collide at Red Bull Studios
in the exhibition Total Proof: the Gala Committee 1995-97
(until 27 November). The show looks at a project by the artist Mel Chin in which he and his collaborators created art and props for the 1990s television drama Melrose Place that surreptitiously pointed to issues like terrorism, birth control and the Aids crisis. Total Proof includes some of these props in re-created sets as well as a splashy new interactive installation, which is a lounge area modeled after the pool in Melrose Place.
Take a romp through the varied work of the self-taught Italian artist Carol Rama
(who died last year at age 97) in a two-level solo exhibition of around 40 pieces from the 1930s-2000s at Fergus McCaffrey
(until 22 October). An urgent, pulsating energy underscores all of the works, whether the early linear, often explicitly sexual ink and acrylic drawings, or her turn to abstraction in the 1950s and 1960s. The material aspects of Rama’s work are particularly fascinating: the show features wallpaper, maps and diagrammes for the backgrounds of figurative works; cut-up rubber bicycle tyres on fabric; dolls’ eyes—lashes and all—affixed to Masonite; and a large sheet of engraved Carrara marble with ink in a work from 2002.
Head to the Holy Land in Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
(until 8 January 2017), an engaging reminder that long-distance travel and globalisation are not recent developments. The show tells the story of Jerusalem as a centre of trade and pilgrimage, a crossroads of commerce, religion and violence and a spiritual beacon. Around 200 works from, or inspired by, the Holy Land include 12th-century limestone capitals from the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, illuminated religious texts, glasswork and coins. Many of the objects are breathtakingly beautiful and demand to be viewed up-close, such as an expressive gilded and champlevé 12th-century triptych made in Liège, on loan from a private UK collection.