August’s Best Bets

by Andrew Alexander

August 1, 2019

Featured image: Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: Annie Oakley, 1986 Screenprint on Lenox museum board Edition 55/250 36 × 36 inches, Collection Booth Western Art Museum © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

You’d think August would be a good time for Atlanta to cool its heels. But the new arts season actually starts gearing up in late August, and it’s a relatively busy month. Things will really get into full swing in a few weeks, but if you want to start getting your feet wet, there’s plenty of opportunity. Here are the best places to begin.

Andy Warhol, Cowboys and Indians: Action Picture, 1986 Screenprint on Lenox, museum board Trial proof 13/36 36 × 36 inches, Booth Western Art Museum, © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Warhol and the West. August 25 to December 31. Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville.
The first museum exhibition of its kind explores Andy Warhol’s lifelong fascination with the American West in 100 works, including his last major project before his death in 1987, his Cowboys and Indians series. “Even ardent Warhol fans aren’t likely aware that the pop icon loved the West,” says Seth Hopkins, executive director of the Booth Western Art Museum, who helped organize the new exhibition. “However, the west was a nearly constant influence throughout his life. Warhol wore cowboy boots more often than not and loved to travel to Taos, Fort Worth, and Colorado; and he amassed an overwhelming collection of Naive American art and artifacts.” The show will open at the Booth and travel to Tacoma Art Museum and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Jan Sadeler (Flemish, 1550-1600), after Dirck Barendsz (Netherlandish, 1534-1592). Hell, late 16th century. Engraving. Gift of Walter Melion and John Clum.

Through a Glass Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt. August 31 to December 1. Carlos Museum.
A new exhibition considers how printmakers in the Low Countries between the 16th and 18th centuries utilized allegory in their work to address the most fundamental human and spiritual issues and impulses. The show is curated by Emory art history professor Walter S. Melion and curator of Renaissance and Baroque painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, James Clifton.

Baldwin at 95: Remembering a Life of Intellect and Activism. August 4 at 2:30 p.m. Auburn Avenue Research Library.
The Auburn Avenue Research Library in partnership with the Baton Foundation marks the 95th anniversary of James Baldwin’s birth with a free screening of two films honoring the writer’s life, work, and activism: the 2013 American Masters documentary The Price of the Ticket and the more recent feature-length documentary I Am Not a Negro, which I reviewed on its release in 2016. In both films, Baldwin doesn’t just seem a prescient and insightful writer; he seems a frighteningly prophetic one. This program is free and open to the public. “I really do believe that we can all become better than we are,” Baldwin once said. “I know we can. But the price is enormous, and people are not yet willing to pay it.”

The Wizard of Oz. August 25 at 2 p.m. Fox Theatre.
The Fabulous Fox screens the 1939 MGM classic on the occasion of its 80th anniversary.

Any Great Change: The Centennial of the 19th Amendment. August 16 – January 31. Swan House, Atlanta History Center.
A timely new exhibition installed on the second floor of the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House explores the decades-long struggle for women’s suffrage as well as the key groups, their strategies, and their Atlanta leaders, including Emily C. MacDougald and her daughter, Emily Inman, owner of Swan House. MacDougald was president of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia, and Inman participated in Atlanta suffrage parades.

Dionne Warwick. August 23 at 8 p.m. Fox Theatre.
“Music for me is paradise,” Dionne Warwick once said. “I think it’s where God lives.” Visit the place where God lives with Ms. Warwick when she performs at the Fox Theatre on August 23. The lineup includes Deniece Williams and a “very special guest.”

Our Town and The Laramie Project. August 15 to September 9. Theatrical Outfit.
Theatrical Outfit presents two American classics in repertory, concurrent productions of Thornton Wilder’s monumental classic Our Town and The Laramie Project, playwright Moises Kofman’s 2000 play consisting entirely of verbatim quotes from interviews conducted in the small town where gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Sheppard was murdered in 1998.

Installation images of Krista Clark’s 2018/19 Working Artist Project Fellowship exhibition, Base Line of Appraisal at MOCA GA. Images courtesy of MOCA GA and the artist. 

Krista Clark Artist Talk. August 13 at 6:30 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.
Krista Clark’s work, consisting of building materials from the rapidly gentrifying West End neighborhood of Atlanta, buzzes with quiet mystery and a strange, expectant energy. The artist will discuss her new exhibition Base Line of Appraisal at MOCA GA on August 13. I visited the artist in her studio with photographer Karley Sullivan in 2018 top discuss the ideas behind her practice.

The Lady Victoria cocktail at Bar Margot (Courtesy Four Seasons)

Highball. August 11 at 12:30 p.m. The Fairmount.
Atlanta bartenders from the city’s favorite restaurants and bars participate in a friendly competition to name Atlanta’s best cocktail in this popular annual competition and fundraiser for the High Museum’s education programs. Participating establishments providing both food and drink this year include 9 Mile Station, Bar Margot, Bellina Alimentari, Biltong Bar, Brezza Cucina, Casi Cielo, The Consulate, Empire State South, The Iberian Pig Buckhead, King of Pops, Little Trouble, Marcel, Negril Village Atlanta, Parlor, and Urban Tree Cidery. Drinkers vote to name one mixologist the most sensational of them all.

Grounded. August 3-17. 7 Stages Theatre.
Atlanta Theatre Club presents the regional premiere of George Brant’s 2015 one-woman drama about a former female fighter pilot who operates military bomb drones from a windowless trailer outside of Las Vegas. The New York production at the Public Theater starred Anne Hathaway in the lead role. Reviewing for the New York Times, critic Charles Isherwood wrote: “Brant’s play draws a nuanced and haunting portrait of a woman serving in the United States Armed Forces coming under pressure as the human cost of war, for combatants as well as civilians, slowly eats away at her well-armored psyche.”

Andrew Alexander is an Atlanta-based writer and founder of The Alexander Report.

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