October 10, 2010

Plus, 30 Rock goes live, Baldessari invades the Met, and Shanghai’s magnetizing new sculpture.

Frieze WeekLondon, October 14 “€“ 17
London’s premier art event will soon envelop the city, with festivities kicking off at the Frieze Art Fair. Over 60,000 contemporary art fans visited the fair last year to ogle masterpieces and the A-listers (Gwyneth Paltrow, Roman Abramovich, Lily Allen and more) looking to buy. Awaiting them this week are 173 exhibits and some very intriguing auctions: the Damien Hirst canvas “€œI Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds,”€ is expected to fetch $3 million, and Jerry Hall’s collection is up for grabs. For the art glitterati interested in the afterlife, Jeffrey Vallance is promising to communicate with the dead, from Dali and van Gogh to Pollock and Duchamp. And one of the can”€™t-miss sections is “€œFrame,”€ made of single-artist shows curated by young galleries.

Belle & Sebastian Write About Love
Belle & Sebastian have been churning out delicate pop ballads for nearly 14 years, so it seems almost absurd to recall that their last album The Life Pursuit turned up four years ago. Their latest is a return to form”€”half literary, half bubblegum”€”except with lyrics that reference religious themes more than usual. The Scottish band also enlists the help of a few recognizable faces to conjure up magic. Actress Carey Mulligan steps out of her Wall Street 2 comfort zone on “€œWrite About Love”€ (with quite a bit of success) and Norah Jones turns up on “€œLittle Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John.”€ Fall back into a familiar old relationship with Stuart Murdoch & co. on October 12.

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters
Scraps of scribbled-on paper are generally meaningless”€”unless, that is, the scribbler was Marilyn Monroe. Underneath that famous blond coiffure and beyond The Seven Year Itch was an introspective, often troubled young woman. In bookstores Tuesday, Fragments promises to reveal Marilyn’s “€œhumanity,”€ but that’s one trait that’s never gone unnoticed by her diehard fans. Hollywood’s irrepressible muse writes about love (in one poem Arthur Miller’s “€œmanly jaw”€ gives way to “€œthe mouth of his boyhood”€) and her devotion to acting. Vanity Fair got a first look, and their teases will only make you want Marilyn more.

National Design Week, New York City, October 9 “€“ 17
If you loved the font-centric film Helvetica, this fifth annual party spotlighting creative entrepreneurs in all design fields is for you. NYC teens get a pass to the most enviable career fair of all time: Tim Gunn and Cynthia Rowley will be on hand at Tuesday’s Teen Design Fair to talk about their passions. Those with a burning desire to make their voices heard can vote for the People’s Design Award—innovative entries include a reusable “€œanti-“€œwater bottle and T-shirts turned into laptop sleeves to help fight sex trafficking. The weeklong event also includes free admission to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. At the National Design Awards gala on October 14, the lifetime achievement award will go to Jane Thompson, founding editor of I.D. magazine and a huge voice for urban renewal. Oh, and Rodarte scored the fashion design award, so get ready for some sort of catwalk.

30 Rock’s Live Show, NBC, 8:30pm, October 14
Put Tracy Morgan on a TV show, and he”€™ll show off some skin and spout off one-liners so crazy they barely make it past the NBC censors. Now put that man on a live TV show, and you”€™re in for a treat. Tina Fey’s Emmy winning show is still as fresh and funny as ever, and now it’s getting experimental with a live half-hour show broadcast twice, for both East and West Coast audiences. Fey and Morgan cut their teeth at Saturday Night Live and, of course, Alec Baldwin is one of the sketch show’s most beloved hosts, so expect this to be at least as exciting as ER‘s much-heralded live episode in 1997. The only thing Fey is worried about is how the laughs of a live audience will stretch out the show. As long as they”€™re laughing, everything will be fine. Oh, and the always dashing Jon Hamm is also dropping by. What a treat!


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