A Weekend With the ‘Elevator Girls’

Miwa Yanagi's (1998). Photo: Courtesy of the artist, the Deutsche Bank Collection, and the Chelsea Art Museum

As Chelsea slows down, and summer gallery hours make it nearly impossible to peruse the West Side’s offerings without taking a sick day (damn you, Hamptons-bound gallerists!), head to the Chelsea Art Museum to get your highbrow fix. Open Saturdays for six whole hours, this oft-overlooked venue will take your mind off the fact that, well, you didn’t have anywhere better to be this weekend. Japanese artist Miwa Yanagi’s show of photographs and video work, staples in the venerable Deutsche Bank Collection and up at the museum through August 25, are a perfect excuse to go. The above image, from Yanagi’s nineties series “Elevator Girls,” in all its sheen, futuristic, pre–Gwen Stefani–Harajuku glory, probes traditional femininity and role-play in Japanese culture. Also, it's gorgeous to look at. —Rachel Wolff