Editors’ Picks: 8 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a History of Censorship in Art to a Robert Longo Show in East Hampton
Plus, a virtual tour of the art in Dante's Ravenna.
Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events, both digitally and in-person in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.)
Tuesday, August 3
1. “The ‘Puritan Gladiator’: 115 Years of Life Drawing and Censorship at the Art Students League of New York“
On August 3, 1906, the police raided the Art Students League of New York at the behest of Anthony Comstock, later known “Puritan Gladiator.” The crime? A student publication that included life drawings. On the anniversary of the raid, SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology art history professor Amy Werbel will give a talk about the history of censorship in art, exploring the ways in which community guidelines on social media have given rise to a new generation of “puritan gladiators” who are preventing artists from sharing their work due to nudity.
Price: Free with RSVP
Time: 6 p.m.–7 p.m.
2. “Julia Solomonoff: hand, writing” at the Shed, New York
In this film commissioned by the Shed, Julia Solomonoff considers the increasing dominance of digital technology over analogue notebooks and calendars, particularly due to the pandemic. Filmed at home during lockdown with whatever was available—Zoom, iPhone, a handheld camcorder—the documentary offers a personal look at what society might lose if the art of handwriting dies out altogether. After the premiere, stay tuned for a live conversation with Solomonoff and Tribeca Film Festival artistic director Frédéric Boyer.
Price: Free with registration
Time: 12 p.m.
Wednesday, August 4
3. Book Launch: “Nicolas Party: Pastel” at Karma Bookstore
In 2019, the artist transformed the FLAG foundation in Chelsea into a rose-colored stage set for a group of Rococo-inspired murals that served as both a backdrop for, and a foil to, a selection of pastels from the 18th century to the present. This book celebrates the exhibition and its wide range of artists, from Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas to Toyin Ojih Odutola and Chris Ofili. Pastel was published by the FLAG foundation and produced by Karma. It includes contributions from Party and Dodie Kazanjian, as well as conversations with artists including Louis Fratino, Loie Hollowell, and Billy Sullivan.
Location: Karma Bookstore 136 East 3rd Street, New York
Time: 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
4. “Evening In: The Spirit of Niki de Saint Phalle” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
This virtual panel for MoMA members explores the legacy of pioneering French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who is the subject of a retrospective at MoMA PS1, through September 6. Artist Raúl de Nieves, whose colorful work plays on the spirt of Saint Phalle, will be in conversation with curator Ruba Katib. De Nieves will reflect on his childhood encounters with Saint Phalle’s work, its impact on his own practice, and his current installation in the PS1 courtyard.
Price: Free with MoMA membership. Register here.
Time: 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 6
5. “Dante’s Ravenna with Francine Segan” at the 92nd Street Y, New York
To mark the 700th anniversary of the death of Italian poet Dante Alighieri, the 92nd Street Y is offering a virtual tour of Ravenna, his final resting place. Italian food and culture expert Francine Segan will lead your through the city’s sights, artworks, food, and wine, as they would have been seen through Dante’s eyes. Famous for its fifth-century Byzantine-style mosaics, Ravenna is also currently home to La Luce delle Parole, a public art installation featuring illuminated verses from The Divine Comedy, on view across the city center through December 31.
Price: $20 and up
Time: 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 7–Sunday, October 17
6. “Robert Longo: A History of the Present” at Guild Hall, East Hampton
Just as Guild Hall celebrates its 90th anniversary this summer, the historic Hamptons art institution is reflecting on another long stretch of American history: the aftermath of World War II through the present, as viewed through the lens of Robert Longo. The artist, who has spent decades documenting turning points in American life, presents 17 of his monumental charcoal drawings in two parts. In the first gallery, Longo reinterprets milestones of Abstract Expressionist art history; in the second, he explores world-changing historical events, such as the dropping of the atomic bomb and the George Floyd protests.
Location: Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton
Time: Sunday–Monday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday–Friday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.
Through Friday, August 20
7. “I Have An Idea!: An Exhibition of Works on Paper by 37 Artists” at 1969 Gallery, New York
Among the most delightful and irreverent of the crop of group shows this summer is “I Have an Idea!,” which, as its exclamatory title suggests, is filled with energetic and experimental drawings by 37 artists, many of whom have shown with the gallery over the past year. There is a certain pleasure in seeing artists work through their processes on paper. There are lots of gems to take in by well-known artists including John Currin, John Gibson, and Ross Bleckner, but also plenty of emerging talents definitely worth a second look, including Tommy Coleman’s evocative text-based works, Cristina de Miguel’s visceral pastel and charcoal portraits, and María Fragoso’s captivating red color pencil drawing of entwined lovers.
Location: 1969 Gallery, 39 White Street, New York
Time: Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Through Saturday, August 21
8. “Mid-Summer Mix” at N.53 Gallery, East Hampton
Andy Warhol is the main player in this summer group show in the Hamptons, but there are also works available by Robert Rauschenberg, Christopher Makos, and Kenny Scharf, all ranging in price from $6,000 to $75,000.
Location: N.53 Gallery, 53 The Circle, East Hampton
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
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