Editors’ Picks: 8 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a Digital São Paulo Art Fair to an Upstate New York Art Weekend

Our picks of this week's art world online and IRL.

Lisa Alvarado, Thalweg (Traditional Object), 2020. Photo by Tom Van Eynde, courtesy of Bridget Donahue.

Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. In light of the global health crisis, we are currently highlighting events and digitally, as well as in-person exhibitions open in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.) 


Monday, August 24–Sunday, September 6

Bronson Farr, <i>TITLE</i> (DATE). Image courtesy of the artist and TK

Bronson Farr, Peaceful but Grand No. 4 (2020). Credit: Bronson Farr / @bronson.photo.

1. 2020 MTV VMAs Pop-Up Art Exhibit in Brooklyn 

Two young employees of color at MTV had a flash of inspiration while participating in the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, many of which gathered at Barclay Center on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Amid calls for broader support from the Black community, the two staffers proposed that MTV take action by doing something that transcended a traditional advertising campaign. After reaching out to eight artists in their creative network, a pop-up art exhibition resulted and will open in time for MTV’s widely watched annual awards show, the VMAs, set to take place on August 30. All of the participants are New York City-based BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists. Bronson Farr, whose work is pictured above, said in an artist statement: “When you think about who you are—the music you listen to, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the words you use—what are you a reflection of? That’s what I was thinking of with this composition.”

Location: Atlantic terminal subway station in Brooklyn
Price: Free
Time: Public viewing starts at 1 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Wednesday, August 26

Elio Villafranca. Photo: Kasia Idzkowska. Courtesy of the artist and the Showroom, London.

2. Online Talk Featuring Jason Moran, Elio Villafranca, and More at the Showroom, London

As part of the virtual project “IN·FLO·RES·CENCE,” organized by the London contemporary art space Showroom, musicians from around the world join in conversations about the relationship between objects and sound. In this online event, artist and musician Jason Moran and pianist Elio Villafranca will speak with Showroom director Elvira Dyangani Ose, along with curators Reece Ewing and Katherine Finerty.

Price: Free
Time: 2 p.m. BST (9 a.m. EST)

—Caroline Goldstein


A group of Katherine Dunham Dancers mid-rehearsal in New York in 1946. Courtesy of the Library of Congress via Picryl.

A group of Katherine Dunham Dancers mid-rehearsal in New York in 1946. Courtesy of the Library of Congress via Picryl.

3. “David Vaughan’s ‘The Dance Historian Is In’: Joanna Dee Das on Katherine Dunham” at the New York Public Library

In the latest installment of a series presented in honor of Merce Cunningham Dance Company archivist David Vaughan, historian and author Joanna Dee Das will explore the legacy of the path-breaking American performer and choreographer Katherine Dunham, who injected traditions and techniques of African Diasporic dance into the US’s still Eurocentric cultural sphere beginning in the 1930s. The talk will be accompanied by videos of Dunham from the New York Public Library’s collection.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 1 p.m.–2 p.m.

—Tim Schneider


Wednesday, August 26—Friday, August 28

Laurie Anderson, <em>Home of the Brave</em>. Courtesy of Laurie Anderson.

Laurie Anderson, Home of the Brave. Courtesy of Laurie Anderson.

4. Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave at Metrograph, New York

Metrograph continues its new digital programming series of live movie screenings with Laurie Anderson’s Home of the Brave, a concert film shot in 1985. A planned 2007 DVD release of the picture as part of a box set was apparently scrapped, so this is a rare opportunity to see the full movie, which features late author William S. Burroughs reading on stage during Anderson’s performance.

Price: Free with Metrograph membership ($5 a month or $50 a year)
Time: Wednesday, 8 p.m., and then available via video on demand

—Sarah Cascone

Friday, August 28 

Courtesy of Salon 21.

Courtesy of Salon 21.

5. Collecting In the Age of Coronavirus with Anne Higonnet with Salon 21 

Barnard art history professor Anne Higonnet joins Alex Bass, founder of the art platform Salon 21, for a moderated conversation about the history of collecting in times of crisis. Higonnet, a scholar of the history of collecting since the 17th century, will speak with Bass about possibilities for the future of collecting in the current climate through the lens of historical precedents. Two emerging artists, Scott Young and Riley Williamson, will also join the conversation. Registrants to the talk will receive a discount code on limited-edition prints by the both artists available on the Salon 21 online store.    

Price: Free. Registration mandatory
Time: 7 p.m.—8 p.m (EDT)

— Katie White


Saturday, August 29–Sunday, August 30

Courtesy of Upstate Art Weekend.

Courtesy of Upstate Art Weekend.

6. Upstate Art Weekend organized by Stoneleaf Retreat

Aiming to create a roadmap for people interested in exploring art institutions and artist spaces in the Hudson Valley, the inaugural Upstate Art Weekend will launch with a two-day roster of outdoor openings, open-air screenings, and performances taking place at the region’s big-name and little-known spaces alike. The weekend includes dance performances as part of the Hudson Eye arts festival; a hard-hat tour of the soon-to-be artist studio and curatorial space Foreland; and openings at Stoneleaf Retreat for Keisha Scarville’s “Passports” series and an outdoor installation of works by Alison Kuo, Elise McMahon, and Dana Robinson organized by the bar Beverly’s. Masks are required for all events.

Price: Prices vary. Many of the events are free with RSVP
Location:  A full list of programming and locations is available here.

–Katie White


Through Thursday, August 29

"Lisa Alvarado: Thalweg" installation view at Bridget Donahue. Photo by Gregory Carideo.

“Lisa Alvarado: Thalweg” installation view at Bridget Donahue. Photo by Gregory Carideo.

7. “Lisa Alvarado: Thalweg” at Bridget Donahue, New York

Originally scheduled to open in April, “Lisa Alvarado: Thalweg” is inspired by an ugly incident in US history: The Mexican Repatriation, which saw the forced deportation of some two million people of Mexican descent—mostly US citizens—from 1929 to 1936. The exhibition’s large-scale, fabric-embellished hanging paintings recall topographic imagery, befitting the show’s title, named for the lowest course in a river, which becomes the political border between two countries.

Location: Bridget Donahue, 99 Bowery, second floor
Price: Free
Time: Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Friday, August 30

Sp-Arte 2018. Photo: Leo Elor for SP-Arte 2018. © Sp-Arte.

Sp-Arte 2018. Photo: Leo Elor for SP-Arte 2018. © Sp-Arte.

8. SP-Arte Art Fair, São Paolo

More than 130 exhibitors, including dealers, publishers, and collectives, will take part in the latest edition of SP-Arte, which is taking place online. The fair will include presentations by galleries such as Carpenters Workshop from London, 1 Mira Madrid, and a broad range of Brazilian spaces, including Galeria Kogan Amaro and Passado Composto Século XX, both from São Paulo. The VIP day has been dropped this year in favor of a more “democratic” model, and galleries are being encouraged to price works transparently. “Prospective buyers who may think that certain works of art are out of their reach may realize that some artworks could be closer to their budget than they imagine,” Fernanda Feitosa, the director and founder of SP-Arte, said in a statement.

Price: Free
Time: Ongoing

—Nan Stewert

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