Editors’ Picks: 15 Things Not to Miss in New York’s Art World This Week
With fall art season set to kick off next week, here are some lingering summer shows to put on your to-do list.
Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. See them below.
Tuesday, August 28
1. “16mm 50th Anniversary Film: Memories of Underdevelopment” at Grand Central Library
Based on the novel Memorias del Subdesarrollo by Edmundo Desnoes, a Cuban expatriate who made his living as an art critic and essayist in the 1960s and ’70s, this classic of Latin American cinema traces a writer’s questionable recollections of Cuba between two pivotal moments in its history: the Fidel Castro-led Revolution and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Voted one of the 10 best films of 1968 by the New York Times, director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s masterpiece interweaves documentary footage with fictive staging to bring a visceral energy to this tale of disenchantment and survival in turbulent political times.
Location: Grand Central Library, 135 East 46th Street
Time: 6:30 p.m.
2. Snejanka Mihaylova, Voice 1/5: On Tradition at Art in General
Snejanka Mihaylova’s first-ever performance in New York, curated by Viktoria Draganova, is part of a long-term research project into the lives of three female saints, considered through the contemporary lens of feminism, radicalism, and nationalism. The piece, based on Christian Orthodox musical tradition and featuring vocals and piano, was commissioned by Art in General for its International Collaborations Program. Audience members will receive posters designed in collaboration with Mihaylova by Dima Stefanova.
Location: Art in General, 145 Plymouth Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn
Time: 7 p.m.–9 p.m.
Wednesday, August 29
Curator Mariel Villere will speak about Bill Jenkins’s current gallery show at Freshkills, “Bill Jenkins: Image/Conduit” (on view through September 9), which includes video work inspired by the former Staten Island landfill’s transformation from a dumping site into a public park, the rolling green hills built upon decades-worth of compressed garbage.
Location: Freshkills Park Studio + Gallery, 2240 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island
Price: Free with registration
Time: 1 p.m.–2 p.m.
Wednesday, August 30–Sunday, March 17, 2019
4. “Brave, Beautiful Outlaws: The Photographs of Donna Gottschalk” at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Pioneering lesbian photographer Donna Gottschalk finally gets her due with an exhibition of her deeply personal images, documenting the quiet, domestic lives of her fellow radical lesbian activists in the 1970s. Though her work was sometimes published in the Gay Liberation Front newspaper, most of the images in the exhibition, drawn from Gottschalk’s personal archives, are being shown for the first time here.
Location: The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, 26 Wooster Street
Price: $9 suggested admission
Time: Wednesday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.; Thursday, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.
Thursday, August 30
5. “Summer Thursdays: Mutual Benefit” at MoMA PS1
MoMA PS1 hosts its final Summer Thursday of the year, with Mutual Benefit, singer/songwriter Jordan Lee’s the chamber folk project, which mixes banjo and electronic to unique effect, taking over the museum’s sculpture garden.
Location: MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Price: Free with $10 general museum admission
Time: 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m.; music beginning at 6 p.m.
6. Amy Khoshbin, You Never Know at Signs and Symbols
Iranian-American artist Amy Khoshbin claims to be getting a jump start on her 2021 campaign for Brooklyn City Council with this performance inspired by US gun culture, billed as equal parts political speech and “cathartic rap dance-party.”
Location: Signs and Symbols, 102 Forsythe Street
Time: 7 p.m.–9 p.m.
Thursday, August 30–Sunday, December 23
For the latest mural in the Fifty-Two Feet series at the Knockdown Center’s east corridor, Sue Havens has created her largest painting ever, blending imagery influenced by everything from ancient Ephesian ruins and Middle Eastern kilim rugs to 1970s-era sweaters and commercial packaging.
Location: The Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth, Queens
Time: Opening reception, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.–8 p.m.
Through Sunday, September 2
8. “A Kiss Under the Tail” at Arsenal Contemporary
It’s your last chance to catch this summer group show, featuring Abbas Akhavan, Maskull Lasserre, Ana Mendieta, and more. The theme is folkloric rituals associated with witchcraft.
Location: Arsenal Contemporary, 214 Bowery
Time: Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
9. “John Akomfrah: Signs of Empire” at the New Museum
“Signs of Empire”—which closes soon—marks the first American survey of the work of Ghana-born British artist John Akomfrah. The artist’s immersive installations delve into the culture of the black diaspora in the UK and around the world. The centerpiece show is the three-screen video installation Vertigo Sea (2015), which premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennale. It focuses on the ocean as an environmental, cultural, and historical force, while also touching on the history of slavery and contemporary issues of migration and climate change.
Location: The New Museum, 235 Bowery
Price: $18, Seniors $15, Students $12, Members and 18 and under free
Time: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday–Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Through Sunday, September 16
The gory still-life works of the under-appreciated Chaim Soutine (1893–1943), known for his paintings of raw meat, are only on view for a few more weeks at the Jewish Museum. These visceral, often bloody canvases turn traditional notions of still life on their head, finding unexpected beauty in dead animals.
Location: The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue at East 92nd Street
Price: $18 general admission
Time: Thursday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday–Monday, 11 a.m.–5:45 p.m.
Through Sunday, September 23
There’s more to medieval manuscripts than stories from the Bible and ornate initials in illuminated manuscripts: The Morgan has mined its collection to stage the first-ever North American exhibition about the role of the monster in the art of the Middle Ages. Dragons, unicorns, giants, and other fabled beasts served a variety of purposes in the art of the era, sometimes serving to reinforce the “otherness” and marginalization minority groups such as the poor, disabled, Jews, Muslims, or women. The approximately 70-work show also tackles themes of power, with monsters burnishing the legend of saints, knights, and other heroes, with works meant to inspire feelings of awe in their medieval audience.
Location: The Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
Price: $20 general admission
Time: Tuesday–Thursday, 10:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
In 2014, the Met received a landmark gift from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation: 57 contemporary works by self-taught African American artists. Now, a selection of 30 of those pieces is on view at the museum, including mixed-media works by famed Outsider artist Thornton Dial and 10 quilts by the women of Gee’s Bend, a collective in rural Alabama. The exhibition offers a rare point of view for the encyclopedic museum, informed by the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow laws.
Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Avenue
Price: $25 general admission
Time: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Through Wednesday, October 10
13. “Below the Horizon: Kiki Smith at Eldridge” at the Museum at Eldridge Street
The historic Eldridge Street Synagogue, founded in 1887, was restored and reopened as a museum in 2007 after falling into severe disrepair. Three years later, Kiki Smith teamed up with architect Deborah Gans to design a new monumental stained-glass window for the sanctuary, replacing the long-forgotten original. Now, she has returned with a site-specific sculpture installation inspired by nature, spirituality, and mortality.
Location: The Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street
Price: $14 general admission
Time: Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Through Saturday, October 13
Despite long-held, inaccurate stereotypes that women aren’t funny, the New Yorker has a proud history of featuring women cartoonists, dating back to its very first issue in 1925, which included the work of Ethel Plummer. Liz Donnelly, one of three women artists hired by the magazine in the 1970s after a decade’s drought in female illustrators, along with Nurit Karlin and Roz Chast, has curated this exhibition celebrating women cartoonists’ contributions to the magazine.
Location: The Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street
Price: $15 general admission
Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; –Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Through Sunday, October 1415. “Charting the Divine Plan: The Art of Orra White Hitchcock (1796–1863)” at the American Folk Art Museum
Orra White Hitchcock was one of the first women scientific illustrators in the US, translating complex scientific ideas into works of art. The Folk Art Museum has brought together works spanning the entirety of her career, as well as letters and diaries from the archives of Hitchcock and her husband, Amherst College professor Edward Hitchcock. She illustrated his geology publications with paintings of the scenery of the Connecticut River Valley and created large paintings on cotton that he used during his lectures.
Location: American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square
Time: Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–7 pm; Friday, 12 p.m.–7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
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