Editors’ Picks: 14 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a Conference With Bay Area Museum Directors to a Very Contemporary Look at Henry VIII

Plus shows at Gagosian, James Fuentes, Massey Klein Gallery, Postmasters, and more.

Yvette Molina, Quite Alright. Photo courtesy of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

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.)


Tuesday, December 15

Abigail DeVille, <em>Light of Freedom</em> (2020) Photo by Andy Romer Photography, courtesy of Madison Square Park.

Abigail DeVille, Light of Freedom (2020)
Photo by Andy Romer Photography, courtesy of Madison Square Park.

1. “A Seminar: Meaning and Metaphor in the Statue of Liberty” at Madison Square Park, New York

Abigail DeVille will chat on Zoom with Edward Berenson, a Statue of Liberty expert, about her new exhibition “Light of Freedom,” on view through January 31, 2021. It’s inspired by Lady Liberty’s arm and torch, which were displayed in Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882, as part of the effort to fundraise for the massive sculpture’s completion. DeVille invites audiences to reconsider this symbol of American freedom through the lens of African American history, from the first slaves brought to New Amsterdam in 1626 through to the present-day Black Lives Matter movement.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Leonardo Benzant with <em>That Which Weaves All Of Time Together</em>. Photo courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery, New York.

Leonardo Benzant with That Which Weaves All Of Time Together. Photo courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery, New York.

2. “Artist Talk with Leonardo Benzant” at Claire Oliver Gallery, New York

For Claire Oliver Gallery’s current show “Four Now; Leonardo Benzant, Barbara Earl Thomas, Adebunmi Gbadebo & Gio Swaby,” staged in its Harlem flagship on the occasion of the virtual edition of Untitled Art Fair in Miami Beach and on view through January 16, 2020, the gallery is letting each participating artist host a virtual tour of the exhibition. This week it’s Leonardo Benzant’s turn, featuring his 14-foot-tall beaded and upholstered sculpture, That Which Weaves All Of Time Together. It is part of a series inspired by the traditional regalia of the Yoruba people.

Price: Free
Time: 12 p.m.

—Nan Stewert


Artists Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. Photo: Graham Keen / TopFoto.

Artists Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. Photo: Graham Keen / TopFoto.

3. “Bacon/Giacometti. A Dialogue” at Dellasposa Gallery, London

Art historian Michael Peppiat has written a play recreating a conversation that took place between Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti on an evening in 1965 in the Colony Room, Bacon’s favorite Soho haunt. Actors David Bamber and Stephen Boxer (who have respectively featured in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and Netflix’s The Crown) will play the two giants of Modern art in a performance streamed on Instagram Live (@Dellasposa).

Price: Free
Time: 6:30 p.m. GMT (1:30 p.m. EST)

—Naomi Rea


Join Katie Stout for a virtual cocktail hour. Photo courtesy of R & Company.

Join Katie Stout for a virtual cocktail hour. Photo courtesy of R & Company.

4. “A Cultured Cocktail with Katie Stout” at R & Company, Miami

Like many New York galleries, R & Company has opened a South Florida pop-up this holiday season, teaming up with Cultured magazine to host a contemporary design exhibition titled “Full House” in Miami. If you’re stuck in colder climes, you can still tune in for virtual cocktail hour with participating artist and quirky ceramics queen Katie Stout—known for transforming the female form into delightful lamps—and Cultured editor Sarah Harrelson.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 6 p.m. GMT

—Sarah Cascone


Wednesday, December 16

Sarah-Jane Lewis performing as part of <em>year zero</em> by Haroon Mirza (2020). Costume by Osman Yousefzada. Photo courtesy of Ikon.

Sarah-Jane Lewis performing as part of year zero by Haroon Mirza (2020). Costume by Osman Yousefzada. Photo courtesy of Ikon.

5. “Haroon Mirza: year zero” at Ikon, Birmingham,  UK

One of the year’s strictest and most devastating lockdowns took place in Italy in March. Impromptu performances out of balcony windows, filmed by neighbors and shared online, quickly became a symbol of hope and resilience for a world that suddenly found itself battling a global health crisis. Last month, as the UK once again asked residents to stay home to present the spread of disease, artist Haroon Mirza was hard at work on a new commission for Ikon based on Italy’s inspiring singers, filming vocalist Sarah-Jane Lewis performing in his building’s courtyard. The new piece, titled year zero, makes its world premiere on the gallery’s YouTube this week.

Price: Free
Time: 8 p.m. GMT

—Sarah Cascone


6. “Bridging the Bay Area Art World: Three Museum Directors Speak Their Mind” at 8-bridges

This marks the third in a series of virtual talks about the art scene in the Bay area. This discussion features three museum directors including Neal Benezra, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Lori Fogarty, director of the Oakland Museum of California; and Mari Robles, executive director of the Headlands Center for the Art. Chaired by journalist Sarah Hotchkiss of KQED, the session will focus on curatorial agendas and building bridges between audiences. For locals, Rye on the Road is selling special cocktails for the panel that you can enjoy at home while you watch.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 6 p.m.–7 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Saya Woolfalk at Dieu Donné during her Workspace residency in 2012. Photo courtesy of Dieu Donné.

Saya Woolfalk at Dieu Donné during her Workspace residency in 2012. Photo courtesy of Dieu Donné.

7. “Inside the Workspace: Jean Shin and Saya Woolfalk in Conversation” at Dieu Donné, Brooklyn

Dieu Donné, a Brooklyn arts organization that promotes hand paper making as an art medium, is celebrating 30 years of its Workspace Program for artists by inviting past participants to take part in its “Inside the Workspace” online conversation series. This week, Jean Shin, a 2004 resident; and Saya Woolfalk, a 2012 resident; will chat with writer and curator Re’al Christian, followed by a Q&A.

Price: Free with registration, suggested donation $5
Time: 2 p.m.–3 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, December 17

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Ustedes (Them) (2020), at Governors Island New York City, Commissioned by More Art. Photo courtesy of the artist.

8. Virtual Celebration of “Ustedes (Them): Immigration & Power” 

In honor of International Migrants Day, More Art is hosting a virtual celebration and conversation featuring artist Krysztof Wodiczko, whose public art project Ustedes (Them) is helping to illuminate the work of organizations working to help immigrants. The conversation will feature Commissioner Bitta Mostofi from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Angeles Solis from Make the Road New York along with participants of Wodizko’s project. The project itself employed drones—examples of the very technology that governments use to patrol borders and survey immigrants—to broadcast and amplify their voices.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 6–7:15 p.m.

—Caroline Goldstein


Friday, December 18–Monday, December 21

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt,Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of the Holt/Smithson Foundation.

Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, Mono Lake (1968/2004). Photo courtesy of the Holt/Smithson Foundation.

9. “Friday Films: Mono Lake” at the Holt/Smithson Foundation, Santa Fe

Holt/Smithson Foundation concludes the second season of its “Friday Films” series with Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt’s Mono Lake. Presented here with a video introduction by curator Aurora Tang, the film documents the young artists’ trip with Michael Heizer to California’s Mono Lake. Heizer and Smithson serve as narrators, presenting facts about the lake’s unique ecosystem and geology: it’s a highly alkaline lake, or soda lake, home to towering tufa rock formations that have formed due to chemical processes. While fish can’t survive in the waters, Mono Lake is home to a thriving population of brine shrimp and alkali flies that help feed the two million migratory birds that pass through each year.

Price: Free
Time: 2 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Friday, December 18–Saturday, January 30

Catherine Haggarty, How in the Mountains, 2020 Courtesy of Massey Klein Gallery

10. “Catherine Haggarty: An Echo’s Glyph” at Massey Klein Gallery, New York

Make sure to check out the solo show of ethereal paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Catherine Haggarty at Massey Klein Gallery, opening this Friday. This new body of works consists of air brush, oil stick, and fluid acrylic paintings, inspired by Haggarty’s 2019 trip to France where she visited early cave paintings. According to the gallery’s statement, “the artist’s forms reference animal patterns, imprints, and ancient symbols that create a fictional space for viewers to navigate.” These works evoke in the viewer a feeling of visiting these cave paintings themselves, as if viewing remnants of animal and bird footprints and other remains of life lived a long time ago.

Location: Massey Klein Gallery, 124 Forsyth Street, New York
Time: Opening Reception, Sunday, December 20, 1 p.m.–6 p.m.; viewable by appointment

—Neha Jambhekar


Through Thursday, December 31

Cate Giordano, "Rex" (installation view). Courtesy of Postmasters, New York.

Cate Giordano, “Rex” (installation view). Courtesy of Postmasters, New York.

11. “Cate Giordano: Rex” at Postmasters

In their first solo exhibition at Tribeca’s fearless Postmasters, Cate Giordano plumbs the megalomaniacal mind of Henry VIII as a proxy for the everyday patriarchal toxicity corroding politics in the 21st century. Using video, sculpture, painting, installation, and live performanceincluding Giordano playing both Henry and his ill-fated fourth wife, Anne of Clevesthe artist transforms the gallery into an environment as demented, indelible, and consequential as its historical subject. Yet Giordano also stitches pockets of humor throughout the exhibition, reminding viewers that absurdity flourishes even (and perhaps especially) as grave events unfold.

Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. (Hours extended to 8 p.m. on Thursday.)

—Tim Schneider


Through Sunday, January 17, 2021

Jamaal Peterman, 30 for 30, 2020 Courtesy of James Fuentes

12. “Jamaal Peterman: Grunch in Bed” at James Fuentes

Head over to James Fuentes this holiday season to check out Brooklyn-based artist Jamaal Peterman’s first solo show in New York, “Grunch in Bed.” Retro-looking geometric forms co-mingle with figures, a clear nod to videogame culture. Each large painting is laid out like a portal, where the viewer can enter a world that is a simulation full of glitches in time and space. The overall body of work alludes to the invisible barriers faced by Black and Brown people in the Western world and the racist societal infrastructures that they have to navigate on a daily basis.

Location: James Fuentes, 55 Delancey Street, New York, NY
Time: Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Neha Jambhekar


Through Monday, January 4, 2021

Ewa Juszkiewicz, <em>Untitled (after Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun)</em>, 2020. Courtesy of Gagosian.

Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (after Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun), 2020. Courtesy of Gagosian.

13. “Ewa Juszkiewicz: In vain her feet in sparkling laces glow” at Gagosian, Park & 75, New York

Its Gagosian’s first show featuring Ewa Juszkiewicz, who captivates with her surreal take on historical European portraits. In each canvas, based on the works of Old Masters including Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, Juszkiewicz obscures the faces of her female subjects with ornately wrapped fabrics, thick waves of hair, or even abundant floral arrangements. The result is at once beautiful and disturbing, a subversively feminist commentary on how men have been the ones controlling female representation throughout art history. The exhibition is on view through the gallery storefront windows, or you can watch a new video about the artist and her work here.

Location: Gagosian, Park & 75, 821 Park Ave, New York
Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Sarah Cascone


Through Monday, January 18, 2021

"Yvette Molina: Big Bang Votive" installation view. Photo courtesy of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

“Yvette Molina: Big Bang Votive” installation view. Photo courtesy of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

14. “Yvette Molina: Big Bang Votive” at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

Like many artists, Yvette Molina had her exhibition unceremoniously shut down by lockdown. The plan had been to sit in the galleries for the show’s duration, interviewing visitors about what triggers feelings of love or delight for them. Those stories were to inspire additions to the display, with Molina working in egg tempura to paint personal objects related to each viewer on one of the 300 starry backgrounds, representing the infinite nature of the cosmos. Even with the galleries closed, Molina was able to continue that aspect of the work remotely, making virtual appointments with members of the public to incorporate a tiny bit of their life experiences into the show. The artist considers each artwork a votive offering, adding love and joy to the limitless expanse of the universe.

Location: Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, 68 Elm Street, Summit, New Jersey
 Free with $5 suggested donation
Time: Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; timed reservations required

—Sarah Cascone 

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