Editors’ Picks: 14 Things Not to Miss in New York’s Art World This Week

The art world's eye is turned toward Miami this week, but there's still plenty to see in New York.

"The Life of Forms" installation view at Di Donna Galleries. Photo courtesy of Di Donna Galleries.

Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. See them below.


Tuesdays and Thursdays through December 29

Simone Forti, Huddle, 1961. Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds. © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Digital image: © 2018 Yi-Chun Wu/The Museum of Modern Art.

Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions” at the Museum of Modern Art

The postmodern artist, dancer, and choreographer Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1960-61), a key forerunner to the Judson Dance Theater, revolutionized modern dance. Performed with inexpensive materials such as plywood and rope, the dances involved actions such as climbing, leaning, standing, and whistling. These works were first presented at the Reuben Gallery and at Yoko Ono’s home, and now they’re being restaged at MoMA as part of “Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done,” on view through February 3, 2019.

Location: Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street
Price: Free with museum admission ($25 for adults)
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

—Henri Neuendorf

Monday, December 3

Courtesy Barbara Pollack

Courtesy of Barbara Pollack.

Barbara Pollack, author of Brand New Art from China, at The Asia Society

Journalist and critic Barbara Pollack will give a presentation on her book, Brand New Art from China: A Generation on the Rise, the first book that looks at millennial artists from China. This younger generation, building on the success of their predecessors of the late 1980s and 1990s, have emerged on the international art scene as more savvy. Pollack examines how this new generation is navigating its path toward international art stardom, and how it’s affecting their heritage along the way. The presentation will be followed by an interview with Michelle Yun and a book signing.

Location: 680 Park Avenue
Price: Members $15; students and seniors $17; nonmembers $20
Time: 6:30—8:30 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Wednesday, December 5

Devon Powers, Dena Yago, and Jillian Steinhauer at "Optics: Brand as Visual Culture x Visual Culture as Brand" at the ICP Museum. Photo ©Jacque Donaldson.

Devon Powers, Dena Yago, and Jillian Steinhauer at “Optics: Brand as Visual Culture x Visual Culture as Brand” at the ICP Museum. Photo ©Jacque Donaldson.

Optics: Going Viral—Gifs, Memes, and Insta-Fame” at the International Center of Photography

This edition of the ongoing “Optics” series at ICP, which is hosted by gimlet-eyed New York art critic Jillian Steinhauer, tackles the online world of digital folk culture. As expert voice on all things viral, Steinhauer has tapped Jason Eppink, curator of digital media at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, and the man behind everything from a show on “Reaction Gifs” to the current exhibition “A Whole Different Ball Game: Playing Through 60 Years of Sports Video Games.” The talk is free but register in advance.

Location: International Center of Photography, 250 Bowery
Price: Free
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.

—Ben Davis


Photo illustration by Robert Pluma. Courtesy of the Bronx Documentary Center.

Photo illustration by Robert Pluma. Courtesy of the Bronx Documentary Center.

Tim Hetherington’s Journals: Readings and Exhibition Catalog Launch” at the Bronx Documentary Center

A reading from the personal journals of the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in 2011 while covering the war in Libya, coincides with the Bronx Documentary Center’s “War and Peace in Liberia: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros” show (on view through January 13). The exhibition features photos by Hetherington and Chris Hondros, documenting the atrocities of the Liberian Civil War (1999–2003), and doubles as the book launch of the catalogue.

Location: Bronx Documentary Center, 364 East 151st Street
Price: Free
Time: 6:30 p.m.

—Ben Davis


Thursday, December 6

Image courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

Housing Tomorrow’s City. Image courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

Alternate Visions: Bold Proposals for Housing New Yorkers” at the Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York is addressing New York City’s affordable housing crisis in this program presented by City Lab, featuring a discussion moderated by Kriston Capps. Five thought leaders and activists will present a series of radically different proposals on how the city might improve its housing situation.

Location: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at East 103rd Street
Price: $25
Time: 6:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, December 6–February 10, 2019

A video still from a piece by Maria Antelman. Photo courtesy of Pioneer Works.

A video still from a piece by Maria Antelman. Photo courtesy of Pioneer Works.

Dissembler: Maria Antelman” at Pioneer Works

The title work in Maria Antelman’s show at Pioneer Works, which features four video installations, takes its name from a computer program that translates machine languages so that humans can understand them for assembly purposes. The film considers a post-automated world and the physical and psychological effects of automation on society.

Location: Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street
Price: Free
Time: Opening reception, 7 p.m.–10 p.m.; Wednesday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone

Through Friday, December 7

Shigeko Kubota, SoHo SoAp/Rain Damage (1985). Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

Shigeko Kubota, SoHo SoAp/Rain Damage (1985). Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.

Screen Spaces: A Geography of Moving Image” 

For one week only, Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Institut will present 10 site-specific installations of time-based media work at various sites throughout lower Manhattan. “Screen Spaces,” curated by Vere Van Gool, aims to explore video culture’s role in shaping public space by bringing together pioneers in the field, such as JODI (at Rhizome’s pop-up On Canal) and the late Shigeko Kubota (at the Emily Harvey Foundation), with rising talents such as Constant Dullaart (at 199 East Third Street) and Analisa Teachworth (at the Camera Club of New York).

Location: See the full list of sites here.
Price: Free
Time: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. daily.

—Tim Schneider


Friday, December 7–Friday, December 21

Courtesy of Endless Editions 2018.

Endless Editions Biennial” at the EFA Project Space

The third edition of the “Endless Editions Biennial” opens December 7 at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space. The open-submission event is curated by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, a West Coast activist and artist, and will feature more than 100 artists from around the world. This year’s theme is “OPTIMISM”—both good and bad. The opening reception will feature a performance by Gabriel Garza. Other special events will take place throughout the biennial’s run.

Location: EFA Project Space, 323 West 39th Street, 2nd floor
Price: Free
Time: Opening reception, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Caroline Goldstein


Through Wednesday, December 14

Jean (Hans) Arp, <em>Groupe méditerranéen</em> (1941–42). Photo ©2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Jean (Hans) Arp, Groupe méditerranéen (1941–42). Photo ©2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

The Life of Forms” at Di Donna

Di Donna considers the natural inspirations for modernist sculpture in this group show featuring the likes of Jean Arp, Ruth Asawa, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, and Isamu Noguchi. In their sleek abstraction, the sculptures reveal the influence of insect wings, plant leaves, and other forms from nature.

Location: Di Donna, 744 Madison Avenue
Price: Free
Time: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Thursday, December 15

"By Fire, Ceramic Works" installation view at Almine Rech Gallery. Photo courtesy of Almine Rech Gallery.

“By Fire, Ceramic Works” installation view at Almine Rech Gallery. Photo courtesy of Almine Rech Gallery.

By Fire, Ceramic Works” at Almine Rech Gallery

Almine Rech pairs Modernist masters with contemporary ceramicists in this group show featuring Justin Adian, Miquel Barceló, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Amy Bessone, Johan Creten, Lucio Fontana, Günther Förg, Mark Hagen, Wifredo Lam, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, Joan Miró, Ron Nagle, Mai-Thu Perret, Pablo Picasso, Anselm Reyle, Julian Schnabel, Arlene Shechet, Claire Tabouret & Pierre Yovanovitch, Rosemarie Trockel, and Betty Woodman.

Location: Almine Rech, 39 East 78th Street, 2nd floor
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Ana Benaroya, <em>The Collaboration</em> (2018). Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery.

Ana Benaroya, The Collaboration (2018). Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery.

NSFW: Ana Benaroya and Tina Lugo” at Postmasters Gallery

Ana Benaroya, who will graduate from Yale University with an MFA next year, and Tina Lugo, a painter and tattoo artist based in Portland, Oregon, both paint sexually explicit scenes in which female figures dominate, making them a natural pairing in this two-person show. The exhibition, full of humor and explosive sexual power, leaves behind traditional gender roles in its wholehearted embrace of erotic passion.

Location: Postmasters Gallery, 54 Franklin Street
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Friday, December 16

Hana Sackler, <em>Desert X panel</em>. Photo courtesy of A.I.R. Gallery.

Hana Sackler, Desert X panel. Photo courtesy of A.I.R. Gallery.

Here, right now. Hana Sackler” at A.I.R.

Blurring the lines of reality, Hana Sackler’s photo and video works cast the viewer both as voyeur and intruder. In her first solo show in New York, she presents a three-part video, Game Call, that becomes progressively stranger and less grounded in reality, despite its everyday setting.

Location: A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn
Price: Free
Time: Wednesday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Tanner West

Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin, Self Portrait 2 (2018), detail. Photo courtesy of the Knockdown Center.

Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin, Self Portrait 2 (2018), detail. Photo courtesy of the Knockdown Center.

Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin: Universal Skin Salvation” at the Knockdown Center

Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin’s first major solo show includes a fully immersive sauna, a custom line of beauty products inspired by the Korean beauty industry (and it embrace of lactic acid as a whitening agent), and new works in video, photo, and collage. Shin invites visitors to apply her lotions and creams, and to consider philosopher Franz Fanon’s concept of lactification, in which the desire to whiten one’s skin erases one’s racial identity.

Location: The Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue
Price: Free
Time: Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m.–8 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Saturday, December 17

Shigeko Kubota, River (1979–81). Courtesy of Shigeko Kubota Video Art Foundation, New York.

Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974–1995” at SculptureCenter

Today, video art calls to mind a darkened room in a white cube, but that wasn’t always the case. SculptureCenter takes a look at the medium’s surprisingly sculptural roots, with monitor-based pieces that relied on the television set as an important element of the work—think Nam June Paik, with his video sculptures with multiple screens. Other featured artists include Dara Birnbaum, Shigeko Kubota, Tony Oursler, and Diana Thater.

Location: SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves Street
Price: Suggested donation of $5
Time: Thursday–Monday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone 

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