Editors’ Picks: 14 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a Conversation on John Baldessari to a Relief Benefit for Artists

Here's what to see this week.

Judy Chicago, What if Women Ruled the World. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch.

Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. We are currently highlighting digital events and in-person exhibitions that are open in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.)


Tuesday, December 8

JiaJia Fei, 2019. Photo: Michael Avedon.

JiaJia Fei, 2019. Photo: Michael Avedon.

1. The Arts Funders Forum 2020 Summit

How do the art world’s struggling nonprofits rebound after a year of closures and cancellations? The Arts Funders Forum’s second annual summit, held virtually, will examine new philanthropic models and the ways that they can help sustain and rebuild communities in a more equitable, diverse, sustainable way. The program includes 10-minute talks from Kemi Ilesanmi of the Laundromat Project in New York, artist Shaun Leonardo, and JiaJia Fei, founder of the First Digital Agency for Art.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 3 p.m.–5 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Tuesday, December 8, 2020–January 27, 2021

Protests in New York City. Photo by Graham Macindoe.

Protests in New York City. Photo by Graham Macindoe, courtesy of the National Arts Club.

2. “Voices of the Soho Renaissance” at the National Arts Club, New York

The National Arts Club has teamed up with the Soho Renaissance Factory for this exhibition of social justice-themed artworks painted this past summer on Soho’s boarded up shops and businesses. “The artistic outburst undertaken by a loose association of artists reclaimed a neighborhood and returned it to the creative haven it once was echoing and amplifying issues of artistic freedom, social justice, and hope,” said National Arts Club director Ben Hartley in a statement.

Location: National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York
 Free with reservation
Time: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Wednesday, December 9

Artists Jin-Ya Huang and Michael Rakowitz. Courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas.

Artists Jin-Ya Huang and Michael Rakowitz. Courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas.

3. “Nasher Prize Dialogues: Conversation with Michael Rakowitz and Jin-Ya Huang, Founder of Break Bread, Break Borders” at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Interested in learning more about food’s power to bridge cultural divides and strengthen communities? If so, tune in to the Nasher’s live stream on Wednesday, when artists Jin-Ya Huang and Michael Rakowitz will dig in to the topic with gusto. The duo recently collaborated to offer a free community meal in Dallas catered by Huang’s nonprofit kitchen, Break Bread, Break Borders, which provides jobs for women forced to flee their home countries bt political strife. Drop in and get inspired by two people doing great work (in both senses of the word) before the holidays.

Price: Free; live stream available here.
Time: 8 p.m. ET

—Tim Schneider


Mona Chalabi, <em>100 New Yorker</em> at Westfield World Trade Center for the River to River Festival. Photo courtesy of LMCC.

Mona Chalabi, 100 New Yorker at Westfield World Trade Center for the River to River Festival. Photo courtesy of LMCC.

4. “A Toast to Downtown: A Virtual Celebration with LMCC” at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

The virtual gala season continues at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with a celebration of New York’s independent artists. Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance, and former LMCC president Maggie Boepple will receive Liberty Awards for Civic Leadership, while writing, performing arts, and visual arts honors will go to Amina Henry, Eiko Otake, and Paul Pfeiffer, respectively. Tuning into the party is free, but if you donate $20 or more, you’ll be entered to win a signed, limited-edition print of 100 New Yorkers, Mona Chalabi’s public art project for LMCC’s 2020 River to River festival.

Price: Free
Time: 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Thursday, December 10

"without end" at COPE NYC. Photo courtesy of COPE NYC.

“without end” at COPE NYC. Photo courtesy of COPE NYC.

5. “without end” at COPE NYC

Under the guidance of artist Jean Shin, a faculty advisor at Pratt and the School of Visual Arts, COPE NYC artists in residence Ty Allen, Khaska Dottin, Elle Gillete, Aria Han, and Wheedong Daniel Kim have created a unique art installation responding to the new normal of life in 2020. The lights and projections that fill the space include video works that transform Zoom recordings into an artistic medium, a reminder of how technology has both served as a means of connection and an isolating force during this strange, unprecedented year.

Location: COPE NYC, 630 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn
Time: By appointment only

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, December 10

The participants of In Session. Courtesy Mass MoCA.

The participants of In Session. Courtesy of Mass MoCA.

6. “In SessionNick Cave, Shaun Leonardo, Steve Locke, M. Carmen Lane, Xaviera Simmons, and Kalima Young” at MASS MoCA

One of the great movements of the art world in 2020 has been the fight for racial justice in museums. One of the flash points in that struggle was the cancellation of an exhibition by Shaun Leonardo at MoCA Cleveland that included images of police violence against Black and brown men and boys. The artist called it an act of censorship stemming from white fragility and Mass MoCA and the Bronx Museum of the Arts stepped in to host the show. Now, MASS MoCA, with the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, is presenting a series of YouTube and Facebook artist discussions on the nature of Black trauma and institutions’ responsibilities toward their audiences when presenting work on the subject.

Got questions? Submit them here.

Price: Free
Time: 6 p.m.

—Brian Boucher


John Baldessari and his catalogue raisonné. Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery.

John Baldessari. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery.

7. “A Conversation About John Baldessari: The Complete Catalogue Raisonné” at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

When John Baldessari died in January (yes, we know what you’re thinking, because we’re thinking it too: that was this year?), artist friends like Martha Rosler, David Salle, and Lawrence Weiner remembered him as a highly literate and witty curmudgeon. We comforted ourselves by watching a video about him, narrated by Tom Waits. Now, after a year we couldn’t possibly have foreseen, at least we’ll soon have a catalogue raisonné to remember him by. Tune in to this discussion to hear Salle along with graphic designer Simon Johnston and art historians Hannah Higgins and David Platzker discuss the man and the publication, moderated by its editor, Patrick Pardo.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 4 p.m.

—Brian Boucher


Friday, December 11

<em>Black Futures</em>, edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham. Courtesy of Penguin Random House.

Black Futures, edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham. Courtesy of Penguin Random House.

8. “Black Futures: Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham in conversation with Taylor Aldridge” hosted by Source Booksellers

Be sure to catch writer, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew and New York Times staff writer Jenna Wortham on the tail end of their book tour celebrating the recently published Black Futures. The book—which was co-edited by the pair—explores what it means to be Black and alive today through a collection of images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, and more, with contributions from activists, scholars, journalists, and creators. Drew and Wortham will be joined by Taylor Aldridge, a writer who also works as the visual arts curator and program manager at the California African American Museum.

Price: $47.40, includes book, shipping, and ticket to the event
Time: 7 p.m.

—Katie Rothstein


Saturday, December 12

Image courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Image courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

9. “A Virtual Conversation Between Artist Kader Attia and Curator Ralph Rugoff” at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Kader Attia, who is having his debut show “The Valley of Dreams” at Regen Projects gallery, talks with Ralph Rugoff, director of London’s Hayward Gallery, which organized the first survey of Attia’s work in the UK, titled “The Museum of Emotion,” in 2019. A Q&A session will follow the Zoom conversation.

Price: Free with registration.
Time: 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST)

—Eileen Kinsella


Sunday, December 13

Video Still of devynn emory from <em>Dust</em>, a score in <em>Last Audience: a performance manual</em>. Photo courtesy of MCA Chicago.

Video still of devynn emory from Dust, a score in Last Audience: a performance manual. Photo courtesy of MCA Chicago.

10. “a canary torsi | Yanira Castro, Last Audience: a performance manual” at MCA Chicago

Artist and choreographer Yanira Castro and her interdisciplinary collaborative a canary torsi have created a performance work for the age of social distancing, selling a manual to would-be audience members, allowing them to participate in Last Audience at home. The second of two stagings of the performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, this weekend’s event asks audiences to take part in a meal based on Castro’s family recipe for arroz con gandules.

Price: $40 for the printed manual, $15 for the PDF
Time: 5 p.m.–6:15 p.m.

—Nan Stewert


Through Saturday, December 12


11. “The Drawing Exchange’s Economic Stimulus Plan for Artists” at the Drawing Exchange

In the wake of a worsening pandemic and a complacent government, the Drawing Exchange has taken it upon itself to provide some relief for its member artists in the form of a week-long works on paper sale. The sale will take place on the Instagram account @thedrawingexchangearchive and will present drawings by talented young artists from the platform’s roster. Acquisitions can be made through DMs—everything is first come, first served—and all the proceeds will go to the artist or a health charity of their choice.

Price: Free
Time: All day, daily

—Neha Jambhekar


Through Saturday, December 19

"Judy Chicago: What if Women Ruled the World?" at Jeffrey Deitch, New York (installation view). Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch.

“Judy Chicago: What if Women Ruled the World?” at Jeffrey Deitch, New York (installation view). Courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch.

12. “Judy Chicago: What if Women Ruled the World?” at Jeffrey Deitch

In January, pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago teamed up with Dior to create a massive goddess-inspired structure, titled The Female Divine, to host the house’s spring/summer 2020 haute couture fashion show. Now, the artist’s latest gallery show, at Jeffrey Deitch, showcases 11 of the monumental velvet and brocade banners that Chicago created to hang above the Dior runway, each one considering the possibilities of a world ruled by women. Elevating textile work from the realm of craft to fine art, the tapestries offer a powerful rejection of gender stereotypes and suggest a new world order. Students from Mumbai’s Chanakya School of Craft, which teaches women traditionally male-dominated Indian artisanal techniques, executed the painstaking embroidery on each design.

Location: Jeffrey Deitch, 18 Wooster Street, New York
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 1 p.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Thursday, December 31

Andrea Arroyo, "CoVIDA - Homage to Victims of the Pandemic" at Roger Morris Park. Photo by Bruce Katz, courtesy of the Morris Jumel Manson.

Andrea Arroyo, “CoVIDA – Homage to Victims of the Pandemic” at Roger Morris Park. Photo by Bruce Katz, courtesy of the Morris Jumel Manson.

13. “CoVIDA – Homage to Victims of the Pandemic” at Roger Morris Park, New York

As the initial epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, New York City went through an extremely dark, scary period this spring, with PPE shortages, over-capacity hospitals, and a constant soundtrack of sirens in the streets. As case levels in the state now rise again, artist Andrea Arroyo has installed a beautiful tribute to the victims of the pandemic thus far, inspired by papel picado, a traditional Mexican craft featuring sheets of decoratively cut tissue paper, and colors of the Mexican marigolds used in Day of the Dead celebrations. Members of the public are invited to add the names of loved ones lost to the crisis to ribbons hanging from the gate to the Morris Jumel Mansion—as the oldest home in Manhattan, built in 1765, the property has weathered many disasters over the course of the city’s history.

Location: Morris Jumel Mansion, Roger Morris Park, 65 Jumel Terrace, New York
Time: On view daily at all times

—Sarah Cascone


Through Saturday, January 9

Ambera Wellman, The Unicorn in Captivity (2020). Courtesy of Company Gallery.

Ambera Wellman, The Unicorn in Captivity (2020). Courtesy of Company Gallery.

14. “Ambera Wellman: Nosegay Tornado” at Company Gallery

“Ecstatic” is perhaps the right word to describe Ambera Wellman’s sumptuous and chromatically rich new paintings, currently on view at Company Gallery in the Lower East Side—but in the word’s transcendent mystical, and at times, frightening sense, rather than the happy one. All completed in the past six months, these paintings, Wellman has said, were deeply inspired by William Blake’s late 18th-century apocalyptic visions. An apropos reference for our times, we can see Blake’s influence in Frieda Gives Herself a Tornado,  a sublime and strange depiction of a female figure floating within the eye of a tornado. But more than formal elements, what Wellman really captures from Blake is an interest in the psychic continuum between the body, nature, and the unseen universe. Here, entwined naked female bodies are dwarfed by gargantuan flower petals of red poppies, an interior bedroom spills out into the night, and flames lick at the edges of a canvas. In these canvases, the catastrophic, the divine, and the daily meet to create a space free from the very real confines of our time. 

Location: Company Gallery, 88 Eldridge Street
Price: Free
Time: Wednesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. 

—Katie White


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