Editors’ Picks: 18 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From a Chat With the Guerrilla Girls to the Music That Inspired Basquiat

It's another busy week of virtual programming—plus some in-person gallery shows you won't want to miss.

Tara Donovan, Sphere. Photo courtesy of Pace Gallery, New York.

Each week, we search 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.)


Wednesday, January 27

Tara Donovan, Untitled (2015) Slinkys. Photo: Philip Scholz Ritterman. © Tara Donovan courtesy of Pace Gallery.

1. “On Tara Donovan’s ‘Intermediaries’: Finding Uniqueness in Mass Production” at Pace Gallery, New York

If you, like me, have ever wanted to be able to articulate responses to Tara Donovan’s something-extraordinary-from-nothing-special installations that are fitter for intelligent company than, “WTF, how did she do this?!” then Wednesday afternoon presents a golden opportunity. 

To provide the high-level context Donovan’s current solo show at Pace’s New York flagship (through March 6) deserves, the gallery will host an online panel discussion between Museum of Contemporary Art Denver curator Nora Abrams, University of Chicago professor and Smart Museum of Art adjunct curator Christine Mehring, and UC Santa Barbara art and architectural history professor Jenni Sorkin. Mark Beasley, curatorial director of Pace Live, will handle moderating duties. Join me on the path to enlightenment.

Price: Free with RSVP
Time: 1 p.m. 

—Tim Schneider


Esther Kim Varet, cofounder of Various Small Fires. Courtesy of Various Small Fires, Los Angeles and Seoul.

Esther Kim Varet, co-founder of Various Small Fires. Courtesy of Various Small Fires, Los Angeles and Seoul.

2. “Talks at the Academy: Gallerist Panel With Esther Kim Varet, David Klein, and Monique Meloche” at the New York Academy of Art

The New York Academy of Art kicks off its 2021 programming with a panel discussion moderated by critic Dexter Wimberly and featuring a trio of gallery owners: Esther Kim Varet of Los Angeles’s Various Small Fires, and dealers David Klein of Detroit and Monique Meloche of Chicago.

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

—Sarah Cascone


Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly published by Chronicle Books.

3. “(At Home) On Art and ‘Behaving Badly’: Artist Talk With the Guerrilla Girls in Conversation” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Tune in to the Hirshhorn’s YouTube channel or join on Zoom to see the art world’s legendary masked feminist activist collective the Guerrilla Girls in conversation with the museum’s assistant curator Sandy Guttman about what they see as the most pressing issues facing the art world today.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 7 p.m.–8 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Wednesday, January 27–Tuesday, April 27

Karen Kilimnik, <em>My Judith Leiber bag, the royal house of Scotland</em> (2012). Courtesy of Off Paradise.

Karen Kilimnik, My Judith Leiber bag, the royal house of Scotland (2012). Courtesy of the artist and 303 Gallery, New York.

4. “NOTHNG OF THE MONTH CLUB” at Off Paradise, New York

In 2013, the critic Erik LaPrade had a chance encounter with the artist David Hammons, who he’d never met, at a friend’s studio. As Hammons was leaving, LaPrade ripped a page from his notepad and asked Hammons for his number. Hammons dutifully wrote down a phone number—just not David Hammons’s phone number.

And this is how a work of ephemera attributed to Erik LaPrade called THIS IS NOT ‘DAVID HAMMONS’ PHONE # (c. 2013) has ended up in “NOTHNG OF THE MONTH CLUB,” a group show at Natacha Polaert’s Walker Street project space Off Paradise. Conceived by Polaert and co-curator Randy Kennedy as an exhibition “under the sign of” artist Ray Johnson, each selected work embodies that legendary trickster in some way. As Kennedy explains in his essay, the artists chosen—Richard Prince, Marlon Mullen, Karen Kilimnik, Richard Hell, and others—are like Johnson in that they have a love-hate relationship with the lever-pullers of the art world. Johnson, Kennedy writes, was “working by choice and temperament outside the walls of power while possessing the tools to pick the lock on the back gate and wander around surreptitiously inside.”

The show also features several works by Johnson, who died in 1995, including what’s thought to be the last work exhibited in his lifetime, Taoist Pop Art School (1994).

In other words: Go see the show. Call the phone number. You never know who’ll be on the other end of the line.

Location: Off Paradise, 120 Walker Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Opening, 4 p.m.–8 p.m.; Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

Nate Freeman


Thursday, January 28

Martha S. Jones, <em>Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All</em>. Courtesy of Hachette.

Martha S. Jones, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. Courtesy of Hachette.

5. “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All” at the New-York Historical Society

Martha S. Jones, author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, will talk on Zoom about how the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 did not in practice give all women the right to vote, and how Black women were an instrumental part the fight for suffrage from the days of Seneca Falls convention through the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to the present day.

Price: $20
Time: 6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Hugo McCloud, <em>pineapple express</em> (2020). Courtesy of Sean Kelly.

Hugo McCloud, pineapple express (2020). Courtesy of Sean Kelly.

6. “Hugo McCloud and Sean Kelly in Conversation” at Sean Kelly, New York

Dealer Sean Kelly will chat over Zoom with Hugo McCloud about the artist’s current show at the gallery, “Burdened.” On view through February 27, the show features paintings ingeniously made from single-use plastic bags, the ultimate symbol of waste and the environmental dangers posed by our reliance on plastic. The artist will speak to those issues, as well as about labor and geopolitics.

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

—Sarah Cascone


Akbarnama, Mughal India, <em>A party of hunters returning to camp</em> (1603–04), detail. Courtesy of the British Library-Chester Beatty Library.

Akbarnama, Mughal India, A party of hunters returning to camp (1603–04), detail. Courtesy of the British Library-Chester Beatty Library.

7. “Tales in Connoisseurship: Appreciating Indian Painting” at Asia Week New York

The latest virtual offering from Asia Week New York is this panel featuring Indian painting experts Brendan Lynch, co-director of London-based Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd.; Marika Sardar, curator of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto; and collector Gursharan Sidhu.

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

—Tanner West


Amir H. Fallah, <em>They Will Trick You For Their Own Rewards</em> (2020). Courtesy of Denny Dimin, New York.

Amir H. Fallah, They Will Trick You For Their Own Rewards (2020). Courtesy of Denny Dimin, New York.

8. “In Conversation: Artist Amir H. Fallah and Collector Liz Dimmitt” at Denny Dimin, New York

Amir H. Fallah’s latest show, “Better a Cruel Truth Than a Comfortable Delusion,” on view at Denny Dimin through February 20, is inspired by his young son’s bedtime stories, but it still tackles hot-button issues such as racism, abuses of power, greed, and climate change. The artist will talk with collector Liz Dimmitt about the work, and the ways in which we pass along our value systems to children.

Price: Free
Time: 7 p.m.

—Nan Stewert


Jean-Michel Basquiat performing with his experimental art noise band Gray at Hurrahs in 1979. Photo by Nick Taylor.

Jean-Michel Basquiat performing with his experimental art noise band Gray at Hurrahs in 1979. Photo by Nick Taylor.

9. “Time Decorated: The Musical Influences of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Part 2” at the Broad Museum, Los Angeles

This is part two of a new series at the Broad dedicated to the various musical genres that influenced Jean-Michel Basquiat. Tune in to see Afro-punk co-founder James Spooner play a selection of punk and No Wave classics from the likes of James Chance and the Contortions, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Liquid Liquid, DNA, Mars, and Basquiat’s band Gray.

Price: Free
Time: 9 a.m. PST

—Tanner West


Ai Weiwei (2012). Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

10. “Night of Ideas” at the Brooklyn Public Library, co-presented with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

Traditionally the Brooklyn Public Library’s “Night of Ideas” was a powerhouse marathon that took place from sunup to sundown at the main Grand Army Plaza branch, and though the time and place will be a bit different this time around—a six-hour livestream event—the speakers are no less impressive. Tune in to see Ai Weiwei in conversation with New York Times editor Peter Catapano, a short film by Astra Taylor, a special appearance by Patti Smith, and a host of other conversations featuring Nell Painter, Suketu Mehta, and novelist Hari Kunzru, among others.

Price: Free
Time: 6 p.m.–12 a.m.

—Caroline Goldstein


Friday, January 29

11. “Street Level: Instagram Live” on @artnet featuring @museumofgraffiti

Join us on the @Artnet Instagram account on Friday! We’re going live with Alan Ket and Allison Freidin, co-founders of the Museum of Graffiti, in honor of the Street Level sale on Artnet Auctions. Tune in to learn more about when the public perception of graffiti changed, how the internet has affected the evolution of street art, and get the stories behind some of the biggest names in the genre like Lady Pink, Blade, Futura, and more.

Price: Free
Time: 12 p.m. EST

—Katie Rothstein

Courtesy Art/ Switch Foundation.

Courtesy Art/ Switch Foundation.

12. “[re]Shaping Exhibition Practices” at Art/Switch, Amsterdam and New York

This conference organized by Art/Switch, a young organization focused on sustainability in the arts, looks at the question of how to create environmentally sustainable exhibitions. With an emphasis on ways of systematically integrating sustainability into exhibition planning in a post-Covid world, topics include sustainability in curatorial practice, the structure and process of loans, what the art market can do to create environmentally-conscious exhibitions, and how to shift our thinking around blockbuster exhibitions.

Price: Suggested donation €5–15 ($6–18)
Time: 4 p.m.–7 p.m. CET (10 a.m.–1 p.m. EST)

—Naomi Rea


 Mel Bochner, <i>Language is not Transparent </i> Image courtesy Magazzino Italiani Art.

Mel Bochner, Language is not Transparent. Image courtesy of Magazzino Italian Art.

13. Resonance and Revelation: My Italian Days at Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York

In this livestreamed talk, artist Mel Bochner and art historian Tenley Bick discuss the “odd resonances” the artist found between his work and American and Italian art of the 1960s and ’70s, which are captured in “Bochner, Boetti, Fontana,” on view at Magazzino through April 5. Bochner has been at the forefront of conceptual art since the mid-1960s, but the artist’s exhibitions and intersections with artists in Italy during the formative decades of his career are less well known. 

Price: Free
Time: 12 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Friday, January 29–Saturday January 30

Djamila Ribeiro at the 2020 Verbier Art Summit. © Alpimages.

Djamila Ribeiro at the 2020 Verbier Art Summit. © Alpimages.

14. “Virtual Verbier Art Summit 2021” at Verbier Art Summit, Verbier, Switzerland

The fifth edition of the Verbier Art Summit, an annual conference that focuses on climate, innovation, and ecology, usually in the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, will take place online this year. The two days of presentations and debates unites under the theme “Resource Hungry” and will include a talk by Swiss artist Claudia Comte, as well as a debate series featuring Daniel Birnbaum, Beatrix Ruf, and Philip Tinari, among others.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. CET January 29 and 30.

–Kate Brown


Through Saturday, January 30

Theresa Daddezio, <em>Mother Orchid</em> (2020). Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery.

Theresa Daddezio, Mother Orchid (2020). Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery.

15. “Theresa Daddezio: Altum Corpus” at DC Moore Gallery, New York

This is the last week to catch Theresa Daddezio’s solo show, which is her first since being represented by DC Moore Gallery. The exhibition consists of new paintings that give a contemporary twist to abstraction and hard-edge painting styles. Daddezio found inspiration for this work while visiting a Soviet bathhouse in Georgia, where the ruins were overgrown with vegetation, melding architecture with natural forms. The overlapping, curvilinear forms create a beautiful sense of movement and optical illusion.

Location: DC Moore Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, New York
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Neha Jambhekar


Saturday, January 30

Ensamble, <em>Ca'n Terra</em>. Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum.

Ensamble, Ca’n Terra. Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum.

16. “The World Around Summit 2021: Architecture’s Now, Near, and Next” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

The World Around, a new itinerant cultural nonprofit, marks the launch of a year-long residency at the Guggenheim with its second annual summit—held online, naturally. Speakers will livestream from 14 sites around the world, presenting new work from architects, designers, researchers, and artists, including 20 groundbreaking architecture and design projects created over the past year.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 10 a.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Our very own Kenny Schachter. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

Artnet News’s very own Kenny Schachter. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

17.  “Longue Durée” at Engadin Art Talks Live, Zuoz, Switzerland

This event organized by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Baumann, Bice Curiger, Philip Ursprung, and Cristina Bechtle includes talks with 36 prominent cultural figures. Among those featured are artists, such as Etel Adnan; institutional directors, including Chris Dercon; and agitators such as Artnet News’s very own writer Kenny Schachter. But the discussions are not limited to art; other panels will include talks by climate activist Markus Reymann and historian Luzius Keller.

Price: Free
Time: 10 a.m.–10 p.m. CET

—Nan Stewert


Through Saturday, February 13 

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (takin' the riverboat out on snake lake) (2020). Courtesy of Harper's Apartment.

Eliot Greenwald, Night Car (takin’ the riverboat out on snake lake) (2020). Courtesy of Harper’s Apartment.

18. “Eliot Greenwald: Takin’ the Riverboat Out on Snake Lake” at Harper’s Apartment, New  York

Visitors to Eliot Greenwald’s first show at Harper’s Apartment will be stepping into a radiant nighttime world filled with long lonely roads and psychedelic landscapes that appear with bursts of bright colors. Each of the self-taught artist’s oil-stick-on-canvas works presents nearly identical subject matter: a lone car, with headlights beaming out through the darkness, drives into a terrain of strange valleys and almost extraterrestrial seeming mountains. Hanging above in the dazzling-colored skies, two twin planets appear aglow. Greenwald’s deceptively simple compositions are surprisingly moving, and together create a sense of reverie or a waking dream—what they’re hinting at, it seems, is a kind of existential journey that we’re all on, each with our eyes peering into the future, unsure of what lies ahead. 

Location: Harper’s Apartment, 51 East 74th Street, buzz 2X, New York
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Katie White 

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