Editors’ Picks: 7 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From Jónsi’s Sonic Volcano to the Met’s Afrofuturist Period Room
Plus solo shows for Sylvia Snowden, Jaqueline Cedar, Gillian Laub, and Nick Sethi.
Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events, both digitally and in-person in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all ET unless otherwise noted.)
Through Friday, December 17
1. “Jónsi: Obsidian” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
This is the second solo show at Tanya Bonakdar from Jon Por “Jónsi” Birgisson, the lead singer of Icelandic band Sigur Ros, and it also coincides with his third album, which bears the same title as the show, “Obsidian.” Both the exhibition and the new album are inspired by the natural wonder of his native country.
He has transformed the gallery with two new major sound installations and a series of sculptural works that were inspired by the eruption this past March of the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which had dormant for almost 800 years. In addition to music, there are also soundscapes of rumbling rocks and searing lava, and the artist has created earthy, invigorating scents that waft through the gallery, with the use a “perfume organ.”
Location: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery 521 West 21st Street
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Closed for Thanksgiving)
Through Friday, December 17
2. “Sylvia Snowden: the m street series” at Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
The show provides an overview of Snowden’s M Street series, which focuses on images of people the artist knew from her neighborhood in Washington, DC. In the mid-1970s, amid ongoing gentrification and displacement, Snowden felt the urgency of the lives of people she encountered in her neighborhood––many of whom were transient, unemployed, or unhoused––and she portrayed them in her work. She depicts the tension and intensity of life. Concurrently, Parrasch Heijnen in Los Angeles, is presenting “Sylvia Snowden: Select Works, 1966 – 2020,” through December 18.
Location: Franklin Parrasch Gallery 19 East 66th Street, New York
Price: Free. Reservations required.
Time: Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Thanksgiving, closed.
Through Wednesday, December 22
3. “Jaqueline Cedar: Night Moves” at Shelter Gallery, New York
A series of small, colorful, five-by-seven inch acrylic on wood panel pieces make up the bulk of this imaginative painting show from Jaqueline Cedar. Her elongated figures are at once awkward and elegant, seemingly caught unawares by the viewer’s gaze as they make their way through the uncertainty of life.
Location: Shelter Gallery, 179 East Broadway, New York
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Through Monday, January 10, 2022
4. “Gillian Laub: Family Matters” at International Center of Photography, New York
For the past two decades, Laub’s photography has focused on timely topics with an emphasis on community and human rights. Her subject matter has ranged from the survivors of terrororism in the Middle East (Testimony, 2007) to racism in the American south (Southern Rites, 2015), and Laub uses her camera to investigate how society’s most complex questions are often writ large in intimate relationships and spaces. Documenting the emotional, psychological, and political landscape of her own family, this show delves into the artist’s growing discomfort with the many extravagances that have marked their lives.
The show was curated by ICP managing director of programs David Campany, and coincides with the publication of a companion book of the same title, published by Aperture.
Location: 79 Essex Street, New York
Price: Adults, $16; Seniors (62 and over), military, visitors with disabilities (caregivers free), students, $12; SNAP/EBT card holders, $3; ICP Members, students and visitors under 16, Free
Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11 a.m.– 7 p.m.; Tuesday closed; Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed for Thanksgiving.
Through Sunday, November 28
5. “Thousand” at Entrance, New York
Although this is Nick Sethi’s debut solo show, collaboration is at the core of it. Each weekend since the show opened, Sethi has brought in original programming from fellow artists such as a screened talk with artist Isa Reisner, accompanied by Sethi’s homemade lentil stew, or decorating a beater car with custom vinyl decals with help from folks in the neighborhood. Inside the gallery, Sethi swaps out photographs, sculpture, and mixed-media canvases every day, creating an evolving curation that he pairs with offerings and gifts brought to him by friends. Don’t forget to check out the basement display, where some of the most intriguing objects live, such as a bottled cobra, a vinyl canvas of Sethi’s henna-covered hands, and a piece made entirely of Swisher Sweets wrappers.
Location: Entrance, 48 Ludlow Street
Time: 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Through March 2022
7. “Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
A different kind of period room is now on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which has teamed up with Oscar-winning production designer Hannah Beachler, whose credits include Black Panther, and Michelle Commander, the associate director and curator at NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, to push the boundaries of the genre by taking inspiration from Afrofuturism.
To root the exhibition in the reality of specific historical erasure, the curators created a space that embraces the memory of Seneca Village, a thriving 19th-century New York City community of predominantly Black property owners and tenants, that was situated not too far from the Met. A 16th-century Venetian glass jar and 19th-century cast-iron cookware from the museum’s collection are installed among newly commissioned works by contemporary artists from South Africa to New Jersey. A five-sided black-and-white television set designed by Beachler plays a digital work in black and white by Jenn Nkiru, suggesting a space of collective witnessing from the 20th century and beyond, while a hot comb and a chair with a back carved into the shape of an afro-pic by Ethiopian and Kenyan designer Jomo Tariku conjures feelings of Black intimacy.
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, New York
Price: New York residents and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut students, pay what you wish; Adults, $25; Seniors (65 and over), $17; Students, $12; Children (under 12), Free
Time: Sunday–Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Closed Wednesday and Thanksgiving.
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