Editors’ Picks: 11 Things Not to Miss in the Virtual Art World This Week

The Brooklyn Museum is hosting a virtual First Saturday party, and other events not to miss (online) this week.

Adeline. Photo by Dennis Manuel.

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


Tuesday, March 31

A talk hosted by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. Photo courtesy of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.

A talk hosted by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. Photo courtesy of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.

1. “Online Artist Talk: Women in the Heights” at the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Th Norther Manhattan Arts Alliance is marking the last day of Women’s History Month with an artist talk with curator Andrea Arroyo. Hosted on Zoom in partnership with Broadway Housing Communities and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, the evening will feature over 30 artists, including  Gal Cohen, Alison Loeb, and Elizabeth Starcevic.

Price: Free
 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Wednesday, April 1

Terrence McNally in a photo from the 1970’s. Credit: Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally in a photo from the 1970s. Credit: Terrence McNally.

2. “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life” on PBS American Masters

Playwright, librettist, scriptwriter, and outspoken LGBTQ activist Terrence McNally died on March 24. Now, to honor his life and legacy, an American Masters documentary exploring the writer’s six-decade career, which originally premiered last June. is available to stream for the next few days on pbs.org/americanmasters and the PBS Video app.

Among those featured in the documentary are F. Murray Abraham, Audra McDonald, Christine Baranski, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, and Rita Moreno, who all talk about the highs and lows of McNally’s influential career and the struggles he faced.

Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Eileen Kinsella

Thursday, April 2

John Knuth. Photo by Dustin Snipes.

John Knuth. Photo by Dustin Snipes.

3. “Taggart Time: John Knuth” at Hollis Taggart

New York gallery Hollis Taggart launched Taggart Time, a new Instagram TV series hosted by its director of contemporary art, Paul Efstathiou. Last week’s guest was Leah Guadagnoli and on Thursday it continues with artist John Knuth, who’ll discuss his studio practice, his influences, and how those are shifting in light of current events.

Price: Free
Time: 7:30 p.m.

—Tanner West


Friday, April 3

Photo: Tom Vaneynde. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue.

Lisa Alvarado, Traditional object (Thalweg) (2020). Photo: Tom Vaneynde. Courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue.

4. “Platform: New York” at David Zwirner

What if I told you that someone was bringing together a dozen of New York’s most beloved risk-taking independent small galleries, putting them under one roof, and having them each let one of their star artists go nuts—who wouldn’t want that? Now what if I told you that this person is David Zwirner, who has been called the most powerful person in the art? Anyway, this happened because some of Zwirner’s young staffers—including his children Lucas and Marlene, along with Alec Smyth, Thor Shannon, and Cristina Vere Nicoll—hatched up a crackerjack idea to share their spiffy online viewing room with 12 of the spaces that New Yorkers so desperately miss.

As a result we have “Platform: New York,” an online-only mini-fair, and the lineup is a murderer’s row. All killer no filler: artist Kyle Thurman at David Lewis Gallery, Elaine Cameron-Weir at JTT, Sven Sachsalber at Ramiken, Lisa Alvarado at Bridget Donahue… I could go on, those are just some of the highlights of a viewing room with absolutely zero weak links. And, yeah, just typing out the names of those galleries makes me incredibly melancholy thinking about their shuttered storefronts in an abandoned downtown Manhattan and the eerily quiet Brooklyn. But I’ll take what I can get.

Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

Nate Freeman


Through Saturday, April 4

Peter Saul, <em>Modern Home</em> (2003). Courtesy of Pace Prints.

Peter Saul, Modern Home (2003). Courtesy of Pace Prints.

5. “Peter Saul: No Convictions” at Pace Prints

At first glance, a lot of Peter Saul’s cartoon-like work can be enjoyable to look at: Saul distorts people and buildings using bright colors and vivid characters. But look a little closer and you’ll find brutal, grotesque, and disturbing elements that often serve to interrogate American history and popular culture. Even though Saul’s widely lauded survey at New York’s New Museum had to close earlier this month, Pace Prints has created an online exhibition accompanied by clips of the artist talking about his approach to making art. Examining the intricacies of Saul’s work makes the perfect exercise for the quarantined brain.

Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Katie Rothstein


Saturday, April 4

Tyler Ashley. Photo courtesy of House of Bushwig.

Tyler Ashley. Photo courtesy of House of Bushwig.

6. “Virtual Free Saturday” at the Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum may be closed indefinitely, but the institution will attempt to continue its proud tradition of welcoming the public free of charge the first Saturday of every month as it has done for more than 20 years. Tune in on the museum’s Facebook page to catch a foil embossing demonstration, followed by a teen variety show, music from Adeline and DJ Amber Valentine, and a disco-themed performance by drag queens from Brooklyn’s House of Bushwig.

Price: Free
Time: 6 p.m.–10 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Sunday, April 5

Ariane Schick, <i>Rebecca’s Room</i> (2018). Photo: Courtesy of Super Dakota.

Ariane Schick, still from Rebecca’s Room (2018). Photo courtesy of Super Dakota.

7. “Ariane Schick: Rebecca’s Room” at Super Dakota 

One (albeit narrow) silver lining of the current shutdown is that galleries that have pioneered smart digital initiatives are now seeing a well-deserved uptick in eyeballs. One of those galleries is the sharp Belgian outfit Super Dakota, which has been hosting video art on its website in a dedicated “showroom” since 2016. While its physical gallery is closed, the gallery has opted to present a new film each week, rather than every six weeks. Up next: Rebecca’s Room (2018), by London-based artist Ariane Schick. The nearly six-minute film collages a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rebecca with background sounds from a Lil’ Kim video and snapshots from women’s magazines. The disorienting vibe is perfect for right now. 

Price: Free to view (although the video is also for sale)
Time: Open daily, at all times

Julia Halperin


Saturday, April 4–Monday, April 6

“Netsuke edo & now” at D-Day Studio. Photo courtesy of D-Day Studio.

“Netsuke edo & now” at D-Day Studio. Photo courtesy of D-Day Studio.

8. “Netsuke edo & now” at D-Day Studio

The Woodstock, New York, gallery D-Day Studio is auctioning off the contents of its current show on Air Auctioneer. The exhibition pairs Japanese antiques, including an 1800s-era gold-leaf shrine and carved Edo-period Netsuke sculptures, with contemporary interpretations of the Netsuke form. Featured artists include Susan Cianciolo, Anicka Yi, Kentaro Takashina, and Eric Ernschwender.

Price: Varies by object
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Nan Stewart


Through Friday, April 10

Alice Neel at the easel in <i>Alice Neel</i>, a film by Andrew Neel. Courtesy of Vimeo.

Alice Neel at the easel in Alice Neel, a film by Andrew Neel. Courtesy of Vimeo.

9. “Alice Neel: A Film by Andrew Neel” at Xavier Hufkens

Respected Brussels gallery Xavier Hufkens launches its online film program with a documentary on the great dynamo of figurative painting Alice Neel. Written and directed by her grandson, the film weaves interviews with surviving friends and family together with material sourced from the artist’s own personal archive of footage. The result explores the highs and lows of Neel’s practice as what she called “a collector of souls,” responsible for some of the most indelible portraits of the 20th century.

Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Tim Schneider


Through at least Saturday, May 9

Installation view "Richard Diebenkorn Paintings and Works on Paper" at Van Doren Waxter.

Installation view of “Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Works on Paper” at Van Doren Waxter.

10. “Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Works on Paper 1946-1952” & Special Presentation | Wartime Works 1943–1945 at Van Doren Waxter 

Though Richard Diebenkorn is best known for his pastel-colored vistas of California architecture and cityscapes, he was an accomplished draughtsman as well. In the dual presentations on view through Van Doren Waxter’s website (plus a digital catalogue), rare works that show the artist’s other skills are on view, including a moodier color palette in abstract canvases, and intimately-scaled watercolor portraits of soldiers and other wartime scenes.

Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Caroline Goldstein


Through Sunday, May 10

Jessie Makinson, I just saw your mystery face (2020). Courtesy of Lyles & King.

11. “Jessie Makinson: Dangerous Pleasing” at Lyles & King

Available for viewing on the Lyles & King website are works by London-based artist Jessie Makinson. Drawing inspiration from 17th- and 18th-century erotica and early Renaissance altarpieces, Makinson creates worlds where women dominate and look fabulous in leopard print catsuits (picture Carole Baskin from Netflix’s Tiger King vibes). Kate Neave acutely observes in the exhibition’s press release that “Makinson’s characters seem motivated by jealousy, narcissism, and, desire. Her paintings bring to mind conspiracies and betrayals, invoking plot lines that could equally have been plucked from Tudor England or Instagram stories.”

Price: Free
Time: Open daily, at all times

—Cristina Cruz

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