Each week, we search New York City for the most exciting, and thought-provoking, shows, screenings, and events. See them below.
Tuesday, January 24
1. “Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space” at Metropolitan Museum of Art
Italy’s sole female Arte Povera artist, Marisa Merz, gets her first major US retrospective at the age of 90. The avant-garde movement began in the late 1960s, embracing unconventional processes and, as the name suggests, “poor” materials. The Met will showcase five decades worth of work, from non-traditional sculptures and large-scale installations to portraits made of clay and wax.
Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, 1000 Fifth Avenue
Price: Suggested admission $25
Time: Sunday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Tuesday, January 24–Saturday, January 28
2. Alexandra Bachzetsis’s Massacre: Variations on a Theme performances at the Museum of Modern Art
The performance artist and dancer will lead a four-day showing of her new dance work, which heads over to the Centre Pompidou in Paris next month. Massacre is steeped in a number of influences, including, as the press release notes, “tarantism, classic Northern Soul dancing, Dada and Surrealism, and the movements of pioneering figures in dance, including Trisha Brown and Simone Forti.” See it here first.
Location: Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street
Price: Suggested admission $25
Time: Tuesday–Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 10:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 26
3. “Defiant Jewelry: A Business Model for Challenging Social Justice” at the Cooper Hewitt
In conjunction with the exhibition “By the People: Designing a Better America” (through February 26), which features 60 design objects that aim to subvert social and economic inequality, Cooper Hewitt hosts a panel discussion on how small businesses can be a force for social justice. Amy Peterson and Patricia Caldwell of Detroit’s Rebel Nell, a studio that hires women transitioning out of the shelter system to turn locally “harvested” Detroit graffiti into jewelry, will share their experiences with Shauna Carey, Amplify program director of IDEO.org.
Location: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2 East 91st Street
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.
Thursday, January 26–Saturday, February 25
4. “Jan Frank: Paintings” at Nahmad Contemporary
Writer Glenn O’Brien curates a survey exhibition of paintings by the Dutch-American artist Jan Frank at Nahmad Contemporary. The show features the artist’s works produced over the past 25 years and explores the breadth of his varied use of mediums—including his pieces on plywood and canvas using ink, oil, acrylic, projection, and silkscreen.
Location: Nahmad Contemporary, 980 Madison Avenue, Third Floor
Time: Opening reception, 6 p.m.—8 p.m.; Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Thursday, January 26–Saturday, March 25
5. “Wangechi Mutu: Ndoro Na Miti” at Gladstone Gallery
Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, known for her fantastical collages, showcases her sculptural practice with a new installation that “transforms the gallery space into a terrestrial cosmology that spans the microscopic to the mythic,” according to a statement from Gladstone. Two cast bronze sculptures, one inspired by East African folklore, the other responding to the appropriation of African masks in Western art, are the centerpieces of an environment created using dirt and brush taken from near Mutu’s studio.
Location: Gladstone Gallery, 530 West 21st Street
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.; Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Friday, January 27–Sunday, May 7
6. “Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change” at the International Center of Photography
This exhibition examines a phenomenon so obvious as to go virtually unseen: the idea that “an ongoing revolution is taking place politically, socially, and technologically” while these same digital technologies are “simultaneously both reporting and producing social change.” Organized around visual manifestations of critical issues like #BlackLivesMatter, gender fluidity, climate change, terrorist propaganda, the refugee crisis, and the right-wing fringe and the 2016 election, “Perpetual Revolution” is the kind of show that embraces lots of information in order to confront, organize and explain. Expect a humdinger.
Location: International Center of Photography, 250 Bowery
Time: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Friday, January 27–Sunday, May 14
7. “Fast Forward: Painting From The 1980s” at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Opening January 27 and running through May 14, “Fast Forward: Painting From the 1980s” relies on paintings in the museum’s permanent collection, including works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel to re-examine the 1980s and explore how painting recaptures artists’ imagination against the backdrop of the art world’s expansive growth. During the decade in question, an unprecedented number of new galleries cropped up, particularly in downtown Manhattan and mounted groundbreaking shows. Despite that new mediums such as video and installation art were being produced and shown with more frequency, many artists nonetheless were embracing painting anew.
Location: Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street
Price: Adults $25, Seniors/Students $18, Members and 18 and under free
Time: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday, January 28–Sunday, March 12
8. “A Jealous Person” at Hometown Gallery
Bushwick gallery Hometown presents a new body of work by artist Andrea Joyce Heimer—the first solo show by the artist in New York—exploring what it describes as “that timeless albatross of human emotions, envy.” With wide ranging topics including suburban life, puppy love, and adolescent awkwardness, Heimer combines story telling with forthright honesty—often autobiographical—to create skillful and intriguing work.
Location: Hometown 1002 Metropolitan Avenue #21, Brooklyn
Time: Opening reception January 28 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday, January 28–Monday, March 27
9. “Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise” at SculptureCenter
A project that aims to redirect capital from wealthy nations to the extremely poor in Africa, by way of the art market, gets its first New York showing this week. Dutch artist Renzo Martens uses his gallery shows to sell works by Congolese plantation workers, who have formed a group called the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantations Congolaise, and they get the proceeds.
Location: SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City
Time: Opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; Thursday–Monday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Through Saturday, February 11
10. “Louise Bourgeois: Holograms” at Cheim and Read
One of those shows that you just have to see in person, Cheim and Read’s new Louise Bourgeois exhibition delves into a little-known aspect of the artist’s practice, showcasing her explorations with holograms. The eight small prints on view, created in conjunction with New York-based holographic studio C-Project beginning in 1998, seem like windows into a dark fantasy world. Bourgeois’s unsettling sculptures, such as disembodied cast feet resting on small bed (the physical object is also included in the show), take on a new, even more disturbing bent in these blood red three-dimensional photographs, which spring to life as the viewer approaches.
Location: Cheim and Read, 547 West 25th Street
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
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