The 1 Must See Art Event In New York This Week: Hank Willis Thomas at Jack Shainman Gallery
Our editors choose the one art event in New York not to miss this week.
We’re all too busy during the week to do all the great things we plan and hope to do. So if you can only commit to one arty event this week, here’s what you should not miss!
FRIDAY April 10
Hank Willis Thomas “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015” Opens at Jack Shainman Gallery
Conceptual artist, Hank Willis Thomas, unveils his fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015” explores identity and commodity within the context of media and pop culture, continuing the exploration begun in his earlier show “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008.” Thomas appropriates advertising images from the past century, building on notions of virtue, power, beauty, privilege, and desire in America, while focusing on the conception of the white, American female.
A body of work that comprises the rise and decline of print advertising, Thomas, whose work appears in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum, offers representations of the “ideal feminine type” as showcased to the American public, with no consideration for the representation of gender, racial or socio-economic lines. The artist presents these images outside of the commercial framework they existed in, and thus forces the viewer to grapple with the meaning of these images as they stand alone.
One of his works, Just as our Forefathers intended (2015), depicts not-so-modestly dressed women piling into a boat pulled by an American-made truck. The underlying messages behind the work in this exhibit are startling and relevant; they bring to light current cultural disconnects. In an interview with Time magazine, Thomas notes, “Part of advertising’s success is based on its ability to reinforce generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity which are generally false, but [these generalizations] can sometimes be entertaining, sometimes true, and sometimes horrifying.”
Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20 Street, Friday April 10, 6-8 PM.
For the intrepid, here are a few other exciting happenings around town:
“Please Excuse Us For Our Appearance,” an inaugural show at 247365 Gallery’s new Stanton Street space
The Brooklyn-based gallery, which recently expanded with a satellite space in Manhattan (see The 15 Brooklyn Art Galleries You Need to Know Now), is moving from Eldridge Street to Stanton Street and unveiling a new exhibition for the occasion. The show will feature 17 artists, Lite Jazz by Nathan Whipple with Alaina Stamatis and a performance by RAF.
247365 Gallery, 57 Stanton Street, Tuesday, April 7
Richard Prince, “Original” opens at Gagosian Gallery
The gallery presents Richard Prince’s Untitled (Originals), blurring the line between Prince’s art and his known love of books (in 2011, his books, manuscripts, and ephemera were featured in an exhibition “Richard Prince: American Prayer” at the Bibliothèque nationale de France). His “Originals” pair vintage adult novels with the original artworks for their covers.
Gagosian Gallery, 976 Madison Avenue, Thursday, April 9, 6-9 PM.
Robert Irwin “Cacophonous” opens at Pace Gallery
Eight of Irwin’s new light works on display at Pace advance his use of fluorescent light as he focuses on ambient environmental conditions. The exhibition will be on view through May 9.
Pace Gallery, 534 West 25th Street, Thursday, April 9, 6-8 PM.
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