art exhibitions

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Art This Week: Construction, Windows, and Queer Black Bodies

(image via The Walther Collection / Facebook)

Destruction and Transformation: Vernacular Photography and the Built Environment
Opening Thursday, February 7 at The Walther Collection, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 25.

No geographic location ever looks exactly the same over time, but if there’s one type of place that has the most potential for rapid transformation, it’s cities. This photo show at Chelsea’s The Walther Collection seeks to spotlight photographs taken throughout history that reveal the ways buildings and land have been knocked down and built upon, and not always in beneficial ways. Taken between 1876 and 2000, this “vernacular photography” (defined as “utilitarian imagery made primarily for commercial or personal purposes”) illustrates how urban expansion has been historically valued more than preserving the natural world, from mining towns in rural Kentucky and West Virginia to the sprawling metropolises of NYC and Los Angeles. Keep Reading »

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Mapplethorpe, Warhol, and More Art This Week

“Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1986” Image credit: Courtesy Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts/ Artists Rights Society (ARS)

Andy Warhol: By Hand, Drawings 1950s-1980s
Opening Tuesday, January 22 at New York Academy of Art, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 10.

Most people know Andy Warhol by his colorful printed pop art creations, films, and tendency to bring together some of the city’s most intriguing artists, writers, socialites, and drag performers. Or perhaps his associations with The Velvet Underground or Interview magazine come to mind. But Warhol also made drawings—he started out as a commercial illustrator—and you can see a selection of them created over the course of 30 years in a new exhibition at the New York Academy of Art. Rather than the bold shades of Warhol works like the iconic painting Campbell’s Soup Cans, these drawings are more minimal, often featuring nothing more than a pencil and paper. If you’ve already seen the sprawling Whitney retrospective, here’s a chance to see the artist in a new light. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: City Collages, Uyghur Portraits, and 2 Shows in 1

John Driscoll (image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Slight Perturbations / The Weight of Things
Opening Wednesday, January 16 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 13.

Fridman Gallery’s new space on Bowery has two levels, upper and lower. Fittingly, there will be two exhibitions opening there this Wednesday: a show of of interactive sound sculptures by John Driscoll in the upper space, and a two-channel video installation by Dana Levy centered around the Palace of Versailles in the lower space. Driscoll’s sculptures resemble hodgepodge collections of found objects or avant-garde furniture pieces crossed with a science fair, but they’re much more than something to puzzle over: they contain minuscule microphones and speakers, and a “reflective foil” that creates sound with help from whatever objects are nearby. And though it’s in the lower level, Levy’s video work deals with the upper crust of Versailles, depicting the palace’s contents steadily crumbling due to an earthquake. Keep Reading »

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Art Exhibitions To Start 2019 With

Image: Logan T. Sibrel, ‘Best-Case’, 2018, Pencil on paper, 6.75 x 5.25 in. Courtesy the artist. (image via Leslie-Lohman Museum / Facebook)

Better Loser
Opening Friday, January 4 at Leslie-Lohman Project Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 6.

It’s the new year, and most of us are probably reflecting on what we did over the last 365 days and what we can do to at least be marginally better. Rather than dream up a more perfect being, artist Logan T. Sibrel prefers to focus more on the flaws and complications of being alive, making drawings depicting people who are acting difficult, awkward, aroused, and sometimes all three at once. Deemed “a serious joke,” his mixture of words and images are reminiscent of a sort of existential comic book. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to finally think of a resolution, or maybe just to ditch the concept entirely. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Psychedelic Collage and Meditations On The Unpleasant

(image via Nat Girsberger / Facebook)

Close Your Eyes
Opening Thursday, December 13 at The Storefront Project, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 6.

Looking at Nat Girsberger’s collages, on view at the Lower East Side’s Storefront Project starting Thursday, is a good way to get lost in a kind of psychedelic fantasy land. Outer space, nature, animals, and human figures intermingle in landscapes with colors that seem brighter than what one would typically encounter in reality. In a time where the news feels more and more anxiety-inducing every day, it’s important to have little moments of escape, where we’re not filled with dread and instead perhaps wondering about the inner life of a deer standing among very large mushrooms standing on a vivid path that seems to be leading into the sun.

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Art This Week: A Stonewall Veteran, Violent Clothing, and More

Thomas Lanigan Schmidt. Lollipop Knick Knack (Let’s Talk About You), c. 1968-69. Foil, printed material, linoleum, glitter, staples, Magic marker, found objects and other media

Tenemental (With Sighs Too Deep For Words)
Opening Friday, November 16 at HOWL! Happening, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through December 19.

The year 2019 (which isn’t too far away) will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a pivotal and much-debated moment in LGBTQ history. While 50 years is a fairly long time ago, some people who were present on that fateful day are still alive and kicking today, including the artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, who will be exhibiting a collection of art and ephemera at HOWL! Happening right before Stonewall’s 50th. Lanigan-Schmidt’s work is kitschy and eye-catching, using common-yet-ostentatious materials like foil, glitter, and colorful plastic wrap. Broken down into individual parts, his materials may appear to some as trash, but assembled into these creations they take on a new, queer life full of promise. Keep Reading »

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Queer Zines From the Pre-MySpace Era and More Art Shows This Week

(image via Derek Eller Gallery / Facebook)

White Lies
Opening Thursday, October 11 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 11.

For better or for worse, we can all agree something there’s no shortage of in today’s world is information. From partisan pundits to much-maligned “fake news” to legitimate educational content, it’s hard to tune it all out completely, even if you try. This is evident in the work of painter Despina Stokou. What initially looks like colorful abstract work is revealed to be artistic, chaotic renderings of words: Twitter posts, political commentary, hashtags, and the multifaceted feelings of people living in America today. But of course, some of these painted-on phrases have become hard to understand, quite literally erased by broad strokes of white. Sound familiar? Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Groovy Folk Art, Incarceration Adaptations, and More

(image via Front Room Gallery)

Back To Nature
Opening Wednesday, September 5 at Front Room Gallery, 7 pm. On view through October 21.

If you ever rode the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, you’ll recall paintings hung on some of the walls that had eyes that appeared to follow you as you moved your own from side to side. Spooky! That’s sort of how I feel when I look at the wide-eyed paintings done by Amy Hill, who is opening a solo exhibition at Lower East Side’s Front Room Gallery on Wednesday. Her portraits are realistic while also being surreal and a little creepy (even the cats stare at you with unblinkingly large eyes), bringing the style of 19th century American folk art into more modern times. Rather than setting her figures in the 21st century, she curiously grounds them in 1960s counterculture, where peace-sign necklaces and fringed leather replace any peasant frocks. We never actually found that peace, did we… Keep Reading »

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A ‘New Yonic Era’ and More Art This Week

(image via Cooler Gallery)

Surface Tension
Opening Tuesday, July 31 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 12.

Some art has sweeping sociopolitical messages, while other art serves a primarily aesthetic purpose. Neither is better or worse: sometimes you want to be provoked into thinking deeply about the world around you and sometimes you just want to be dazzled by how cool something looks. The work of mixed media artist Senem Oezdogan (presented in partnership with Uprise Art) falls more into the latter category, consisting largely of “fiber-based geometric studies” inspired by architecture, shapes, and the textures of fabrics. They’re fairly simple pieces, featuring abstract shapes and rich splashes of color, and manage to convey an alluring calmness in their playful minimalism. Rather than fixating on what message an artwork might be trying to proclaim, Oezdogan’s work invites you to merely appreciate the visuals. If it makes you feel nice, you don’t need to question it. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Beach Bodies, Paintings, and Who Gets To Play

Nate Lewis (image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Strange Beach
Opening Tuesday, July 24 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 31.

Summertime is a time for going to the beach, but that’s not what this group exhibition at Fridman Gallery is about, despite the name. Rather, it’s a “metaphor for the body,” framing one’s physical form as a vessel of sorts that can advance, retreat, swallow up others, be intruded upon, amass debris and valuable items alike over time. Three artists comprise Strange Beach: Arghavan Khosravi, Nate Lewis, and Tajh Rust, who incorporate themes of race, social history, portraiture, and the marginalized retaking their own narratives, whether this be through drawing on photographs to create something celestial or painting portraits of people using their own skin tones to inform the color palette. Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Pleas For Peace, New Sculptors, Motherhood

(image courtesy of The Untitled Space)

Defining Form
Opening Wednesday, July 11 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 1.

When one thinks of sculpture, it’s likely the old masters of yore come to mind: Donatello, Michelangelo, Bernini, even more modern creators like Duchamp and Calder. Something else these artists have in common, in addition to their acclaim and skill, is their gender. Surprise surprise, like most art historical figures, they’re all men. New group show Defining Form seeks to introduce the public to a new, more diverse generation of sculptors. Over 50 artists are participating in the exhibition, which features common motifs of feminism, unconventional materials, and technologically-advanced ways of creating art, such as 3-D printing. So, come and have your notions of what it means to be a sculptor expanded. Keep Reading »

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Art About America and More Exhibitions Opening This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective / Facebook)

Amurikana
Opening Wednesday, July 4 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm.

The 4th of July falls on a Wednesday this year, which for the people with Real Jobs means you probably have to drink less than you would if it was on a weekend. It’s also admittedly a weird and unsettling time to have a holiday that’s supposed to celebrate patriotism and America when in just the past week families were torn apart, children were kept in cages, journalists were shot dead at a local newspaper, and a Supreme Court Justice who occasionally voted in non-conservative ways announced his retirement. Even so, it can be comforting to come together for a little merry-making. If you’re looking for something to do before or after a rooftop party, backyard BBQ, or other outdoor activity, the artists of Con Artist Collective are putting up a show appropriately all about America, whatever that might mean to them. Keep Reading »