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Queer Intimacy From Mapplethorpe and Goldin, Plus More Art This Week

Hikaru Fujii, The Primary Fact, video still, 2018, seven-channel video, 73 min. Courtesy of the artist. (image via ISCP / Facebook)

The Primary Fact
Opening Tuesday, June 26 at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 12.

Did you know there is a recently-excavated mass grave in Athens, Greece with contents dating back to 7 B.C., including “eighty shackled skeletons” with great teeth? Artist and current resident at the International Studio and Curatorial Program Hikaru Fujii does, and he’s spent a lot of time documenting and learning about this curious piece of history. The result of this work will be on view in The Primary Fact, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. It features predominantly video and photography, focusing on the “inconclusive scientific viewpoints” that have emerged about the grave, its contents, and its history. In addition to displaying actual imagery from the Athenian grave, Fujii also assembled a group of Greek men to recreate the choreographic moment of mass execution (presumably due to a political coup) that led to this grave in the first place. Keep Reading »

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La Nacional Will Reopen, Seeking To Be ‘More Authentic Than Ever’

(image courtesy of La Nacional)

The last time we checked in with the Spanish Benevolent Society’s beloved restaurant La Nacional, they announced they’d be closing for a “complete renovation” in March 2016, with a planned reopening featuring new chefs in May of that same year.

The Spanish Benevolent Society’s executive director Robert Sanfiz finds it “really hilarious” to look back on that optimistic estimation. “We had go through major structural work,” he tells me. “Ultimately, it was going to eat a lot of our time and a lot of the money we put away.” Despite the delay, La Nacional will officially reopen on June 15, which coincides with both the 150th anniversary of the Spanish Benevolent Society and the World Cup match between Spain and Portugal. Keep Reading »

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Feminist HPV, Charles Atlas, and More Performance Picks

WEDNESDAY

(image via Andrew Hardigg / Facebook)

Gorilla Manners / Atlas / Coffee Cup Conundrum
Wednesday, May 2 at Dixon Place, 7:30 pm: $15 advance, $18 doors

Tonight, you can get not one, not two, but three shows in the same night. The first is Gorilla Manners, a play by Andrew Hardigg directed by Jordan J. Baum, which includes a character called Vaseline and a gorilla who does not like being stared at for too long (hence the “manners” portion of the title, I suppose). The second is Atlas, a show by The Red Lines that explores how communication can be distorted by the artifice that we create. The third, Coffee Cup Conundrum, not only works well as a tongue twister or vocal warm-up, but will likely also remind us about the massive amount of plastic we throw away and how we’re only going to be able to ignore it for so much longer. So, there’s something for everyone! Keep Reading »

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Feminine Power, Queer Nightlife, and More Art This Week

“Summer Sisters” 2018 by Rebecca Leveille (image via The Untitled Space)

The End of Love
Opening Tuesday, May 1 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 13.

For an exhibition sporting as foreboding a title as The End of Love, Rebecca Leveille’s paintings are so entrancing as to inspire a sort of optimism in the viewer. In addition to being strikingly beautiful, her paintings portray feminine beauty, bliss, and sexuality in a way that’s playful and mixes elements of realism and mythology, allowing for a mental break from the seemingly constant barrage of nonsense coming from the world. Leveille is no stranger to the realm of the fantastical, as she has previously created illustrations for Magic: The Gathering under the name Rebecca Guay. Looking to how the artist herself has spoken of this show, the connection between the title and the content begins to feel more clear. “What comes after delusions of ‘love?,’” she writes. “Feminine power and sexuality find new ground, as does an urgency to assert the female gaze.” Keep Reading »

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Streetball Letterman Jackets, Art & AIDS, and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Fort Gansevoort)

I’ve Been Heard
Opening Thursday, November 30 at Fort Gansevoort, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through

“Public Parks to this day exist as one of the very few remaining spaces that are designed to be democratic: free and open to all,” proclaims a statement for artist and boxing teacher Cheryl Pope’s latest installation at Fort Gansevoort. While the intent for a location isn’t always put into practice by all, it does remain true that public parks provide, or attempt to provide, such a freedom. Pope’s installation focuses on NYC youth, who often flock to parks and the street basketball courts that accompany them. After speaking with an array of young people, she created banner flags and “All-American Varsity Letterman Jackets” displaying some of their statements, elevating the words of youths who may be often ignored into literal fine art. Keep Reading »

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New Exhibitions: One Artist In Two Galleries, Beautiful Soup, Native Transformers

(image via Disclaimer Gallery / Facebook)

First, Play / Second Date
Opening Wednesday, November 8 and Thursday, November 9 at Disclaimer Gallery and Field Projects, 6 pm to 9 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm.

It’s common to see many artists showing work in one gallery show, but less so to see a singular artist (who isn’t a long-deceased master or buzzy household name) exhibiting at multiple galleries in the same city at the same time. Though this may be rare, queer artist Loren Britton is far from ordinary. Both exhibitions explore the confines and freedoms of bodies and language, specifically in regards to the queer and gender non-conforming experience.

At Chelsea’s Field Projects, their charming but rough paper pulp wall reliefs reside. Over at Bushwick’s Disclaimer Gallery, a sandbox installation rife with pastel, pulp, and radical politics makes its home. At the former, it’s recommended attendees “stay clean”; at the latter, “getting dirty is encouraged.” Rounding out the artist’s presence is a coloring book collaboration with artist/designer Laura Coombs; people are encouraged to fill in the book on their time between exhibitions. Keep Reading »

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Italian Anti-Capitalists, Bobby Cannavale at an Opening, and More Art This Week

Orchestra di stracci – vetro diviso (Rag Orchestra – Divided Glass) — Michelangelo Pistoletto, 1968
Rags, bricks, fabric, glass, kettles, steam, hot plates
2 glass panels, each: 0.4 x 130 x 90 cm / 1/8 x 51 1/8 x 35 3/8 in
Installation: 50 x 320 x 270 cm / 19 5/8 x 126 x 106 1/4 in (approx.)

Arte Povera
Opening Tuesday, September 12 at Hauser & Wirth 22nd Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 28.

When you think about Italian art, the Renaissance probably is the first thing to come to mind. However, as many of us have come to know far too late in life, what you were taught in your history classes is far from the whole picture. In this case, Italy is and has been home to a wide variety of artistic movements, and not all of them involved painting elaborate portraits for wealthy patrons. Keep Reading »

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Visit a Bodega Where Every Item is Made of Felt. Yes.

Credit: www.sewyoursoul.com

Have you ever fantasized about visiting a bodega where every sale item is an exact replica made of felt? No? Either way, as on June 5, you’ll now have the opportunity.

For your consideration: Next week British artist Lucy Sparrow will unveil her newest art installation– a 1,200-square-foot space she has conjured into an “immersive, fully stocked felt convenience store.” The store will contain 8,000 purchasable items, all made of felt. Snickers bar? Felt. Pack of Marlboros? Felt. Liter of milk? Felt. Bodega cat? Felt, probably.

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Luke’s Lobster, Gotham Poké,  and More Premiere at the New Gansevoort Market

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

After opening in 2014, Gansevoort Market was unceremoniously booted earlier this year so that Keith McNally could take over the food hall’s space for a revival of his Meatpacking District longtimer Pastis, which itself had become homeless due to development. If you’re keeping score in this game of musical chairs, Gansevoort Market has quietly reopened on 14th Street and 9th Avenue with a host of new vendors in addition to some returning favorites.

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Spend Some QT With Jazz Iconoclast Cecil Taylor at The Whitney

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

Let’s face it, Cecil Taylor’s music isn’t what you put on the hifi to unwind after a long day at work— google the pianist and composer and you’ll find words like frenzied, cacophonous, and “acquired taste” used to describe his particular brand of free jazz, a genre he pioneered – along with Ornette Coleman—during late-’50s performances at the legendary Five Spot Café on the Bowery.

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Honoring NYC’s Wild Nights of Go-Go Boys and ‘No Lips Below the Hips’

"A night at Danceteria," pictured are Ethyl Eichelberger, Keith Haring, Cookie Mueller & John Sex Danceteria, New York City 1984 (Photograph by Joseph Modica)

“A night at Danceteria,” pictured are Ethyl Eichelberger, Keith Haring, Cookie Mueller & John Sex Danceteria, New York City 1984 (Photograph by Joseph Modica)

A new exhibition at La MaMa brings together the various threads of New York City nightlife, art, and HIV/AIDS activism. The close ties were always there but curators, gallerists, and artists seem to be reassessing spaces that are thought to be reserved for escapism and debauchery. Osman Can Yerebakan and Emily Colucci (who has contributed to this blog in the past) are the curatorial team behind Party Out of Bounds: Nightlife as Activism Since 1980. The show has been in the works for two years, so Colucci and her curatorial partner have been able to compile an incredible array of archival materials, photographs, and work by artists who are long gone and contemporary artists and activists who are ensuring the party rages on.

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Asteroids Didn’t Land on the Meatpacking District, It’s Just José Parlá’s Latest

(Photo courtesy of The Standard, High Line)

(Photo courtesy of The Standard, High Line)

The Standard, High Line — last seen getting a nifty rooftop paint job from Romon “Rostarr” Kimin — has teamed up with another one of our favorite artists, José Parlá.

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