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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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Black Art Matters and More Exhibitions This Week

(image via Con Artist Collective)

August Summer Residency Showcase
Opening Wednesday, August 29 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through August 31.

It’s the end of the summer, which means people are scrambling to get the last of their leisure time in before it feels less justifiable to do so. This often means less events and other artistic goings-on. After all, it’s hard to have an art show when you don’t want to leave the beach. But the restless vigor of Con Artist Collective continues—on any given day (including in the midst of the end-of-summer lull) you can probably find them up to something, whether that be the party-filled unveiling of a new art exhibition or something else entirely. Starting Wednesday night, the Lower East Side art space’s summer studio residents will be showing their latest creations. 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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City Planning Weapons, The Internet’s Queer Future, And More Art This Week

Zhang Enli
The Broken Sofa, 2017
Oil on canvas
220 x 180 cm / 86 5/8 x 70 7/8 in
© Zhang Enli
Courtesy the Artist and Hauser & Wirth

The Garden
Opening Thursday, January 25 at Hauser & Wirth 22nd Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 7.

Some abstract art is indeed just blotches of color, shape, and brushstroke. But some art that looks abstract, such as the works of Zhang Enli, could in fact be a version of hyperrealism. The subjects of Enli’s paintings are often recognizable landscapes, such as the gardens peppered throughout Shanghai, zoomed in far enough to become unrecognizable and in doing so, take on a new type of beauty. However, there’s only the partial presence of hyperrealism in Enil’s works, as they’re modeled off of real imagery but imbued with his own personal interpretation. Is that swirl green because it was originally green, or does it look that way because the artist made it so? You can give your best guess, but not knowing is part of the fun.

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Roomba As Painter, 3D Sound Fields, And More Art This Week

(image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)

Channels
Opening Wednesday, January 3 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 24.

Channels seem like they’re becoming a bit of a relic, at least when they’re referring to the ones found on television. Several technological relics of sorts play a major role in sound artist and audio engineer Daniel Neumann’s new solo exhibition, aptly titled Channels. In it, large auditory objects appear simultaneously as sculptures and music-makers, including a custom-built vintage speaker and a 56-channel mixing board suspended in midair. The third “sculptural” component of the show is a bit more abstract: a 3D sound field made up of 56 sounds and their subsequent feedback. Whether you see it as a concert of objects or a visual display, there will be something to take in.

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Jemima Kirke of Girls Talks Painting, Marriage and #MeToo

Kirke with “ShiShi In My Wedding Dress,” 2017. (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

You may know her as the free-spirited Jessa in oft-discussed HBO show Girls, but Jemima Kirke considers herself more painter than actor. Her third solo exhibition, The Ceremony, is currently on view at Lower East Side gallery Sargent’s Daughters. A series of portraits depicting both friends and fictional women in their wedding dresses, the show seeks to interrogate why women still partake in this “antiquated ceremony.” A few days after the opening, we met with Kirke at the gallery to talk marriage, the #metoo movement, and recent controversy involving her castmate Lena Dunham.
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Art This Week: Sculptural Decay, Immigrant Portraits, Post-Apocalyptic Paintings

(image courtesy of Derek Eller Gallery)

Dawn of the Looney Tune
Opening Thursday, November 16 at Derek Eller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 23.

Not all sculptures involve components like carrots and bread, but Michelle Segre’s sculptures certainly do. You can see them this Thursday at LES space Derek Eller Gallery, when her latest exhibition opens. As these works often involve organic matter such as the aforementioned carrots and bread, and gallery shows are often on view for quite some time, it is almost guaranteed that Segre’s work will subtly change as time goes by. More specifically, that organic matter is probably going to get mushy. Or grow fur. Or change colors. Either way, it will shift. And you will get a healthy reminder that like it or not, we are all slowly but surely decaying. Happy Monday! Keep Reading »

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Art This Week: Immigrant-Made Paper Sculptures, The Opioid Trail + More

(image via Superchief Gallery NY / Facebook)

Ron Wimberly
Opening Thursday, October 5 at Superchief Gallery NY, 7 pm to midnight. On view through October 26.

Ronald Wimberly is not only a visual artist creating compelling and colorful images, but has also designed and completed narrative illustrations for multiple graphic novels and companies like Nike and Marvel. He’s even drawn a comic combining Brooklyn gentrification and vampires. This week, you won’t just find Wimberly’s work within the pages of comics like Prince of Cats and Black History In Its Own Words, but on view in a solo show at Ridgewood’s Superchief Gallery. There, you can see unique renditions of sports players, rappers, bubblegum-colored cartoon creations, and surely much more, as Wimberly has a lot of work out there. Keep Reading »

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Intergalactic Utopias, Suburban Kitsch, and More Art This Week

(image via Max Rosen / Facebook)

Omg Random
Opening Tuesday, September 5 at Benson’s NYC, 7 pm. On view through September 19.

Some art shows are tightly curated, conceptually driven projects that claim to elegantly tackle a Big Theme. Others are just selections of nice-looking stuff. Both types of curation are valid, but sometimes you want to give your lil’ old brain a break and just look at some fun, colorful works of art. Luckily, it appears that the aptly-titled Omg Random, opening tonight in the Lower East Side, will deliver all this and a bag of chips. But probably a bag of chips in painting form.

The show consists of work by Mary Houlihan, Max Rosen, and Rosie Morales. They will be showing paintings, mixed media works, collages, and more. Some of you may know Mary as a comedian, but she also makes very fun paintings. I once commissioned her to make a custom dog painting that really turned out great. I have not commissioned dog paintings from the other artists, but they seem top-notch as well. And if you like what you see, prints will be available for sale at the opening.

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Art This Week: Father + Son Collab, VR World, Hairy Domesticity

(image via Babycastles / Facebook)

Virtual Insanity
Opening Monday, July 17 at VR World NYC, 7 pm to midnight.

I think we can all agree that reality as we know it currently leaves something to be desired. So, what about virtual reality? For those not particularly prone to dizziness and/or nausea, it can be a very effective way to literally escape the perils of life and be thrust into a new environment. Even if you move your head in a bunch of angles, you can’t escape it! It’s pretty remarkable, TBH. Or terrifying, depending on what world you’re virtually immersed in. 

Tonight is the beginning of VR World NYC and Babycastles’ “VR-themed exhibition and concert.” You’ll be able to see VR ~experiences~ crafted by 9 developers/artists and vibe to music from Icarus Moth, RAFiA, and Haleek Maul. How hard can you dance without your VR goggles falling off? Tonight be the night to find out. Keep Reading »

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One Structure To Sustain You, Selena Lives On, And More Art Openings

(image courtesy of Cooler Gallery)

A Structure For Hope And Survival
Opening Tuesday, June 6 at Cooler Gallery, 7 pm to 10 pm. On view through June 30.

Artist Huy Bui has a penchant for constructing environments, and his latest creation to be brought to life at Navy Yard-adjacent art space Cooler Gallery is timely in its name: A Structure For Hope and Survival. Deemed a “framework of organizing artifacts, objects, art, tools, books, games, supplies, seeds, plants and provisions,” this “modular ecological unit” serves as a structure and container for anything you might need, from plants and seating areas to how-to books and emergency snacks. An artist statement indicates that a manual is in the works for anyone who might want to build one themselves. The opening reception on Tuesday will begin with a panel discussion entitled “Art and Architecture in the Anthropocene” with Bui, fellow artists, and people who have worked on projects like Playlab and the Lowline.

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Robotic Theater, Online Anxiety, and More Art This Week

(image courtesy of Disclaimer Gallery)

Anxiety Sex
Opening Wednesday April 12 at Disclaimer Gallery, 6 pm to 10 pm. On view through May 8.

Ah, anxiety and sex, two things that go together like peanut butter and jelly, or perhaps crying and bathrooms. Artist Charlotte Greene, the latest to set up shop at the inclusive Disclaimer Gallery inside the Silent Barn, sees this all too well. Focusing on the many strange ways digital encounters can translate to IRL ones, Greene has formed an array of digital collages made from predictive iPhone text, tweets, stream-of-consciousness writing, and more.

Riffing off of a computer’s ability to zoom, distort, crop, and alter images, many aspects of these collages have been modified accordingly, often to the extent that they are hardly legible anymore. This manipulation mirrors the strange spirit of online communication, in that it can be so easily seen as something larger, smaller, or entirely different than it ever intended to be. Talk about #relatablecontent!

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