Flash of the Spirit
Opening Friday, November 9 at Salon Bowery 94, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 21.
Lyle Ashton Harris’s photos, on view at Salon 94 Bowery starting this Friday, contain much colorful, vivid imagery, but few human faces. Instead, the faces in the bodies he captures are covered by elaborate, striking masks sourced from a variety of places, including several African masks from his uncle’s collection. These images are actually self-portraits, but you might not know it. And that’s kind of the point: throughout history, people putting on masks has been equated with them transforming into someone (or something) else, whether that be an improved version of oneself or a way to avoid accountability. Harris has been making work dealing with queerness, Blackness, and the self in the context of diaspora for decades, and this is a chance to see what he’s up to now.
Toy Temple Human Monk
Opening Saturday, November 10 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 6.
This show at Chinatown/Tribeca space Lubov is actually the first exhibition ever for its two artists, Chiara Ibrah and Daffy Scanlan (who also makes music under the name Drumloop). Rather than start with anything easy or frivolous, they’re cutting right to the serious core: the artists share common ground due to their unrelenting dreams of violent apocalypse. Fire, starvation, mysterious disappearances, the whole lot. When such topics plague one’s subconscious, it’s understandable to try and make sense of it all by way of creation. A description for the show notes visitors will have to “drag themself upon hands and knees through the metallic carnage that drapes the gallery space,” and it’s unclear how literal to take this proclamation. But doesn’t the idea of some actual danger in a fine art gallery make you feel kind of excited?
Intimate Immensity: Alberto Giacometti Sculptures, 1935-1945
Opening Sunday, November 11 at Luxembourg and Dayan, 5 pm to 7 pm. On view through December 15.
Yes, Luxembourg and Dayan is on East 77th Street, but sometimes you find yourself uptown and you want something to do. If you’re around there Sunday afternoon, you can stroll over to see a new exhibition of small-scale work from Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti created during World War II in the earlier stage of his career, before his creations and acclaim grew larger—he later received the Venice Biennale grand prize for sculpture. Giacometti’s humanoid sculptures on view here are barely three inches tall. Contemporary artist Urs Fischer’s surveillance-centric exhibit is also still up, so you can come for one show and stay for the other.