Above: Fort Makers in collaboration with Visual Magnetics. Photo: Jen Bristler. Courtesy of Fort Makers.

Opening Wednesday, January 22 at Fort Makers, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through March 11.

Usually you can’t touch the art, but starting this Wednesday at Orchard Street space and art collective Fort Makers, you can not only touch it, but rearrange it to your liking. Puffy, organized by Naomi S. Clark, Noah James Spencer, and Nana Spears, transforms the space into a colorful playground of pillows and canvas ready to be grabbed, hugged, and strewn about. If you’re still finding yourself in the clutches of seasonal depression, perhaps an afternoon getting in touch with your inner child (while also engaging in art, of course) could help.

The Family. Beach Channel High School, 1974. 100-00 Beach Channel Drive, Queens, NY. Photo by Lea Bertucci. Courtesy of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive, The Cooper Union.

Nivola in New York: Figure in Field
Opening Thursday, January 23 at Arthur A. Houghton Jr. Gallery at The Cooper Union, 6:30 pm. On view through March 15.

If you’re the poetic type, you could say that nearly all of New York is a kind of public art piece. In a way, it’s true: the city is home to a myriad of public art, both officially approved and not. Many of these works were made by Costantino Nivola, an Italian sculptor who is the subject of a new retrospective at The Cooper Union opening this Thursday. Nivola created over 20 pieces throughout the city, frequently collaborating with architects to allow for pieces that were both aesthetically-pleasing and functional. From a wall relief in a sleek showroom for an Italian maker of computers and typewriters to an outdoor recreational facility on the Upper West Side, Nivola’s mark can be seen throughout the city. This exhibition offers a deeper dive, providing insight into the artist’s process and legacy.

Image: Max Ernst, “Lettrine D,” 1974, collage on paper, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, 8.9 x 8.9 cm, 9 1/4 x 9 x 1 1/2 inches, framed, 23.5 x 22.9 x 3.8 cm. © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, France. Photo by Diego Flores. (via Kasmin / Facebook)

Max Ernst: Collages
Opening Thursday, January 23 at Kasmin, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 29.

Certainly, the most notable Surrealist artist is Salvador Dali, but there are plenty others out there who can dazzle and bewilder with their out-there creations. Max Ernst, a German artist active in the early-to-mid 1900s, is one such Surrealist. A collection of Ernst’s collages will be shown at Chelsea gallery Kasmin, many of which will be seen publicly for the first time. His pieces recall richly-illustrated children’s books with an otherworldly twist, combining people, animals, and scientific content in unusual ways. Also on view will be an assortment of drop-caps (the part of books where the beginning letter or word of a chapter is accented), predominantly made for artist’s books.