(image via friedman_benda / Instagram)

Comfort
Opening Thursday, January 89 at Friedman Benda, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 15.

Everyone has a different definition of comfort. Your grandfather’s old and cigarette-scented armchair might feel like home to you but cause another person to wrinkle their nose in disgust. Curator Omar Sosa’s latest show at Friedman Benda focuses on the harmonies and contradictions inherent in items, particularly pieces of furniture and design, meant to bring comfort in one way or another. As this is an art exhibition and not a furniture showroom, comfort is usually interpreted quite creatively—think a boxy bookshelf that leans but never falls, a sculpture entitled “Toilet Sink,” and a colorful blanket meant for a pair.

Jane Dickson, “Live Girls 2” 2001, Oil stick on Emory Cloth, 18 x 18 in. (image via Howl! Happening)

Hot Hot Hot
Opening Thursday, January 9 at Howl Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 23.

Times Square is now a too-crowded, too-bright place full of tourists and questionable-looking costumed characters, but it was once a hub for salacious dealings of all sorts. The theaters that currently host glitzy Broadway shows were formerly home to burlesque shows in the twenties and X-rated cinemas after that. Sex shops proliferated as well, but one of the most notable relics of Times Square’s past is the live peep show. Artist Jane Dickson, who has spent ample time living in the area, has been dutifully documenting the swaying bodies of Midtown’s past (specifically, the 1980’s) for decades. Some of her lesser-seen paintings will be on view at East Village space Howl! Happening starting this Thursday.

(image via Lesley Heller Gallery)

Two Figures in a Field
Opening Friday, January 10 at Lesley Heller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 22.

A trend that has popped up in recent years is the museum that doubles as an aesthetic experience, specifically one to be broadcast to social media. Colorful imagery abounds, as well as interactive components that subvert the typical “look, don’t touch” museum ethos. While most of these experiential events favor like-ability over substance, there is still interactive art out there that doesn’t seem to exist for the sake of the ‘gram. Israeli artist Tom Pnini’s latest offering, Two Figures in a Field, combines elements of theater, puppetry, music, and history, creating a unique mazelike installation inspired by the Brooklyn Theater fire of 1876, complete with historically-accurate sea shanties and other curious tidbits.