The heart of the matter… Opening Tuesday, September 10 at Hauser & Wirth,6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 26.
As a painter, Amy Sherald focuses on portraiture that captures the human spirit, specifically the African-American spirit. She achieves this by taking inspiration from the classic American Realism style, popularized by the likes of George Bellows and Edward Hopper (both, unsurprisingly, white men), and imbues it with a distinctly contemporary energy and eye-catching pops of color. They’re tall, too, with a typical painting spanning over four feet tall and three feet wide. A collection of Sherald’s paintings will be on view at Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street gallery space, at an exhibit that takes its name from within the pages of a bell hooks book.
Constructing Her Universe Opening Thursday, September 5 at Sean Kelly, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 19.
Most of the exhibitions in New York’s galleries center living artists who are actively making work today, but not always. This week, Chelsea art space Sean Kelly will be presenting the first American retrospective of Loló Soldevilla, a Cuban artist who predominantly made work during the abstraction heyday of the 1950’s. Though Soldevilla has been at times overshadowed by more well-known (and male) artists, her contributions to art in Latin America and beyond were groundbreaking and noteworthy—in addition to her innovations in the field of geometric abstraction, she also curated shows, co-founded a gallery, and advocated against political corruption.
We’re Tired Thursday, August 29 at Cobra Club, 8 pm: FREE
Thursday is a strange day. It’s not quite as close to the weekend as Friday is, but still gives you a looming sense of freedom. At the same time, it’s several days into the work week, which can make anyone feel weary. Comedians Irene Fagan Merrow and Amanda Hurley may very well be tired in the standard work week sense, but they’re also exhausted for another reason: seeing too many shows flooded with straight white men. Indeed, even in this day and age they still manage to find a way to populate, well, everywhere. As a counter to this, We’re Tired features performers who don’t identify as that. This time, they’re welcoming comedians Yedoye Travis, Alissa May Atkinson, Jordan Temple, Rachel Sennott, and Carolyn Castiglia.
Shoebox Museum Opening Thursday, August 29 at 198 Allen Street, 10 am to 7 pm. On view through August 31.
Sneaker culture has reached a bit of a fever pitch in the past few years, with people worldwide getting their kicks (figuratively and literally) from reselling and/or buying flashy shoes of all sorts, as long as they resemble a sneaker. Historically, shoes come in boxes, and aside from being a convenient storage method and material for your elementary school dioramas of yore, shoeboxes are an opportunity to showcase both function and creativity and design, just like the shoes inside it do. The Shoebox Museum understands this, and for a few short days will be filling the Lower East Side with shoeboxes aplenty, from recognizable classics to the innovative and even avant-garde.
Ablaze: an A Capella Musical Thriller August 22-24 at New Ohio Theater, 7:30 pm (Sunday shows at 2 pm and 8 pm): $20
Traditionally, the only music associated with the horror or thriller genres (well, aside from the actual song Thriller) is ominous background noise, or instrumental tracks featuring a lot of minor keys, creepy strings, and other such sounds. A cappella singing usually isn’t involved, or even considered. However, in Ablaze, a new musical thriller from Prism House Theater Company, it stands proudly front and center. Yes, this is an a cappella thriller musical, and it’s about a group of teens who survive a fire only to find themselves stuck in a secluded basement with a mysterious presence. What else to do but sing about it?
Orchid.Summer Opening Wednesday, August 21 at The Olympia Project, 6 pm. On view through September 12.
When you think of art having to do with particular colors and seasons, you might think of formal pieces of fine art depicting sunsets and foliage and other such subjects. Matthew Morrocco’s work, on view at The Olympia Project in Williamsburg, does in fact dabble in such imagery, but that’s not all. The star, appearing in front (and sometimes lurking in the background) of sun-dappled beaches and parks, is a person wearing a bright yellow morph suit (remember those?). Faceless and monochrome but more fun than creepy-looking, this figure injects a certain surreality to otherwise fairly standard photographic scenes. It makes one wonder how classic still lives and landscapes might look with this mustard-tinged individual added to the mix. More →
Nowadays, many may have written off Williamsburg as a place that has fallen prey to the likes of big banks, pricey hotels, and chains. However, restaurateur Daniel Cipriani, of Bushwick’s Sea Wolf and the newly-opened Gemelli and The Ledge, still has faith in the neighborhood. That’s why his newest venture, the “post-punk dystopia”-themed bar JJ’s Hideaway, will be located in the midst of it all, on bustling Wythe Avenue.
The Mx. Nobody Pageant Week 2 Thursday, August 15 at Brooklyn Bazaar, 7 pm: FREE
Drag Race isn’t on right now, but if you’re still itching for a competition involving lip-syncing and creative outfits, look no further than the Mx. Nobody Pageant, which will give you all that, but with less commercialism and restrictive notions of what a drag performer looks like. Anyone can compete in this pageant, and new performers are particularly welcomed. So, head on over to Brooklyn Bazaar to get a peek at what the future of drag might look like, and how diverse such an art form can truly be.
Rawr means I love you in dinosaur Opening Thursday, August 15 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through September 22.
If the title of this exhibition at Lower East Side space Lubov brings back memories, particularly ones involving Myspace and Hot Topic and straightening your hair too much, it’s meant to. No matter if you look back on scene and emo subcultures with embarrassment, pride, or total confusion, artists Riley Hanson and James Gregory Atkinson want you to revisit these tender, oddly-fashioned times through art. Hanson has painted a series of portraits of scene kids from back in the day, while Atkinson has contributed an array of large-scale photos of eyes wearing novelty contact lenses while feeling all sorts of emotions.