Art Hearts

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Art This Week: The Power of Posters, Light-Activated Paintings, and More

The Rat Cigarettes, c. 1938, Xie Zhiguang. From the collection of Mark H. Choko (image courtesy of Poster House)

The Sleeping Giant / The Swiss Grid
Opening Thursday, February 27 at Poster House. On view through August 23.

We see posters frequently in our everyday life. Movies coming out soon, ads for startups, information on new citywide regulations, the list goes on. Posters are such a frequent facet of our surroundings we tend to write them off. At Chelsea space Poster House, that all changes. Expand your understanding and appreciation of rectangular printed matter with their latest exhibitions. One, The Sleeping Giant, explores how posters illustrated China’s economic development in the 20th century. The other, The Swiss Grid, delves into the ubiquitous Swiss design and typographic style, typically involving sans serif fonts and a geometric-yet-asymmetric page layout.

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Art This Week: Rebellious Black Girls and Creations Beyond the 9-to-5

Nichole Washington, “The Keepers” (image via The Untitled Space)

Rebellious Black Girl
Opening Tuesday, February 18 at The Untitled Space, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through February 28.

Though the cultural landscape is certainly more diverse than it used to be, it can still fall into the trap of expecting people of certain identities to look and behave a certain way, lest they be cast off and deemed unacceptable. Artist Nichole Washington pushes against all that with her solo show Rebellious Black Girl, on view at The Untitled Space in Tribeca for the rest of the month—which, of course, is also Black History Month. Washington’s work is centered around photography, but with a playful, mixed media twist, mixing vivid pinks, purples, and teals with bold imagery of powerful Black people expressing themselves however they please.

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Art This Week: Updated Art History and Design for Old Age

(image via Pratt Exhibitions / Facebook)

New Old: Designing For Our Future Selves
Opening Thursday, February 6 at Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through May 23.

Technology has always been both a blessing and a curse, but recently this sort of cognitive dissonance has become more and more apparent. Amidst looming hyper-surveillance and other technological developments that might give you goosebumps, there’s still the truth that tech and design can be harnessed for good. The latest exhibition at Pratt’s 14th Street gallery, curated by Jeremy Myerson, explores this by focusing on innovation in the field of aging and how that can manifest by way of design, from cars to clothes and beyond. 

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A Puffy Playground, A Public Art Legacy, and More Art This Week

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.

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Art This Week: Discarded Toys, Water, and Fermentation

(image courtesy of Doosan Gallery)

stain begins to absorb the material spilled on
Opening Thursday, January 16 at Doosan Gallery New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 15.

This “lab” exhibition by artists Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin and Jesse Chun is an intellectual and sensorial treat, offering much to see, hear, ponder, and even smell. The show focuses on the curious relationship between language and digestion, with each artist centering their work around one of these two components. Chun unpacks and deconstructs language’s ability to “render one readable as a subject,” from the ubiquitous presence of English to the power of official written documents, while Shin (who also has an ongoing session at Recess) utilizes ancient Korean vases used for fermentation to explore the theoretical and literal vitrification (the process of a substance becoming glasslike) that occurs in conjunction with Westernization.

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Art This Week: Peep Shows and Curious Comfort

(image via friedman_benda / Instagram)

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.

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Art This Week: Sci-Fi Meets Reality and Holiday Shows

An Evening With Muses
Opening Wednesday, December 18 at Ace Hotel New York, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 20.

Whether it’s a ticketed drink and draw event, a university art class, or a 1-on-1 arrangement, the IRL relationship between artist and model is alive and well these days, though it’s still usually more of a private affair. But on Wednesday, art models Najee and Ume will take to the Ace Hotel to pull back the curtain for all to see with the exhibition An Evening With Muses, which is based on a live drawing series they held at The Ace’s restaurant. On view will be work created in those live sessions, showcasing the many different ways that artist can represent muse. And to show you how it all happens, there will also be a live drawing presentation.

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Murakami, Couture’s Craft, and More Art This Week

(image via Staley-Wise Gallery / Facebook)

Behind the Scenes
Opening Thursday, December 12 at Staley-Wise Gallery. On view through January 25.

The world of fashion, be it editorial or runway, is very much a polished one. Outfits are perfectly tailored, images are retouched, runway shows are directed and planned, and makeup and hair is painstakingly crafted. It’s less common to get a peek at the work that goes into making this possible, but it’s the chief objective of photojournalist Harry Benson’s latest exhibition at Soho’s Staley-Wise Gallery. The prolific photographer, who has captured notable faces from JFK to The Beatles, has been snapping shots at fashion shows for decades. This show focuses on everything but the finished product (well, and some of that too): the designers at work, the models preparing to walk, the people who actually purchase couture, and more.

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Art This Week: Uncanny Glitches and Duchamp’s Commodification

Lina Puerta, Crop Laborer (pink and gold), 2018

Present Bodies: Papermaking at Dieu Donné
Opening Wednesday, December 4 at BRIC, 7 pm. On view through February 2.

Though it’s not quite as big a part of our lives as it used to be, paper is still ubiquitous. It creates our books, our restaurant menus, our never-ending piles of junk mail, and of course, our art. Starting Wednesday, our humble paper will get the star treatment at an exhibit at BRIC, showcasing artists who not only make art on paper but make the very paper displaying their art. The show features eight artists who participated in a recent residency at hand papermaking organization Dieu Donné. They all use their craft to explore marginalized bodies, taking both their identities and the medium their art exists on into their own hands.

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Art This Week: Avant-Garde Retrospective and Mall Memories

Phill Niblock
China 88 Slide 94
Courtesy of Phill Niblock and Fridman Gallery.

Working Photos
Opening Monday, November 25 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through January 5.

Phill Niblock has been creating art for over fifty years, which is longer than the majority of people reading this have presumably been alive. This dedication to creation has manifested in the form of minimalist audio compositions, photographs, and film. He has collaborated with the likes of Sun Ra and shown work anywhere from the Tate Modern to DIY space Silent Barn. Now, he’ll be showing a wide variety of this multifaceted body of work at Fridman Gallery, in an exhibition that will be accompanied by a performance and screening series taking place both at the gallery and at Niblock’s longtime loft space on Centre Street.

(image via Front Room Gallery / Facebook)

Mallrat to Snapchat: the End of the Third Place
Opening Friday, November 29 at Front Room Gallery, 7 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 12.

One of the most popular places to shop during the holidays is a mall, or at least it used to be. Now, these hubs for teen socializing, family activities, and hurried gift-searching are becoming a thing of the past, replaced by online stores and shifting shopping tendencies. Photographer Phil Buehler seeks to illuminate this cultural shift in his solo exhibition Mallrat to Snapchat, using a New Jersey mall that closed earlier this year as his main case study. The show will appropriately open on Black Friday, and features photographs of the mall in various stages of existence as well as paraphernalia like vinyl albums from 1973, the year the mall opened.