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Art This Week: Black Portraits, Robotic Architecture, Neon Pleasure

Amy Sherald
Sometimes the king is a woman, 2019
Oil on canvas
137.2 x 109.2 x 6.4 cm / 54 x 43 x 2 1/2 inches
Photo: Timothy Doyon
© Amy Sherald (image via Hauser & Wirth)

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.

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Saying Goodbye to The Glove, a DIY Space Sent From Heaven Above

Grendel’s Mother (Photos by Alex Wexelman)

Now that it’s no longer an active venue, I can tell you the address of The Glove. The only problem is I never knew the address to begin with. It wasn’t listed online for safety reasons; I just knew it by its nondescript entrance, a gray metal door covered in graffiti, located somewhere on Lexington off of Bushwick’s Broadway.  More →

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Hidden in a Brooklyn Couple’s Home, a Literal Karaoke Den

(Photo courtesy of Lion’s Roar)

Late on a Friday afternoon, right before things were sure to get busy, Zaida Soler-Williams and Roberto Williams welcomed me into their East Williamsburg apartment, which is also their place of business. The living space is furnished simply, with a couch, house plants, and a few black leather lounge chairs; less expected are the large speakers tucked in seemingly every corner, the dominant screen along one wall, and the disco lighting everywhere, illuminating even the countertops in phosphorescent blue. “We go all out,” Roberto told me. “We’re not the type to do things halfway.” More →

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Art This Week: Cuban Abstraction and Tender Collaboration

(image via Sean Kelly Gallery / Facebook)

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.

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Cinema Secret: At IFC, Peepholes Let Passersby Watch Movies in Miniature

Thousands of people walk by them everyday, oblivious to their existence. But you’ll notice them if you’re looking. At eye height, two peepholes covered by sliding metal shutters allow passersby to watch one of the movies playing at IFC Center in Greenwich Village. The two holes look into an actual theater on the ground floor, allowing the peeper to surreptitiously observe the activity taking place inside. More →

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Performance Picks: Butch Drag, Backyard Comedy, Queer Memoir

THURSDAY

(image via Eventbrite)

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.

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Art This Week: Shoeboxes and Abstraction

(image courtey of Shoebox Museum)

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.

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Novelist Nell Zink Counts Ian MacKaye as a Fan, and Now a Character in Her Indie-Inspired ‘Doxology’

Nell Zink (Photo by Francesca Torricelli via HarperCollins)

Some writers grapple with grand ideas, while others compose devastatingly satirical works of fiction. Nell Zink’s got both neatly covered. Her latest novel Doxology spans several decades in the lives of its characters—notably Pam and Daniel, a young couple with a daughter named Flora, and their friend Joe, whose musical career takes off in the 1990s. More →