THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
Opening: Robert Rauschenberg at Jim Kempner Fine Art
Like his fellow Neo-Dadaist Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg is mostly known for the work from the ’50s—his “combines,” which featured ready-made objects placed alongside collaged images. But, also like Johns, Rauschenberg had a large oeuvre (he died at age 82 in 2008), and this show at Jim Kempner Fine Art brings two lesser-known series from the ’70s, both involving the use of clay, to light. With “Made in Tampa,” Rauschenberg collaborated with a ceramicist to mimic various objects in clay. Meanwhile, in “Tracks” Rauschenberg restaged his Automobile Tire Print by running a tire over clay slabs. This show, titled “Making Tracks,” is the first time “Tracks” has been shown in its entirety in America.
Jim Kempner Fine Art, 501 West 23rd Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: This Takes Place Close By at Knockdown Center
This neo-Romantic opera, created by music ensemble thingNY, presents the perspectives of six different characters as they explore a world wrecked by a natural disaster. Garbage and flickering lights, in addition to “a soundscape of voices, instruments and electronics from twenty different sound sources,” according to a press release, promise an optimally bleak experience.
Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY, 9 p.m. Tickets $20.
Premiere: Chambre at the New Museum
Presented with the French Institute Alliance Française, writer, choreographer, and director Jack Ferver and artist Marc Swanson will show their farcical reworking of Jean Genet’s play The Maids. The play draws upon ideas including “the gruesome facts of the real-life murders that inspired The Maids; Lady Gaga’s infamous courtroom deposition speech; role-play; and a manic fantasy escape to the City of Lights,” according to a press release. Swanson has created sculptures for the play, which will serve as both installation and set design.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 7 p.m. Tickets $20.
Book Release Party: Liam Everett at On Stellar Rays
To keep the art-book fair spirit going, On Stellar Rays is hosting a release party for Liam Everett’s limited-edition artist’s book, INUTILE. Everett has traced the forms of antiquated hand tools found outside of a studio in Toulouse, adding rust marks that present “indexical fragments of now-obsolete utility, pushed to the point of abstraction,” according to a release. The images are accompanied by encyclopedic text by Bruno Tollon, who identifies the tools, and prose by Rabih Alameddine.
On Stellar Rays, 1 Rivington Street, 7–8:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Opening: “The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film” at the Jewish Museum
There are arguably fewer times in the past century when images were as political as they were in 1920s Russia. This was a time when Soviet photography and poster art were trying to redefine Russia as a utopia in which man and machine lived hand in hand. Meanwhile, in the film world, Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein created new editing techniques that broke shots into little disparate pieces of actions, causing their movies to feel as though they were at war with themselves. The result was a new style of art that allegorized Marxist class struggles in Russia at the time. This show at the Jewish Museum looks at the interplay between photography, film, and posters in defining a new, more political aesthetic.
Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Avenue, 11 a.m.–5:45 p.m., free with museum admission
Screening: Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem at the Museum of Modern Art
Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari, who has previously participated in MoMA’s “Projects” series and who represented Lebanon in the 55th Venice Biennale, is a product of his country’s political situation. Years and years of strife, and years and years of hearing politicians jabber on about it, have caused Zaatari to become doubtful of how much he really knows about conflicts in Lebanon. Here, with his new film Twenty-Eight Nights and a Poem, Zaatari translates his questions about the truth in Lebanon into a visual essay about the archiving of photographs at the Arab Image Foundation, which the artist himself co-founded in 1997. As these images are replicated using both digital and analog methods, they move farther away from their original versions. Zaatari will be present for a Q&A after this screening, which is also the film’s U.S. premiere.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 7:45 p.m., free with museum admission
Opening: “Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars” at the Morgan Library & Museum
In spite of—or perhaps, because of—his spare prose, Ernest Hemingway has endured as one of the most mythical and endlessly fascinating literary masters of all time. This exhibition, a collaboration with Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library, retells many of his most famous novels and short stories through letters, photographs, typescripts, first editions, and other ephemera. Lost Generation–era novels A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Sun Also Rises will be subjects of particular examination, as will the famous Parisian expatriate social scene of the 1920s, which features prominently in the latter.
The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Reading: “Poetry Parade for Site and Sight” at the Whitney Museum
In this feminist reading action, A. K. Burns and Katherine Hubbard will co-organize a group of artists who will participate in what they have called a “Poetry Parade.” The artists will begin on the new Whitney’s fifth floor and then walk through the museum, with readers reciting self-selected texts in response to various works in “America Is Hard to See,” as well as in response to the Whitney’s new location and Renzo Piano–designed building. The readings will question how culture gets seen through various frameworks. Nayland Blake, Burns, Anna Craycroft, Nicole Eisenman, Hubbard, Simone Leigh, Catherine Lord, Kamau Patton, and Sreshta Rit Premnath will all do readings at the event.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 6:30 p.m., free with museum admission
Tour: Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s 20th Annual Art Crawl on the Lower East Side
This tasteful guided tour, curated by the Kitchen’s Lumi Tan, will cover Henry Gunderson at 247365, Rob Halvorson at Chapter NY, Lizzie Wright at Essex Flowers, Emily Mae Smith at Laurel Gitlen, Chris Hood at Lyles and King, Leah Beeferman at Rawson Projects, and Louisa Gagliardi and Fay Nicolson at Tomorrow Gallery. You can also feel doubly good knowing that ticket sales will go directly to grants assisting both cancer patients and emerging bicoastal artists.
The tour will begin at Laurel Gitlen, 122 Norfolk Street, 5 p.m. Tickets $30, or $35 at the door.