Open Sesame: Art Events in New York

9 Art Events to Attend in New York City This Week

A promotional image for Alex Bag's The Van (Redux)*. COURTESY TEAM GALLERY, NEW YORK

A promotional image for Alex Bag’s The Van (Redux)*.



Opening: Looking Back / The 10th White Columns Annual, selected by Matthew Higgs
The White Columns Annual showcase is traditionally curated by an individual or collective “based on their personal experiences with art in New York during the previous year,” according to a press release. This year, in his tenth year as director of White Columns, Matthew Higgs has selected works by a formidable list of artists. The list comprises: Justin Adian, Yevgeniya Baras, Kevin Beasley, Susan Cianciolo, Vaginal Davis, Rainer Ganahl, John Giorno, Bill Jenkins, Christopher Knowles, Sadie Laska, Ray Lopez, Birdie Lusch, Alice Mackler, Jackie McAllister, Dave McKenzie, Mieko Meguro, Marlon Mullen, Ruth Root, Zoe Pettijohn Schade, Peter Schlesinger, William Scott, Nancy Shaver, David Shrigley, Alan Vega, and Alyson Vega.
White Columns, 320 West 13th Street, 12–6 p.m.


Opening: Pia Camil at the New Museum
The New Museum presents the first solo museum show of work by Mexico City–based artist Pia Camil. Titled “A Pot for a Latch” in reference to a potlatch, a gift-giving festival practiced by the Native American peoples from the Pacific Northwest, Camil’s lobby gallery exhibition will invite visitors to participate in her piece by exchanging their own personal belongings for others, turning the gallery into a shop in which sentimental value is used as currency.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.


The promotional image for "Forgetting the Hand." COURTESY DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK

The promotional image for “Forgetting the Hand.”


Opening: Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon at David Zwirner
This show, titled “Forgetting the Hand,” is a fairly easy sell—Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon are going to work together for the first time ever. In what is sure to be one of the most visually stunning shows opening this week, Dzama and Pettibon will debut drawings that were made exquisite-corpse-style—one artist would start the drawing, cover up what he did, and then send it out for the other artist to complete. Since these drawings are the product of two imaginative artists who are fond of humor, irony, parody, and surrealism, expect some weird, memorable images. Dzama will also show a preview of his new video, which stars the comedian Amy Sedaris.
David Zwirner, 533 West 19th Street, 6–8 p.m.

Opening: Alex Bag at Team Gallery
Alex Bag’s latest show at Team Gallery, a video titled The Van (Redux)*, is technically a sequel to another video from 2001. Made for the Armory Show, the older video, titled The Van, stars Bag as three artists who are trying to appeal to a seedy dealer named LeRoy Leloup, played by the artist’s brother. Now, in a follow-up originally made for the ICA Miami, Bag’s five-year-old son stars as several more artists, all of whom are hoping to earn LeLoup’s respect. Shot entirely inside a Dodge van, the video pokes fun at the art market’s obsession with trying to perform certain roles or ideas to appeal to gallerists and collectors. If the Simchowitz-skewering promo image is any proof, Bag seems to be saying that the only difference between 2001 and now is that these characters really do exist.
Team Gallery, 47 Wooster Street, 6–8 p.m.


MADE IN THE U.S.A. poster.



Opening: Made in the U.S.A. at Garis & Hahn
Directed by Hamilton associate director Patrick Vassel, this play asks visitors to celebrate the recent engagement of a truly modern couple, May (Megan Hopp) and Adam (Osh Ghanimah). Here is a short, but telling, description:

“May is a young woman who has done it all without accomplishing a thing. Adam is a successful restaurateur who has accomplished his dreams and is wondering what’s next. In other words, America!”

Temptingly, a the price of a ticket entitles one to complimentary wine, cheese, and dessert.
Garis & Hahn, 263 Bowery, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $32.64

Opening: Glenn Ligon at Luhring Augustine Bushwick
Glenn Ligon’s new show, “We Need To Wake Up Cause That’s What Time It Is,” is the first of two shows at Luhring Augustine this winter; the second, titled “What We Said The Last Time” will open at the gallery’s Chelsea location in late February. Using seven video channels to document the 1982 standup film Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, Ligon, who is known for testing the limits of language, removes the sound of the comedian’s voice from all seven videos. One channel simply runs the footage without sound, while the other six focus on a specific body part—Pryor’s hands, head, mouth, groin, and shadow—to emphasize the animation of his delivery.
Luhring Augustine Bushwick, 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Opening: Lari Pittman at Gladstone Gallery
In a new series titled “NUEVOS CAPRICHOS,” Los Angeles–based painter Lari Pittman puts his spin on Francisco Goya’s similarly named series of etchings, which offer veiled critiques of violence in 18th-century Spain. Not content to confine himself to as small a space or a monochrome color palette, Pittman’s new paintings are large and visually stunning. Filled with wild patterns and images of pain, the “NUEVOS CAPRICHOS” works are punctuated by shades of red and angry faces. Goya’s paintings were made centuries ago, but, in Pittman’s eyes, the violence displayed remains contemporary.
Gladstone Gallery, 530 West 21st Street, 6–8 p.m.

Charles Harlan's "Flood," 2015. COURTESY PIONEER WORKS

Charles Harlan’s “Flood,” 2015.


Opening: Charles Harlan at Pioneer Works
Charles Harlan will be showing a new selection of works as curated by David Everitt Howe. Here is a tersely poetic description available on Pioneer Works’ website:

“A 10-ft. by 10-ft. brick cube, 10 feet high, with a basin of water inside.
A chain link fence, 6 feet wide, draping 33 feet from the ceiling, resting on the concrete.
A piece of fencing, into which a tree grew.
736 sq. ft. of roofing shingles, tiled on the floor to walk on.”

An official opening reception will be held at the Red Hook space next week, on January 22.
Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn, 12–6 p.m.


Opening: Cameron Rowland at Artists Space
The essay for Cameron Rowland’s show at Artists Space has 28 footnotes, many of which deal with the prison-industrial complex, so it’s clear that this show isn’t a walk in the park. That’s normal for Artists Space’s dense, theoretical slate, but even by the consistently smart nonprofit’s standards, Rowland’s show, titled “910200,” sounds like a hard one. For those intrigued by a challenge, Rowland’s work can be rewarding—his unaesthetic, decidedly conceptual works tackle big political issues in very abstract ways. For “910200,” Rowland will look at how prisoners are used for labor like slaves—accompanying an essay for the show are scans of delivery slips from Corcraft, an organization that employs prisoners to service nonprofits.
Artists Space, 38 Greene Street, 3rd Floor, 6–8 p.m.

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