MONDAY, MAY 9
Reading: “Say Bye to Reason and Hi to Everything” at the Kitchen
This event celebrates the publication of Say Bye to Reason and Hi to Everything, a chapbook anthology edited by Andrew Durbin and featuring new writing by Dodie Bellamy, Cecilia Corrigan, Amy De’Ath, Lynn Tillman, and Jackie Wang. Each writer will read their work, while the artist Nayland Blake, who designed the book’s cover, will stage a performance.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 7 p.m.
TUESDAY, MAY 10
Talk: Nancy Grossman, Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, and Betty Tompkins at Flag Art Foundation
Nancy Grossman, Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, and Betty Tompkins are quite a quartet. The four artists, each of whom have been made iconic by their artwork dealing in the representation of women, will come together to speak about just this, and about their careers as artists and feminists. Glenn Fuhrman will moderate.
Flag Art Foundation, 545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, 6–8 p.m. RSVP to email@example.com
THURSDAY, MAY 12
Opening: Billy Al Bengston at Andrew Kreps Gallery
With Andrew Kreps having recently opened a joint space with Anton Kern in San Francisco, the gallery brings work by a Californian to New York. Billy Al Bengston is hardly a name familiar to many Manhattanites, but in Los Angeles during the ’60s and ’70s, he would have been better known. Having come to the fore through Ferus Gallery, which also made artists like Edward Kienholz and Larry Bell famous, Bengston notably incorporated artificial elements into his work while at the same time finding a way to mimic nature. Bengston went diving in his free time, and the works in this exhibition mirror the flow of animals underwater. They’re mostly cut-up canvases that are suspended from the ceiling—Bengston has compared seeing the work to swimming through a kelp forest. At Kreps’s smaller 535 West 22nd Street space, Bengston’s watercolors will also be on view.
Andrew Kreps Gallery, 535 and 537 West 22nd Street, 6–8 p.m.
Screening: “Selections from Magellan” at Met Breuer
Avant-garde filmmaker Hollis Frampton is best known for (nostalgia), 1971, in which he offers stories in the form of voiceover as he burns photographs, but Frampton meant for his Magellan cycle to be his greatest work. With an intended runtime of 36 hours, the Magellan cycle was supposed to be a group of films that loosely paralleled Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the world. Frampton died in 1984, of cancer-related causes, so the work was never completely realized. What stands of it today has already been the subject of intense scholarly study, however—it’s laced with Duchampian puns and references to the birth of the universe. Selections from the Magellan cycle will screen in the Met Breuer’s “Unfinished Film” series, where they look more at home than ever. Ken Eisenstein, a scholar who writes about American experimental film, will introduce the selections. —Alex Greenberger
Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY 13
Opening: “Mirror Cells” at Whitney Museum
Since reopening, the Whitney has been particularly kind to emerging artists—its Rachel Rose and Jared Madere projects and its recent figurative-painting survey, “Flatlands,” are proof. Now Christopher Y. Lew and Jane Panetta continue that commitment to up-and-comers with this mysterious show, named for the brain neurons that are activated when humans observe behavior. The show loosely focuses on artists whose work—here, mostly sculptures made from commonplace materials, like wood and clay—reacts to outside factors, be it the passing of a mother or other works in the show. The artist list is strong and comes mostly from small New York galleries, like Off Vendome and Real Fine Arts: Liz Craft, Rochelle Goldberg, Elizabeth Jaeger, Maggie Lee, and Win McCarthy. Also worth noting: several screenings of Lee’s can’t-miss film Mommy are already slated to happen at the museum. —Alex Greenberger
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Opening: “Frida Smoked” at Invisible-Exports
For what must be one of the season’s oddest group shows, “Frida Smoked” will focus on female artists who involve cigarettes in their work. To explain: Cigarettes used to be for men, but gradually women began to smoke them as well, as a proto-feminist gesture. (The sole image made available at this time of writing is none other than the proto-feminist Surrealist Frida Kahlo having a smoke.) Then again, as a release reminds viewers, “all good artists smoke”—not just the female ones. Featuring work by Genesis Belanger, Anne Doran (an ARTnews senior editor), Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Ilse Getz, Irini Miga, and Amanda Nedham, “Frida Smoked” will look women artists who continue to use cigarettes in their work today.
Invisible-Exports, 88 Eldridge Street, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 14
Opening: Lee Mullican at James Cohan Gallery
“We were dealing with art as a way of meditation,” Lee Mullican once said of the way he and his Californian colleagues approached painting, and this much is obvious in his paintings’ surfaces, which pulse with rich red, blues, and greens. During the ’50s and ’60s, Mullican combined the visual languages of Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and pre-Columbian and Native American artifacts. The result was a style that was at once personal and wildly absorbing—the kind of painting that demands repeat viewings and prolonged time to really appreciate. (Yes, this was before psychotropic drugs.) This show of drawings and paintings from the ’50s and ’60s focuses on how Mullican, who died in 1998, opened up painting as a site for visual stimulation—a place where abstraction could conjure the cosmos and require formal analysis in equal measure. —Alex Greenberger
James Cohan Gallery, 533 West 26th Street, 5–7 p.m.
Conference: Seven on Seven at New Museum
Now in its eighth year, Rhizome’s Seven on Seven conference has become known for its offbeat pairings of artists and technologists. Previous editions have produced notable works, such as Taryn Simon and Aaron Swartz’s Image Atlas, which allows Internet users to plug in a search term and see what Google Image results come up for it in different countries, and this year’s Seven on Seven will likely continue the conference’s streak of unexpected collaborations. Hito Steyerl is paired with Grant Olney Passmore, the founder of an artificial-intelligence technology company; Trisha Baga is paired with Mike Woods, the founder of White Rabbit VR. And that’s just two exciting examples of what this year’s conference has to offer. —Alex Greenberger
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 12–6 p.m. Tickets $175
Installation: Wildlife! at Signal
The Swiss musician and sound artist Wildlife! teams up with local collective Nitemind and artist Jesse Hlebo to create a site-specific installation in celebration of Patterns, the new Wildlife! release on Brooklyn label Mixpak. The record explores the interzone between bass-heavy club music and more abstracted contemporary sound design, so Signal’s Bushwick space—raw enough to function as either a gallery or rave site—seems like a ideal fit. Plus, judging from previous Nitemind efforts, forecasts indicate that there will be a high probability of lasers.
Signal, 260 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, 7–10 p.m.