MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
Talk: LaToya Ruby Frazier and Kellie Jones at the Strand
Two MacArthur “Geniuses” in the same room is a fairly rare and exciting occurrence, but this talk is especially noteworthy since it brings together the remarkable photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier and pioneering art historian Kellie Jones, who just received MacArthur honors last month. They’ll be discussing Frazier’s photo-book The Notion of Family, for which the artist traveled to her hometown—Braddock, Pennsylvania—to make work. Done in black and white, these works, printed here by Aperture in Frazier’s first book, revise the history of documentary photography to include an emphasis on black and female Americans as a way of discussing racism and inequality.
The Strand, 828 Broadway, 7–8 p.m. Admission is free with purchase of book
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4
Performance: Maria Hassabi at the Kitchen
At the Museum of Modern Art in March, visitors were left to wonder why a woman was lying face-down on a staircase to the atrium. That, as it turned out, was part of a performance called Plastic by Maria Hassabi, who is known for making work about bodies and stillness in public spaces. For a performance this week at the Kitchen called Staged, a new commission, Hassabi will do something similar, arranging motionless dancers in a formation that could even be considered a form of sculpture.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 8 p.m. Tickets $16/$20
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
Opening: “Fragonard: Drawing Triumphant” at Metropolitan Museum of Art
Most probably know Jean-Honoré Fragonard for his Rococo paintings, among them his sexy, colorful cycle “The Progress of Love” (1773). Yet Fragonard did more than just make playfully erotic paintings of upper-class French people fooling around in their grand backyards, and this show focuses on a littler-known aspect of Fragonard’s work: his drawings. Culled from several collections around New York, including the Met’s, these 100 drawings were mainly made as preparatory sketches for his paintings. Those done in chalk bring to the fore Fragonard’s interest in textures, attesting to his talent for capturing the shininess of dresses and the shadows in their folds.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Opening: Cecily Brown at the Drawing Center
In what is surprisingly her first New York museum show, Cecily Brown will have her drawings surveyed in an exhibition titled “Rehearsal.” Known best as a painter of pictures where bodies and abstraction coexist, Brown is also an exacting draughtswoman. Here, Brown’s work takes as its subject William Hogarth’s prints of spoiled bourgeois families and a Jimi Hendrix album cover, among other things. Impasto build-ups of paint are replaced with splashes of ink that loosely sketch out her figures’ surroundings. They never quite look finished, but that may be Brown’s point—each work grows out of the other, like studies for a piece that never completely exists.
The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: Carol Mancusi-Ungaro and Yve-Alain Bois at Whitney Museum
With so many contemporary artworks involving unusual materials, how does the Whitney Museum conserve its collection? Art conservation is the subject of this talk, titled “The Falsification of Time,” between Whitney conservation department associate director Carol Mancusi-Ungaro and art historian Yve-Alain Bois. They’ll be discussing the difficulties and challenges of up-keeping the Whitney’s collection, and the art-historical issues surrounding that. For background reading, have a look at Ben Lerner’s wonderful piece about the Whitney’s conservation department that the New Yorker published earlier this year.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 6:30–8 p.m. Tickets $8/$10
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
Opening: Agnes Martin at Guggenheim Museum
Beloved by artists and critics alike, Agnes Martin’s minimal paintings have inspired artists for decades, yet not until last year did they receive proper institutional attention. (The Guggenheim is the latest stop for this show, which also went to Tate Modern and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) Most know Martin for her grid paintings, subtle in their aesthetic and grand in their experiments with form, but as this retrospective goes to show, she also produced a number of other important works, in various mediums. Following Martin from her work leading up to the grid paintings through her time in New Mexico, this show provides the well-rounded look at the artist’s career we’ve been waiting for.
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9
Performance: Rudy Shepherd at Jackie Robinson Park
For this work, titled Induction Ceremony, Rudy Shepherd will perform with his work in Jackie Robinson Park. Commissioned for the Studio Museum’s “inHarlem” initiative, which puts works by New York–based artists of color in local parks, Shepherd’s work is an amorphous house-like form that is meant to dispel any racial prejudice and negative vibes. The performance will do something similar by adding a soundtrack to the sculpture, courtesy of Brian Alfred, Elia Einhorn, Christof Knoche, and Ethan Meyer. By becoming a part of the work, the audience will be leave the park feeling less negative, according to the artist.
Jackie Robinson Park, 1–2 p.m.
Screening: Blue at Metrograph
Derek Jarman’s seemingly simple 1993 film Blue virtually describes itself—it’s about 80 minutes of a blue. (To be specific, the shade of blue here is International Klein Blue, named for the artist Yves Klein, who engineered the color himself.) What the film lacks in visual complexity it makes up for in its soundtrack, which includes various voiceovers about AIDS and the various meanings of the color shown onscreen. A meditation on losing sight and parting ways with the outside world, the film was made when Jarman was dying of AIDS-related causes, rendering him partially blind. Blue would become Jarman’s final film; he died the next year. The film screens here as part of Metrograph’s “Queer 90s” series, which focuses on New Queer Cinema and how filmmakers dealt with the fallout of the AIDS crisis.
Metrograph, 18 Ludlow Street, 3:45 p.m. Tickets $15
Screening: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography at Film Society of Lincoln Center
Showing this week as part of the New York Film Festival, Errol Morris’s latest documentary focuses on Elsa Dorfman, who, for the past few decades, has been taking 20X24 Polaroid photographs of her friends, among them the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Dorfman’s photographs attempt to capture something plain about her subjects—she asks them to wear what they would normally wear, and to bring props that they use on an everyday basis. Dorfman discusses her 50 years of work over the course of the film, elaborating on how she uses her photos to capture the passage of time. After the film, she and Morris will do a Q&A.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, 6 p.m. Tickets $20/$25