MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Opening: Francis Picabia at Museum of Modern Art
At long last, the Francis Picabia retrospective, the first show of its kind since 1970, arrives in New York this week. Curated by Anne Umland, of MoMA, and Cathérine Hug, of the Kunsthaus Zurich, this show includes 200 works, ranging from periodicals made during Picabia’s Dada period to paintings based on pornography that were spurned by critics. The retrospective is proof that Picabia never settled on a signature style, medium, or aesthetic, leaping from proto-conceptualist gestures to appropriated images and back again. For a new crop of younger artists working today, Picabia’s work has been an inspiration; this show will offer a chance to see why Picabia is one of recent art history’s most influential, and most underrated, figures.
Museum of Modern, 11 West 53rd Street, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Talk: Douglas Crimp at the Kitchen
In this talk, Douglas Crimp will read chapters from his new memoir Before Pictures, which details his time in New York from 1967 to 1977, the year he published his acclaimed essay “Pictures” in the journal October. A major portion of the book is about how Crimp got interested in dance, and much of this talk will be about his involvement with performance art over the years. Judson Dance theater founder and choreographer Yvonne Rainer and New York City Ballet principal dancer Adrian Danchig-Waring will discuss Before Pictures with Crimp after the reading.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 7 p.m.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Opening: Koenraad Dedobbeleer at Clearing
It’s not unusual for the Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer to take a block from a granite column and exhibit it as a freestanding sculpture. Dryly funny and often devoid of any affect, Dedobbeleer’s sculptural installations take design elements and make them unusable—in one case, he attached two chairs to each other, for example. This show, titled “Catch as Catch Can” (the name of a Picabia painting, as it happens), will feature new sculptures by Dedobeleer.
Clearing, 396 Johnson Avenue, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Susan Lipper at Higher Pictures
When the photographer Susan Lipper traveled to Grapevine, a small town in West Virginia, she was accepted by the community, even though she was a complete stranger to the town’s residents. It’s easy to imagine what happened next—Lipper took intimate photos of the people of Grapevine using a medium-format black-and-white camera. The catch: Lipper allowed her subjects to perform for the camera; she didn’t take her pictures entirely on the fly. The resulting 1988–92 photo-series, named after Grapevine, captured people blowing smoke into each other’s mouths, dangling children over tabletops, and donning Ku Klux Klan uniforms. This show will include 14 works from this series, which revised the very idea of documentary photography.
Higher Pictures, 980 Madison Avenue, 6-8 p.m.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Screening: Promised Lands at Metrograph
Susan Sontag is known for writing on many topics, from camp to modernist abstraction, and it’s impressive that in between all her theoretical essays, she found time to make films. Promised Lands (1974), Sontag’s only documentary, focuses on the days after the Yom Kippur War, capturing with exacting detail the growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. The documentary, which director Roberta Rossellini said was “unlike any film that [he had] seen,” is rarely shown, making it must-see counter-programming for Thanksgiving weekend.
Metrograph, 13 Ludlow Street, screens at 2 and 6 p.m. Tickets $15