MONDAY, APRIL 3
Opening: “Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Han & Qin Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220)” at Metropolitan Museum of Art
“When you see your face reflected here, this mirror will dispel all harms and woes,” reads an inscription on an ancient Chinese artifact now on show at the Met. It’s hard to say whether the works in “Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Han & Qin Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220)” will indeed make us forgot our politically fraught times, especially given that this exhibition focuses on the rise and fall of two dynasties, but this blockbuster show at least promises to dazzle. The majority of the 160 ceramics, sculptures, paintings, calligraphic texts, and architectural models on view have never been seen in the West. And, to top it all off, the show will feature some of China’s famed terracotta warriors, which, during the Qin dynasty, were made to protect emperors in the afterlife.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, APRIL 4
Screening: 1984 at Film Society of Lincoln Center
As a form of protest against the Trump presidency, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will be one of over 140 arthouse theaters across America screening the 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell’s novel 1984. John Hurt plays Winston, a British government employee whose job is to rewrite history. He lives in a surveillance state, one where a larger force called Big Brother controls everything, and he knows that his life must follow a very strict sense of rules. But when he meets a woman named Julia, everything begins to fly apart. Michiko Kakutani, writing for the New York Times, called the book a “must-read” in 2017, and so too is the movie a must-see these days.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 144 West 65th Street, screens at 2, 4:30, and 7 p.m. Admission is free
THURSDAY, APRIL 6
Opening: Aki Sasamoto at the Kitchen
After a critically acclaimed show enlisting self-made contraptions and a washing machine at Long Island City’s SculptureCenter, Aki Sasamoto will stage a new work about elasticity at the Kitchen. Sasamoto’s installations and sculptures, which typically also involve performances, tend to be bizarre, and this one appears to be no exception. A release notes that “an encounter with a tensile testing machine,” which is used to measure matter as it changes states, spurred on the show. Over the course of the show’s run, various objects will, per a release, “perform” in the exhibition, but occasionally the installation will have some human protagonists too. Sasamoto herself will be performing on select dates, sometimes with saxophonist Matt Bauder or singer-songwriter Alsarah.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, APRIL 7
Opening: William Cordova at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Much of William Cordova’s latest show at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. will be dominated by a spiraling wooden sculpture, which, for the Peruvian-born artist, brings together modernist design, Aztec and Andean architecture, and transcendental philosophy. Titled smoke signals: sculpting in time, the work, an expansion of an installation shown by SITE Santa Fe, doesn’t exactly look sublime—it’s raw and seemingly unfurnished. Yet the artist considers it a way of disrupting history and time. Alongside the main sculpture will be sound, Polaroid prints, video, and a suite of six collages done in cacao based on cosmological maps.
Sikkema Jenkins & Co., 530 West 22nd Street, 6–8 p.m.
Performance: “Spectral Density: An Evening of Performances Dedicated to Tony Conrad” at Issue Project Room
When the experimental musician and artist Tony Conrad died last year, he left behind a strange, elusive body of work that many had not completely reckoned with. This weekend, as part of multi-event memorial to Conrad, whose minimalist work tackled the very basic properties that make sound and films, Issue Project Room will host a night of performances to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his death. Henry Flynt, Dan Conrad, Lary 7, and Arnold Dreyblatt will perform at the event, which will also include a work from a special guest that has yet to be announced.
Issue Project Room, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn, 8 p.m. Ticket $15
SATURDAY, APRIL 8
Opening: Elizabeth Karp-Evans and Nikholis Planck at Signal
When the white-cube gallery model gets boring, try Nikholis Planck’s approach—and turn the gallery into a social space where interesting events may or may not occur. For this show, Planck is partnering with the writer Elizabeth Karp-Evans to make Signal gallery into something akin to a dysfunctional theater. Titled “New Stage New Badges,” the exhibition will include a new suspended wood stage, courtesy of Planck, and 1,000 badges by Karp-Evans. (There will also be a few paintings by Planck.) But the stage is unreachable, and so too is the work—the viewer and the art are separated. The artists are planning a performance series that will take place on Saturdays at 6 p.m.
Signal, 260 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, 6–8 p.m.
SUNDAY, APRIL 9
Opening: Ian Cheng at MoMA PS1
After garnering critical acclaim in Europe, Ian Cheng finally gets his New York debut with this show, a display of his “Emissary” trilogy. His work takes the form of what the artist calls “live simulations,” or never-ending moving-image works that result from an algorithm that keeps recombining data. Speaking to this magazine last year, Cheng compared each live simulation to a “video game that plays itself.” With the “Emissary” trilogy, Cheng explores the development of the human mind in an epic series of work that begins in prehistoric times and ends in the far future, showing in the process how users and technology evolve alongside each other.
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens, 12–6 p.m.
Opening: Rochelle Feinstein at On Stellar Rays
Despite being based in New York, Rochelle Feinstein isn’t so well known in America, even though a major survey of her work has been traveling around Europe, most recently stopping at Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva. That will change in 2018, though, when the Bronx Museum of the Arts stages a Feinstein retrospective, so it’s best to start brushing up on her work now, with this show at On Stellar Rays. Feinstein will debut new paintings that, like much of her past work, consider whether abstraction can be personal. Among the new paintings in this show will be Off Color, a work that appears to splinter a mismatched color wheel into wedge-like shapes.
On Stellar Rays, 213 Bowery, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: “Perspectives on Race and Representation” at Whitney Museum
With controversy raging around Dana Schutz’s Open Casket, which abstracts an image of Emmett Till’s open casket funeral, the Whitney will hold an event dedicated to the painting and various issues related to it. Claudia Rankine and her Racial Imaginary Institute will co-host the event, which will include presentations, talks, and a discussion with artists, critics, and curators. The speakers have yet to be announced, but the museum confirmed that people who have written about Schutz’s painting will be present at the event.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 7:30 p.m. Free with registration
Correction 4/4/17, 12:33 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated the spelling of Nikholis Planck's first name. It is spelled "Nikholis," not "Nickholis." The post has been updated to reflect this.