TUESDAY, JANUARY 2
Screening: Insiang at Film Society of Lincoln Center
Lino Brocka’s Insiang shares its name with its protagonist, who is raped by her mother’s lover and has to contend with her annoying boyfriend. Brocka uses Insiang’s heartrending story as a way to explore the harrowing effects of poverty and, in particular, how poor women suffer in cities. A milestone in Filipino cinema, Insiang was the first film from the Philippines to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $7/$10
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4
Opening: Barry McGee at Cheim & Read
For his latest show, Barry McGee has taken on the noble task of bringing everything imbued with special meaning from his San Francisco studio to New York. Among the meaningful items: a stack of surfboards, ceramics, and, of course, some paintings featuring the artist’s sad-looking figures. McGee has been known to paint faces on California streets and empty liquor bottles, and a press release notes that some of the bottles will appear in this exhibition. But you’ll have to be on the lookout: they’ll be tucked away in places where they aren’t immediately visible, so that they can be sensed rather than seen.
Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Hassan Sharif at Alexander Gray Associates
Currently on view at the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates is a large retrospective for Hassan Sharif, who is most known for his obsessive accumulations of everyday objects. But for those who can’t travel halfway around the world for that show, Alexander Gray Associates will put on a smaller survey of the late Emirati artist’s work. As Sharif’s career went on, his work got bigger, so much so that the Venice Biennale this past summer played host to a room-size work that featured shelves with what appeared to be garbage. This show, however, will look at some of Sharif’s more lo-fi works, with an emphasis on his use of grids, rules, and geometry in such performances as Drawing Squares on the Floor Using a Cube (1982), for which Sharif traced a cube over and over to create linear patterns.
Alexander Gray Associates, 510 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5
Opening: “Sidelined” at Galerie Lelong & Co.
With recent protests by professional football players in mind, the young Chicago-based artist Samuel Levi Jones has curated this group show, which brings together several artists from different generations whose work meditates on the relationship between power structures and persons of color in America. Some works will directly reflect on the NFL protests—Deborah Roberts, for example, will show her collage O! say can’t you see (2017), in which a girl pays homage to Colin Kaepernick by kneeling. Other artists in the show, like Melvin Edwards and Jones himself, were former athletes and reflect on sports in a more implicit way. Derek Fordjour, Lauren Halsey, David Huffman, Glenn Kaino, and Patrick Martinez will also have work in the exhibition.
Galerie Lelong & Co., 528 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Odili Donald Odita at Jack Shainman Gallery
At Prospect.4 in New Orleans, Odili Donald Odita is showing a flag he crafted hung up high. The patterning on its fabric looks something like an exploded prism, and in that it’s a typical work for Odita, whose work looks at the role of color in our lives and the ways in which it can express aspects of African culture. (Odita hails from Nigeria and is currently based in Philadelphia.) For his latest show at Jack Shainman Gallery, Odita will debut new group of abstract paintings about celebrations. “Celebration is the force that can remind us of our success on this count,” Odita writes in a statement, “and it can pave the way for future and further action in this regard.”
Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Addie Wagenknecht at Bitforms
You might think of Roombas—a brand of vacuum that moves on its own accord—as friendly, innocent things, but for Addie Wagenknecht, they are insidious entities associated with big data and surveillance. Her latest show at Bitforms makes use of Roombas in lieu of paintbrushes, with Yves Klein’s paintings from the 1960s in mind. Using International Klein Blue paint, Wagenknecht had Roombas trace her nude body on canvases, creating images of the female form that recall Klein’s “nude paintbrush” works. She will debut those new paintings in this show titled “Alone Together.”
Bitforms, 131 Allen Street, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 6
Opening: Survival Research Laboratories at Marlborough Contemporary
As more and more artists make work about the internet, the art world has started looking to the technology sphere for new additions to art history. The latest find is Survival Research Laboratories, a group led by Mark Pauline that has, for the past four decades, experimented with robotics and sculpture. This exhibition, which bears the title “Inconsiderate Fantasies of Negative Acceleration Characterized by Sacrifices of a Non-Consensual Nature by the Legendary Survival Research Laboratories,” will be SRL’s first art-world solo show, and will feature eight of their kinetic sculptures alongside video documentation of other work, much of which looks at how technological objects can overpower their users.
Marlborough Contemporary, 545 West 25th Street, 4–8 p.m.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7
Opening: Sondra Perry at Bridget Donahue
For the past few years, Sondra Perry has been making strange, intriguing digital and video works about avatars, bodies, race, and gender on the internet. At the New Museum’s exhibition “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” she has on view a glass sculpture in which clay is drained and re-drained while a sound recording tells viewers that the object is effectively useless. With its focus on labor and its decidedly unusual way of representing bodies and their inner organs, it’s an emblematic work for the young Houston-based artist, who will have new work in this show at Bridget Donahue.
Bridget Donahue, 99 Bowery, 4–6 p.m.
Screening: “Queen of the Lower East Side: A Tribute to Philly Abe” at Anthology Film Archives
In Todd Verow’s 2000 film Once & Future Queen, Philly Abe plays a woman named Anti-Matter who haunts the streets of New York’s Lower East Side. She’s struggling, but she plays it cool anyway, namely for one reason: she’s over feeling sorry for herself. This event pays tribute to Abe, a New York–based artist, performer, and writer who will talk with Verow, a New Queer Cinema filmmaker. Once & Future Queen will be screened here along with Verow’s This Side of Heaven (2016), which also stars Abe, this time as an aging trans woman who might lose her rent-stabilized apartment.
Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Avenue, 6 p.m. Tickets $7/$9/$11