Event Horizon: Art Happenings Around New York

9 Art Events to Attend in New York: Joan Mitchell, Alex Israel, Australian Desert Painters, and More

Jesús Rafael Soto, Untitled (Recuerdo a mi amigo Yves), 1959, mixed media on panel.

DAVID BORDES/©2019 ARTIST RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK AND ADAGP, PARIS

MONDAY, APRIL 29

Opening: Jesús Rafael Soto at Hauser & Wirth
Exploring Jesús Rafael Soto’s first decade in Paris, “Vibrations” spotlights early works by the maker of kinetic and Op art who was perhaps best known for his immersive and disorienting installations made of industrial materials like plastic tubing and steel. The show begins with his “Compositions dynamiques,” a series of ten paintings of intersecting geometric abstractions begun in 1951. Later pieces reflect Soto’s interest in materials like plexiglass and wiring. Soto once said that his art was made to provoke “the displacement of the viewer.”
Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street, 6–8 p.m.

Opening: “Neel/Picasso” at Sara Kay Gallery
This exhibition proffers connections between portraits by Alice Neel and Pablo Picasso. Highlights include Neel’s Lida Moser (1962) and Picasso’s Femme au béret orange et au col de fourrure (Marie-Thérèse), 1937—a pairing meant to showcase the disparities between the two artists’ depictions of women. As it happens, this is not the only show opening this week in New York that examines Picasso’s interest in the female form—on Friday, Gagosian gallery will stage a show of Picasso’s paintings of women in tribute to the artist’s late biographer, John Richardson.
Sara Kay Gallery, 4 East 2nd Street, 6–8 p.m.

Rubem Valentim, Untitled, n.d., tapestry.

COURTESY THE ESTATE OF RUBEM VALENTIM, BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK/TOKYO, MENDES WOOD DM, AND ALMEIDA E DALE GALERIA DE ARTE

TUESDAY, APRIL 30

Opening: “Visions of Brazil” at Blum & Poe
“Visions of Brazil” examines the history and legacy of modernism spanning approximately a century of Brazilian art. The presentation will feature works by Tarsila do Amaral, who was the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art last year, as well as Sergio Camargo, Lygia Clark, Sonia Gomes, Cildo Meireles, Beatriz Milhazes, Hélio Oiticica, and others. A panel discussion at the America Society on Thursday will bring together Sofia Gotti, the exhibition’s curator; Gabriela Rangel, chief curator at the Americas Society and the newly named artistic director of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires; and Sergio Bessa, curator at the Bronx Museum.
Blum & Poe, 19 East 66th Street, 6–8 p.m.

Opening: Alex Israel at Greene Naftali
For his upcoming exhibition “As It Lays 2,” Alex Israel released a trailer that opens with the line, “I love it when the question and the subject collide perfectly and the answer feels like magic.” The teaser features the artist seated across celebrities like Wolfgang Puck, Billy Idol, Vanna White, Kris Jenner, LL Cool J, and Gwenyth Paltrow, and it offers a look at Israel’s latest body of work, which examines celebrity culture and fame in America today. Greene Naftali is exhibiting new paintings from Israel’s Self-Portraits series, and As It Lays 2, the sequel to the artist’s first DIY talk show, will play on screens in the gallery.
Greene Naftali, 508 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.

Sasha Wortzel, We Have Always Been on Fire, 2018, single-channel HD video.

©SASHA WORTZEL/COURTESY THE ARTIST

FRIDAY, MAY 3

Exhibition: “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall” at Brooklyn Museum
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York, the Brooklyn Museum is putting on this survey, which draws its title from a quotation by transgender artist and activist Marsha P. Johnson, who played an important role in the gay liberation movement during the 1960s and ’70s. The exhibition explores the storied rebellion’s relationship to the political present and includes paintings, sculptures, installations, performances, and videos by 22 LGBTQ+ artists, including Jeffrey Gibson, Linda LaBeija, Park McArthur, Tuesday Smillie, and Constantina Zavitsanos.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Opening: Joan Mitchell at David Zwirner
Joan Mitchell is having a moment thanks to a book partly about her (Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel), the sale of her paintings for higher and higher prices, and a forthcoming retrospective starting in Baltimore in 2020 (with other dates slated for San Francisco and New York). Amid all this comes this gallery show, which focuses on the Abstract Expressionist’s multi-panel works culled from a variety of sources, among them public and private collections and the holdings of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. The show is the first for Mitchell at David Zwirner since the gallery announced exclusive representation of the artist’s foundation in 2018. The show will provide a look into the scale and depth of Mitchell’s polyptych works, which she fine-tuned over the course of many decades and which feature flurries of colorful paint that fuse to create abstract landscapes.
David Zwirner, 537 West 20th Street, 6–8 p.m.

Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1972.

©ESTATE OF JOAN MITCHELL/COURTESY DAVID ZWIRNER/COLLECTION OF THE JOAN MITCHELL FOUNDATION, NEW YORK

Opening: “Desert Painters of Australia” at Gagosian
This multi-generational group exhibition dedicated to contemporary Indigenous Australian painting focuses on work by artists from Australia’s Central and Western Desert regions. Much of it shuns more canonical abstract-painting touchtones in favor of a visual language informed by indigenous histories and traditions. Featuring work from ten artists, including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Willy Tjungurrayi, and Naata Nungurrayi, the show includes loans from Anne Stringfield and comedian Steve Martin.
Gagosian, 976 Madison Avenue, 6–8 p.m.

Diamond Stingily, Cephalophore, 2019, brass.

COURTESY THE ARTIST AND QUEER THOUGHTS, NEW YORK

SATURDAY, MAY 4

Opening: Diamond Stingily at Queer Thoughts
The artist and poet Diamond Stingily makes work informed by issues of identity, mythology, and personal narrative. Her contribution to the 2018 New Museum Triennial, for example, was a sculpture that looked like a paired-down and perilous version of a playground erected from a series of aluminum pipes. Scant information is available in advance of “Death,” her second exhibition at Queer Thoughts, but a cryptic release presented in the form of a script alludes to a continuation of the artist’s incisive work about tropes and traumas of childhood.
Queer Thoughts, 373 Broadway #C9, 6–8 p.m.

SUNDAY, MAY 5

Talk: “Pier Groups: A Conversation with Jonathan Weinberg” at Whitney Museum
In celebration of Pier Groups, a new book by the artist and writer Jonathan Weinberg (who figures in a recent ARTnews roundtable discussion of queer art and the Stonewall Rebellion), the Whitney presents a discussion between the author and artists Andreas Sterzing and Sasha Wortzel. Pier Groups collects texts and images that explore the intersection of avant-garde art and queer politics in the area surrounding New York’s Hudson River piers and the Meatpacking District. The conversation will touch on the artists’ own histories with the region and New York City at large over the past half-century.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 3 p.m. Tickets $8/10

Update 4/30/19, 12:35 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the portraits in Alex Israel’s show at Greene Naftali are painted rather than digital. 

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