MONDAY, JANUARY 8
Opening: Santiago Ramón y Cajal at Grey Art Gallery
This show of drawings by the pioneering Spanish neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal focuses on his groundbreaking renderings of the brain, which double as historical records and works of art. The drawings were made in the early 20th century, and are still used as references in the scientific community to this day—a testament to the artist’s clarity and vision. At the opening for this 80-work exhibition, the first in an American museum to focus entirely on Cajal, the gallery will host a talk by Eric A. Newman, a neuroscience professor at the University of Minnesota.
Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Square East, 6–8 p.m.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 9
Performance: Moriah Evans at SculptureCenter
Moriah Evans’s performances are about dance—why people move, what makes people move, and how people move. For her latest work, Figuring, Evans will look at the inner workings of bodies and how space and time affect them. It’s heady stuff, and Evans plans to explore it by having her dancers perform what she calls “micro movements,” little gestures that ultimately amount to something larger. With the histories of how humans have disciplined over the years in mind, Evans and her performers will also reflect on how bodies get controlled in today’s society. Figuring will be performed daily through Sunday, January 14.
SculptureCenter, 44-19 Purves Street, Queens, 5:30 p.m. Tickets $25
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10
Opening: John Newman at Safe
While in France last summer, the New York–based artist John Newman completed 65 drawings, one for every year he has spent on earth. These works form the basis of an exhibition that showcases 35 years of sculpture and drawing from the artist. Part of the show’s title, “Between the Literal and the Nonsensical,” describes Newman’s work, which uses esoteric materials to more formal—and often lively—sculptural ends. The show will be accompanied by a silkscreened booklet designed and printed by artist Melissa Brown.
Safe, 1004 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, 6–8 p.m.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 11
Opening: Gordon Parks at Jack Shainman Gallery
The name Gordon Parks probably calls to mind a specific kind of photography—a stylish vision, typically in black-and-white, of civil rights–era America, with an emphasis on stark compositions and class disparities and activism in black communities. Yet Parks was also a consummate fashion photographer and portraitist, and this exhibition, the first in a two-part show of lesser-known sides of Parks’s oeuvre at Jack Shainman titled “I Am You,” will include some of those works. Color pictures shot on commission for Vogue depict mod 1960s models leaning against stained-glass windows. In others, Paul Newman, Eartha Kitt, and Langston Hughes are humanized by Parks’s lens. In one particularly unusual work, the Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler poses with her gestural canvases as a colorful backdrop.
Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 West 24th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Jamian Juliano-Villani at JTT
Among the most high-profile artists to come out of the recent craze for figurative painting is Jamian Juliano-Villani, whose graphically charged canvases meld the histories of fine art and pop culture. In any given painting, familiar images, from famed National Geographic images to internet memes, are arranged and rearranged, all of them distorted and bizarre. The end result can appear at times to be the artist Peter Saul as seen through the lens of visionary director Chris Cunningham. Her latest show, “Ten Pound Hand,” will feature a new group of her surreal paintings.
JTT, 191 Chrystie Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12
Opening: “101 Drawings” at Alexander and Bonin
This multigenerational survey—which showcases works on paper by 18 artists including John Ahearn, Rita McBride, and Paul Thek—makes an argument for drawing’s sustained range of creative and conceptual applications. On view is everything from a 2016 Matthew Benedict work that harkens back to an older generation of narrative illustration to a 1975 piece by Thek that uses pages from the International Herald Tribune as a jumping-off point. Also included: Fernando Bryce’s “ARTnews 1944–47,” a series of 31 ink drawings based on advertisements the artist found inside this very magazine.
Alexander and Bonin, 47 Walker Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Hans Hartung at Nahmad Contemporary and Perrotin
Having been sidelined in the American art world for years, the French mid-20th-century painter Hans Hartung will be the subject of two solo shows in New York this week at Perrotin, which now represents Hartung’s estate, and Nahmad Contemporary, as well as at Simon Lee Gallery in London. Hartung, who died in 1989, was often associated with the Art Informel and Tachisme movements; his paintings explored how greatly an artist could control the look of gestural abstraction. Considered by some to be one of the most important French postwar abstractionists, Hartung once said of his colorful work, “[My paintings] allow me to evoke atmospheric and cosmic tensions, the energies and forces that govern the universe.”
Nahmad Contemporary and Perrotin; 980 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor, and 130 Orchard Street; 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13
Opening: Doreen Garner at Recess
Recess has relocated to Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, and the alternative space is inaugurating its new home with a Doreen Garner exhibition that includes a parlor that will provide free tattoos to visitors who self-identify as black or brown (and paid tattoos to those who don’t). As with recent showings at Pioneer Works and Larrie gallery, Garner will once again look to history for examples of how black Americans were exploited for medical research. The tattoos, which commemorate slave ships, Angela Y. Davis, and other people, will here be a way for Garner to render visible medical histories that usually get erased.
Recess, 46 Washington Avenue, 6–8 p.m.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 14
Opening: LaToya Ruby Frazier at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise
The artist and photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2015; her debut exhibition at Gavin Brown’s Harlem space will be her largest New York show to date. The artist spent five months decamped in Flint, Michigan, for the series “Flint is Family,” an exploration of three generations of Flint women in the midst of the city’s 2016 water crises. Made between 2001 and 2014, “The Notion of Family” takes a look at the artist’s own family history in the post-industrial town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, while 2017’s “A Pilgrimage To Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum” charts a visit to the artist Noah Purifoy’s outdoor museum, located in southeastern California’s Joshua Tree National Park.
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, 439 West 127th Street, 2–6 p.m.
Opening: Jean-Luc Godard at Miguel Abreu Gallery
Among the many to have had a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris is the French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who, in 2006, was to complete a major new installation at the museum on the occasion of the show. But Godard is often contentious, and the installation, Collage(s) de Frances, which would have included reproductions of famous paintings alongside various screens, never came to be. This exhibition features maquettes for that unrealized work alongside Reportage Amateur, a film Godard made in collaboration with Anne-Marie Miéville that documents Godard making the maquettes. Also on view will be Souvenir d’Utopie, another work by Miéville about the works.
Miguel Abreu Gallery, 88 Eldridge Street and 36 Orchard Street, 6–8 p.m.