TUESDAY, JANUARY 8
Opening: Fritz Ascher at Grey Art Gallery
Featuring some 75 paintings and works on paper, “Fritz Ascher: Expressionist” is the first retrospective for the German Jewish artist who survived the Holocaust and continued working in the postwar years. Ascher was part of the Die Brücke group of German Expressionists in Berlin during the early 20th century, and his art was considered “degenerate” by the Nazi regime. While his early work focused on myths and the human condition, his later pieces often depict vibrant landscapes that offered a glimmer of hope in otherwise depressing times.
Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Square East, 6–8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9
Festival: “New Ear Festival 2019” at Fridman Gallery
The fourth edition of the annual New Ear Festival features a panoply of music, sound art, installations, and video pieces. The first night of the festival will include an audiovisual performance featuring music by bassist Luke Stewart (a member of the jazz band Irreversible Entanglements as well as many other groups) along with dance by Miriam Parker and video by Patrick Cain. Also on the first night are Bob Bellerue’s improvised Piano Scramble, an improvised piece that makes use of a piano soundboard, percussion, and electronics, and a two-slide version of Mary Lucier’s Polaroid Image Series, in which slide projections of photographs are matched with audio played via tapes. Other highlights of the festival, which runs through January 13, include performances by Susie Ibarra, Stephen Vitiello, Taylor Deupree, Lary 7, and a screening of Milford Graves Full Mantis.
Fridman Gallery, 169 Bowery, 8 p.m. Tickets $20
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10
Opening: Mariam Ghani and Erin Ellen Kelly at Ryan Lee
This exhibition marks the New York debut of When the Spirits Moved Them, They Moved, a three-channel video by Mariam Ghani and Erin Ellen Kelly. Part of Performed Places, an ongoing collaboration between the artists, the film shows dancers moving through a Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, which is home to the one of the largest Shaker communities in the world. The work explores the Shakers’ enduring architectural spaces and, conversely, the disintegration of the famously celibate religious group.
Ryan Lee Gallery, 515 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Thomas Fougeirol and Carrie Yamaoka at Albertz Benda
This two-person outing, “A Crack in Everything,” takes its name from a Leonard Cohen song and features work probing the relationship between photography and painting. Thomas Fougeirol works using oil on canvas, but he has said that his abstractions offer “a space that exists between radiography, photo negatives, painting, and imprinting.” Carrie Yamaoka’s work aims to reflect back viewers or her studio space, and meditates on representation itself. Alongside the two artists’ work will be a 1912 photogram by Géro Bonnet.
Albertz Benda, 515 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 11
Exhibition: Eric N. Mack at Brooklyn Museum
Eric N. Mack continues his project of finding ways to make painting come alive with his first institutional outing, titled “Lemme walk across the room.” In the Brooklyn Museum’s Great Hall, Mack will debut a site-specific installation that makes use of textiles that are draped, hung, and mounted. Fashion is a frequent reference point for Mack, and the new installation refers to clothes and their relationship to the bodies that wear them. Throughout the show, “fashion and musical performances” will activate the installation.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Opening: Mateo López at Casey Kaplan
Mateo López’s latest exhibition takes as its jumping-off point the artist’s move from Bogotá to New York in 2014. Once he took up residence in a new studio, he began pondering the connections between nearby objects and his body. This fundamental connection (and disconnection), as well as the many ways that art and play can merge, is the subject of López’s latest show, which will include new sculptures, works on paper, and a stop-motion film. Among the works is I am sitting in a Room (2017), a wooden door that has been anthropomorphized such that it appears to be reclining against a wall.
Casey Kaplan, 121 West 27th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: “Samaritans” at Galerie Eva Presenhuber
The release for this group show, curated by Dan Nadel, features lyrics from the Will Oldham song “I See a Darkness,” which read, in part, “Did you know how much I love you / Is a hope that somehow you / You / Can save me from this darkness?” Nadel’s theme here is friendship and influence, and he has included artworks illustrating these concepts by Huma Bhabha, Takeshi Murata, Laurie Simmons, and more. In a show description, Nadel writes, “Where you sense the connections between the artists, believe me, they are there. And if you don’t, please drop me a line and we can chat: email@example.com.”
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Lena Henke at Bortolami
Over the past few years, Lena Henke’s work has taken a variety of forms, from photo-based sculptures to ceramics that resemble animal hoofs with empty milk bottles sticking out of them. Her newest show, “Germanic Artifacts,” deals with the nature of history and architecture. To create the new sculptures in this show, Henke researched ancient Germanic peoples and the Teutoburg Forest, which is not too far from her childhood home, Warburg. The sculptures here resemble tree trunks and wild pigs, and the show will feature an architectural intervention.
Bortolami, 39 Walker Street, 6–8 p.m.
Performance: “Chicago Overground” at Nublu
Of all the many signs of fertility currently flashing in jazz, an exploratory scene in Chicago is up at the top in terms of energy and charisma. With recordings and activities swirling around the great label International Anthem and connections to scenes in other cities far and wide, the Windy City jazz milieu is timely enough to occasion a two-night “Chicago Overground” program as part of a sprawling NYC Winter Jazzfest that takes over many venues with a schedule packed nice and tight. The double-night bill kicks off on Friday with a set by the genre-hopping polymath Ben LaMar Gay and a late-night jam session led by the electrifying trumpeter Jaimie Branch. Saturday’s lineup includes Resavoir, Akenya, the Juju Exchange, and more—with additional late-night jamming led by Marquis Hill. A playlist featuring artists playing can be heard here, and information for the rest of the festival can be found here.
Nublu, 151 Avenue C, 7 p.m. Admission requires a Winter Jazzfest pass, $50 for one night, $90 for two
SUNDAY, JANUARY 13
Opening: Raha Raissnia at Miguel Abreu Gallery
Raha Raissnia’s last outing in New York, at the Drawing Center in 2017, featured two series of works on paper that drew on photographs and films that she had taken as references. They were largely abstract and brushy-looking, and they alluded to the work of her father, who, during Revolution-era Iran, used to take pictures of protests he witnessed in Tehran. “What reveals itself as a subject matter in all my work,” Raissnia once said, “is of human vulnerability.” Her latest show, “Galvanization,” will continue that project.
Miguel Abreu Gallery, 88 Eldridge Street, 4th Floor, 6–8 p.m.