WEDNESDAY, MAY 29
Opening: Julia Scher at Ortuzar Projects
Throughout her career, Julia Scher has examined modes of surveillance as well as notions of safety and control. Her first solo exhibition in New York in 15 years, “American Promises,” will feature works from the late 1980s to the mid-2000s along with a new sound piece titled North to South. Other offerings include the four-hour confessional video Discipline Masters (1988) and Mothers Under Surveillance (1993), which includes a live feed of the gallery intercut with footage of marginalized elderly women. At 6:30 p.m., during the show’s opening, the artist will be on hand to discuss her work with Jeannine Tang, a senior academic adviser to Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.
Ortuzar Projects, 9 White Street, 6–8 p.m.
THURSDAY, MAY 30
Opening: Mo Kong at CUE Art Foundation
In this immersive exhibition, Mo Kong envisions a future in which China and the United States are engaged in a cold war connected to the destructive effects of climate change. Recordings of weather forecasts (a constant rain plagues the world imagined for this presentation) in Chinese and English play in the background of the show, which includes a rectangular glass vitrine brimming with foam, salt, coal, and other materials referencing the North Pacific Ocean. Also on view are tubes of honey, sandbags, fruit skins, and poles meant to call to mind weather stations. The exhibition is curated by artist Steffani Jemison, one of the participants in this year’s Whitney Biennial.
CUE Art Foundation, 137 West 25th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Joshua Nathanson and Erin Jane Nelson at Van Doren Waxter
This two-person outing brings together new works by Joshua Nathanson and Erin Jane Nelson, both of whom imbue their eccentric pieces with a sense of playfulness. To create his paintings of plants, fruits, and vegetables brought to life, Nathanson uses a range of tools, including iPad drawing apps, Photoshop, and handmade oil sticks and paint. Alongside his paintings will be Nelson’s ceramic sculptures and textiles, which focus on the histories and the changing landscapes of the American South and Southeast.
Van Doren Waxter, 23 East 73rd Street, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: “Richard Pousette-Dart, Works 1940–1992” at Pace Gallery
In conjunction with its ongoing exhibition of works by the pioneering Abstract Expressionist Richard Pousette-Dart, Pace will host a panel discussion about the artist’s output and legacy as a member of the New York School. The talk, moderated by Joachim Homann, curator of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, will include Charles Duncan, executive director of the Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation; Richard Shiff, the Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art at the University of Texas at Austin; and independent curator, writer, critic, and journalist Lilly Wei (who has contributed to ARTnews).
Pace Gallery, 32 East 57th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: “Breaking the Canon” at Brooklyn Museum
At this event, artists Linda Goode Bryant, Eric N. Mack, and Nathaniel Mary Quinn will talk with Brooklyn Museum curators Catherine Morris, Ashley James, and Eugenie Tsai about the influence of pre-1945 African-American art on their respective practices. (Mack is the subject of a solo show currently on view at the museum.) The conversation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 7–9 p.m. RSVP Required
FRIDAY, MAY 31
Book Launch: Elvia Wilk at Swiss Institute
In Oval, the debut novel from the writer and editor Eliva Wilk, a new empathy-releasing drug is positioned to become the next big thing for the Berlin club scene. The drug, which shares its name with the title of the book, is invented by one of the book’s protagonists in an attempt to counteract the income disparity that has made the city’s living conditions untenable. In celebration of the novel’s release, Swiss Institute and Soft Skull Press are putting on this book signing, which also includes a conversation between Wilk—who splits time in Berlin and New York—and the New York–based journalist and critic Alice Gregory.
Swiss Institute, 38 St Marks Place, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1
Screening: Soleil Ô at Film Forum
As part of the series “The Honor of Liberation: Decolonizing Cinema, 1966–1981,” Film Forum is screening a restored print of Soleil Ô (1970), the directorial debut of Med Hondo, who is widely considered one of the most important African filmmakers and who died earlier this year. The film follows a Mauritanian immigrant as he struggles to navigate oppressive work structures in Paris and is partly inspired by the director’s own experience working in France. Hondo once said of his filmmaking, “My work . . . evolves and revolves around the question of colonial history.”
Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 4:50 and 9:00 p.m. Tickets $9/$15
SUNDAY, JUNE 2
Opening: Margaret Wharton and Issy Wood at JTT
With this two-person show, JTT offers an intriguing pairing. Margaret Wharton, who died in 2014, is best known for her sculptures resembling design elements that appear to have bodily presences. Issy Wood is a young artist based in London who makes surrealist paintings of sculptures and bodies that have a decidedly supernatural quality to them. Both artists’ works are imbued with an air of mystery, and so is their exhibition’s title: “I came as soon as I heard.”
JTT, 191 Chrystie Street, 6–8 p.m.
Performance: Mariana Valencia at Whitney Museum of American Art
In Futurity (2019), a new work by the dancer and choreographer Mariana Valencia developed for this year’s iteration of the Whitney Biennial, the social history of the West Side of downtown New York in the 1960s and 1970s is examined through various forms of personal memory. With a process that includes a longstanding writing practice, Valencia uses language and movement to reflect on the surrounding neighborhood’s often invisible lineage. She recently collaborated with the artist Guadalupe Rosales on All That Can Happen, a piece in the form of a “Go-Go Box vitrine” that was presented by the Whitney’s Independent Study Program at the Kitchen.
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, 8 p.m. Tickets $8/$10