TUESDAY, APRIL 25
Opening: “Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia” at Grey Art Gallery
As a musician, Mark Mothersbaugh has worked in playfully sophisticated and deceivingly naive art-pop modes as a founding member of the band Devo and the composer of scores for children’s movies and TV shows (among them Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Nickelodeon’s Rugrats among them). Mothersbaugh is a visual artist too, and this show, which travels from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, focuses on his paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, films, videos, and performances. Working in the vein of Raymond Pettibon, Mothersbaugh draws on—and parodies—mass-media imagery, often creating surreal scenes that explore the relationship between people and technology. Soundtrack fans beware: Mothersbaugh’s work may not be quite what you’d expect from the person who provided the music for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Square East, 6–8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26
Opening: “Carol Rama: Antibodies” at New Museum
Despite having won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion award in 2003, the Italian artist Carol Rama didn’t receive much recognition in America until she died in 2015. That will hopefully change with this New Museum show, the largest exhibition of her work in America to date. It’s difficult distill Rama’s work down to a singular style or theme—some of her paintings could be compared to those of other Italian postwar giants, like Alberto Burri or Lucio Fontana, while others could be seen as prescient feminist statements. The latter works, in particular, have appealed to today’s audiences with their erotic overtones and drily funny scenes. Among the 150 works in this show is Rama’s 1940 watercolor Appassionata (Passionate), which features a nude woman lying on a bed with chains hanging above her.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
THURSDAY, ARPIL 27
Opening: Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth
Roni Horn’s photographs, prints, sculptures, and drawings may appear clinical at first glance, but they hide a surprising amount of effect. This exhibition features four series of her work, each of which uses the tradition of minimalism to explore how we relate to one another through objects and language. For her series of photographs “The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015),” the New York– and Reykjavik-based artist systematically photographed gifts she received over the years—a doll, a pair of gloves, some books. Coldly shot against a white backdrop, they seem emotionless—but as viewers observe these objects, they come to feel warm. Alongside these will be new works on paper and two of Horn’s “Water Double” sculptures.
Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Janet Biggs and Regina José Galindo at Cristin Tierney Gallery
This two-woman show, titled “Endurance,” pairs two video installations that deal with repeated actions and extreme conditions. Janet Biggs will show Afar (2016), a three-channel work shot on location in the Afar Triangle, an area in Africa known for its earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the work, dancers throw themselves against steel barriers, in reference to the oppressive regimes of some African countries. Regina José Galindo’s work Tierra (2013) is similarly political. Featuring the artist herself standing nude in a field while a bulldozer digs a hole around her, the work lyrically alludes to violence inflicted on Guatemalans by the country’s former prime minister, José Efraín Ríos Montt.
Cristin Tierney Gallery, 540 West 28th Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, APRIL 28
Opening: Rachel Harrison at Greene Naftali
For a recent show at Greene Naftali, Rachel Harrison included a small piñata of Donald Trump, strung it up, and hung it from the ceiling. Like many works by Harrison, it was a humorous update of Neo-Dada—a combination of the everyday and the gallery space. Her new show at the gallery will include even more Neo-Dada references. This time, her sculptures, which often look like lumpy blobs of cement and typically play host to ready-made pictures and objects, will feature photographs Harrison took of objects owned by Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. For the artist, the sculptures become ways of questioning of who—or what—can lay claim to an idea.
Greene Naftali, 508 West 26th Street, ground floor, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Lygia Clark at Luhring Augustine
This show, the first of Lygia Clark’s work at Luhring Augustine, which now co-represents her with London’s Alison Jacques Gallery, will act as a sampler of the Brazilian artist’s oeuvre. During the ’50s, Clark became one of the key figures in the Neo-Concrete movement, which explored the relationship between an artwork and its viewer, often by relying on abstraction pushed into the third dimension. With her “Bichos” works, Clark translated her abstract canvases into sculptures comprising folding metal planes, while in some of her paintings, she shaped her pictures so they were no longer flat. For Clark, who died in 1988, art was not just an object—it also included all the space and people around it.
Luhring Augustine, 531 West 24th Street, 6–8 p.m.
SATURDAY, APRIL 29
Talk: Andrea Fraser at Artists Space Books and Talks
As one of the most important artists working with institutional critique, Andrea Fraser knows a thing or two about how art is bound up in systems. Through performances, videos, photographs, and actions, she has exposed how art objects have various political, economic, and sociological forces behind them. Any talk with Fraser is an exciting one—she is known to be opinionated—but this one, which focuses on strategies that artists can use for resisting oppressive political regimes, seems particularly promising. Artist and critic Gregg Bordowitz will be on hand the legacy of institutional critique with Fraser.
Artist Space Books and Talks, 55 Walker Street, 7–9 p.m. Tickets $5
Opening: Nari Ward and Socrates Sculpture Park
The title of Nari Ward’s Socrates Sculpture Park show is “G.O.A.T., again”—a pun that refers to both the animal and the phrase “greatest of all time.” The centerpiece of this show, the sculpture park’s first devoted to a single artist in its entire history, will be Scapegoat, a 40-foot-long model of a goat’s head attached to a long wood structure. For Ward, the show is a way of looking at America’s obsession with masculinity and performance after the 2016 election. Among the other works here will be Apollo/Poll, a large LED-light sign that alternates between APOLLO, in reference to Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and POLL. The show will have an official opening reception on June 3.
Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Queens, 9 a.m.–sunset
SUNDAY, APRIL 30
Opening: “Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW” at Museum of Modern Art
Of all the artists grouped into the Pictures Generation, the loose movement that responded to a burgeoning world of media images, Louise Lawler remains one of the most underrated. Her photographs, videos, sound works, and sculptures have, for the past five decades, dealt with the art world itself and what happens to an art object after it gets produced. Finally, Lawler will get the showcase she deserves with this overdue retrospective, which will include her famed photographs of art in collectors’ homes and works from her “adjusted to fit” series, in which install shots of exhibitions are warped until they begin to appear abstract. On view in the museum’s garden will be her milestone 1972/81 sound piece Birdcalls, for which the artist cooed her male colleagues’ names so that they sounded like tweets or chirps.
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.