Opening: “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry” at Met Breuer
This mid-career survey, one of the most hotly anticipated New York museum shows of the year, focuses on the work of Kerry James Marshall, the Chicagoan painter whose paintings and drawings, for the past 35 years, have focused on the position of black artists in art history. Marshall’s subdued, slightly melancholy, slightly hopeful canvases are often allegories—they rethink various art-historical genres, such as history paintings and self-portraiture, by applying elements of African American culture to them. Jazz often plays an important role in his large-scale murals, some of which will be on view in this show. Among the 72 works on view will be Untitled (Studio), 2014, in which the artist’s studio is populated entirely by black assistants and models.
Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26
Opening: “Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest” at New Museum
New York is long overdue for a Pipilotti Rist survey, and the New Museum has appropriately given over the majority of its exhibition space to this exhibition, subtitled “Pixel Forest.” The Swiss artist has been a video-art giant for the past three and a half decades, reclaiming the often demeaning image of women in mainstream media. (No surprise that a Beyoncé video from earlier this year featured an allusion to Rist’s 1997 video projection Ever Is Over All, in which the artist dances down a street, smashing in car windows in the process.) Known for her dreamy videos that conjure hallucinatory landscapes, Rist will debut a new video installation for this three-floor show that will look at the history of video and the role women have played in shaping it.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27
Opening: Michele Abeles at 47 Canal
Over the past five years, Michele Abeles has created a style unmistakably her own. They do something akin to taking the jumpy, frenetic style of Ryan Trecartin’s videos, and translating them into still photographs. With the slickness of advertising, Abeles’s dense, colorful photographs explore the nature of images in a digital era—no picture remains truly stable, thanks to Photoshop. No press release was available when this post was written, but we know Abeles’s latest show will be called “Zebra.” It was teased with a rather cryptic image—a screenshot of the mobile version of the New York Times homepage—suggesting that the New York–based artist is far from down experimenting with pictures in the age of the JPEG.
47 Canal, 291 Grand Street, 2nd Floor, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
This show will feature drawings, models, and sculptures from Siah Armajani’s ongoing “Tombs Series,” in which the artist eulogizes poets and philosophers who inspire him, albeit in very abstract ways. Combining vernacular architecture and various household objects, these works are, in their own strange way, portraits of figures such as Frank O’Hara, Arthur Rimbaud, and Arthur Rorty. With this exhibition, the Iranian-born artist brings text to the fore, debuting the 14-foot drawing 100 and One Dead Poets (2016), in which Armajani excerpts poems from 101 writers and redoes them in calligraphy. Their writings then become an abstraction—something which looks at once like traditional Iranian art, and also could be interpreted as something wholly new.
Alexander Gray Associates, 510 West 26th Street, 6-8 p.m.
Opening: Joan Mitchell at Cheim & Read
Joan Mitchell might be best known for her large-scale canvases, in which vivid blues and greens intermingle, creating abstract forms that resemble, among other things, vinery and Claude Monet paintings. This show, titled “Drawing into Painting,” will also include some of Mitchell’s less often exhibited works on paper. Similarly to her canvases, the works on paper draw inspiration from French modernism, which Mitchell saw firsthand when she moved to Paris in 1959. Almost all of the works on view here were made during the Paris period, and they show Mitchell combining New York and French styles. The show will also highlight how Mitchell was able to translate small-scale compositions, often done in watercolor, to larger canvases, some of which will be on view here.
Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28
Virtual reality, iPhone cameras, 3-D movies, high-definition Blu-rays—these are just some of the many fixtures of our life in an age where videos can watched on command, at basically any time, in almost any place. It was only inevitable, then, that someone would do an exhibition that surveys the trend toward bringing moving images out of the theater space and creating more immersive experiences. This exhibition, curated by Chrissie Iles, features work by American artists (and some German ones) whose art combines filmmaking practices with new technology. Featuring work by film pioneers, like Edwin S. Porter and Stan VanDerBeek, alongside recent work by young emerging artists, like Trisha Baga and Andrea Crespo, this show fill the Whitney’s vast fifth-floor galleries, including, among other works, Hito Steyerl’s Factory of the Sun (2015), which first showed at the last Venice Biennale.
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29
Talk: Ai Weiwei and Tania Bruguera at Brooklyn Museum
Last year, when Tania Bruguera was detained in Havana and various performances were held in protest, it wasn’t unusual to see an attendee holding a sign that said “Chia, Free Ai Weiwei.” If that’s any proof, Ai and Bruguera are a perfect match for a talk about the role art can play in politics. Both artists have been detained and closely watched by their home countries—Bruguera, in Cuba; Ai, in China. Both artists produce conceptual works encouraging freedom of expression, albeit through vastly different methods. And finally, both artists have a strong following in New York. (The occasion for the talk is Ai’s first visit to Brooklyn.) Here, the artists will discuss how to use art to promote change.
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, 2 p.m. Tickets $16
Opening: Carrie Mae Weems at Jack Shainman Gallery
In Carrie Mae Weems’s video installation Lincoln, Lonnie, and Me (2012), made using a “pepper’s ghost” technique that causes the projections to appear three-dimensional, various racist stereotypes appear to be on a stage, as though they really were in the gallery. Viewers are forced to confront them, since they appear so real—to acknowledge that these are images of black Americans, and that they’re wrong. This work, along with two recent photographic series, will go on view at Jack Shainman’s 20th Street space this week; nearby, at its 24th Street gallery, Weems will debut two more photographic series that deal with the representation of black Americans, often through performance. Though Weems’s work tends toward subdued malaise, one series, “A History of Violence,” promises to be more outwardly angry. These works about recent police killings will pair pictures of young black men in hooded sweatshirts with text that recalls police reports, questioning whether the text constructs our perception of its paired image or the other way around.
Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street and 524 West 24th Street, 4–6 p.m.
The blobby, organic-looking forms that Ernesto Neto has become known for will once again make an appearance in the Brazilian artist’s latest show. The culmination of a series of a collaborations with the Huni Kuin, a people native to Brazil and Peru, these new sculptural installations will draw on ritual and tradition. As with Neto’s past work, the installations will feature ropy forms filled with hard substances, causing them to droop down like fauna, or perhaps abstracted versions of testes and breasts. In the process, Neto highlights the way that humans have similarities with the nature that surrounds them, undergoing various cycles of birth, life, and death like plants and biomes. Before the opening, Neto will be on hand to discuss working with the Huni Kuin.
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, 521 West 21st Street, 6–8 p.m.