MONDAY, JANUARY 9
Opening: “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965” at Grey Art Gallery
It’s hard to imagine a time when New York’s Lower East Side and East Village weren’t thriving art centers, but such was the case in the late 1940s. Between 1952 and 1965, however, that changed. Galleries and spaces in the area were suddenly responsible for oddball performances, offbeat happenings, and the rise of movements like Pop and Minimalism. This show, curated by New York University’s Melissa Rachleff, traces the development of the Downtown art scene, zeroing in on spaces that were run by artists, from the Tenth Street Galleries to Green Gallery. Rather than simply touting the scene’s importance, the show also looks at the negative impact of these spaces—some artists couldn’t show there, after all, and never made it into art history because of it.
Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Square East, 7–9 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
Opening: Cory Arcangel and Olia Lialina at the Kitchen
Hot on the heels of last week’s performance by Title TK—the artist Cory Arcangel’s band with Alan Licht and Howie Chen—comes this show, titled “Asymmetrical Response,” which sees Arcangel collaborating for the first time with the equally seminal net artist Olia Lialina. “Asymmetrical Response” premiered last fall at Western Front in Vancouver; the New York incarnation of the exhibition is three times the size of the original and includes new pieces. Expect work that explores, among many other things, power dynamics within the continually shifting internet.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 6–8 p.m.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
Preview: “First Look: Artists’ VR” at New Museum
The New Museum and Rhizome are teaming up for a night of conversations and demonstrations tethered to a new series of commissioned works made for mobile virtual reality. Jeremy Couillard, Jayson Musson, Peter Burr, Rachel Rossin, and Jacolby Satterwhite will be on hand to guide visitors through their pieces and ruminate on their experiences working within the form. And if that’s not enough, Google Cardboard VR headsets will be given away to attendees as gifts.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 7 p.m. Tickets $15/$20
Opening: “Nasty Women” at Knockdown Center
With the inauguration of United States President-elect Donald J. Trump on the horizon, Knockdown Center is briefly turning over part of its space in solidarity with female artists. Titled “Nasty Women,” in reference to a phrase Trump once used to label Hillary Clinton, the show will feature a large sign bearing the exhibition’s title, with submissions from a number of female artists hung on it. Each work can be bought for $100; the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood. With Paul Ryan’s announcement last week that the government plans to defund Planned Parenthood while Trump is in office, the show has already taken on new importance.
Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth, Queens, 7–10 p.m.
Performance: Food for Thought at Danspace Project
Food for Thought is an ongoing platform at Danspace Project, which invites guest artists to select three performances over the course of three nights. The first performance of the week will be Selfie with Horizon Lines, featuring Half Straddle, Panoply Performance Laboratory, and Saya Woolfalk—all curated by visual artist/performer Michael DiPietro.
St. Mark’s Church, 131 East 10th Street; 8 p.m.; Tickets $5 plus two cans of food; $10 with no cans
Opening: Matt Johnson at 303 Gallery
Matt Johnson’s sculptures in wood and found materials explore the relationship between use and disposal, from the artist’s studio to construction sites. Combining objects in precarious arrangements, Johnson, like Fischli & Weiss, explores the temporal fragility of form and function. Rubble from near and far is used to create a visual code that thwarts expectation and takes on a nearly scientific register.
303 Gallery, 555 West 21st Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Performance: “Funeral Doom Spiritual” at National Sawdust
Through his gothic-hued blending of opera, metal, and blues, Brooklyn-based musician and composer M. Lamar confronts the legacies of black oppression. “Funeral Doom Spiritual’ is Lamar’s latest project—a multimedia performance set in an ominous future, one hundred years from now. The performance, conceived as an operatic elegy drawing on the tradition of Negro spirituals, will see Lamar performing on keys and vocals alongside four bassists playing an electronic score composed by Hunter Hunt-Hendrix of the avant-garde black metal band Liturgy.
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 1/13 & 1/14, 7-8 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. Tickets $30
SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
Opening: “Looking Back / The 11th White Columns Annual” at White Columns
Though 2016 is just nine days in the past, the nonprofit White Columns will reflect on the New York art scene from the past year with its 2017 White Columns Annual. Curated by artist and ARTnews senior editor Anne Doran, this year’s edition looks at how artists dealt with a radically changing political scene, using their work as a way of exploring the world in a time when conservatism was returning in America. Among the artists in this show will be Sara Cwynar, Cameron Rowland, and Hilton Als, the New Yorker critic whose art practice was memorably surveyed at the Artist’s Institute last year.
White Columns, 320 West 13th Street, 6–8 p.m.