WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12
Opening: Rochelle Goldberg at Miguel Abreu Gallery
Most think of the white-cube gallery as lifeless and cold, but any space hosting a show with Rochelle Goldberg’s sculptural installations probably wouldn’t fit that bill. Her work tends to take the form of environments—sometimes literally—featuring what appear to be animals slicked with black, shiny oil, and often including elements that grow. (For a recent Whitney Museum show, Goldberg planted chia seeds in her installation. By the end of the exhibition, the museum’s floor appeared to have sprouted.) With their combinations of organic and inorganic elements, Goldberg’s work explores how nature can appear in places where we least expect. Her new show, “Intralocutors,” will feature new work.
Miguel Abreu Gallery, 88 Eldridge Street, 4th Floor, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: “Readings From Eva Hesse Diaries” at Hauser & Wirth
When Eva Hesse died at 34 in 1970, she left behind an impressive body of Minimalist sculptures—and a rich, engrossing set of diaries. It wasn’t until this past year, however, that her diaries were made available to the public. Barry Rosen, working with Yale University Press and Hauser & Wirth Publishers, assembled Hesse’s writings into a 904-page book, which ended up being named one of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books by the Swiss Federal Design Awards. At this talk, Parquet Courts guitarist A. Savage and Guggenheim Museum senior curator Jennifer Blessing will read selections from the book.
Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd Street, 7–9 p.m. Admission is free, but registration is required
Screening: Hail Mary at Brooklyn Academy of Music
When it was released in 1985, Hail Mary was, indeed, a Hail Mary for Jean-Luc Godard, the acclaimed French director who, after a decade-long pause, disappointed many when he returned to feature-filmmaking. His films were denser than they had been in the past, and less entertaining, but Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, his wife and the film’s editor, didn’t care. They gave critics something unexpected: a film that was actually quite good—and extremely controversial. This scandalous film is Godard’s take on the Nativity story, this time set in the present day. Screening here with Miéville’s short film Book of Mary, the film recasts Mary as a student who becomes pregnant, despite being a virgin.
Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 9:15 p.m. Tickets $7/$10/$14
THURSDAY, APRIL 13
Opening: Melvin Edwards at Alexander Gray Associates
A history of violence is secretly the subject of Melvin Edwards’s poetic sculptures, which often take the form of steel elements—hooks, chains, knives—welded together to create assemblages. Since the ’60s, Edwards has been exploring the African American condition, using abstraction to obliquely allude to lynchings and violence. His latest show will feature works mainly made during a residency at Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City. Created using metal found at a scrapyard, the sculptures reference the history of Oklahoma, which was once a gathering point during the Great Migration. Alongside these works will be Agricole (2016), a piece of a plow head hung by a chain.
Alexander Gray Associates, 510 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Kevin Jerome Everson at Andrew Kreps Gallery
Despite having had a Whitney Museum show in 2011—and his inclusion in two biennials there, in 2008 and the one currently on view—Kevin Jerome Everson remains an obscure figure. His films, many of which deal with the everyday African American experience, are often included in film programs alongside larger exhibitions—rarely in New York are they given their own shows. Here, Everson will present three recent works about defunct cars that, like many of his other films, deal with the threat of violence, the automobiles’ crushed metal becoming a metaphor for something larger. In a new work, Everson looks beyond our own world. Rough and Unequal (2017), two new 16mm films, meditate on the waxing and waning of the moon.
Andrew Kreps Gallery, 537 22nd Street, 6–8 p.m.
FRIDAY, APRIL 14
Opening: Marlon Mullen at JTT
For his 2014 painting untitled (ARTnews), Marlon Mullen turned an image from this magazine into an abstract painting. What appears to have once been an animal is turned to a beige blob with legs; the magazine’s logo is quickly painted above it in red. The outsider artist’s work involves a similar formula: take a highbrow image, usually from art history, and reduce it to amorphous abstract forms, turning greatly skilled work into what appears almost childish. (Other subjects for Mullen have included the cover of Artforum and works by Nancy Graves and James Lee Byars.) At this show, Mullen will debut new works.
JTT, 191 Chrystie Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Adrián Villar Rojas at Metropolitan Museum of Art
Advance details about Adrián Villar Rojas’s rooftop commission for the Met are spare, and that only befits the artist’s strange, mysterious sculptures. Through eroded materials, both manmade and organic, Villar Rojas evokes a post-human future—one where artworks become nothing more than fixtures in a landscape that once again has been returned to nature. For a recent show at Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, the young Argentinian artist turned a replica of Michelangelo’s David on its side and placed it in a darkened room, making it so that it appeared to be curled up in fetal position. Here, Villar Rojas has created a new work that responds to Met’s collection and its views of Central Park.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Lecture: Ian F. Svenonius at Whitney Museum
Some of the most of-the-moment works in the Whitney Biennial are by Frances Stark, who contributed a series of paintings of pages from musician Ian F. Svenonius’s book Censorship Now!!. In the title essay from the book, Svenonius argues that artists can no longer be relevant because they don’t have to struggle for freedom of speech. A critic for Pitchfork once asked, “Is Ian Svenonius serious?” Stark herself gives no answer to that question, instead underlining particularly radical sentences and painting the pages on large-scale canvases. Maybe it’s best to let Svenonius speak for himself, she suggests, and that’s just what she has done. At this lecture, Svenonius will talk about his concept of “re-education.”
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $12/$15
SATURDAY, APRIL 15
Opening: “Formal Complaint” at Knockdown Center
“Form as a goal always ends in formalism,” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, suggesting that formalism is an obsession with the possibilities of art with little respect for the politics that surround it. That’s the titular formal complaint this show makes, offering in the process a group of works that tarnish the formalism that artists once considered sacred. Curated by Dana Kopel and Rachael Rakes, the show considers formalism’s value to young artists today. Among the artists featured is Mario Navarro, who here will show leftover materials from construction sites as though they were formalist objects. Aria Dean, Female Background, Christopher Hanrahan, and Megan Pahmier will also have works in this show.
Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Avenue, Queens, 6–9 p.m.