MONDAY, MARCH 18
Exhibition: “The World Between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East” at Metropolitan Museum of Art
This exhibition will examine the cultures of ancient cities in southwestern Arabia, Nabataea, Judaea, Syria, and Mesopotamia between 100 B.C.E. and 250 C.E., when territories and trading routes made the Middle East an important crossroads for the Roman and Parthian Empires. Bringing together 190 objects from international museums, “The World Between Empires” focuses on local artistic and religious traditions along incense and silk trading networks. The show also addresses the recent instances of destruction and looting at several archaeological sites, including Palmyra, Dura-Europos, and Hatra.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, MARCH 21
Opening: Robert Motherwell at Kasmin
Under the title “Sheer Presence,” this exhibit showcases eight large paintings created by Robert Motherwell between the 1960s and 1990, the year before his death. The title alludes to a state Motherwell once said he hoped to achieve: “sheer presence, beingness, as such, objectivity and true invention.” Among the works included is Open No. 97: The Spanish House (1969), a work from Motherwell’s “Open” series that features the outline of a rectangle inscribed on a monochromatic background.
Kasmin, 509 West 27th Street, 6–8 p.m.
Opening: Alec Soth at Sean Kelly
Photographer Alec Soth’s latest show features recent large-scale color portraits and interior shots. Titled “I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating,” the show meditates on representations of individuals and the photographic subjects’ relationships to the image-maker. Soth has said of the project, which has been about a year in the making, “It’s simply about walking into another person’s room and beholding the fragile, enigmatic beauty of another person’s life.”
Sean Kelly, 475 Tenth Avenue, 6–8 p.m.
Talk: “Let’s Talk Net Art: Art and the Network Before 1989” at New Museum
As part of the New Museum’s current exhibition about net art, this talk will feature video clips and presentations about digital art before the dawn of the internet. Art critic and theorist Josephine Bosma will speak about the enduring relevance of early net art of the 1970s and ’80s, for which artists relied on slow-scan TV, satellite connections, videotex, and other systems.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, 7 p.m. Tickets $15
FRIDAY, MARCH 22
Performance: Miho Hatori at the Kitchen
Best known for her work with the ’90s-era New York band Cibo Matto, Miho Hatori created an abstracted TV talk show of sorts to be presented here. She took inspiration from connections she made between the writings of Édouard Glissant and her memories of postwar Japan, and the piece features a video installation paired with a live soundtrack produced in collaboration with Smokey Hormel, Patrick Higgins, and Melvin “Grave” Guzman.
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 8 p.m. Tickets $20/25
Screening: Trash Humpers at Metrograph
To celebrate next week’s release of his new movie The Beach Bum, Metrograph has assembled a retrospective of films by Harmony Korine, who also has an exhibition of paintings up now at Gagosian on the Upper East Side. One of the director’s most notorious efforts, Trash Humpers (2009) was shot on VHS and transferred to 35mm film, with a focus on Korine’s hometown, Nashville, and a predilection for the unusual activity suggested by the movie’s title. Vulgar and profane, the film was derided by many upon its release but has developed a cult following.
Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, 9 p.m. Tickets $15
SATURDAY, MARCH 23
Fair: Come Together: Music Festival and Label Market at MoMA PS1
Presented by the defunct Manhattan record store Other Music, the third annual Come Together: Music Festival and Label Market will showcase some 75 of the store’s favorite independent record labels along with a selection of vintage vinyl, care of the Bushwick shop Human Head. There will also be DJ sets, art installations, panel discussions, and a live performance from Black Sabbath Cover Band Rehearsal, a supergroup of sorts that includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, Angel Deradoorian, and Mick Barr.
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens, 12–9 p.m. Tickets $10/$20
Talk: Constantina Zavitsanos and Hannah Black at Performance Space New York
Beginning, End, None (2017), a new video installation by Hannah Black at Performance Space, makes connections between labor and human cells. Considering the cell as a “site of production,” the work mixes footage that Black shot with imagery she found as well as visions created with techniques that biologists use to examine organic material. In a conversation related to the installation, Black will talk with Constantina Zavitsanos, an artist whose work frequently touches on themes related to debt and dependency.
Performance Space New York, 150 1st Avenue, 4th Floor, 2 p.m.
Talk: Leslie Wayne and Odili Donald Odita at Jack Shainman Gallery
Currently on view at Jack Shainman is a show of new paintings by Leslie Wayne that often incorporate sculptural techniques in the creation of works whose optical effects can border on trompe l’oeil. On the occasion of the show, the gallery presents an afternoon conversation between Wayne and Odili Donald Odita, an artist and professor who is similarly known for making eye-popping abstractions.
Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, 3 p.m.