It’s September. It’s time for some art. This week, AFC is going to give it to you Shark Week-style with a preview of the first fall art openings, and every day we’ll give you a new preview based on a particular neighborhood. We’ve chosen what should be good, and what should be on your radar. Today’s post: everything in Chelsea you should know about in the month of September.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Sarah Oppenheimer: D-33
PPOW Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor. September 6 – October 13, 2012. 6 – 8 PM.
Sculptor Sarah Oppenheimer is a favorite over here at AFC, so we’re looking forward to this show. Her sculptures cut through space, often profoundly changing rooms and buildings. We first saw her at the Mattress Factory, in Pittsburgh, where her work 610-3356 turned a section of the museum’s floor into a window looking out onto the neighbor’s backyard; if this show means more of the same, yes please.
Our only clue so far—the photo heading the press release—indicates there will be mirrors. Sounds good to us.
Michael Rakowitz, The Breakup
Lombard-Freid Projects, 518 West 19th Street, September 6 – October 17, 2012. 6 – 8 PM
Through a series of drawings, videos, and memorabilia, Michael Rakowitz will explain how The Beatles broke up. It’s part of a project he began two years ago in Jerusalem, for which the socially minded Rakowitz created a ten-part radio series to be broadcast from a station in Ramallah, using the universally-mourned breakup of the Beatles as an allegory for the breakdown of relations between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. We’re promised some in-depth knowledge of the band—the artist worked from 150 hours of audio recorded for the making of the documentary Let It Be—and also a videotape of a rooftop concert in Jerusalem’s Old City, played by the Palestinian band Sabreen.
Angela Dufresne: Parlors and Pastorals
CRG Gallery, 548 West 22nd Street. September 6 – October 6, 2012. 6 – 8 PM.
We like CRG Gallery, so this show gets a listing despite a press release so full of flowery prose we had to struggle to figure out how these paintings are even being made. As far as we can tell, Dufresne has come up with a clever name for the common artistic practice of inserting oneself in cinematic and pop imagery—”bastard portraits”—and is now integrating sculpture, painting, and images of her past work into the paintings. She does them all in one sitting. We assume seeing this work in person is the only way to evaluate it.
Guy Richards Smit, The New York Times 10/22/11
BravinLee Programs, 526 West 26th Street, #211. September 6 – October 13, 2012. 6 – 8 PM.
Our first encounter with Guy Richards Smit was a good one; Richards Smit, played the gregarious host for FIPCA’s The Telethon for The 1% at MomentaArt. This show will be a little bit different; he’s created a sculptural monument to the dead act of newspaper reading based on the pages of The New York Times. We approve.
Parker Ito, The Agony and the Ecstasy
STADIUM, 548 West 28th Street, Suite 636. September 6 – October 6, 2012. 6-9 PM
We don’t take Parker Ito too seriously, but this show will probably be well-attended and talked about by a few Internet art folk. If that matters to you, maybe go to it? Most people only know him for that horrible painting series he did a while ago, The Most Infamous Girl in the History of the Internet. He also produced some pretty good mastheads for us back in the day. STADIUM’s YouTube trailer for the show has the title of the show flipping around and that’s about it.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Michael Bell-Smith, mbs_fp_090712
Foxy Production, 623 West 27th Street. September 7 – October 20, 2012. 6 – 8 PM
Michael Bell-Smith will display four new single-channel videos that reference the commercial design, experimental film, video art, and painting. We like his work, so we’re looking forward to this one. Photographer Elad Lassry, a similarly good artist with a similarly critical eye toward commercial design, will be opening a simultaneous show at The Kitchen; look for a good compare-and-contrast between those two.
Elad Lassry: Untitled (Presence)
The Kitchen, 512 West 15th Street. September 7 – October 20, 2012. 6-8 PM
PERFORMANCES: Thursday-Sunday, September 13-14 and 16, 8:30pm
Frankly, I’m probably looking forward to this show more than any others this week. In part, this is because I visited David Kordansky’s website recently and the installation shots from Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo this year were stunning. In one installation Lassry activated black and white still life drawings with serialized bright yellow sculptures. For this exhibition, Lassry will embed apertures in the walls, and ballet performances featuring 10 dancers and a custom stage design. Do not miss this.
Chris Dorland, Permanent Vacation
Winkleman Gallery, 621 West 27th Street. September 7 – October 21, 2012. 6 – 8 PM
Chris Dorland curated Data Trash at I-20 this summer. Sure, we couldn’t decide whether one of the works in the show featuring a plastic dildo “didn’t pack a punch” or was simply a “timeless dick,” but we mostly liked it. If Dorland’s work shows the sort of zany, digital whimsy as the stuff he curates, we’ll probably like this solo show at least an iota.
Karen Kilimnik and Kim Gordon
303 Gallery, 547 West 21st Street. September 7 – 29, 2012. 6-8 PM.
Well, 303 Gallery’s pairing of the ultra-famous artist Karen Kilimnik and ultra-famous musician Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth fame) seems like it might bring celebs out to the opening, but we’re not sure how much of the exhibition will have solid content. The gallery promises work that involves that one-hit wonder Bananarama, some Rodarte dresses, and a big black circle of glitter on the floor. That sounds like the stuff dreamed up by a burgeoning indie girl during her sophomore year of art school. 303 Gallery has hosted some exceptional shows over the years, but this one sounds like an S.O.S.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street. September 11 – October 20, 2012. 6 – 8 PM
Richard Phillips has taken a liking to Lindsay Lohan lately: he has made paintings in her likeness and she starred in his films. How much longer do we have to endure his fascination with young female celebrities?
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Phillip Glass, Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and Christopher Knowles, Einstein on the Beach
Paula Cooper, 534 West 21st Street (front gallery). September 12 – 29, 2012. 6-8 PM.
We’re really excited for the revival of Einstein on the Beach at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and then we found out that Paula Cooper would be hosting a show about the opera. Hurray! Well, sort of. The gallery will be showing storyboards, props, and drawings related to the opera’s making. For Phillip Glass nerds only.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Thomas Hirschhorn, Concordia, Concordia
Gladstone Gallery, 530 West 21st Street. September 14 – October 12, 2012. 6 – 8 PM
Enter the Hirschhorn era: this fall, the Swiss artist will kick off Gladstone’s fall season with a show about the 2011 Italian cruise liner shipwreck, and a day later, an exhibition of his work will christen Dia’s reopened Chelsea project space. For the Gladstone exhibition, Hirschhorn will do something big, which is unsurprising for someone who has become well-known for making huge stuff, like floor-to-ceiling caves out of packing tape and mirrors and gigantic coffins. Hirschhorn knows that his modus operandi is fueled by largesse, and in his artist statement to the Gladstone show, he talks it up, too, saying he wanted to “do a Big work to show that the saying ‘Too Big to Fail’ no longer makes any sense. On the contrary, when something is Too Big, it must Fail.” But will it be fun?