This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Every Nerd Loves a Book Fair

by Matthew Leifheit Gabriela Vainsencher and Whitney Kimball on September 16, 2013 Events

A slightly younger AFC contributor Matthew Leifheit, holding his very first issue of Matte Magazine (Image courtesy of John Maeda's blog)

Get ready for a little soul-cleansing before fair season. This week’s openings highlight the act of drawing, the highs of New York culture, and females on the Internet.  Also: A Rockaway beach house turns pop-up art space, and Paper Monument finally releases Issue Four.

But mostly, the Art Book Fair returns! We’ve given some highlights, but the number of the booths and talks means you could easily invest a whole weekend at PS1 (the books have to, why shouldn’t you?). If you’re like us, make sure somebody else holds your wallet.

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Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

321 Ashland Pl.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
7 PM, $15; $7.50 for Friends of BAM Website

Anna Nicole Smith opera talk

Whoever thought it was a good idea to make an Anna Nicole Smith opera? Composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, librettist Richard Thomas, and director Richard Jones did, and they will explain why this evening. Hopefully they’ll sell some tickets. (Whitney Kimball)

*Image credit: Pari Dukovic

The Drawing Center

35 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013
Premiere on September 16 at 7pm (doors open at 6pm). Additional performances on September 17, 18 at 7pm Website

Susan Hefuna and Luca Veggetti NOTATIONOTATIONS

Multimedia Artist Susan Hefuna and choreographer Luca Veggetti collaborate for the first time on a piece called “NOTATIONOTATIONS” which argues that the human body moving through space is a drawing. Chalk lines will cover the floor in Hefuna’s largest work to date, and Vegetti’s dancers will slowly erase them through “a series of repetitive gestures”. The event will be bookended by projections of a new video piece by Hefuna depicting a busy intersection in lower Manhattan. (Matthew Leifheit)

*Image credit: Susan Hefuna and Luca Veggetti



Marian Goodman Gallery

24 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
September 17th - October 26th. Opening: Tuesday, September 17, 6-8 pm.Website

William Kentridge: Second-hand Reading

If you are, like me, a sucker for anything Kentridge-related, 2013 is a good year. In addition to a show at the Met, and a comeback of his production for Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera, now comes a new solo show at Marian Goodman. Kentridge is showing new drawings, prints, sculptures, films and sound pieces. The show was inspired by a series of lectures he gave at Harvard University about the studio as a place in which meaning grows out of an artist’s practice, or as Kentridge puts it: “taking sense and deconstructing it, taking nonsense and seeing if sense can be constructed from it …. This leads to the question of mistranslation, and the pressure that imperfect understanding gives to the act of imagination.”  (Gabriela Vainsencher)

 * Image credit: Haupt & Binder


311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
Opening: 7–9pm (regular hours:Tuesday–Saturday noon–6pm)Website


Artists Pedro Neves Marques and Mariana Silva have created two simulated 3D environments evoking global economic meltdown. One such example is this summer’s shutdown of the Greek state TV and radio news station ERT. The network announced its own demise live on air, then turned its cameras to demonstrations happening outside. It’s hard to imagine art delivering a bigger shock than that, but at least it can get us to talk about it. (Whitney Kimball)

*Image credit: Pedro Neves Marques and Mariana Silva

Third Streaming

10 Greene Street, second floor
6-8 PMWebsite

Victoria Cohen's "Hotel Chelsea"

“You don’t move to New York City because of the good Starbucks,” a burlesque performer noted a few years ago, at a  Hotel Chelsea fundraiser. (“And if you do,” she added, “You’re an asshole.”) In that way, you could see Victoria Cohen’s Hotel Chelsea photos as a sad goodbye to the pre-Starbucks era. Her images, which she published this summer, will go on view at Third Streaming this week. (Whitney Kimball)



22-25 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
September 20–22. Preview: Thursday, September 19, 6-9pmWebsite

New York Art Book Fair

I’m going to just clear my schedule for the weekend in preparation for the NYABF. I usually start by spending all my money on art books and trying to get as many free tote bags as possible. When that activity is exhausted I turn to the best thing about the fair: the conference. I am most excited for these events:

Thursday: Clive Phillpot & Christophe Cherix, the directors of the MoMA’s library and Department of Drawings and Prints, respectively, will talk about Phillpot’s major impact on the collection and discussion of artists’ books. 7-8pm.

Friday: Instead of talking about the various ways to critically discuss artists’ books, the three panelists in Furthering the Critical Dialogue will dissect Michael Snow’s Cover to Cover. If you want to do some homework, watch a preview of the book here. 12:30-2pm.

Saturday: Teaching art is about more than the golden mean. Trinie Dalton of SVA, Jen Bervin of Vermont College of Art, and Munro Galloway of Yale University will talk about the many hats today’s art educators wear, from librarian to critic to object-maker.

Sunday: BLOUIN ARTINFO’s editor Ben Davis discusses his recently-published book “9.5 Theses on Art and Class” with artist Naeem Mohaiemen. The book puts forth political propositions for art, and considers “how to maintain faith in art itself in a dysfunctional world”– something we think about every day.

Also, AFC’s Matthew Leifheit will release the 20th issue of his photo magazine, MATTE, and launch a limited edition poster series featuring work by emerging photographers. (Gabriela Vainsencher)

*Image credit: HIMAA (Masanao Hirayama) for Nieves (2012)

United Photo Industries

Brooklyn Bridge Park
uplands of Pier 5
September 19th - 29thWebsite


United Photo Industries’s photo festival returns to Brooklyn Bridge Park, complete with a beer garden.  The fair is in its second year,  and aims to support “emerging to mid-career artists”. Housed in freight containers and composed of a long list of events and temporary exhibitions, it doesn’t seem focused on selling work, but rather designed to support the photographic community through education and participatory projects.

Thursday night, the festival kicks off with a multimedia presentation showcasing photographs that “navigate humanity’s deep relationship to water” curated by Amanda Gorence and Sam Barzilay. I’m particularly excited about the book tent this Saturday, which will feature a selection of New York-based publications curated by zine queen Lindsey Castillo. On Sunday afternoon, a panel discussion called “Photo Requests from Solitary” will bring together artists, activists, journalists, and survivors of solitary confinement. Photoville is also an opportunity to meet some photography blogs IRL. An exhibition of photographs and film by Peter van Agtmael curated by TIME Magazine’s LightBox blog will present the Magnum photographer’s view of the 9/11 wars and their consequences. On the lighter side, Feature Shoot’s Alison Zavos presents a group exhibition showcasing photographs of fruit. (Matthew Leifheit)

*Image credit: Athos Burez

Whitney Museum of American Art

945 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10021
September 19, 2013- February 09, 2014Website

T. J. Wilcox: In the Air

In probably a very different angle on New York City documentation, T. J. Wilcox creates a film installation of panoramic views seen from the artist’s studio, which cut away to different New York stories (Warhol, the Empire State Building) throughout the day. Sounds like it could be a little bland for us, but it’s in the Whitney, and we can take our family. (Whitney Kimball)

*Image credit: T. J. Wilcox

Swiss Institute

18 Wooster St
New York, NY 10013

Descartes Daughter

1640, philosopher René Descartes lost his 5-year-old daughter, and responded by building an animatronic girl resembling her. In response to that, Piper Marshall curates a show about the yearning to bridge the divide between mind and body, with ethereal painters Miriam Cahn and Charline von Heyl, and  material-crammers John Chamberlain and Rochelle Goldberg. Other artists include Malin Arnell, Hanne Darboven, Melanie Gilligan, Nicolàs Guagnini/ Jeff Preiss, Rachel Harrison, Lucas Knipscher, Jason Loebs, Ulrike Müller, Pamela Rosenkranz, Karin Schneider, and Sergei Tcherepnin. (Whitney Kimball)

*Image credit: Rachel Harrison


Transfer Gallery

1030 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Friday, September 20, 7-9PM Website

STRING LITERAL ::: Chelsea Manning’s Pussy

Artists and couple Carla Gannis and Justin Petropoulos have created a beautiful show of tech-infused images and poetry at Transfer Gallery. It’s the kind of sensitivity that net art is starved for, and it’s a testament to collaboration. On Friday, their closing event “String Literal” hosts the collaboration between Sara Jane Stoner and Faith Holland, honoring Chelsea Manning as one of a long line of underrecognized women who were central to the field of computing. (Whitney Kimball)

*Image credit: Transfer Gallery


119 West 25th Street, PH / New York

PAPER MONUMENT Issue Four Launch Party and Performance

After a few year hiatus, the best art criticism journal of our day (in print. -Ed.) returns. A lot has happened since Issue Three came out in 2010; the Issue Four preview promises reflections on Occupy, the Obama days, and the evolution of humor. Martha Schwendener’s piece “Resistant” has been offered as a preview.

The opening party will have a performance from 7:30-11 at Silvershed. Issues 1-3 are sold out, so pre-order now. (Whitney Kimball)


Residency Unlimited

360 Court Street #4
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Opening: Saturday September 21, 2013, 12pm-6:30pmWebsite

The Risks of Being Too Bright-Sided About Gift Giving

We artists are always giving each other free stuff, and by “stuff” I mean art (And too often, vice versa -Ed.). The title for this group show comes from Liang-Pin Tsao’s notes regarding the exchange of physical and conceptual gifts between the four participants in this show, which was part of their ongoing preparation for the exhibition. The show is divided into two parts: A single work by each artist, made during the artists’ residencies at RU; And a collaborative project, “informed by [the artists’] discussions, writings and respective interpretations on the concept of gift-giving.” (Gabriela Vainsencher)

* Image credit: Avigail Talmor

Rockaway Beach

364 Beach Street

Whether Again

A Sandy-damaged Rockaway beach house undergoing renovations has temporarily given over its first floor space for art exhibitions. Its inaugural group show opens this week, and focuses, fittingly, on landscapes, though the artists included are a little more high-society than you might expect: fashion designer Christophe de Menil, French Modernist painter Francoise Gilot, and Ab-Ex associate Hedda Sterne, to name a few. Heads up, we were not able to confirm the address for this event on Google maps, so check ahead. (Whitney Kimball)


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