This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Kara Walker Strikes Back

by Paddy Johnson and Corinna Kirsch on November 17, 2014 Events

Image courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Image courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Also to note on this week before Thanksgiving: fine-lookin’ animation from Peggy Ahwesh at Microscope, all-black films with Aldo Tambellini at Nighthawk, concrete from Letha Wilson at Higher Pictures, and pole dancing at the New Museum. A R T.

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Cunard Building

25 Broadway
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. cocktail reception Website

ICI Benefit

If you want to purchase tickets the ICI benefit tonight, you have to call them. Support a good cause, network like mad while you’re there. This benefit is usually a who’s-who in the art world.


Livestream Public

195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Hyperallergic’s ‘Crossing Brooklyn’ ArtTalk on Performance and Activism

Hyperallergic, in partnership with the Brooklyn Museum’s Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond, is presenting a series of lectures on performance and activism that should appeal to socially minded artists and art lovers. Tuesday, come hear artists Nobutaka Aozaki, Christen Clifford, Amin Husain, Matthew Jensen, and Dread Scott talk about performance and activism.

The Kitchen

512 West 19th Street
New York, NY
7:00 -9:00 p.m. cocktails and silent auction; 8:00 p.m. live auction with Aileen Agopian of Sotheby’sWebsite

The Kitchen Benefit Art Auction

It’s November, which in art-world parlance means benefit time! This week, we have The Kitchen’s auction to look forward to. Even if you’re not there to bid, all the hip-hollering of a live auction should be worth it.


Moderated by Spyros Papapetros and Julian Rose

44-19 Purves Street
Long Island City, NY 11101Website

SC Conversations: Retracing the Expanded Field With Mary Miss, Josiah McElheny, and Sarah Oppenheimer

Are you familiar with this diagram?
Congratulations! You have a background in structuralist theory and/or you’ve read Rosalind Krauss’s essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” from which this diagram comes.

If the continued debate between sculpture’s relationship between landscape and architecture is your bag, come hear authors and contributors to the new book, Retracing the Expanded Field, revisit Krauss’s authoritative text, as well as discuss sculptural debates today.


535 West 22nd Street

New York, NY 10011
6:30 p.m. Website

Gallery talk with Dave Hickey, Darren Waterston (introduced by Susan Cross) DC Moore Gallery

Didn’t Dave Hickey retire? Well, yes, but like many retired workers who never quit retire, he’s come out retirement to have a one-on-one talk with artist Darren Waterston at DC Moore Gallery. Conversations on the table include wealth and patronage; Waterston currently has an exhibition recreating James McNeill Whistler’s luxurious “peacock room.”

Nighthawk Cinema

136 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249
7:30 p.m.; $16Website

Aldo Tambellini

What Yves Klein did for blue, Aldo Tambellini did for black. One of New York’s better-known experimental filmmakers, Tambellini was obsessed with the possibilities of working within the void.

This doesn’t mean that black isn’t boring; for Tambellini’s newest film, “NO NAME FILM,” Alyse Lamb, called a “demonic cheerleader” by emusic, will perform a live original score. That’ll be different from your regular ol’ screening.

Following the 70-minute-long screening will be a Q&A with Tambellini.


520 W 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.Website

Nicolas Guagnini

Remember Artist Nicolas Guagnini (and Bill Hayden) were responsible for the phallic font, and now, you’ll see it again, this time writ large, with phrases of Guagnini’s choice, on Bortolami’s walls. Also on view: “monumental heads made of majolica-glazed stoneware; vitrified glazed ceramics resting on books and raw cedar pedestals; photographs of defaced Greek and Roman heads, printed on silk, cut, sewn together, and stretched to a uniform height.” Sounds like contemporary art.

Higher Pictures

980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.Website

Letha Wilson

The last time we saw Letha Wilson’s concrete-photograph wall-reliefs was at Hauser & Wirth during their summer show, Fixed Variable. Paddy liked ‘em:

Also clever: the curators decision to include Letha Wilson’s floor sculpture, which is a flat piece of steel with a corner curled up, as if it were paper. There’s a real play between this fold and the Kolbos which is very satisfying. In Wilson’s case, the underside of her piece reveals a c-print replicating what looks like skin or a subtle gradient of some kind. For what it’s worth, I think Letha Wilson’s folded sunset photograph, which is transformed into something resembling mounted blinds and then cemented over is one of the strongest works in the show. I mean, she chose to cover a view of a sunset up with cement! There’s no ambiguity in that gesture.

According to the gallery’s PR, we’ll see her largest concrete sculptures to date. Wear a hard hat?

New Museum

235 Bowery
New York, NY 10001
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. (pay what you wish)

Open Pole

Pole dancing lessons on the museum’s fifth floor. Enough said.


Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

530 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Website

Kara Walker: Afterward

Nearly five months after Kara Walker’s Domino Sugar Factory installation came to a close, we get to see the artist’s perspective on the exhibition and the 130,000 visitors who Instagrammed her sugar sphinx. At a talk in Los Angeles this October, Walker mentioned she was well-aware of the public response. “I put a 10-foot vagina in the world and people responded to giant 10-foot vaginas the way they do,” she said, then admitting she had been shooting video all along. We’ll get to see those videos at Aftermath’s opening.


Microscope Gallery

1329 Willoughby Ave, #2B
Brooklyn, NY 11237
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Website

Peggy Ahwesh: Kissing Point

You never know what you’re going to get with filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh. Her career contains moments that nod to Kenneth Anger, “Trick Film” (1996), or Tomb Raider, “She Puppet” (2001). For her second exhibition at Microscope Gallery, Ahwesh uses a range of digital and appropriated images in multi-channel installations, all related to the “kissing point” of where the West Bank and Palestinian territories meet. With this exhibition, the artist herself has noted how the sex overlaps with politics, saying that the “Erotic undertones flavor the meaning of the term [kissing point]…giving these junctures a psychological dynamic and more than a bit of ironic interplay.”


Essex Street

114 Eldridge Street
New York, NY 10002
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Website

THE CONTRACT: Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda, Maria Eichhorn, Wade Guyton, Hans Haacke, Park McArthur, R. H. Quaytman, Cameron Rowland, Carissa Rodriguez

This exhibition’s press release includes just two texts: 1) A 1987 article by Roberta Smith on artist royalties and 2) Seth Siegelaub’s transfer agreement. Are the artists in this show all adherents to Siegelaub’s contract? Haacke is, but we’ll have to get back to you on that one after the show opens.

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