This Week’s Must See Events: Bad Assery Abounds

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on January 11, 2016 Events

Alex Bag, The Van, Redux

Alex Bag, The Van, Redux

This week’s highlights include a performance by Yvonne Meier as a fur clad  baby-devouring witch, a show in a repurposed restroom and what we hope will be a lot of work by Alex Bag in a van.

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Abrons Arts Center

466 Grand Street
New York, NY
7:00 PMWebsite

Yvonne Meier: Durch Nacht und Nebel (U.S. Premiere)

A performance recommended for two reasons. 1. The badass promo picture of Yvonne Meier in a brown fur coat. Do not mess with her! 2. The press release description of her performance, which promises Meier as “half public enemy, half baby-devouring witch who presents body politics in an extreme fashion and does not shy away from showing her age.” Bring it on!

This performance is part of the American Realness Festival currently running at the Abrons Art Center

Eastern Bloc Bar

505 East 6th Street
9 PM Website

Dance Magic Dance (Labyrinth screening)

We all mourn David Bowie in our own way, but drinking is probably the best. Join artist/AFC friend Molly Rhinestones for a screening of the classic Bowie film Labyrinth at an East Village gay bar. Drinking starts at 8, the movie starts at 9.


Trestle Gallery

168 7th Street
6:30 PM to 8:30 PMWebsite

Sharon Butler

Active painter and blogger Sharon Butler talks about what she does and why she does it. Expect the usual blogging nerdery of a successful self-publisher, painter, and expert organizer. Butler is living proof that the “make your own weather” philosophy of professional life really works. Come to this lecture with a pen and paper. You’ll need it.


A repurposed public restroom across the street from the 1,2,3 Station 96th St & Broadway

New York, NY
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Keith Mendak: SECRET(ER)

There’s not much information about this appropriately-named show, but that mystery is half the attraction. Sculptor Keith Mendak will be taking over a former public restroom in the Upper West Side (across the street from the subway entrance) for a series about “sex, shame, our bodies & strangers.” What a perfect site!

Ace Hotel

20 West 29th Street
7:00 PMWebsite

n+1 Issue 24: New Age Reading Party

n+1 is a great magazine covering culture, literature, and politics that’s published three times a year. Their latest issue is “New Age”—covering everything from astrology and weirdos to a must-read essay about the widely-predicted demise of capitalism as we know it. This event features readings by contributors Tony Tulathimutte, Sarah Resnick, Frank Guan, David Samuels, Sophie Pinkham, Bruce Robbins, Anastasiya Osipova, Namara Smith and Dayna Tortorici. It’s free for subscribers, and $10 otherwise.

Abrons Arts Center

466 Grand Street
7 PM (Premiere) Thursday, January 14, 7 PM Friday, January 15, 10 PM Saturday, January 16, 1 and 10 PM Sunday, January 17, 8:30 PM Website

Erin Markey

If you like cabaret and aren’t squeamish this performance maybe for you. It’s a story of love between a self-made girl and her family’s pontoon boat/horse. Can their relationship endure severe T-storms and a secret cellar? Attend to find out.


Asya Geisberg Gallery

537 West 23rd Street
New York, NY
7 PMWebsite

Matthew Craven: Quiet Earth

It took me (Michael) a minute to warm to the realization that I like Craven’s work a lot. I think that’s because his works on paper are so obviously likeable they feel like guilty pleasures—collaging hand-drawn and found patterns on paper with “exotic” imagery that looks culled from the archives of National Geographic. This latest series mines art history, combining photographs of sculpture from the paleolithic to the modern with landscapes and decorative motifs. These are easy to love. Almost too easy.

Team Gallery

47 Wooster Street
6:00 PM-8:00 PM Website

Alex Bag: The Van (Redux)*

I just saw this show at the ICA Miami and had very mixed feelings, so I’m curious to see how this translates to a gallery setting. In Miami, “The Van” is literally parked in the ICA’s atrium, inviting viewers to lounge in a sleazy-looking interior. A video features fictional art dealer Leroy LeLoup talking to a group of emerging artists (all played by Bag) about an upcoming art fair. The artists bicker about who should show what with comical lines like “My piece is 45 minutes, so people will want to sit and watch it!” It’s pretty great. Other works spiral around (and largely get lost) in the institution’s atrium. The highlight is supposed to be a new video piece created in the ICA which features LeLoup being asked “What is your relationship to S**** S********z?” (it’s evident he’s intended as a parody of Stefan Simchowitz) and herding a group of children (all played by Bag’s son) around the building. He is the ringmaster of an “artist residency” being conducted covertly in the museum’s offices, hallways, and bathrooms. It would be hilarious, but the video is installed so that one has to watch it from across the cavernous space using a bluetooth-connected headphone that didn’t work for about 75% of the dialog. Physical ephemera (which I believe were supposed to be the children’s artworks) were scattered around the interior as well.

It should be interesting to see this piece in a gallery—I bet the ICA video will function better at a more intimate scale—but the van itself is really a big highlight. I hope Bag has another one here.

Lehmann Maupin

536 West 26th Street
6:00 PM - 8:00 PMWebsite

Catherine Opie

If there’s one Catherine Opie photograph everyone remembers it’s the portrait of her, suckling a year old infant. It references the old Dutch paintings in which nursing babies often outsized their mothers, while presenting the dyke sexual identity in a nurturing role. This show, which will take place in the gallery’s location in Chelsea and the Lower East Side will juxtapose the work she’s become known for—new portraits inspired by European painting—with abstract photos of American landscapes. We expect that Opie will be pushing buttons as usual.


Superchief at Tender Trap

66 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, New York
7 PM - 12 PMWebsite

Xavier Schipani: What Is I to You?

Superchief gallery’s latest pop-up iteration at the bar Tender Trap is a showing of recent work by Xavier Schipani. Schipani’s illustration-like drawings and paintings are all about flatness and desire—rendering images ranging from pop culture icons to gay porn as graphics that can’t be penetrated beyond surface. There’s a surprising amount of tension in these works for such economic visual language.


Sunview Luncheonette

221 Nassau Ave
2:00 PM to 4:00 PMWebsite


We can’t tell if this show will be good or terrible, so our indecision gets it a listing. According to the press release the first 2MF meeting will take place at the gallery where “Bethany Ides will lead a discussive-immersive enhancement for tender-knotting internettedness, thinking about communitarian soap opera, playing school & eating cereal.” We’re not sure what  discussive-immersive enhancement even is, but it sounds like an experience requiring either cocaine or a million video channels. Either way, we’ll be there.

Curated by Maria Stabio, Sonya Derman


Lisa Cooley

107 Norfolk Street
6:00 PM to 8:00 PMWebsite

Active Ingredient

No press release for this show, so who knows what it’s about. We’re recommending it because the artist list includes the work of well-known blue chip artists like Rachel Harrison and Jacob Kassay alongside many artists whose names we don’t recognize. This show seems like a good bet for getting introduced to artists you don’t yet know.

Participating artists: Matt Adis, Felix Bernstein, Hannah Black, Joshua Brettel, Borden Capalino, Susan Cianciolo, Elysia Crampton, Antonio Diaz, Ryan Forrester, Simon Fowler, Melanie Gilligan, Rachel Harrison, Marie Karlberg, Jacob Kassay, Rob Kulisek, Andrew Lampert, Colette Lumiere, Felipe Meres, Sadaf H. Nava, Natasha Stagg, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Jennifer West, and Soma Wingelaar

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