This Week’s Must-See Art Events: R&B Diva to Save Distant Brown Dwarf Star

by Michael Anthony Farley on March 20, 2017 Events

MAGAMuch like Paddy’s experience of the Whitney Biennial, New York’s art scene this week is dominated by the political with a healthy smattering of painterly painting, ubiquitous identity politics, and the unapologetically weird.

Highlights include a talk about “the intersectional self” at the 8th Floor featuring Genesis P-Orridge on Thursday, followed by a solo show from Dona Nelson at Thomas Erben Gallery. We’re looking forward to Ernesto Burgos’ work at Kate Werble Gallery (think ab-ex in 3D) on Friday night and some afro-futurist cyberpunk world-building by E. Jane at American Medium on Saturday. If you need a moment of zen before the work week starts, head to E.S.P. TV’s closing reception at Pioneer Works on Sunday—you can join them on a corporate retreat, complete with a self-help guru.

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Ouchi Gallery

170 Tillary Street
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Website

sato, The”U"zing, and TOM●KA

DUMBO’s Ouchi Gallery has a unique curatorial program, in which international artists exhibit in a domestic-like space. There’s a particular focus on art from Japan, so it’s a great spot for introductions to artists who are underknown to American audiences.

This week, they’re opening three projects. These include Kawaii Gaze by Tomoka (stylized TOM●KA), LOVE & PEACE & HAPPY by sato, and MEGUMI-naked 2016.8.23 by  The”U”zing (Takeshi Nakata). I’m especially looking forward to The”U”Zing’s work. Nakata has a congenital condition that leaves him with limited mobility. Despite this, he’s made paintings, digital art, and even sculptures depending on his range of motion at the time and studio assistants.


Con Artist Collective

119 Ludlow Street
New Yprk, NY
7:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m.Website

The Red Hats

Con Artist collective is launching their own one-of-a-kind “MAGA” hats designed by member artists. If you had told us back when the ironic trucker hat trend died with Von Dutch that Donald Trump would bring it back (via reactionary appropriation) we would’ve thought you were crazy. We live in strange times indeed.


The 8th Floor

17 W 17th St
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Conversation: Genesis P-Orridge, Lia Gangitano and Kris Grey; The Intersectional Self

We can’t emphasize enough how much we enjoy hearing Genesis P-Orridge speak. (S/he spoke as part of our Strange Genitals program, in which s/he was also an exhibiting artist).

Here, P-Orridge will be joined by Participant Inc. founder Lia Gangitano and queer artist/activist Kris Grey in conversation. This ought to be good!

Image: Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE, “English Breakfast,” 2009.

Thomas Erben Gallery

526 West 26 Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Dona Nelson: models stand close to the paintings

Dona Nelson’s decades-long painting career has been characterized by experimentation. The downside of this is that her work is sometimes a little uneven. The upside is constant innovation—it seems this show will further Nelson’s approach to considering paintings as 3D objects in installation-like environments.

Inspired by a 1951 Vogue photoshoot, in which models stood in front of Jackson Pollock works, the show’s title “models stand close to paintings” fittingly references both the shoot and Nelson’s strengths as an artist. As it happens, Nelson’s work shines brightest when mashing-up abstraction and figuration.


Kate Werble Gallery

83 Vandam St.
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Ernesto Burgos: One Thing After Another

Just over the weekend, a friend and I were talking about how rarely abstract sculpture excites either of us anymore. Then I saw this event listing, and remembered how Ernesto Burgos’ work throws a wrench in this observation.  His painterly sculptures have such a sense of movement and nuanced understanding of color they must be seen in person.

Selena Gallery

37 Troutman Street
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Website

"A beige-looking blob that resembles nightmares"

Curator Philip von Zweck gets this week’s award for strangest exhibition conceit. The show takes its title from a seitan recipe’s “aesthetic notation to indicate a correctly executed step.”

The artists here all deal with notions of ephemerality and chance v.s. deliberate processes. What will this show look like? We aren’t really sure, but hopefully more appetizing than work-in-progress vegan wheat-meat.

Artists: Erin Washington, Amanda Ross-Ho, and Paola Cabal


American Medium

424 Gates Ave
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

E. Jane: Lavendra

Welcome to “Lavendra”, a lonely brown dwarf star. This is the sci-fi setting of E. Jane’s narrative installation, in which the Black Diva of 90s R&B iconography is the protagonist.

The multi-media body of work includes video, sculptural collage, and a purple lighting scheme. It sounds crazy good.


Derfner Judaica Museum at Hebrew Home at Riverdale

5901 Palisade Ave
The Bronx, NY
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Website

Across Divides: Borders and Boundaries in Contemporary Art

Given the current political climate, this show about borders sounds timely. But just like many of today’s geopolitical conflicts, its concept is partly rooted in ancient religious traditions. We don’t know any of the artists in this show, but tracing our contemporary idea of borders to their roots in the archaic (but oddly enduring) “us v.s. them” rhetoric of religious scripts is interesting. And speaking of crossing borders, we’re always up for an excuse to go see art in the Bronx.

Artists: Andi LaVine Arnovitz, Tova Beck-Friedman, Siona Benjamin, Ken Goldman, Tamar Hirschl, Sara Klar, Lea Laukstein, David Moss, Laura Murlender, K. Flo Razowsky, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, Ben Schachter, Ruth Schreiber, Angela Strassheim, Ahuva Winslow, Pavel Wolberg

Curated by Reba Wulkan

Pioneer Works

159 Pioneer St.
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. Website

Closing Reception: Lifestyle Guru

For the past few weeks, collective E.S.P. TV’s WORK has moved Pioneer Work’s real office operations to a fake office television set. This interactive installation offers visitors and staff the opportunity to appear in a fake reality t.v. show.

Appropriately, this office-themed project is concluding with a corporate retreat, complete with a lifestyle guru (led by artist Jill Kroesen). Other activities include a play by Ian Hatcher and a multimedia performance by Ben Vida.

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