This Week’s Must-See Art Events: A Hot (In A Good Way) New Fair

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 11, 2017 Events

Rachel Stern. who will be

Rachel Stern. who will be presenting work at Crushed: The Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair. 

While the big galleries are still at the beach, the city’s museums and artist-run initiatives continue to keep us on our toes. Case and point: the Whitney’s opening the first US retrospective of Brazilian art/activism pioneer Hélio Oiticica on Friday. Speaking of art/activism, there are plenty of opportunities to get engaged this week, including talks at SVA on Wednesday and SOHO20 gallery on Sunday. The weekend’s real highlight, though, is Crushed, the inaugural Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair. Organized by former AFC teammate Matthew Leifheit, we’re expecting that to be great. Artist-made porn? Weird performances involving cake? A pop-up exhibition of vintage queer zines? Check, check, and check! We’ll see you there!

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Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevort Street
New York, NY
2:00 p.m. Website

Calder Activation: Goldfish Bowl

The Whitney’s current Alexander Calder show offers something different: staff “activate” his sculptures  by gently prodding them so visitors can see them in motion, as the artist intended. Wednesday afternoon, head to the Hurst Family Galleries on the 8th floor, where Calder’s 1929 “Goldfish Bowl” will be brought to life. “Goldfish Bowl” is a really cute piece, and seeing it in motion is a rare opportunity.


335 West 16th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Talk: The Artist as Activist

These days, it seems like we all have to become activists. Here’s a panel discussion from artists who have been doing it for years, including AFC friend William Powhida. The other panellists include critic Ben Davis, Brooklyn artist Shaun Leonardo, artist/organizer/documentarian Daniel Tucker, and the conceptual/social practice artist Caroline Woolard. This is a room of some seriously smart (and opinionated) people.



Kate Werble Gallery

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

in the hopes of not being considered

Curated by Nick Morgan, this exhibition focuses on artists working at the height of the AIDS epidemic when it hit the art world hardest. This might be a tear-jerker, but the curatorial statement sounds uplifting as well, with works “share a yen for the decorative, the opaque and the ravishing. These artists don’t countenance a divide between their visual and conceptual approaches and their modes of opposition in times of strife. Mixing the gritty and the glittery, they instead explore the extravagant, the outmoded, the decadent, the degenerate, the outré, the déclassé, the scandalous, the gross, the indecipherable, and, with special urgency, the melancholic. They present messages that can’t be easily decoded, and images that do not wish to be identified. “

Artists: Ross Bleckner, Chris Bogia, Julien Ceccaldi, Arch Connelly, Howard Cruse, Arnold Fern, Eve Fowler, Richard Hawkins, Roberto Juarez, Bradley Kronz, Sam Lipp, Libby Rothfeld, Ahbe Sulit, Ken Tisa, and Carrie Yamaoka


Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevort Street
New York, NY
10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium

When I think about an optimism and aesthetic so vibrant that it can’t be contained in just one creative practice, Hélio Oiticica comes to mind. The Brazilian artist’s colorful oeuvre spilled across painting, sculpture, film, immersive architectural spaces—all with a socially-conscious political sensibility and seemingly incongruous cheery tropical-pop vibe. What all of Oiticica’s work shares in common is a passionate appeal for engagement from the viewer. It’s remarkable that this is the artist’s first major retrospective in a US museum, and should make for a memorable experience.

Arsenal Contemporary

214 Bowery
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

Sticky Fingers

This multidisciplinary group show promises “works evoke the fragile tangibility of the human body, intertwining materiality with theatrical playfulness.” In the case of Meriem Bennani’s multimedia works, that can mean humorous takes on gender and cultural difference  (she once made a fake reality TV starring herself as an over-the-top hijab designer). Elizabeth McIntosh, on the other hand, might evoke the body through slightly-feminine abstract paintings with allusions to flesh. This should be a good group show.

Artists: Meriem Bennani, Elizabeth Jaeger, Wanda Koop, Piotr Lakomy, An Te Liu, Elizabeth McIntosh, Caroline Mesquita, Louise Sartor


Point Green

260 Java St.
Brooklyn, New York
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Crushed: Brooklyn Dirty Book Fair

In the increasingly crowded world of artist-run book fairs, this one stands out for several reasons. First of all, it’s organized by AFC alum and former VICE photo editor Matthew Leifheit (publisher of MATTE  Magazine). Secondly, it’s dedicated to “dirty books”. Think lots of sex-positive art smut.

The fair runs all day Saturday and Sunday, with secret-address after parties, screenings, performances, and the exhibition Nudes & Eroticism: in memory of George Pitts, which will feature queer zines from the collection of Phil Aarons.

Here’s a full list of participants:

Alphachanneling, Heather Benjamin, Lex Brown/Badlands Unlimited, Jeffrey Cheung/Unity Press, Anthony Cudahy/Slow Youth, Lindsay Dye, John Edmonds, Vivian Fu, Gay Sex is the Answer, Jeremy O. Harris, Gideon Jacobs, Math Magazine, Mark W. McKnight, Ben McNutt, Azikiwe Mohammed, Momma Tried, Heinzfeller Nileisist, Larissa Pham/Badlands Unlimited, Signe Pierce, Jack Pierson, Bella Provan, Kyle Quinn/Raw Meat Collective, Elizabeth Renstrom, Alex Thebez/Tag Tag Tag, Gabriel Sacco, Ben Shapiro, Rachel Stern, Chloe Wise, Marcelo Gabriel Yáñez/Picture Newspaper

Printed Matter

231 Eleventh Ave.
New York, NY
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Website

Summer Clearance Sale – Kick-Off Party

Everyone might be freaking out about Amazon Prime Day this week, but the real deals for art lovers are to be had at Printed Matter. For the rest of the month, the art bookstore will be offering discounts up to 50%, so it’s a good time to stock up on some weird summer reading. They’re kicking off the sale with a party featuring drinks and music from DJ Mira Mira (Chulita Vinyl Club) and DJ Elosi.

Re: Art Show

630 Flushing Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York
6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Website

Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: One Year Anniversary

For a year now, artist/curators Erin Davis and Max C Lee have taken over the former Pfizer building in Bushwick and transformed it into an ongoing, evolving art exhibition. Artists are invited to respond to the postindustrial context as well as interventions left by other artists. The result is a big fun show that always includes something interesting. The anniversary party also sounds like it will be a blast, and features eclectic attractions such as “Live hair painting” (?) by Jarrett Key, an installation of “leftover Pfizer-junk” from KC Tidemand, music from trans latinx noise artist Reagan Holiday.

This iteration of the show includes works by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Peter Clough, Jarrett Key, Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Tiffany Smith, Mike Hack, Phoebe Grip, Patrick McNabb, Erin Davis / Max C Lee, Nick Alciati, I-Chuan Lee, Marvin Touré, Banrei, Reagan Holiday, Liz Zito, Sessa Englund, Fana Feng, UV Production House, KC Tidemand, and Dana Davenport.


Point Green

260 Java Street
Brooklyn, NY
5:00 p.m.Website

Lindsay Dye and M Lamar at Crushed

We’re intrigued by Lindsay Dye’s performance, described as “Live Cake Sitting”. That’s the kind of thing you usually only see in the most specific corners of the internet. Sunday at 5, you’ll be able to experience this magic in the flesh in Greenpoint.

Then at 6 p.m., the always fabulous M Lamar will be debuting the work in progress “multi-sensory live performance ‘American Cuck’.” Don’t miss this opportunity.

SOHO20 Gallery

56 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, NY
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Website

Tool Share Roundtable: Art and Activism

2017 Residency Lab artist Sarah G. Sharp has organized this event for artists to talk and skill-share activist strategies. Panelists will address everything from the global political crisis to the local.

Speakers include Tali Hinkis (half of art duo LoVid), Wazhmah Osman (a professor and documentary maker who focuses on globalization and war), Lizzie Scott (artist and public education activist) and Douglas Everett Turner (founder of Architecture of Tomorrow).

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