Post image for This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Summer in the City

When I started compiling a list of art events for this week, I thought “this is going to be slim pickings.” There’s a stereotype that New York in the Summer sucks because everyone’s gone to the beach except tourists who stupidly vacation in Manhattan instead of also going to the beach. But that’s totally not true!

There’s plenty of cool stuff to do in New York this week, including a storefront installation from Jeff De Golier that opened today at FOUR A.M. Wendy White (pictured above) has a solo show of California-dreamin’ surf-inspired paintings (for those of you who are thinking longingly of the seashore) at Eric Firestone Loft. Wednesday, Xaviera Simmons unveils a new series of body-centric work at The Kitchen and Booth Gallery is (by happy coincidence) hosting a panel discussion on the future of figuration right afterwards. We’re looking at two group shows with big-name, smart artists at Team Gallery and Pace. Friday, The National Sculpture Conference kicks-off its three-day fest of all things sculpture, from figure sculpting classes to a supplies vendor fair on Saturday and 3D printing on Sunday. Friday night, take in a show all about children from Trevor Shimizu (there’s a Jessica Alba tribute!) and a group show at Lehmann Maupin featuring French-Algerian wunderkind Kader Attia alongside Tim Rollins & K.O.S. and Mickalene Thomas.

Saturday the Queens Museum promises to be “overrun by hoards of punks” for a celebration of all things Ramones, including a flea market. Then bounce down to Brooklyn for a group show at American Medium. But the real party happens Sunday, when a mysterious fest thrown by some very arty queers takes over a secret loft in Gowanus. If you’re not exhausted after that, be sure to check out Nancy Shaver’s solo show at Derek Eller—she makes diorama-like assemblages that make boxy grids fun again. And really, fun is the name of the game this week.

Post image for IMG MGMT: Land Art and the Nuclear Landscape

Imagery of atomic test sites loomed large in public consciousness during the 1960s and 70s, when weekly atomic tests made front page news in the New York Times and in Life magazine. During the Cold War, the US detonated detonated over 80 devices between 10kt and 1200 kt each, for a total explosive yield of around ~50,000,000 tons: an overabundant earthmoving that happened to coincide precisely with the birth of Land Art.

Post image for We Went to Philly Part 1: Vox Populi

Michael: I like this collection of small shows because it’s like a survey of what’s hot on the NADA circuit without being as polished or obnoxiously-soul-less as an art fair. (How sad is it that art fairs now feel like the default art-viewing point of reference?) Houseplants! Oversized clothes! Cartoonish vaginas! These are all trends we’ve talked about before, and they’re all trends I’m 100% on board with.
Whitney: I think it’s safe to say by now that plants are no longer a trend; they are a medium (except for potted palms).

Post image for Why Artists Make Better Landlords: An Interview with Akin Collective’s Oliver Pauk and Michael Vickers

The belief that artists are too independent or focused on their career to self-organize needs to die. Artists have the capacity to be both generous and great.

Take, for example, the affordable housing movement, and the artists dispelling the traditional artist-as-gentrifier-enabler role. Theaster Gates transformed vacant and abandoned buildings in his neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side by establishing a foundation, and then partnering with the city and developers to rehab a public housing complex into mixed-income housing. In Houston, Rick Lowe’s Project Row Houses covers six blocks in the Third Ward, providing affordable housing for low-income tenants. Mark Bradford’s Art + Practice not only brings contemporary art programming to Los Angeles’s Leimert Park, but also provides social services for youth in the city’s foster care system. Artists have the potential to readdress urban displacement and ensure affordable space still exists for art by pulling up their sleeves and playing a bigger entrepreneurial role in real estate development.