Post image for This Week’s Must See Events: A Week of Historicization

Brace yourself: Pretty much every museum in the city has a major show launching, from The Met’s Kerry James Marshall show, to the Whitney’s Immersive Cinema survey, to the Rhizome and New Museum’s Net Art Anthology launch. We’re excited about EVERY. SINGLE. SHOW. Why? Because they are all historical shows in some way, attempting to chart a history of important art works and movements. This is important work.

Oddly enough, Historicizing seems to be a broader theme for the week in general—well, in at least one show. Saturday Elizabeth Dee will launch a mammoth show that attempts to look at the East Village scene of the 80’s and where those artists are now. This is a must-see exhibition, so between this, the museum shows, and everything else we have listed you’re going to be busy.

Post image for Bathing In The Purple Rain At Sam McKinniss’ “Egyptian Violet”

Some exhibitions raise more questions than they answer. Take Sam McKinniss’ current show Egyptian Violet at team (gallery, inc.), which presents a sense of unease and potential for violence in his fan boy paintings of celebrities and movie characters. The subject matter is thoughtfully curated and carefully painted and yet, it is still difficult to pin down McKinniss’ exact critique. Is it a general representation of our anxiety-ridden era in 2016? A statement, à la A.L. Steiner’s 30 Days of Mo:)rning, about how everything is going wrong at once? A critique of the vacuity of pop culture? A death obsession? Or is there no real social critique at all? I left the show with no clear answer.

Post image for Julie Mehretu at Marian Goodman Gallery: Can Social Abstraction Succeed?

How valuable are first impressions? In art, this seems to be a perennially important question. A work should, aesthetically, stand on its own. Except, of course, when it doesn’t matter because the concept determines the formal choices.  Or when aesthetics kinda sorta matter but so does the context.

Post image for Greetings from Little Haiti: The Common Field Convening Starts Tonight

I’m in Miami for the Common Field Convening, where I’ll be both speaking on a panel and posting updates to the blog all weekend long. When I tell people this, the first question I get is almost always “What is Common Field?”
Short Answer: Common Field is great.