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Julie Mehretu

This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Nightmares Before Christmas

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 12, 2016
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This week there’s not a lot of art stuff happening beyond holiday parties and craft fairs. One could say NYC’s taken an unexpectedly Middle-American turn in that regard, were it not for how morbid so much of the week’s happenings are. Tuesday night, scholars Sam Tanenhaus and Richard Wolin perform a post-election autopsy on the American Republic and speculate about its afterlife (hint: It’s not looking good) at CUNY. For a slightly less depressing evening, head to Ubu Gallery where German artist Heide Hatry is opening a new series of drawings made with the ashes of human remains. If that’s not enough mortuary holiday cheer for you, Con Artist Collective is throwing a fake memorial art show for the comedian Bill Murray (one of the few national treasures that hasn’t died in 2016). Thursday night we’re looking forward to a subversive holiday group show at Kate Werble Gallery, and a six-hour night of discussions about Art After Trump at Housing Works.

Friday night, things get a little less bleak city-wide. P! and Beverly’s are hosting events for a Bard CSS project that sprawls across Chinatown and continues with satellite events all weekend. At Brooklyn’s Orgy Park, a group show invites painters to make something collaborative, and in Queens, MoMA PS1 is throwing a holiday party for artists that looks totally bonkers. Have some spiked hot chocolate. After a week of thinking about Trump and death, you’re going to need it.

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

by Paddy Johnson on October 20, 2016
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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.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Future Bodies are Everywhere and Scary

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 17, 2016
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There’s plenty of heady discourse this week—future bodies, hypothetical architectures, theories of curation and criticism—and of course plenty of election-related hand-wringing.

Kick it off Monday night at Jersey City’s Word Bookstore, where the Brooklyn Institute of Social Research is inaugurating a lecture series about cyborgs. Or head to Manhattan’s Red Bull Studios for an event celebrating Grand Arts, the Kansas City project space that launched dozens of conceptual art projects and, now, a catalogue. Tuesday night, Paddy Johnson joins other art critics to talk shop at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Dweck Cultural Center, and Tyler Coburn talks genetic engineering and body mods as the future of humanity at e-flux. If you’re looking for something more hands-on (or a chance to move your feet), there’s a survey of handmade prints at Site:Brooklyn and an epic-looking disco fundraiser for El Museo del Bario Wednesday night. Thursday, White Box is opening a jam-packed group show (with some impressive names!) all about political angst. Friday we’ve got a talk from Maura Riley at Stony Brook Manhattan and Underdonk opening a class-conscious solo show by Patrice Renee Washington.

But the weekend brings us back to what we like the most: artwork that investigates the weird. Selena Gallery’s two person show from Dalia Amara and Florencia Escudero looks for uncanny surrogate female bodies in consumer goods on Saturday night. Sunday, Sascha Braunig’s work at MoMA will likely strike a similar chord. And MARC STRAUS opens a solo show by Chris Joneswho builds fantastical dioramas (pictured) from mundane images.

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This Week’s Must See Events: Ride the Macabre Wave

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on September 20, 2016
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Last month, Corinna Kirsch pointed out to us that NYC’s art scene is getting pretty goth this fall. A quick glance at the exhibition thumbnails below reveals this spooky prophecy was dead-accurate: graveyards, skulls, and darkness predominate.

Tuesday night, recount the psychedelic adventures of Bruce Conner at MoMA. Wednesday, the domestic gets the spotlight with projects from Chloë Bass and Oksana Todorova at CUNY and A+E Studios, respectively. Expect plenty of creep-out factor from the latter’s biomorphic, toxic household items. Thursday, Julie Mehretu’s occult-influenced new body of work takes her practice in a darker direction, and Irene Lusztig lectures about conjuring empathy from (probably) eerie archival material.

The weekend gets even more macabre. Brian Andrew Whiteley is displaying his infamous tombstone at Christopher Stout Gallery Friday night, while Ghost of a Dream builds their own dream haunted house from the ruins of art fairs Saturday at Smack Mellon. And of course, Wickerham & Lomax’s Local Atonement: A Nutshell Study of Unexplained Death opens at American Medium. Sunday, Mana Contemporary’s fall open house encompasses just about everything under the sun—from Marilyn Monroe’s poetry to Israeli textiles—but of course a little momento mori content as well. Andy Warhol’s skull paintings will be on view. 30 years after his death, Warhol still has his finger on the undead pulse of the art world zeitgeist

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AFC’s Fall Forecast: Goth Art Everywhere

by Michael Anthony Farley and Corinna Kirsch on August 19, 2016
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Winter is coming. As the nights grow longer, shadows seem to creep into the city’s innumerable white boxes.

Our prediction for what the Fall/Winter 2016 look will be in New York: goth as fuck.

Artists, galleries, and institutions across the city seem to be embracing the macabre, gloomy, and achromatic in the months leading up to Halloween (by far, the art world’s most important holiday). We’re looking forward to aesthetic darkness, existential angst, and an embrace of the occult. Is this otherworldly tragic election season to blame for our state of mourning? We’re not sure, but let’s hope some fall weather shows up in time for us to break out our all-black wardrobes.

We’ve rated New York’s darkest upcoming art shows from “one tube of black lipstick” for “somewhat bleak” to “five tubes of black lipstick” for “this gallery is essentially a food court full of crying mall goths.” Our picks, arranged by opening date:

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School of Doodle: Where John Baldessari Teaches Teen Girls Art

by Whitney Kimball and Andrew Wagner on July 29, 2014
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Have you ever wished that John Baldessari could be your art teacher? Well, now that he’s retired from both CalArts and UCLA, that’s not going to happen. But if you’re a teenage girl, the new organization School of Doodle might be able to help out.

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