This Week’s Must See Art Events: New York is Cheaper Than Venice

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 4, 2015 Events

Animated GIF of Venice from theclotheshorse on photobucket.

Animated GIF of Venice from theclotheshorse on photobucket.

It may be Venice Biennale week over in Italy, but here in New York, there’s no shortage of things to do. Head to DUMBO for a screening of the cult horror classic Ganja & Hess, head to Williamsburg for a show of depressing paintings, and head to Bushwick for a show of artworks by 99 artists, each priced at $9.99. We’re super excited about that Bushwick show given this week’s activities—you can’t even get a stick of chewing gum for under 10 bucks in Venice.

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Van Doren Waxter

23 East 73rd Street
6:00 PM to 8:00 PMWebsite

Al Held: Particular Paradox

Following up on the Al Held drawings the gallery showed at the ADAA earlier this year, viewers will be treated to Held’s abstract watercolors. These are bright, bold works that feel more contained than the average abstract expressionist work—his major influences until he transitioned to geometric style he’s best known for in the 60’s. This show gets a nod from us, because we’re often dazzled by his muscular use of color and total rejection of the natural world. These paintings look like nothing you’ll see anywhere other than on a canvas.


City Hall Steps, Brooklyn

Press conference 10:30 Hearing: 12 pm. Website

Press conference & City Council Hearing on Land use.

Artists who want to let the city know that preserving industrial space (read: studio space) in the city is important should attend this city council hearing on land use this Wednesday. It’s a good time to let your voice be heard, specifically as it relates to Industry City. Jamestown Properties, the owners of Industry City, are requesting a major rezoning of the waterfront. If that happens, artists and small businesses will be displaced once again. Don’t let this happen.

We know about this hearing thanks to The Artist Studio Affordability Project, but it’s worth noting that you’d have to actually know that the hearing was going on to find its announcement. These kinds of near invisible announcements ensure that the city’s residents don’t participate in the forms they are supposedly invited to.

Arsenale, Central Pavilion, Giardini and other locations

Venice, Itally
12-7 pmWebsite

The Venice Biennale: All the World's Futures

If you haven’t already booked your flight to Venice and have about 8K lying around to pay for a last minute hotel, the Venice Biennale opens to VIPs May 6th, 7th, and 8th and to the public on the 9th. This year, the biennale is curated by Okwui Enwezor, a man who believes art has a social responsibility to speak to power. From the early interviews he’s been giving it looks like this biennial will be more political than usual.

3DL Art & Technology Center

80 Greenwich Street

Cave Exits

An immersive installation set inside a 4-channel video cube. We’re told this exhibition will resemble a labyrinth but exactly what it will look like remains unclear. We’re going with the expectation that we’ll feel lost and really fucking anxious. Burr’s work is visually stunning, so we expect it will be worth it.


The New Museum

235 Bowery
New York, NY, 10002
7 p.m.Website

Speculative Planning Session: Denise Ferreira da Silva, Rizvana Bradley, and Che Gossett

A public discussion on speculation, reproduction, and social life. The talk features Constantina Zavitsanos, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Rizvana Bradley, and Che Gossett—each bringing a unique perspective on economies, value, and alternative considerations of sociality. You can also watch the event from the comfort of The New Museum’s Livestream.

A.I.R. Gallery

155 Plymouth St.
Brooklyn, NY
6 p.m. to 8 a.m.Website

Daria Dorosh: The Art of Sleep

We’re looking forward to A.I.R. co-founder Daria Dorosh’s exhibition—she’s a thoughtful and socially engaged artist. What this show will look like, though, is anybody’s guess. There’s not a single description of the work in the press release. As far as we can tell, it will include sewn fabrics into shapes that resemble flowers and feathers. This relates to the show’s theme, which asks whether creative ritual before bed can increase self-knowledge and seed a better sleeping and waking life.


68 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m.Website

n+1 Film Series: GANJA & HESS with Brandon Harris

A classic horror movie in which a doctor’s assistant finds himself endlessly craving blood, after being stabbed with an ancient, germ-infested knife. According to film critic Brandon Harris, “It’s a vampire movie that feels at once like a vaguely remembered daydream concerning negro church life, post–Civil Rights black class consciousness, and lucid erotic nightmares.” Harris will be giving talk after the screening, but other selling points for this film listed in the press release include: revered by cinefiles, but rarely screened; the first movie directed by a black American to be screened at Cannes. We’ll be there.



601 Art Space

601 West 26th Street
New York, NY
6 p.m to 9 p.m.Website

From the Ruins...

The world is a hell-hole, and artists know it. Here’s a show about the near-apocalyptic mess we’re living in. A cliched subject for sure, but the artist list here looks promising; photographers William Eggleston and LaToya Ruby Frazier, new media artists Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, and sculptor Christian Holstad to name just a few. We’ve written positively about all these artists, (though Holstad’s only gotten a nod for a giant art fair telephone we weren’t sure what to make of,) so we’re looking forward to this show.

Curated by Jane Ursula Harris

Michael Ashkin, Abigail DeVille, William Eggleston, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Christian Holstad, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Luther Price, Julie Schenkelberg, Jane & Louise Wilson


99¢ Plus

238 Wilson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.Website

99¢ Plus Art Shop II. (+ 1 Anniversary Party!!!)

For 99¢ Plus’s one year anniversary/fundraiser, the fledgeling Bushwick art space invited 9 other galleries to each submit artwork by 11 artists. Artworks by the 99 artists involved will each be priced at the super-accessible price of $9.99. This sounds like it’s going to be really fun.




722 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Website

Let's Be Real

A show of representational painting, ranging from landscape, cityscapes, still lifes and portraits. We’ve never seen most of these artists work in the flesh, but the show gets a nod regardless because we’ve been following Roger White’s understated watercolors since about 2009, and we always want to see more. His still lifes of banal objects—a britta filter, a tissue box, a shirt—are sometimes so plainly rendered their mood becomes outright depressing. Kinda great, though not exactly uplifting.

Adam Hurwitz, Julian Kreimer, Kerry Law, Beth Livensperger, Anna Plesset, Roger White, Sophie White

Curated by Hilary Doyle, Reid Hitt


80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Website

Rafia Santana: SELFiE

A show that pairs selfies with soundscapes and QR codes to create what what the artist calls a “journey of self-care”.  This might sound like a lot to pack into one show, but we’re optimistic. Santana’s an active young artist who see at nearly all the openings we go to. She’s working hard—and in this world, that more than anything pays off.



167 Rivington
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Website

Kleenex Rose

This show has a cryptic press release [warning: PDF] that doesn’t tell us a whole lot except the names of the artists: Luis Miguel Bendaña, Camille Blatrix & Matt Paweski, Liz Craft, Allison Katz, Orion Martin, Autumn Ramsey, and Em Rooney. But if the poetic nature of the show’s title and press release is any indication, one can hope that the show will be something strangely beautiful like Bendaña’s practice. His work involves queering readymade objects and situations through delicate fiber techniques, a penchant for unlikely assemblages of material, and a painterly eye towards presentation.

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