This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Grad School, Reading and Weeding

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on April 18, 2016 Events

Allyson Lupovitch, whose MFA thesis show opens on

Allyson Lupovitch, whose ICP Bard MFA thesis show opens on Thursday.

Get ready for a week of “higher” education. Wednesday is 4/20, and American Medium has a night of corporate-retreat stoner comedy to celebrate. Art journal Packet Bi-Weekly‘s is also marking the occasion with a special “Hi-Weekly” issue. But if you’re looking for some non-weed-themed intellectual pursuits, come see our own Paddy Johnson speak at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City on Thursday or grab the latest issue of n+1 at their Friday night launch party at SIGNAL. MFA thesis exhibitions are in full swing, with programming and openings from ICP Bard, SVA’s curatorial practice MA, and Columbia on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, respectively.

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11 W 53rd St
New York, NY
7:00 p.m.Website

An Evening for Tony Conrad

Drone and minimalist music pioneer Conrad left a huge mark when he passed earlier this month. Not only did he play in an earlier formation of the Velvet Underground (and even gave the band its name), but his 1966 film The Flicker was a formative influence on structural filmmaking, and the 1973 collaboration with krautrock band Faust, Outside the Dream Syndicate, memorably merged minimalism with drones. Tonight’s tribute will feature a performance of a recent Conrad composition, Empire for Strings (2015), by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, followed by a double screening of Flicker and Straight and Narrow.


The Cooper Union

41 Cooper Square
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Slapstick, Technology & Contemporary Art

Last year, SculptureCenter curator Ruba Katrib wrote an Art in America piece exploring how machines and art produce slapstick: “slapstick makes us laugh because machines are foreign. Their proximity to — or confusion with — the body seems humorously perverse…When bodies and machines clash, slapstick lets us blunder with a smile.” She’ll be speaking on the subject in a free public lecture at Cooper Union, connecting early 20th century slapstick popular entertainment (circus, early cartoons, Chaplin) with contemporary art practices.


American Medium

424 Gates Ave
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Talk Hole Collective

Speaking of humor, everything about this event is funny. The flier for Talk Hole Collective (or “THC”) is a stoner take on the BP logo, but the mash-ups between corporate and hippie cultures don’t end there:

“We are a comedy collective and gardening co-op, committed to making conceptual comedy through a non-hierarchical collaborative process.

THC has no walls. In order to tear down barriers of oppression, we are holding our annual shareholders meeting in the open-air backyard of a contemporary art gallery space in Bed-Stuy.”

THC even has a “mindfulness coordinator”, performance artist Colin Self.

Featuring: Josh Sharp, Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega, Shalewa Sharpe, Eric Allan Schwartau, Steven Phillips-Horst, Sad Girls Club, a drum circle from DJ IDK (David Knowles), and specialty cocktails from Daniel Wallace.


595 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY
7:30 p.m.Website

Packet Hi-Weekly Launch Party

Packet Bi-Weekly is a smartly-packaged Brooklyn art publication that’s as lovely as a print object as it is for its content. This week’s iteration, organized by Alexandra Wuest and Vanessa Castro, gets into the 4/20 holiday spirit with a special “Hi-Weekly” issue. None of us at AFC are weed people, but I’d imagine we’d be giggling at that if we were stoned.

The launch party also features music from Multa Nox and Evan Zierk with a DJ set by Jade. No word yet on whether or not munchies will be provided.


Mana Contemporary

888 Newark Ave.
Jersey City, NJ
3:00 p.m.Website

Mana Talks: Paddy Johnson

AFC editorial director Paddy Johnson will be leading a discussion exploring the 11-year history of the blog, touching on its transition to non-profit and expansion into exhibition and educational programming. Also, events such as our “Best Man Boobs in the Art World Wet T-Shirt Contest,” pictured above. So hop on a quick PATH train field-trip, it’s worth it: the privately-run institution oversees a six-building campus that includes galleries, a bookstore, foundry, printing press and studios.


De Buck Gallery

545 W 23rd St
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Rashaad Newsome: Stop Playing In My Face!

Newsome, best known for video work mining the complexities and nuances of the vogue and ballroom community, debuts at the De Buck Gallery with a solo focusing on collage-based work. Jumping off from a video work of the same title animating the collages, Newsome explores intersectionality via cut and paste portraiture inspired by the agency of transgender and cisgender women of color.  

ICP Bard MFA Exhibitions

24-20 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Allyson Lupovich: The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows

Allyson Lupovich’s photography—with its non-hierarchical flash lighting and often mundane subject matter—is beguilingly un-glamorous, even when documenting a chrome-and-tropical-floral-print interior or party dress. In this exhibition, her MFA thesis, we’re treated to semi-auto-biographical glimpses of domestic spaces in three countries, but these feel refreshingly distant from any heavy-handed commentary on geo/identity politics. There’s a quality to each scene she captures that’s idiosyncratic and slightly-off, more about the quirks of individual aesthetic preferences or sentimentality than their relationship to the messy outside world. A bit introverted and a bit funny, this looks like it’ll be the understated photography highlight of the week.


Cathouse Proper and Cathouse FUNeral

260 Richardson St. and 524 Court St
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Michael Ashkin: Dismal Dreaming

If you couldn’t tell from this exhibition’s title, it’s going to be a pretty bleak one. Ashkin produces blurry photograph-like paintings (faux-tographs?) depicting blandscapes—industrial wastelands and vague silhouettes of institutional architecture—using stencils and spray paint on crappy materials like sandpaper and cardboard. They’re really, really cool. More importantly, Ashkin’s ability to produce convincing scenes using mundane, mass-produced materials points to how mundane and mass-produced so much of the man-made world and its imaging looks.


260 Johnson Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
8:00 p.m.Website

n+1’s Issue 25 Launch Party

n+1‘s Spring 2016 issue is focused on the “Intellectual Situation”, surveying the failure of an antiwar Bernie Sanders, and how diving in soccer became the sport’s worst foul play. Entrance to the party is free for subscribers, and $10 for non-subscribers (bonus, you get a free copy of the issue).


Pfizer Building, 3rd Floor

630 Flushing Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
4:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

Low-Grade Euphoria Performances

The SVA curatorial MA program has put together a massive show that we recommended last week. The exhibition features artists who seek out moments of joy in the turbulence of ever-accelerating technological, economic, and socio-political changes. This evening’s performance programming promises to be weird, with plants connected to synthesizers, a broadcast from The Lot Radio, and a piece by Puppies Puppies. The last time we saw work from Puppies Puppies, he had transformed a booth at Material Art Fair with a voyeuristic bathroom peephole and hand sanitizer. We don’t know what to expect here.

Performers: LARAAJI, Antenes, Great City (Jon Shapiro of Data Garden), Puppies Puppies, and Max C Lee

Curated by: Sanna Almajedi, Valerie Amend, Patrick Jaojoco, Rebecca Nahom, Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi, Vera Petukhova, Jovanna Venegas

New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th Street
Queens, NY
6:00 p.m. - 11:59 p.m.Website

Queens International Night Market - Opening Night

Queens isn’t really known for a hopping night life, but it’s the borough home to the most people from countries that are. Night markets are a big deal in cities from Taipei to Marrakesh, offering everything from deep-fried food to witchy goods. Now, Queens is getting it’s own appropriately-international nighttime bazaar with performances, music, and pop-up street-shopping. You will want to eat all the snacks, but Caveat Emptor: it’s much harder to check out the top-stitching on a questionable purse by moonlight.


Fisher Landau Center for Art

38-27 30th St
Long Island City
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.Website

Columbia University MFA Thesis Exhibition

It’s MFA thesis exhibition season, and this one is truly the must-see. Come see what the best and brightest have been up to in grad school, including ektor garcia and AFC friend Rachel Stern. Is this Ivy League’s kinkiest MFA program? Probably.

Featuring: Jenny Cho, Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, Devra Fox, ektor garcia, Cy Gavin, Ilana Yacine Harris-Babou, Mike Hewson, Brooke Holloway, Cary Hulbert, Bryan Jabs, Coby Kennedy, Tali Keren, Rola Khayyat, Jonah King, Emily Kloppenburg, Pablo Montealegre, Filip Lav, Justin Dale Olerud, Meredith Sands, Michael Stablein, Jr., Rachel Stern, Alex Strada, Victoria Udondian, Cameron Welch, and Jiwoon Yoon

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