This Week’s Must See Events: Crack Some Nuts

by Paddy Johnson on December 7, 2016 Events

Brooklyn Ballet dancers Paunika Jones and Elisabet Rubio. Photo by Stephan Moskovic

Brooklyn Ballet dancers Paunika Jones and Elisabet Rubio. Photo by Stephan Moskovic

This week starts off slow, presumably to give those of us who were at the Miami fairs a bit of time to recover. Today we’ve listed Ballet at the Brooklyn Museum and Faith Ringgold at MoMA and that’s it. Thursday, look out. Chelsea will be a zoo. We’ve listed Michelle Grabner, Xaviera Simmons, and Andrew Kuo as picks, but there’s plenty more to see. Friday head to Bushwick. Every gallery and their dog is hosting an opening, including Parlour and Interstate. We recommend picking up a few Christmas presents at some of these galleries. Emerging art is very affordable, and your parents will either love it or give it back to you. Either way, that’s a win-win scenario.

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Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
7:00 PM Website

Brooklyn Ballet: The Brooklyn Nutcracker

I’ve sized the image above a bit larger than our normal images to make the point that, holy cow ballet is weird. The objective is to dance on your toes for long periods of time, which somewhat counter intuitively, can actually be very pretty.

Anyway, like most of us, I can’t imagine making my own body do the things Paunika Jones and Elisabet Rubio do. So why not head out to see some crazy dancing tonight in the Brooklyn Nutcracker. No word on what’s Brooklyn about it, except perhaps that it takes place in the Brooklyn Museum.


11 West 53rd Street
6:00 PMWebsite

Faith Ringgold

Artist and activist Faith Ringgold discusses her life and art with Anne Umland, MoMA’s curator of painting and sculpture, and Thomas J. Lax, MoMA’s associate curator of media and performance art. The talk celebrates MoMA’s recent acquisition of her painting “American People Series #20”, so naturally, they’ll be discussing the painting.


Marlborough Chelsea

545 W 25th St
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Website

Andrew Kuo, "No To Self"

We’ve always enjoyed Andrew Kuo’s data driven works on paper. The charts and pies make abstraction seem more resolute than it probably is in the making. This latest work attempts to measure some of the more popular cultural systems of coping: religion, psychotherapy and our normalizing routines.

It’s worth noting that Kuo claims his work is not abstraction but rather a “complex visualization of the specific mechanics of human struggle”. It’s that too, but come on. It’s also abstraction.

James Cohan Gallery

533 W 26th St
6:00 PM to 8:00 PMWebsite

Michelle Grabner

Why is Michelle Grabner showing at James Cohan just before Christmas? It’s the slowest time of the year save for August! We hope that ridiculous Ken Johnson review hasn’t had an effect on her sales. Whatever the case, she’s a great artist and community builder so let’s get out and show some support. This exhibition will feature new bronze sculptures cast from hand-crocheted and knitted blankets, along with large scale paintings and works on paper. Don’t miss this show.

Triangle Arts

20 Jay Street, #317
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM Website

Rethinking Residencies: Publics and Counterpublics

Okay, this panel discussion is likely to be worth its weight in gold. It includes Common Field’s Co-Director Courtney Fink, artist Jonah Groeneboer, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Co-Director Sarah Workneh. This cast is amongst the most articulate in their fields. They set out to pose answers to the question: how do artist residency programs define, cultivate, and care for their publics?

Warning: it’s probably useful to have some interest in artist residencies before attending. This panel’s for the artist residency nerds.

Organized by Flux Factory

The Kitchen

512 W 19th St
8:00 PM Website

Xaviera Simmons

A new movement-based performance that employs art-historical, online, and archival images on the subject of queer history, homoerotic imagery, and landscape. What’s it all amount to? Attend and find out.


Tilton Gallery

8 E 76 St
6:00 PM to 8:00 PMWebsite

Grim Fantasy. The Subliminal. The Sublime.

A video screening of Tomashi Jackson’s recent work (on view at Tilton Gallery) and discussion about the sublime, the subliminal, and author Octavia E. Butler’s term, the Grim Fantasy (a term that’s pretty much self explanatory). Participants include Jackson, writer Ashley James, and artist Jacolby Satterwhite. Expect the subjects of race, violence and identity to come up with this crew. It should be illuminating.

The Parlour Bushwick

791 Bushwick Avenue
6:00 PM to 9:00 PMWebsite

Cracked Up Breaking Down

This show gets a listing for Alex Yudzon’s photograph “Papaya Mountain” alone. (Detail above). It’s beautiful. But past that AFC friend Nicholas Cueva is in the show along with Jack Henry and Ben Pederson. Cueva is a master organizer and abstract painter—often of still lives.

No details are offered on the show—a typical Bushwick gallery gesture, as the shows are often organized around aesthetics and social circles. We expect it’ll be worth your while.

Interstate Projects

66 Knickerbocker Ave.
6:00 PM to 9:00 PMWebsite

Brandon Ndife, Just Passin' Thru

Brandon Ndife examines objects that seemingly “pass through” our everyday, but help to form a broad picture of oneself.

Based on the image above, we’re not entirely sure what that’s going to look like, but it seems like a viewer’s identity will be represented with cement, metal rebar, lumber and a bunch of other industrial materials.  Not sure this is what I’d choose to represent myself, but it will be interesting to see Ndife’s vision, if for no other reason than I can’t imagine a more stark contrast to my own.


The Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
2 PM

Betty Tompkins on Marilyn Minter

Well, here’s a pairing that makes sense: Betty Tompkins, the established photorealist painter of hard dicks and wet vaginas, and Marilyn Minter, the established photorealist painter of hard dicks and pretty much any other fetishizable body part. The two will discuss feminism, photorealism, and criticality in Minter’s artwork.



The Studio Museum in Harlem

144 West 125th Street
1:00 PM to 4:00 PMWebsite

Artists-in-Residence Open Studios

Open studio nights are upon us! Check out the studios of Autumn Knight, Julia Phillips and Andy Robert to see works in progress. All three artists will be present, so visitors can ask as many questions as they like!

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