This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Spend Valentine’s Day Grabbing Bjarne Melgaard’s Sloppy Seconds

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 13, 2017 Events

Bjarne Melgaard is going through a reinvention phase, which means he’s giving away his entire $500K wardrobe for free on Valentine’s Day at Red Bull Studios. Then he’s launching his new project: a streetwear line with an installation a department store at the same spot Thursday night. Then two painters offer unique takes on domesticity through still lives—Sydney Licht at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts and Crys Yin at Amy Li Projects.

Friday night, things get weirder with a dystopian video game from Jeremy Couillard at yours mine & ours, artwork lost in translation at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and a late-night performance from Actually Huizenga and one-time-AFC-contributor SSION (video above). The weekend brings two more all-women shows conceived in response to Trump’s sexism: BODY/HEAD Saturday night at Be Fluent NYC and BEAT at On Stellar Rays Sunday afternoon. Lookin’ good, NYC.

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Red Bull Studios New York

220 W 18th St
New York, NY
5:00 p.m.Website

The Purge: Bjarne Melgaard's $500K Designer Fashion Giveaway

This Valentine’s Day, Bjarne Melgaard is breaking up with his half-a-million-dollar designer wardrobe. In a performance tied to his solo show The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment, the artist is opening a free “department store” of both his personal high-end clothes and new line of streetwear. 100 at a time, visitors will be invited to fill up Melgaard-designed trash bags with items from the installation. The flier also promises “Hardcore Porno” and “Sex Booths,” so I guess no one has to be lonely this February 14th.

I would imagine every single in the city (and likely a few couples) will be heading to this most romantic looting spree, so get there early (it’s first-come, first serve).


Hauser & Wirth

548 West 22nd Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.


One complaint we’ve had after viewing several exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth’s cavernous 22nd Street former-gay-roller-disco space is that it’s hard to fill well. From Rashid Johnson’s latest solo show to an underwhelming Phillip Guston retrospective, the strategy for conquering a surplus of wall/floor space tends to be repetitive hanging—rooms with multiple versions of essentially the same artwork. It can be a bit boring.

Now it seems Hauser & Wirth is turning this problem into the conceptual keystone of an exhibition. Serialities has an impressive line up of A-listers, each with a body of work based on experiments with repetition. Think multiples, photographs, formal interests that jump from medium-to-medium, etc…

Carl Andre, Yuji Agematsu, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Liz Deschenes, Isa Genzken, Eva Hesse, Roni Horn, On Kawara, Robert Kinmont, Louise Lawler, Zoe Leonard, Sherrie Levine, Sol LeWitt, Paul McCarthy, Roman Opalka, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, August Sander, Karin Sander, Mira Schendel, Cindy Sherman, David Smith, Ian Wallace, and Mark Wallinger. Organized with Olivier-Renaud Clement


Red Bull Studios New York

220 W 18th Street
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.Website

Bjarne Melgaard: The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment

Beyond purging his wardrobe, Bjarne Melgaard is launching a whole new identity: “the retirement of Bjarne Melgaard as a fine artist, abandoning the humiliating context of the exhibition platform for the much worse context of cult streetwear: a market pretending to be a community, pretending to be a violent assault on reproduction.”

Yes, Bjarne Melgaard is launching a fashion line and renouncing fine art. He’s doing this with a pop-up department store at Red Bull Studios that sounds suspiciously like an art installation. Huh.

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

529 West 20th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Sydney Licht: This Side Up

Sydney Licht’s painterly still lives are a bit weirder than they seem at first glance. They’re mainly focused on the domestic realm—so there’s an unshakable association with decor. But they’re composed almost-always slightly-off kilter, with unstable, clashing prints. They vaguely evoke interior decorating catalogue imagery gone awry. Her inclusion of mass-produced consumer goods—packaged fruit or a tissue box, for example—further pushes the association with “product,” but their aesthetic is anything but sleek or advertisement-like.

Amy Li Projects

166 Mott Street
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Website

Crys Yin: If You Were Home, You'd Be Here By Now

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Crys Yin has a pretty-similar solo show. Yin’s still lives, however, have a strangely scientific-personal feel. She lays out groups of domestic objects reflecting her upbring on a plain table, arranged almost like specimens or evidence. The clinical treatment is somewhat negated by the paintings’ lack of perspective and un-naturalistic shadows. Nothing seems to sit quite firmly in the picture plane.


yours mine & ours

54 Eldridge Street
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Jeremy Couillard: Alien Afterlife

The description for this solo show is a narrative about a woman in a dystopian future finding a contemporary video game. We’re expecting this to be a downright trippy dive into a fully-imagined alternate reality. The video game itself will be playable in the gallery, along with physical artifacts from Couillard’s universe.

Tiger Strikes Asteroid

yours mine & ours
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

x ≈ y: An Act of Translation

Nina Katchadourian is one of those artists who can pull off art pranks that are smart, aesthetic experiences, and also extremely funny. She once had all the cars at a commuter college park in lots according to color—a surreal, unexpectedly beautiful happening that was documented by local news traffic helicopters. Here, she’s showing “Talking Popcorn,” a contraption that translates the sound of a popcorn machine to morse code messages. I’ve seen that piece before, and it produces both a tasty snack and bizarre bits of poetry.

Indeed, all the works in x ≈ y: An Act of Translation sound like they captures moments of humor and accidental beauty in transcription. Asuka Goto, for example, translates her father’s writing from his native Japanese to her native English bit by bit, resulting in often garbled passages that reveal the limits of language and cross-cultural communication.

Artists: Chloë Bass, Torkwase Dyson, Asuka Goto, Mona Saeed Kamal, Nina Katchadourian, and Byron Kim

Curated by Andrew Prayzner and Naomi Reis

Baby's All Right

146 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY
11:59 PMWebsite

SSION and Actually Huizenga

SSION and Actually Huizenga are two of our favorite performers mixing pop music catchiness with art-school weird. Huizenga is based in L.A., so this is a somewhat-rare chance to catch her on the East Coast. Tickets are $12-$15, a total steal for what’s likely to be a memorable evening.


Be Fluent NYC

15 West 39th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


Here’s yet another all-women show organized in opposition to the Trump presidency. Inspired by Trump’s comments about women’s bodies, curators Jacob Rhodes, Rachel Frank, and Katrina Slavik have assembled 12 female figurative artists. The show addresses the body from the perspective of the female gaze, in a variety of media. If the image above (Jen Schwarting, “Drunk Girls #19”) is any indication, this will be a refreshingly broad look at “figuration” and the subject of the body.

Artists: Sachiko Akiyama (+ Rick Fox), Julie Curtiss, Cindy Ji Hye Kim, Amy Khoshbin, Kimia Ferdowsi Kline, Sarah Lubin, Nicole Maloof, Danielle Orchard, Sahana Ramakrishnan, Katarina Riesing, Jen Schwarting, Virginia Wagner


On Stellar Rays

213 Bowery
New York, NY
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Website

BEAT: Closing Party + Benefit for Planned Parenthood

After the election, friends Kate Gilmore and Karen Heagle decided to have a two-woman show together. Every weekend, female performers have come to On Stellar Rays to bang on Heagle’s minimalist metal sculptures, slowly eroding an imposing monolith. The show ends with one final performance, and a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.


155 Suffolk St
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Elliott Green: Human Nature

Elliott Green’s latest paintings flit between cheery abstraction and brooding fantasy landscapes. That makes for an engaging viewing process—one shape might read convincingly as a cloud or rock formation due to context, but a brush stroke or pallet knife scrape on closer inspection. With works ranging in size from 18″ x 24″ to 6 ½’ x 11 ½’, it should be interesting to see how those illusions function at different scales.

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