This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Happy Not-My-President’s Day

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 20, 2017 Events

Tony Schwensen's poem for "PUPPET PRESIDENT[S] & POWER"

Tony Schwensen’s poem for “PUPPET PRESIDENT[S] & POWER”

Kick the week off with the closing reception of an anti-Trump poetry show at EIDIA House, part of their “Plato’s Cave” exhibition series. Tuesday, artist  Hakan Topal and curator Joanna Lehan talk about representations of refugees at CUNY’s Graduate Center, and Wednesday two artists plunge into the aesthetics of capitalism and consumption at respective openings downtown.

Things lighten up a bit starting Thursday. We’re looking forward to the NYC debut of North Carolina artist Carmen Neely at Jane Lombard Gallery and Monica Bonvicini’s oddly sexy work at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. On Friday, AFC friend Saul Chernick is opening a collaborative show at NURTUREart in Bushwick, and Saturday Liinu Grönlund’s rat-centric video work goes live at Open Source Gallery. End the week with a timely show about barriers and portals from A.K. Burns at Callicoon Fine Arts.

  1. M
  2. T
  3. W
  4. T
  5. F
  6. S
  7. S


Plato’s Cave at EIDIA House

14 Dunham Place
Brooklyn, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


In honor of President’s Day, EIDIA House is throwing a closing party for their poetry invitational PUPPET PRESIDENT[S] & POWER. Expect a lot of wine-soaked Trump anxiety at this event. I’m curious about the presentation here—poems are printed Giclée on archival card stock or photographic paper and hung in the venue’s “vault”. Mostly, this is your number one place to commiserate this holiday Monday.


The Graduate Center, CUNY

365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

The Flood: Refugees and Representation

Photographer Hakan Topal and curator Joanna Lehan (Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change) will present their work and discuss the tricky subject matter of representation and the refugee crisis. This is a talk many contemporary artists probably need to see, as images of or about refugees have so much potential to be a force for good or wholly problematic (cough, cough Ai Weiwei).


Baxter St at The Camera Club of New York

126 Baxter St
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Marco Scozzaro: Digital Deli

Marco Scozzaro’s technicolor still lives parody the logic of advertisements with a wry sense of humor. In the image above, “Beta 909,” for example, obsolete analog production equipment is posed on a backdrop of fruit-printed contact paper. Scozzaro claims this series is also semi-autobiographical. If that means he spent his formative years making synthpop and beta max music videos in a bodega bathroom, I’m all about it.

Arsenal Contemporary

214 Bowery
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Ed Fornieles

Ed Fornieles spent his residency at Arsenal Montreal creating a new brand: Finiliar, which has something to do with currency exchanges and kawaii culture. We have no idea what this show is going to look like, but I’m guessing it will be a cliff dive into the depths of neon capitalist dystopia.


Jane Lombard Gallery

518 West 19th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Carmen Neely: It makes it more so if you say so

I first saw Carmen Neely’s work during a studio visit at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and remember smiling as soon as I walked into her studio. Neely’s mixed-media abstractions are so full of playful personality, seeing them feels like meeting charming new friends. And indeed, Neely assigns characters to different shapes, creating alternately personal and playful narratives in her work. This is her first solo show in New York, and you will definitely want to say you were there one day—It’s easy to imagine Neely as a rising art star within the next few years.

Mitchell-Innes & Nash

534 W 26th St
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Monica Bonvicini: RE pleasure RUN

There’s something undeniably seductive about Monica Bonvicini’s work. Whether it’s a neon sculpture or painting of a burned-out building, her (usually monochromatic) pieces have a vaguely S&M quality and wouldn’t look out of place in the background of a high-fashion editorial photoshoot. But beyond looking good, they’re subtly loaded with content. Bonvicini speaks to structures, both literally (as in the architectural sense) and figuratively (as in those of power). We’re hoping this exhibition is just as smart as it is sexy-looking.


The LeRoy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University

2960 Broadway
New York, NY
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.Website

Stephen Mishol: Place

Stephen Mishol’s drawings of imaginary cityscapes are captivating visual puzzles. He layers architectural styles, slightly-illogical geometries, and a sense of scale that’s just out of reality. At times, it’s uncertain whether these are fantasy drawings of the not-so-distant past, a caricature of the present, or sci-fi predictions. Either way, they make for a fun viewing experience.

Equity Gallery

245 Broome Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


Curated by Melinda Wang and Heather Zises, FemiNest invites six women artists to reflect on notions of domesticity. This includes Vadis Turner’s literally nest-like sculptures that reference mending (above) and Michele Oka Doner’s goddess-like figurative sculptures.

Artists: Natalie Frank, Karen Lee Williams, Michele Oka Doner, Barbara Segal, Page Turner and Vadis Turner.


56 Bogart Street
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Saul Chernick: FRAMEWERK

We’re obviously big fans of artist (and AFC board member) Saul Chernick, who contributed some pretty amazing drawings of disembodied fantasy anatomy for our Strange Genitals exhibition last fall. His drawings have a quality that reminds me of slightly-off Victorian encyclopedias, so it’s appropriate he uses “cabinet of curiosities” as a point of reference to describe this body of work. Here, he’s mixing things up a bit, inviting the public to collaborate by filling-in a series of prints that suggest frames. It should be interesting to see what that produces.


bitforms gallery

131 Allen Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

Quayola: Fragments

Roman artist Quayola is unsurprisingly influenced by classical culture. Specificay, he’s interested in antiquities’ decay, and how digital corruption can parallel that process. In his series “Laocoön Fragments”, for example is inspired by the Hellenistic sculpture “Laocoön and His Sons,” here, recreated with alternate “damage” imagined by a computer algorithm. It’s an interesting take on the art historical trope of artists making copies of copies of masterpieces.

Open Source Gallery

306 17th Street
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

Liinu Grönlund: It could have been

Liinu Grönlund’s solo video show at Open Source Gallery gets a nod for having one of the strangest concepts I’ve read in a while. Grönlund is interested in rats for their connotations of survivalism, overpopulation, and scientific progress (as test subjects). In anticipation of the coming mass extinction wrought by humanity, Grönlund has been reading books to rats (among other activities) to pass along human knowledge to another species. Presumably, adaptable rats collectively might outlive us?


Callicoon Fine Arts

49 Delancey Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

A.K. Burns: Fault Lines

The promotional image for this exhibition is a piece of window screen sitting over a copy of The New York Times, featuring a photo of an under-construction pipleline, wreathed in what appears to be an infinite “human centipede.” Interest piqued.

A.K. Burns’ new show is all about obstacles and portals—doors and windows and so forth. Given how hot-button walls, pipelines, and the news media have become this past year, we expect this exhibition to feel very topical.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: