The polar vortex is coming back, but some weather forecasters say it won’t be as bad as the last blast. So layer up, and get out of the house! There are too many good shows on view in New York to stay in all week — from a spaceship inside the New Museum to new work by Steve DiBenedetto and David LaChapelle, plus a mysterious artist from the 1970s. And don’t miss our own Hrag Vartanian, who’ll be talking about a handful of shows on the Lower East Side as part of a Review Panel at the National Academy Museum.
Vintage Sci-fi at the New Museum
When: Opens Wednesday, January 22
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
The New Museum is constructing a spaceship on their fifth floor, based on one in the iconic Czech science-fiction film Ikarie XB-1 (aka Voyage to the End of the Universe, 1963), which melds postwar utopianism with Soviet utilitarianism. The project is the work of Tranzit, a Central European and Eastern European network or organizations, and will incorporate 117 artworks from dozen of artists they’ve worked with before. If that doesn’t sound trippy, we don’t know what to tell you.
Steve DiBenedetto’s Konstructshuns
When: Opens Thursday, January 23, 6–8 pm
Where: Half Gallery (43 East 78th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Steve DiBenedetto is a well-respected artist whose apocalyptic visions are dense, symbolic, and mysterious. Looking at his art, you can’t help but feel a state of anxiety that fills every inch. What makes his works memorable is the strong use of color and line and the fact that they seem to totter between representation and abstraction, while feeling rather comfortable in both worlds.
Critics Talk Art at the Review Panel
When: Friday, January 24, 6:30 pm
Where: National Academy Museum (1083 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Every season, curator and critic David Cohen organizes a series of Review Panels, which invite art critics to talk about a few significant shows going on in New York. This week’s panel features Hyperallergic’s own Hrag Vartanian, along with Christina Kee and Christian Viveros-Faune. They will be discussing Thomas Bangsted: Mike at Marc Straus, Wade Guyton at Petzel, Lori Ellison at McKenzie Fine Art, and Allison Schulnik: Eager at ZieherSmith. This is a great opportunity get some behind-the-scenes insight into how critics think. —JS
MFA Students Explore the Home Front
When: Ongoing through Saturday, February 1
Where: (601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Who doesn’t love a good student art show? This week, be sure to check out Home Front, which is the first of two exhibitions of new works by second-year MFA students at the School of Visual Arts. The show was curated by MA Curatorial Practice Department Deputy Chair Jovana Stokic, who explained its concept this way:
My curatorial concept for this exhibition invokes the irrefutably pacifistic notion of the home front. It alludes to the notion of claiming one’s individuality by peacefully co-existing. The varied practices of these artists explore the possibility of being unique within their own territories while sharing the same space. This analogy goes even further by stressing that, within the realm of art, home fronts become spaces of both exploration and hospitality. In this way, a home front erases any closures. The artists in this exhibition negotiate their readiness to be at home in the gallery and in a wide variety of media and representational strategies.
David LaChapelle’s Energetic Landscapes
When: Ongoing through Saturday, March 1
Where: Paul Kasmin Gallery (293 Tenth Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
We really like LaChapelle’s art, but we wish he wouldn’t take himself so seriously, since his art is more camp than reality, no matter what he says. His saccharine works freely mix Americana, commercial advertising, and history painting to produce a glitzy language of artifice, artifice, and artifice. His latest body of work looks like he’s discovered the environmental sublime, which seems like a fitting theme for this fashion photographer turned artist (yes, another one) … But, word to the wise: ignore those tacky logos.
Nicola Hicks and British Art
When: Ongoing through Sunday, March 9
Where: Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut)
The life-sized bronze sculptures by Nicola Hicks have a fairy-tale-like quality, which, coupled with her obvious love of animals, radiates a charm that will appeal to almost everyone. For this exhibition, nine of her works are installed with 18th- and 19th-century British paintings from the Yale Center for British Art’s extensive collection. Does the pairing work? There’s only one way to find out … head over to New Haven.
The Artist Who Left New York
When: Ongoing through Sunday, March 9
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Works, Red Hook, Brooklyn)
Who doesn’t love to hear about an artist who, at the height of his artistic prowess, escaped the “art world” to settle far away from the scene? Well, Dale Henry is one such mystery, and his work will certainly be fresh and new to almost everyone who wasn’t around New York in the 1970s and ’80s. Will this show reintroduce this once critically acclaimed artist to the art world mainstream? Perhaps, but like all good mysteries, you’ll have to wait and see. The exhibition includes work not seen since the ’70s, and some things never exhibited at all.
Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community
When: Ongoing through Sunday, March 16
Where: Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (26 Wooster Street, Soho, Manhattan)
The Leslie-Lohman Museum is continuing on its mission to explore the aesthetics of the LGBTQ community in all their glory. This time, the Soho-based institution is welcoming a mix of established and emerging artists who work with thread. Expect felt paintings, yarn drawings, embroidered portraits, knit sculpture, quilted tapestries, crocheted installations, and video. We’re guessing there will inevitably be a rainbow or two in the mix — call it a hunch.
* * *
With listing by Jillian Steinhauer