Art Rx

Installation view of Zoe Leonard’s “945 Madison Avenue” (2014), on display at the 2014 Whitney Biennial (via



The chatter about the Whitney Biennial is everywhere — do you hate it, love it, not know why it still happens? — and now is your chance to check out Zoe Leonard’s total crowd-pleaser of an art work, “945 Madison Avenue” (2014), AND hear the artist speak about her creation.

Also on the short list for the week is a big show of Cuban-American art in the Bronx, a screening of cinematic classic Requiem for a Dream, and your last chance to see the retrospective of one of the greatest comic artists of our time.

 The Wanderlust School of Selling Out

When: Tuesday, March 18, 7pm (advance RSVP required)
Where: Kickstarter HQ (58 Kent Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

The penultimate event of a four-part series, The Wanderlust School of Selling Out “explores the chemistry between creativity and commerce.” As expressed bluntly on Wanderlust’s site, ‘the skills that make you good are not the skills that make you successful.” Ok, then. Speakers include Jeff Stark, Earle Sebastian, Neil Selkirk, and Lourenço Bustani.

 Zoe Leonard Speaks

When: Wednesday, March 19, 6:30pm ($8, advance registration required)
Where: Whitney Museum (945 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

Zoe Leonard’s crowd-pleasing camera obscura piece, “945 Madison Avenue” (2014), is one of the standout works of the 2014 Whitney Biennial — but truly, has there even been a person who has said “I hate camera obscuras”? Leonard’s lecture tomorrow evening is part of a series in which Biennial artists present the research and ideas behind their work. Advance registration required.

 Discrete Geometry

When: Thursday, March 20, 6:30pm
Where: Gowanus Studio Space (166 7th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

Discrete Geometry, an exhibition of works that “converse and converge around qualities of color, pattern, and material” is popping up at the Gowanus Studio Space for three days only. Go with an open mind because we’re not sure what to expect.


When: Friday, March 21, 6–9pm
Where: Radiator Gallery (10-61 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)

Thirteen artists respond to three short stories written by a curator, only they must eschew a narrative response for a “personal” one. The result is Submerged!, a seven-channel video and sound exhibition, on display at the Radiator Gallery in Long Island City. Given the promising conceit, this may well be a show worth checking out.

 Requiem for a Dream Redux

When: Friday, March 21, 7pm ($12)
Where: Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens)

It’s said that the average 90-minute film contains around 600–700 cuts. Requiem for a Dream (2000) contains well over 2,000. Based on the eponymous novel by Hubert Selby Jr., the film follows the lives and dreams of four interconnected Brooklyn residents, feverishly tracking their descent into addiction (drug and otherwise) and despair. Darren Aronofsky’s second feature is frequently cited as one of the most depressing films ever made, as well as his best. Ellen Burstyn’s Oscar-nominated performance as Sara Goldfarb, an elderly widow who’s duped into believing she will appear on television, is one of the most heartbreaking committed to film. The screening is part of a season dedicated to Aronofsky’s films at the Museum of the Moving image.

 Last Chance for Art Spiegelman

When: Closes Monday, March 23
Where: Jewish Museum (1109 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

Best known for Maus (1991) and In the Shadow of No Towers (2004), Art Spiegelman is renowned for increasing the profile of the graphic novel, having questioned the distinction between high and low (i.e. popular) art throughout his career. The Jewish Museum’s retrospective delves into the artist’s creative process, displaying preparatory sketches, compositional studies, and archive ephemera. If you haven’t read it yet, check out Jillian Steinhauer’s review here.

An extract from Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” (1991), the first graphic novel to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The novel chronicles the experiences of Spiegelman’s Holocaust survivor parents. (via

 Go See Some Degenerate Art

When: Through Monday, June 30
Where: Neue Galerie (1048 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

With almost preternatural timing, following the Gurlitt/Munich art find and the release of George Clooney’s Monuments Men (2014), the Neue Gallerie’s Degenerate Art exhibition is the first comprehensive show to examine the Nazi’s attack on modern art since LACMA’s survey in 1991. The exhibition features works by a number of modernist masters including Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, and Emil Nolde.

 The Art of Being Cuban American

When: Through May 14
Where: Lehman College Art Gallery (250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Jerome Park, Bronx)

Thirty-five contemporary artists of Cuban descent, who have been raised in the US or Cuba, are featured in this show devoted to Cuban-American art. I’m a big fan of cultural communities expressing their perspectives on America, their homelands, and what makes them unique (or not so unique), so this sounds like a great topic at a university gallery that puts on some wonderful shows. I also loved this line in the exhibition description:

These views, rarely put together, portray multiple landscapes of the concept of empire, so easily associated with both countries, while the works in this exhibition add to the construction of a fresh, as well as complex, image of America: a Cuban America.

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