Clifford Owens, “Dad” (courtesy the artist) (photo by Whitney Browne and Third Streaming, NY)

This week the city may be cold, but the art scene is heating up. Explore France at the Morgan Library, party at MoMA’s PopRally, visit the Lenin Museum in Midtown, or learn to dumpster dive in Queens. Of course, that’s not all.

 Clifford Owens Talks

When: Tuesday, January 13, 6pm (Free)
Where: SVA (133/141 West 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

At 6pm tonight, performance artist Clifford Owens discusses his practice at a free public lecture at the SVA. Owens is renowned for his body-centric performances, many of which incorporate spontaneous and intimate interactions with his audience. In 2012, Owens staged Anthology at MoMA PS1, his first solo exhibition at a New York museum. For Anthology, Owens requested performance scores (i.e. written instructions) from a number of African-American artists, including Kara Walker, who later withdrew her submission (Walker’s instructions described a solicitation for sex from an audience member). Owens’s talk is a must for those interested in the tension and frisson of intimate performance.

 Exploring France: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection

When: Opens today
Where: The Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan)

Drawn from the collection of art dealer and Morgan Library trustee Eugene V. Thaw, Exploring France is an exhibition of oil sketches produced by French artists during the latter half of the 18th century. As summarized in the show’s press release:

French artists often traveled to Italy to study, and it was there that they began making forays into the countryside to immerse themselves in nature and record their observations in small-scale studies in oil on paper. When these artists returned home, they brought with them the practice of working outdoors or in the studio on a modest scale to capture the landscape and the ephemeral effects of light and weather conditions. These explorations coincided with a burgeoning appreciation of nature in France and the recognition of pure landscape as a genre. Such investigations of indigenous terrain laid the foundation for subsequent generations of artists, including those of the Barbizon school, who took the French landscape as their exclusive subject.

Jeanette Mundt, "Grand Teetons 3 (Red)" (2014) (Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joerg Lohse)
Jeanette Mundt, “Grand Teetons 3 (Red)” (2014) (Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joerg Lohse)

 The 9th White Columns Annual

When: Tuesday, January 13, 6–8pm
Where: White Columns (320 West 13th Street, West Village, Manhattan)

The 9th White Columns Annual has been organized by Cleopatra, a Brooklyn-based exhibition space and curatorial collective. Each year White Columns selects a group or individual to put together a show based on their own personal experience of the New York art scene from the year before — a pretty neat concept, no? This year’s Annual includes work by Polly Apfelbaum, Peter Fend, Josh Kline, Maria Lassnig, Jeanette Mundt, Frances Stark, and Lily van der Stokker.

 MoMA PopRally: Listen Up Philip

When: Wednesday, January 14, 7:30–11:30pm ($15)
Where: The Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

As part of its latest PopRally event, MoMA is hosting a screening of Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip (2014), a tale of literary ambition and rivalry starring Jason Schwartzman and Elizabeth Moss. Following the screening, MoMA curator Josh Siegel will join Moss and Perry in conversation. The evening is topped off by a live set by DJ Le Chev. As is customary of PopRally, drinks are on the house.

 Zine Release: Greater Brooklyn

When: Friday, January 16, 5:30pm–midnight
Where: Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street, Long Island City, Queens)

The third issue of the Greater Brooklyn zine is coming out at one of the city’s best alternative spaces. Show up, celebrate the DIY spirit, and take a dumpster-diving workshop. No cover charge means that this party is sure to attract a diverse crowd that wants to have a good time. There will also be a zine exchange table and a barter wall to exchange goods and services.


When: Saturday, January 17, 5–8pm
Where: Smack Mellon (92 Plymouth Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn)

Smack Mellon is always finding new ways to engage the community. This time the important nonprofit space in Dumbo postponed a planned exhibition in order to respond to “the continued failure of the United States to protect its black citizens from police discrimination and violence.” They welcomed proposals that will “affirm that black lives matter, express frustration and anger with the institutional racism that enables law enforcement to kill black members of the community with impunity, and imagine creative solutions and visionary alternatives to a broken justice system.” Poetry readings, performances, and workshops will be part of the mix. Can’t wait to check this out.

Installation view of Yevgeniy Fiks’s “The Lenin Museum,” CUNY Graduate Center, New York (photo by Hrag Vartanian)

 The Lenin Museum

When: Ends Saturday, January 17
Where: CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan)

This is your last chance to see this insightful exhibition that reflects on Soviet communism’s relationship with homosexuality. Artist Yevgeniy Fiks has created “The Lenin Museum,” which features paintings of renowned gay cruising spots in Moscow, including the original Lenin Museum off Red Square, interviews with gay men who lived through communism, anti-gay reactions in contemporary Russia, and texts attempting to psychoanalyze Lenin’s homo-friendly tendencies. There’s a lot to take in, and it’s definitely worth it.

 Reviewing Renewal

When: Sunday, January 18, various (Free)
Where: The Queens Museum (New York City Building, Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Queens)

This Queens Museum project uses the institution’s beloved scale panorama of NYC in a pretty interesting way. 596 Acres will present 155+ urban renewal plans that the city adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York. Sounds really interesting, right? Urban renewal projects literally change the face of the city, and 60 plan for areas of the city remain active today. This will be a crash course for aspiring urban politics and planning geeks.

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