Jacob Lawrence, "The Migration Series" (1940-41). Panel 1: “During the World War there was a great migration North by Southern Negroes", casein tempera on hardboard. The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. Acquired 1942 (© 2015 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph courtesy The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.)
Jacob Lawrence, “The Migration Series” (1940-41). Panel 1: “During the World War there was a great migration North by Southern Negroes,” The Phillips Collection, Washington DC (© 2015 Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation/ARS, NY)

This week is your chance to dive deep into the lessons of fascism, read Basquiat’s notebooks, explore Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, and check out NYC’s chapbook festival. And that’s just the beginning.

 L.A.B.: Narrative

When: Tuesday, March 31, 6:30pm (Free)
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

The Kitchen’s L.A.B. (an acronym for “language, art, and bodies”) series seeks to define and explore the often vague jargon of contemporary art. In this iteration of L.A.B, three artists in various fields — sculptor Kevin Beasley, choreographer Moriah Evans, and artist and singer Sahra Motalebi – will unpack the word “narrative” by producing artwork and conversation around the topic. As with other L.A.B. events, through their conversation, the guest artists will touch on the similarities and differences between the way terms and concepts are treated and defined in their respective mediums. —Kemy Lin

 The Motherhood Archives

When:Tuesday, March 31, 7pm (Free)
Where: Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue New York, East Village, Manhattan)

As part of The Flaherty’s seasonal programming, themed around the relationship of artists to the objects they physically handle, the Anthology Film Archives will screen Irene Lusztig’s film The Motherhood Archives. Lusztig’s film, composed of clips from hundreds of educational, industrial, and medical training films from the 20th century, is a narrative and history of efforts to discipline and control the pregnant female body. The Motherhood Archives travels through time to chart medical and cultural developments in the realm of pregnancy and childbirth — from obstetric anesthesia to Lamaze — and examines women’s often ambivalent relationships with their children. —KL

 Fascisms Across Borders


When: Wednesday, April 1 & Thursday, April 2
Where: The Heyman Center (74 Morningside Drive, Morningside Heights, Manhattan) & The New School for Social Research (68 Fifth Avenue, Union Square, Manhattan)

Over the course of two days, Fascisms Across Borders will examine fascism, both as an ideology and as a concept. The symposium will also address the rise of fascistic governments and power structures during periods of perceived political instability:

Contemporary democracies are witnessing a striking paradox: the democratic political system enjoys the support of public opinion and even a universal allure, and yet, its existing mechanisms are under pressure and criticism principally as a result of a decline in trust.

 NYC/CUNY Chapbook Festival

When: Through Thursday, April 2 (Some events require an RSVP, see listing for details)
Where: Various

The Chapbook Festival, now in its seventh year, celebrates the chapbook as art and a venue for alternative thought and voices. There are a variety of different events, ranging from readings to workshops to award ceremonies, over the course of the three-day-long festival, where chapbook lovers will be able to learn about the publishing process and appreciate its creative fruits. Events include a day-long book fair at CUNY’s Graduate Center, a behind-the-scenes look at New York Public Library’s chapbook collections, workshops on hand bookbinding and letterpress printing, and a discussion of chapbooks’ potential as a pedagogical tool with all-girls publishing collective Raven Press—KL


 Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks

When: Opens Friday, April 3
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

The latest hometown exhibition of Basquiat’s work will be hosted by the Brooklyn Museum, and features not only the artist’s paintings but 160 pages of his personal notebooks. His notebooks are the show’s centerpiece, setting it apart from a standard Basquiat retrospective. The periods explored in these notebooks, most notably the development of his Famous Negro Athletes series, will be showcased. This exhibit offers an opportunity to not just appreciate Basquiat’s work, but also his creative process. —Vic Vaiana

 Simon Denny: The Innovator’s Dilemma


When: Friday, April 3, 8–10pm
Where: MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens)

Berlin-based artist Simon Denny’s survey exhibition The Innovator’s Dilemma highlights three periods of the artist’s career. The artist’s dystopic installations employ preexisting images to engage with the commodification of technologies. This party will include, as part of a collaboration with Genius, a real-time race to annotate work by the artist using the app’s beta version. The Genius annotators competing will include Tom Lehman (co-founder and CEO of Genius), Sean Monahan (K-HOLE), Nightcoregirl, Ryder Ripps, Calvin Waterman (Mood NYC), and others. —VV

 Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series

Jacob Lawrence. The Migration Series. 1940-41. Panel 14: “Among the social conditions that existed which was partly the cause of the migration was the injustice done to the Negroes in the courts.” Casein tempera on hardboard, 18 x 12″ (45.7 x 30.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. © 2015 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY
Panel 14 from Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series (1940–41), MoMA. (© 2015 Knight Lawrence Found./ARS, NY)

When: Opens Friday, April 3
Where: The Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series is a sensitive portrayal of the impact of modernity on large groups of people escaping persecution and poverty. It’s one of the 20th century’s finest artistic explorations of the topic, demonstrating the power of art to tell a story that is both human and grand. Completed when the artist was only 23, Lawrence’s magnum opus consists of 60 small tempera paintings with text captions. Within months of its completion, the series entered the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Phillips Collection, with each institution acquiring half of the series. This exhibition reunites all 60 panels for the first time at MoMA in 20 years.

 Animation Night featuring Brandon Sines


When: Monday, April 6, 8:30pm
Where: The Living Gallery (1094 Broadway, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Self-taught artist Brandon Sines’s minimalist and goofy creation Frank Ape has a cartoonish sensibility that makes the character seemingly fit for many mediums. Frank has become Sines’s muse, appearing in several different animated experiments by the artist, which explore mediums including GIF art and stop-motion. A showcase of his works, some without Frank Ape, will be screened at the Living Gallery; the artist will also be present for a discussion. Sines’s short films epitomize the experimental flexibility of contemporary animation. —VV

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With contributions by Kemy Lin and Vic Vaiana

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