This week brings a whole lot of good stuff, from a conversation between two feminist artist icons to a celebration of the idiosyncrasies of contemporary painting. It’s also your last weekend to take the ferry to Governors Island, and your last chance to visit the new Whitney Museum’s inaugural show. Get to it.
Betty Tompkins & Marilyn Minter
When: Tuesday, September 22, 7pm
Where: BHQFUG (431 East 6th Street, East Village, Manhattan)
Betty Tompkins and Marilyn Minter will discuss Tompkins’s solo exhibition REAL ERSATZ and how to unapologetically tackle the subject of sex as an artist and a woman. This conversation between two feminist comrades-in-arms will be a crucial look at Tompkins’s Fuck paintings within the historical context of their initial negative reception and as they continue to strain against the dismissive label of pornography today. —Victoria Reis
A Conversation with Critics
When: Wednesday, September 23, 6pm
Where: New York Academy of Art (111 Franklin Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)
Critics are fun to read, but how often do you get to see them live? For the latest in her series at the New York Academy of Art, writer and artist Sharon Louden will bring together Ben Davis, Carol Kino, Andrew Russeth, and Hyperallergic’s own Benjamin Sutton — an especially smart group — to discuss the hows, whats, and whys of art criticism today.
Painting Is Not Doomed to Repeat Itself
When: Opens Thursday, September 24
Where: Hollis Taggart Galleries (521 West 26th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Not only do you get a chance to see art critics talking this week, you also get to see them — or, one of them, at least — curating. Critic, poet, and Hyperallergic Weekend Editor John Yau has organized this show of 14 artists who “reimagine what it means to be a painter in the twenty-first century by eschewing art-historically referential styles and content in favor of original and often very personal inspiration.” And who could ignore such a resolutely positive title?
When: Friday, September 25, 8–10pm
Where: Silent Barn (603 Bushwick Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
The Vital Joint Gallery, housed in arts incubator and Bushwick DIY venue Silent Barn, is having a closing party for Christian Little’s exhibit Leisure Time. Little’s paintings are a collage of colorful internet aesthetics: think early tiled webpage backgrounds alongside marble countertops and erotic optical illusions. Abstracted by their flattened textures, figures appear sexually engaged with granite flooring, a broom, a pedestal. The party is free, and you can head next door to the main space to see live music as well. —Gabriella Santiago-Vancak
An Animation Showcase
When: Friday, September 25, 7:30pm ($5)
Where: Spectacle (124 South 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Spectacle is featuring a full roster of women animators in its animation showcase Head Space. Fans of animation, illustration, and looping gifs will want to see this trippy, experimental set of short films, which promises to include “the ramblings of Charles Manson” and “the musings of a houseplant.” Featured in the lineup are Sally Cruikshank, known for her animation work on the early days of Sesame Street, as well as internet-age animators like Wendy Zhao. —GS-V
Last Chance: Governors Island Art Fair
When: Saturday, September 26 & Sunday, September 27, 11am–6pm
Where: Governors Island
The 8th edition of the Governors Island Art Fair — which is organized by artist-run nonprofit 4heads — ends this weekend. Housed in a former military barracks, the fair gives over its evocative spaces to over 100 artists. Governors Island also features a number of artist studios (most of which are open to the public) and is home to the Holocenter (formally located at the Long Island City Clocktower). Get a morning ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn for a mere $2 and spend the day exploring New York’s art-filled island. —Tiernan Morgan
Last Chance: America Is Hard to See
When: Ends Sunday, September 27 ($22)
Where: Whitney Museum (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)
Considering how much time and effort went into it, and what a success it is, it seems a shame that the Whitney Museum’s inaugural exhibition is closing after being open for only five short months. This week is your last chance to see America Is Hard to See before it closes, and if you haven’t visited yet — and honestly, even if you have — get thee there. The show isn’t perfect, but in a refreshing way, it cracks open the historical narrative of American art to take in far more than the usual suspects. Many of these works (e.g. the stunning anti-lynching prints) will likely not be on view again for a very long time — especially if, as some have predicted, the museum now dedicates itself to blockbusters to keep its gorgeous new building packed with visitors.
When: Ongoing through Sunday, October 25
Where: MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 (38 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
A collaboration between artist Mario Pfeifer, creative director Drew Arnold, and Brooklyn rap trio the Flatbush ZOMBIES, #blacktivist is an unflinching critique of institutionalized racism in the US. Composed of a multichannel video installation, featuring both the ZOMBIES’ music video and a documentary filmed at a 3D gun manufacturing workshop, the installation is a literal invitation to take up arms against the status quo. Eschewing mainstream ideals of peaceful protest, this timely work doesn’t shy away from anti-government sentiment and is worth more than a quick view on YouTube. —VR
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With contributions by Tiernan Morgan, Victoria Reis, and Gabriella Santiago-Vancak