This week, El Museo del Barrio revises the history of Kinetic and Op art to include Latin America, the National Academy Museum shows the work of pioneering feminist artist Miriam Schapiro, Galerie Lelong debuts nine unseen films by Ana Mendieta, and much more.
Kinetic and Op Art from Latin America
When: Opens Wednesday, February 3
Where: El Museo del Barrio (1230 Fifth Avenue, East Harlem, Manhattan)
Invite your eye to wander in new directions in The Illusive Eye, a survey of Kinetic and Op art in 17 countries, with a focus on Latin America. In part a reflection on the 1965 Museum of Modern Art exhibit The Responsive Eye, the El Museo show intends to fill some gaps in the Western canon’s understanding of those art movements. By making connections that aren’t purely formal, the exhibit will also trace the art — by the likes of Zilia Sánchez and Jesús Rafael Soto — to its Pythagorean and mystical origins. —EWA
Surveying Miriam Schapiro
When: Opens Wednesday, February 3, 6–8pm
Where: National Academy Museum & School (1083 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Miriam Schapiro is having her moment. The artist, who died last June, will have her first survey show in New York at the National Academy Museum, organized by the institution’s chief curator — and a Hyperallergic contributor — Maura Reilly. Schapiro’s role in the development of feminist art and art history has been largely forgotten, but as artist Mira Schor wrote for Hyperallergic last summer, when Schapiro died:
It is necessary to say that Schapiro was enormously important to the development and the definition of feminist art. She was a talented and bold artist who first made her mark in the New York School, a notoriously inhospitable place for women artists, who in midlife whole-heartedly embraced the political ideology of women’s liberation and sought to find aesthetic principles and methodologies that would be a visual equivalent of feminism.
The survey will offer a chance to see work from all six decades of her career, and will coincide with an exhibition focusing on her California years at Eric Firestone Gallery (opens February 4).
Ana Mendieta’s Films
When: Opens Friday, February 5, 6–8pm
Where: Galerie Lelong (528 West 26th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
For those who can’t make it to Minneapolis or Fort Lauderdale to see the incredible-sounding exhibition of Ana Mendieta’s films, this show at Galerie Lelong is the next best thing. Featuring 15 films by the artist, nine of them never seen before, the exhibition will help bring to light an under-explored aspect of Mendieta’s practice. Highlights include her first film, made when she was a 22-year-old student at the University of Iowa, and an X-ray film from around 1975 that shows the interior motion of her skull (also the only piece with sound). All the works recently underwent meticulous transfers from their original formats (Super 8 and others) to high-definition digital media.
Re-creating with E-Waste
When: Friday, February 5, 7pm
Where: Harvestworks (596 Broadway, Soho, Manhattan)
Inspired by a startling 2011 visit to an e-waste processing plant in India — where 200 tons of debris from electronics had only recently arrived for processing, mostly from the United States — artist Julia Christensen began examining our disposable relationship with technology. This Friday at Harvestworks, she’s presenting elements from her ongoing Upgrade Available project, including projectors she designed to run on old iPhones, 35mm slides sketched on a digital plotter, and reports from further expeditions to e-waste sites in India. —AM
Drones in Performance
When: Friday, February 5, 8pm
Where: Microscope Gallery (1329 Willoughby Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
Satan-related drone performance alert! Microscope is hosting an hourlong event that will fill a room with lasers, projections, smoke, and 10 artists (wearing costumes) who will play a variety of instruments, from the cello to bass to bells. Artists Lisa Gwilliam and Ray Sweeten, whose exhibition Echelon is currently on view in the gallery in connection with the immersive experience, describe it as “a ritualistic, oppositional piece, where Satan is the totem of all things rejected by religion and state, the ultimate embodiment of other.” —CV
When: Saturday, February 6, 10am–10pm
Where: Pratt Department of Digital Arts Gallery (536 Myrtle Avenue, Ground Floor, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn)
Looking for a crash course in digital art? The day-long Pratt Upload symposium and workshop series on new media art coincides with the opening of Patterns of the Mind, an exhibition featuring works by Carla Gannis, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Bryan Zanisnik, and more. Panel subjects will include depictions of death in digital art, feminist applications for recent technological advancements, and the impact of “digital tribalism” on artistic communities. Workshops on offer include an exquisite corpse–style animation project and a trial-by-fire lesson in plein air sound recording. —BS
Michael Mann’s Heat
When: Saturday, February 6, 2pm, 5:30pm, 9pm ($14)
Where: BAM (30 Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)
Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.
Urban isolation, loneliness, professionalism, detachment — these are the signature themes of Michael Mann’s films. In Heat (1995), robbery-homicide detective Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) relentlessly pursues a crew headed by Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro), a professional robber who adheres to a strict philosophy of emotional detachment. Despite being at odds, both men exhibit a profound respect for one another. If the thematic elements sound hokey, it’s only because so many films have imitated Mann’s directorial style. Saturday’s screenings are part of BAM’s Michael Mann retrospective, Heat & Vice, which also includes showings of Manhunter (1986), The Insider (1999), and Collateral (2004) — all of which ought to be viewed on the big screen.
Grace Jones: A One Man Show
When: Monday, February 8, 8pm ($10)
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Before Michael Jackson’s video albums, before Beyoncé’s world tour TV movie, before Janelle Monáe’s gender-bending cyborgism, there was Grace Jones. In 1982, Jones collaborated with photographer Jean-Paul Goude to create A One Man Show, a 45-minute concert video that’s part live performance, part film, and part performance art. “It was like the invention of a new genre, related to the musical, to opera, to circus, to cinema, to documentary, to the art gallery,” Jones wrote of the show in her memoirs. “It was about rejecting normal, often quite sentimental and conventionally crowd-pleasing ways of projecting myself as a black singer and female entertainer, because those ways had turned into clichés, which kept me pent up in a cage.” The whole thing is available on YouTube, but thanks to Dirty Looks you have the chance to see it on a bigger screen. Advance tickets are sold out, but we’re told some will be released at the door. Arrive early.
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With contributions by Elisa Wouk Almino, Allison Meier, Tiernan Morgan, Benjamin Sutton, and Claire Voon