Art Rx

The doctor is in and she said you should go to Governors Island this week. Nope, she won’t take any excuses, she insists, and she says bring your bike.

After your Governors Island adventures are done, and we assume you dressed warmly (it can get chill some days in the Upper Bay) there are a number of other shows and panels you need to see, including one that focuses on gendered sculpture, another on an artists’ community in northern Mexico and it’s your last chance to see the Ernesto Neto show in Chelsea. But that’s not all, next week, she wants you to head over to Long Island City for Flux Factory’s latest death match on the new aesthetic, because there’s nothing like a good fight to get your immune system revved up.

Governors Island is back! Visitors ride bikes along the promenade, around Castle Williams. (via

Creative Destruction

When: Opens Thursday, May 24, 5–8pm
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

With the likes of Liz Magic Lazer among them, this year’s crop of talent coming out of the Whitney’s Independent Study Program promises to uphold the ISP’s venerated reputation. Judging by its title, Creative Destruction, the show will touch on hot-button issues of the moment by “collectively engag[ing] in a critical analysis of the existing socio-economic and ideological order.” A series of public programs that promise to examine “the creative process of rearticulation in the realm of public space, cultural production and economics” will be held in conjunction with the show. —RC

Charting the Not

When: Opens Friday, May 25, 7–10 pm
Where: Centotto :: galleria [simposio] salotto (250 Moore Street, Suite 108, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Paul D’Agostino’s apartment gallery, Centotto :: galleria [simposio] salotto, has the most poetic of all gallery exhibition descriptions. For the group show opening this Friday, Charting the Not, for instance, we are promised “Unknown realms / nonetheless not uncharted.” A bit cryptic, yes, but the art is always a good bet.

Governors Island

When: Opens Saturday, May 26
Where: Governors Island (free ferries run all day from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan and Pier 6 in Brooklyn)

You know summer has officially started in New York when Governors Island opens for the season. The former military island turned New York City playground always features a lot of great arts programming, and this year is no exception. In addition to the usual artist-design Figment mini-golf course, there’s a Cooper-Hewitt exhibition about contemporary graphic design, Mark di Suvero sculptures presented by Storm King, a show of de-accessioned costumes from museum collections and much more.

Last Chance: Ernesto Neto

When: Closes Saturday, May 26
Where: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (521 W 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Perhaps the only rule governing the art world is, “look but don’t touch.” For Ernesto Neto, even one rule is too many. His solo show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Slow iis Good, invites viewers to play, climb and relax within sculptural formations made of synthetic crochet and rubbery plastic balls. It’s fun for all ages, but really the perfect place to bring your inner child. —RC

You Are Not Alone

When: Sunday, May 27, 3:30–5:30 pm
Where: Radiator Gallery (10-61 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens)

This salon at Radiator Gallery, titled “I am not alone in this way,” invites viewers “to consider how our most intimate ways of being — striving and surviving, often in a hostile world — can be viewed as responsible for positive social change.” That’s an eternal question, ripe for discussion and hopefully revelation. Plus, if you show up early, you can effect social change a little more directly: the gallery will be hosting an event that involves writing letters to a young, black transgender woman in prison awaiting sentencing.

Last Chance: Radical Localism

When: Closes Sunday, May 27
Where: Artists Space (38 Greene Street, 3rd floor, Soho, Manhattan)

The latest exhibition at Artists Space, Radical Localism, highlights work coming out of Mexicali Rose, a community media center and gallery in the Mexican border city of Mexicali. There are contributions here from artists, journalists, filmmakers and activists, and the show offers a window onto a little-known cultural world just next door.

Sculpting Against the Grain

When: Wednesday, May 30, 6:30–8 pm
Where: National Academy Museum and School (1083 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

In collaboration with the International Sculpture Center, the National Academy Museum and School will consider sculpture as a gendered practice. A panel of women artists, including 1960s feminist Nancy Grossman, will discuss their experiences grappling with the challenges posed by the old-guard art world. —RC

Flux Death Match: New Aesthetic

When: Wednesday, May 30, 8 pm
Where: Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street, Long Island City, Queens)

The latest in a series of Flux Death Matches takes on the hottest new “n” term, coined by James Bridle on his now-defunct New Aesthetic tumblelog. Organized by Douglas Paulson and Christina Vassallo of Flux Factory and moderated by Julia Kaganskiy of The Creators Project, the debate over what the New Aesthetic actually means, how new it really is and more will be debated by NYU ITP Resident Researcher Greg Borenstein, media artist Kyle McDonald, interdisciplinary artist Carla Gannis and architecture, tech and media historian Molly W. Steenson. —BV

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With contributions by Robert Ciccetti and Ben Valentine.

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