Art Rx

The doctor is in, and this week she’s prescribing a dose of events around Brooklyn, so get on your bike to ride between Williamsburg, Gowanus and Cobble Hill, stopping off for a book signing, an exhibition opening, a night of experimental media and a curator-artist discussion. Then, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can ride all the way to the Upper East Side to catch Gagosian’s latest Picasso show before it closes or bike over to Astoria to see David Lynch on the big screen. (There’s nothing better on a hot day than seeing a movie in an air-conditioned theater.) All that before July 4, when the beach and fireworks are definitely in order.

Happy summer!

Ryan McGinley: Whistle for the Wind
Ryan McGinley: Whistle for the Wind (image via

OMG, Meet Ryan McGinley!

When: Thursday, June 28, 7:30 pm
Where: Spoonbill & Sugartown (218 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Art world darling Ryan McGinley will be in the ‘hood to sign books and talk with fans about his first major monograph, Ryan McGinley: Whistle for the Wind. According to GQ, the book, which features texts by Kris Kraus, John Kelsey and Gus Van Sant, “buzzes with energy.” Maybe some gutsy fans can convince him to sign their butts — just say you were inspired by the book’s cover.

 Under the Overpass

When: Opens Thursday, June 28, 6–8 pm
Where: Bruce Silverstein Gallery (535 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

For those who couldn’t make it to Philadelphia earlier this year to see Zoe Strauss’s mid-career retrospective, Bruce Silverstein offers the next best thing. This show, like the one at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, celebrates the end of Strauss’s ten-year-long I-95 project, for which she hung her photos on the pillars supporting the I-95 overpass in South Philly for a single day each May. At the end of each display, Strauss, a determinedly democratic artist, let people take the pictures for free. Silverstein will exhibit a slideshow of her final selection of images for the project.

The Still House Group

When: Opens Thursday, June 28, 7–9 pm
Where: Mark Fletcher Projects (24 Washington Square North, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

Red Hook–based collective The Still House Group presents its first exhibition since 2010, Here Comes. Featuring work by both veterans of the group and artists involved in the residency program, Here Comes is a self-curated show that should offer an exciting look at the work and collaborative practices of yet another group of young, creative Brooklyn artists — transferred for a month to Manhattan.

Gowanus Unconscious

When: Opens Friday, June 29, 7 pm–1 am ($10 after 9 pm)
Where: Gowanus Ballroom (55 9th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

Like so many neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Gowanus is an amalgamation of many histories and communities; home to artist studios, housing projects and a toxic superfund site, the neighborhood seems to be in a perpetual state of transition. This exhibition at the Gowanus Ballroom, titled To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel, brings together a long, impressive list of artists to explore the present and future states of Gowanus, its “urban unconscious.” Featuring Swoon, Duke Riley, Kiki Smith, the Bruce High Quality Foundation and Dustin Yellin, among many others.

Crest Fest

When: Saturday, June 30, 1–7 pm
Where: Crest Hardware (558 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Every year, Williamsburg’s local Crest Hardware transforms itself into an art gallery to host the sprawling, freewheeling, DIY Crest Hardware Art Show. Celebrate the opening of the exhibition at the 5th annual Crest Fest, which features DJs, live music and food vendors in addition to the art, and benefits another local landmark, the City Reliquary. Did we mention that store owner Joe Franquinha also serves as the exhibition’s curator? Only in New York, people.

Caffeinated Art

When: Saturday, June 30, 7:30 pm
Where: Invisible Dog Art Center (51 Bergen Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)

At the Invisible Dog Art Center, artist Richard Garet has organized the Mate Series, a number of events devoted to “sound and moving image presentations that are derived from ideas, processes, material, and media experimentation.” So go in open-minded and expect improvisation, experimentation and performance across any number of media. And no, that’s not “mate” as in partner but “mate” like the caffeinated drink from South and Latin America. Garet, who’s originally from Uruguay, named the series after the drink in the hopes that it will create a space that challenges people’s tastes and boundaries.

Pablo Picasso, "La Femme au fauteil"
Pablo Picasso, “La Femme au fauteil” (1948), lithograph (Vol VI 2nd state), 19 3/4 x 25 5/8 inches (© 2011 Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; image via

Last Chance: Picasso and Françoise Gilot at Gagosian

When: Closes Saturday, June 30
Where: Gagosian Gallery (980 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

This exhibition is the fourth in a series at Gagosian curated by Picasso biographer John Richardson. Like the others, it features some stellar work, including paintings on loan from major museums and a large display case of the artist’s stunning ceramics. But this show is extra special because it was conceived in collaboration with Françoise Gilot, now 90, and the only one of Picasso’s lovers to actually leave him. Although clearly not the prime focus of the exhibition, a room full of her work more than holds its own alongside his and provides a fruitful starting point for thinking and wondering about their artistic life together.

Elephant Man

When: Sunday, July 1, 6:30 pm (free with museum admission: $12 adults; $9 senior citizens and students)
Where: Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, Queens)

Sometimes — only sometimes — we forget about the Museum of the Moving Image and how awesome it is. You can go there and see a classic film or a new movie you’ve never heard of pretty much any day of the week. This Sunday: a chance to see the David Lynch classic Elephant Man! This is probably the most accessible and least out-there of all of Lynch’s films — a good place to start for Lynch novices. (Note: the movie also screens Saturday, June 30, at 6:30 pm.)

Art of Conflict

When: Monday, July 2, 6:30 pm
Where: International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP, 1040 Metropolitan Avenue, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

ISCP’s new exhibition, Secondary Witness, opened yesterday. Curated by Maayan Sheleff, winner of the organization’s 2012 Curator Award, it focuses on artists who from countries of conflict and the role they often play as mediators and documenters of testimony. On Monday night, Sheleff will sit down for a discussion with Israeli artist Dor Guez, whose work is on view in the show and who is the founder of the first archive dedicated to the under-discussed Christian-Palestinian minority in the Middle East.

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