According to the calendar, it’s not technically fall until September 22, but for the art world, all it takes is the passage of Labor Day to move us on to the new season. In fact, the art world is so busy and buzzing this week, the doctor had a hard time compiling her prescription. So many openings, not to mention all the events!
There are more exhibitions opening in the art mainstay neighborhood of Chelsea than the doctor would care to count, but she’s chosen a few that sound particularly exciting, including shows that focus on nerdy topics like books and mapping, an interactive audio installation, and the final foray of the independent Honey Space.
Bushwick hosts a mini performance art festival, plus the start of an artist-led, 30-mile run at 9 am on Saturday morning. Long Island City has a block party, an artists’ beauty salon, and a historical tennis match. And that’s not even everything. Make sure to take your vitamins and stay hydrated, everyone. Art season has begun.
When: Opens Thursday, September 6, 6–8 pm
Where: Friedrich Petzel Gallery (537 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Matthew Higgs seems to sort of be everywhere these days. His latest curatorial endeavor is a group exhibition at Friedrich Petzel, wherein he appeals to our nerdy side by inviting artists to meditate on “the book as a conceptual, psychological, and cultural form.” The gallery will also present a special library made up of artists’ favorite book picks as well as a Free Little Library box for donating and picking up good reads.
When: Opens Thursday, September 6, 6–8:30 pm
Where: Bitforms Gallery (529 West 20th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer creates mesmerizing interactive installations, and his latest piece on view at Bitforms Gallery is no exception. The work, “Voice Array,” translates recorded speech from viewers into light patterns that follow a path along the length of a wall, with up to 288 of them accumulating and overlapping. Opening night will also feature a specially commissioned performance by legendary beat-boxer Rahzel.
When: Opens Thursday, September 6, 6–9 pm
Where: Honey Space (148 Eleventh Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
It was always too good to be true: an independent, rent-free exhibition space smack in the center of Chelsea. When artist Thomas Beale opened Honey Space four years ago, few people thought it would last as long as it did. But now its time has come, and on Thursday, Beale opens a final show, of his own work. The gallery has always had an unfinished, DIY vibe that made it a welcome respite from the surrounding white cubes. Visit and say farewell.
When: Opens Thursday, September 6, 6–9 pm
Where: PS Project Space (548 West 28th Street, 3rd floor, Chelsea, Manhattan)
For this intriguing exhibition, five artists will explore the idea and practice of mapping. For the exhibition, titled Caught Mapping, the artists will work onsite, drawing, researching, and opening up their processes to the public, on top of which, Jeff Kasper has created an interactive project involving false maps that will evolve over the course of the show in response to visitor participation.
When: Opens Friday, September 7, 6–8 pm
Where: David Zwirner Gallery (533 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
With more and more of — well, everyone, turning to Instagram and trying to be their own art photographers these days, it’s worth keeping an eye on artists who are exploring it in ways most of us can’t with our lowly filters. In that vein, David Zwirner presents Overflow, a new show of work by James Welling. Welling examines photography’s “hybrid relationship to painting” through pictures taken while following the path of painter Andrew Wyeth, photograms made by exposing wet photographic paper to light from a color enlarger, and more.
When: Opens Friday, September 7, 7–9 pm
Where: Pierogi (177 North 9th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Hugo Crosthwaite‘s black-and-white drawings in ink and wash start from street scenes in Williamsburg but depart into flights of fancy. Crosthwaite merges the visuals of everyday with the fantastic aesthetic of a Coney Island carnival to create a sometimes funny, sometimes slightly creepy series of expressionistic drawings.
When: Friday, September 7–Sunday, September 9
Where: Grace Exhibition Space (840 Broadway, 2nd floor, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
Grace Exhibition Space brings in Bean and Benjamin Sebastian, the curators of London’s Performance Space, to program a three-day mini-festival of performance art in Brooklyn. Grace always offers challenging and cutting-edge work, and the weekend-long event, Alien(s) in New York, promises “some of the most dynamic contemporary time-based and performance art practitioners from around the world.”
When: Saturday, September 8, 12–5 pm
Where: Purves Street at Jackson & 43rd Avenues, Long Island City, Queens
Summer may be almost over, but there’s always time for another good block party. SculptureCenter has teamed up with the Purves Street Block Association to throw the first LIC (short for Long Island City) Block Party this Saturday. Highlights include artist-led activity tents, live music and performances, free admission to the SculptureCenter, and an Artist Market in the museum that will feature artists selling their own affordable art and objects, and taking 100% of the cut.
When: Opens Saturday, September 8, 6–8 pm
Where: Postmasters Gallery (459 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Postmasters hosts a new solo exhibition by Adam Cvijanovic, whose work is inspired by the paintings and tableaux of North American wildlife at the American Museum of Natural History. For Natural History, Cvijanovic has created strange remixes, including a mash-up of paintings of the Late Pleistocene Era and the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 with a trompe l’oeil of the gallery space itself.
When: Run begins at 9 am; exhibition opens Saturday, September 8, 6–8 pm
Where: Luhring Augustine Bushwick (25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
This week Luhring Augustine actually opens a two-part exhibition of work by Dutch filmmaker Guido van der Werve. The Chelsea presentation kicks off on Thursday with new work by van der Werve, while the Bushwick show is more of a mini-retrospective, with eight earlier films. And for those interested in something a little less traditional, van der Werve will set out from the Bushwick gallery at 9 am on Saturday morning for the Third Annual Run to Rachmaninoff. Anyone who signs a waiver can join: the group will run 30 miles to composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s grave in Valhalla, New York, and if you finish, you get a ride home and a medal designed by the artist.
When: Opens Saturday, September 8, 7–9 pm
Where: Bloom Projects (95 East 7th Street, downstairs, East Village, Manhattan)
New York artist Chris Bors curates Spacegrass, a trippy, pop art–heavy group show. Since the press release is so damn good, we’ll let it do the talking: “A broken 8-track KISS tape falling through outer space suddenly becomes stuck between a chocolate bar and a jar of peanut butter, landing on an alternate earth resulting in an iPod mix … While listening to said mix from the rear door of their parent’s green Oldsmobile station wagon, a small group of friends light a Cheech & Chong-style spliff, causing the planets to align and an interstellar wave of hunger, prompting the universe to inquire, ‘Where’s the beef?’ While nursing their joystick blisters and eating Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, each teen dreams up their own idea of what utopia looks like.”
When: Saturday, September 8, 7–10 pm
Where: Flux Factory (39-31 29th Street, Long Island City, Queens)
On Saturday, Flux Factory opens its newest exhibition, Public Trust, which looks at the relationships between cultural institutions and their audiences. Although there is a gallery component, much of the show is bound up in a series of events and performances taking place over the next month. Saturday night at the Queens collective, artists Matt Freedman and Jude Tallichet will stage “Le Grand Slam Guignol,” a live-stream of the women’s finals of the US open accompanied by a live action pantomime of the match, complete with powdered wigs, period music, and a mock guillotine referencing the Tennis Court Oath that sparked the French Revolution.
When: Saturday, September 8, 7 pm–late ($20)
Where: See//Exhibition Space (25-25 44th Drive, Long Island City, Queens)
Street artist Swoon is raising money to help fund the creation of a community arts center in North Braddock, PA, but she’s doing it quite creatively: with an artist-run beauty salon. Dustin Yellin, Mickalene Thomas, Duke Riley, K8 Hardy, and other artists will contribute to the unisex beauty shop, where you can have your nails done by a painter or hair styled by a sculptor. You have to pay for the services, but a $20 ticket gets you an immersive art installation landscape, DJs, dancing, and performances right off the bat.
When: Opens Sunday, September 9, 12–2 pm
Where: Foley Gallery (97 Allen Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
Help welcome Chelsea transplant Foley Gallery to the Lower East Side on Sunday with the opening of Thomas Allen’s new exhibition, Beautiful Evidence. Allen’s signature technique is to cut up old books, transform their covers and illustrations into tableaux, and photograph them. For this show he switches subject matter, moving from pulp fiction to mid-20th-century books on science, but the results are as clever and enchanting as ever.
When: Sunday, September 9, 1–6 pm
Where: MoMA PS1 Performance Dome (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)
Every year, MoMA PS1 hosts Summer School, a chance for students of all kinds to interact with artists, authors, and creators of all kinds. You can witness the results at the end-of-season open house, which takes place this Sunday and features presentations by choreographer Steve Paxton, musician and performance artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, and the famous femme de performance art, Marina Abramović.
When: Closes Sunday, September 9
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Many artists have successfully tackled and filled the massive Park Avenue Armory drill hall, but none quite like this. For The Murder of Crows, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have installed 98 speakers and a gramophone that broadcast a sound play weaving together narration, choral singing, instrumentation, and sound effects. The effect, as you take a seat, close your eyes, and listen, is completely eerie and utterly transporting.