Bye 2020. You’ve been a whole lot. For this final month of a wild year, we’ve pulled together a list of shows and film series that provides both ample distraction and some opportunities for reflection. Scroll below for our top 10, the majority of which are available online or by appointment.
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Sheida Soleimani: Hotbed
When: through December 23
Where: Denny Dimin (appointments available) (39 Lispenard Street, TriBeCa, Manhattan)
For her first solo exhibition in New York, Soleimani presents a series of photocollages focused on the increasingly timely issue of the strained nature of US-Iran relations. Myriad crises-within-the-crisis manifest in her layered compositions, yielding intriguing, if occasionally unsettling visual treatises that reflect on power and corruption.
Alex Ito: Half Life
When: through January 10, 2021
Where: Interstate (appointments available) (66 Knickerbocker Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
In this meditation on environmental waste and degradation, Alex Ito charts a dystopian vision of our present and near-future. Steel sculptures and elements of science-fiction blend with Americana ephemera, evincing a vision that’s at once surreal and starkly familiar.
Nick Quijano: Memories of Puerto Rico
When: through January 02, 2021
Where: Fort Gansevoort (online)
The latest in Fort Gansevoort’s series of online exhibitions — many of which have focused on under-celebrated artists working in 2D media — Memories of Puerto Rico celebrates the everyday intimacies and vibrancy of the island. For his first solo show with the gallery, painter Nick Quijano presents a series of brightly hued gouaches that nod to the rich history of Caribbean vernacular art.
Jesse Krimes: American Rendition
When: through January 23, 2021
Where: Malin Gallery (515 W 29th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
For his third exhibition with Malin, Krimes presents a vibrant selection of quilt-based works which reflect on notions of home. Formerly incarcerated, the Philadelphia-based artist often makes work that critiques the dehumanization of individuals maligned by the state. For visitors not yet ready to see art inside, check out his large-scale “Rikers Quilt” which will be displayed on specific days on the gallery’s exterior and visible from the High Line. (Another massive work by Krimes can also be seen in PS1’s ongoing exhibition, Marking Time.)
Sareh Imani: Center is not a particular point on the earth’s surface + Rachelle Dang: Couroupita/Corpus
When: through December 20
Where: AIR Gallery (by appointment only) (155 Plymouth Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn)
Projected on stacks of moving boxes, Sareh Imani’s movingly mundane recent video invites the viewer to slow down and reflect on what makes a space home. Shot using a single, stationary camera, the multi-channel work layers footage of the artist packing, unpacking, and rearranging her domestic space while in quarantine — a process that ultimately culminated in her leaving the city. Nearby, Rachelle Dang’s exquisite sculptures reflect on colonial conquest and the fraught nature of anthropological research, all in luminous shades of blue.
Working Together: the Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop
When: through March 28, 2021
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (advance tickets required) (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking, Manhattan)
Spotlighting 14 members of the celebrated Black photography collective Kamoinge (a Kikuyu word for “a group of people acting together”), Working Together highlights the importance of self-representation. Founded in 1963, the images produced by these distinct luminaries chronicle times of significant social upheaval and reflect nuanced perspectives on communities long mischaracterized by news media.
The World of Wong Kar Wai
When: through January 1, 2021
Where: Online via Film at Lincoln Center
Five weeks of films by the cinematic giant who brought us gems like In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express, and Happy Together — need I say more? In a partnership with distributor Janus Films, Film at Lincoln Center’s full retrospective features several new restorations of Wong’s most celebrated films, as well as an opportunity to catch some of his lesser-known but equally important works.
Projects: Garrett Bradley
When: November 21, 2020–March 21, 2021
Where: Online and in-person at the Museum of Modern Art (advanced timed tickets required) (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
Building off of her celebrated film America (2019), Bradley’s solo exhibition likewise aims to fill in the gaps of Black film history by focusing on the stories of individuals lost to time and institutional neglect. Twelve short black-and-white films, shot by Bradley and scored by artist Trevor Mathison and composer Udit Duseja, center figures like the African American composer and singer Harry T. Burleigh and Bahamian-American performer and actor Bert Williams, whose once-lost-and-now-restored film Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913) remains a progressive example of how cinema could have treated Black stories (but didn’t) in its early days.
When: opens December 3
Where: Online via 8th Floor
Originally conceived as a physical exhibition, support structures looks at our foundations. Bringing together the work of eight artists whose practices consider the presence (and absence) of structures that undergird our society — be they physical, emotional, architectural, or social — support structures hones in on issues of sustainability and interdependence.
Programmers’ Notebook: New York Lives
When: December 4, 2020–January 3, 2021
Where: Online via Brooklyn Academy of Music
A cinematic tour of the city, New York Lives offers a welcome revisiting of a landscape that’s felt so close yet so far away amid these many months of quarantine. Featuring celebrated works like Los Sures (1984) and Dark Days (2000), alongside recent gems like Through the Night and In Sudden Darkness, New York Lives highlights local talent and offers a refresher on the many quirks and complications of this city we call home.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.