It’s February, and groundhog mumbles aside, we’re one month closer to sunshine and longer days. To break up some of the winter slush, we’ve rounded up 10 art events worth checking out — from exhibitions, to film series, to book fairs and interdisciplinary projects — many of which are available online.
* * *
When: February 6–May 9
Where: Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (26 Wooster St, Soho, Manhattan)
Show and Tell is the first major retrospective dedicated to the Chicanx lesbian photographer Laura Aguilar, who passed away in April 2018. The traveling exhibition spans three decades of radical work through which Aguilar laid bare her relationship with her own marginalized identity and documented her brown and queer communities. Check out Monica Uszerowicz’s review of its Miami iteration here.
When: February 4–14 and February 18–March 4
Where: online at Film at Lincoln Center and Maysles Documentary Center, respectively
Returning for its 28th edition, this year’s New York African Film Festival will emphasize women’s stories and a cross-section of existential themes under the banner, “Notes from Home: Recurring Dreams & Women’s Voices.” Particularly exciting programs to look out for include Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s award-winning This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, a restoration of the 1983 documentary Caméra d’Afrique (African Cinema: Filming Against All Odds), and a retrospective of the influential filmmaker Fanta Régina Nacro, a founding member of the African Guild of Directors and Producers and the first woman from Burkina Faso to direct a fiction film.
When: through February 28
Where: Karma (188 & 172 East 2nd Street, East Village, Manhattan)
The nebulous narrative paintings of Reggie Burrows Hodges are on view in the artist’s first New York solo show. Beginning with a matte black underlayer, the Compton-born artist builds up paintings that draw on personal or familial memories, rendering intriguing, hazy figures that push forward in space in often-tight compositions.
When: February 5–25
Where: online at Japan Society
Presenting an expansive 30-film program, 21st Century Japan looks back at the last two decades of the country’s cinematic output. The series focuses on narrative films, spotlighting celebrated storytellers like Sion Sono, Naomi Kawase, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Shinya Tsukamoto, as well as more up-and-coming filmmakers.
When: through March 6
Where: by appointment at EFA Project Space (323 West 39th Street, Midtown West, Manhattan)
EFA is launching its community- and future-oriented “Bright Futures” programming season with a group exhibition that centers speculative Indigenous futurism to explore decolonizing strategies that go beyond visibility and inclusion. Curated by Christopher Green, the show features work ranging from prints and photographs to interactive multimedia installations and performance pieces.
When: February 25–February 28
Where: online at Printed Matter
Printed Matter’s Art Book Fair, the leading event for artists’ and art-related books, has taken place yearly in New York since 2005 and in Los Angeles since 2013. Now the fair is holding its inaugural virtual edition with over 400 exhibitors from 43 countries, its largest international gathering to date. Visitors to the fair will have access to programs such as lectures, DJ sets, screenings, and conversations.
When: February 13–March 27
Where: Jenkins Johnson Projects (207 Ocean Avenue, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn)
Curated by Bronx-based, Dominican-American artist Tiffany Alfonseca, this exhibition features work by a group of five emerging women artists, each with a unique connection to her own Dominican heritage. Put in conversation with one another, the works underscore the complexity and vastness of the Afro-Latinx diaspora.
When: through March 3
Where: online at ISSUE Project Room
For its Winter/Spring season, ISSUE commissioned eight female-identifying artists to create work in response to the text-based and instructional performance scores in Women’s Work, a magazine published in the mid-1970s. Edited by multidisciplinary artists Alison Knowles and Annea Lockwood, it featured work by overlooked women artists, choreographers, and composers. Likewise, the contemporary pieces create a dialogue with the original scores via sound, video, and various interdisciplinary approaches.
When: through March 28
Where: online and on billboards around NYC
As part of Walls for a Cause NYC, the roving gallery We Buy Gold has teamed up with Orange Barrel Media to present paintings by nine contemporary artists, now on view online and on billboards across the city. Curated by Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels and Diana Nawi, the selection is united by a prevailing interest in surreality, spirituality, transformation, and the supernatural. A portion of the sales will go to Project EATS, a New York nonprofit that promotes community-based urban agriculture.
When: through June 6
Where: American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, Manhattan)
The American Folk Art Museum turns its focus to self-taught photography with a survey of photographs largely culled from the collection of French film director and longtime Art Brut collector Bruno Decharme. Spanning more than a century, the photos on view include examples by better-known artists such as Henry Darger and Steve Ashby as well as contributions by unidentified UFO and spirit photographers.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.