Art Rx

Lindsay Taylor's "Ladies" (2012), oil on canvas, 65" x 65", will be on view at Gowanus Open Studios. (image via
Lindsay Taylor’s “Ladies” (2012), oil on canvas, 65″ x 65″, will be on view at Gowanus Open Studios. (image via

This week, as always, there is so much good stuff to do. Two niche film festivals will be happening, one devoted to architecture and design, the other to our relationship with the water. Other highlights include a poet laureate reading Poe at the Morgan Library, Gowanus Open Studios, a big, participatory public artwork by Suzanne Lacy, and a lecture by our editor-in-chief, Hrag Vartanian, on art criticism and humor.

If all we’ve listed here still isn’t enough for you — or if you just need some time at home — you can also livestream artist Sophie Calle’s sold-out talk at the International Center of Photography or the Met’s TED event (which might be cost-prohibitive anyway). Virtual or IRL, there’s definitely no shortage of interesting things to do.

 What’s So Funny About Art?

When: Wednesday, October 16, 6:30 pm
Where: New York Studio School (8 West 8th Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)

If there’s one thing art doesn’t have enough of, it’s humor — real, genuinely funny stuff. And if that’s true of art, it’s even truer of art criticism, a profession taken quite seriously by its practitioners. There must be exceptions to the rule, though, and we can’t wait to hear all about them in Hyperallergic editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian’s lecture on art criticism and humor at the New York Studio School. We hope to be inspired to get creative.

 Architecture & Design Film Festival

When: Wednesday, October 16–Sunday, October 20 (most events $14)
Where: Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)

Architecture and design nerds will be happy to hear (if they didn’t know already) that there’s an entire film festival just for them! The program features 25 films ranging from features to shorts. You can go see My Brooklyn, the exposé about the development of Downtown Brooklyn; a documentary about architect Paolo Soleri; a German film about three Muscovites “struggling with their buildings’ heritage,” and many more. There will also be a host of related panels.

 Pinsky Reads Poe

When: Tuesday, October 17, 6:30 pm  ($15)
Where: The Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan)

Staten Island OutLOUD’s Morgan Library Poe readings sold out last week, but, as luck would have it, your next option is an United States Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky. Noted for his jazz influences, Pinsky takes a turn to the scary side with this night of Poe selections at the museum. Get there early and check out the related exhibition, Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul, in order to double down on the master of the macabre. —JP

 Musée de la danse

Musée de la danse, "20 Dancers for the XX Century" (2012), dancer: Fabian Barba, Les Champs Libres, Rennes (photo by Nyima Leray, via
Musée de la danse, “20 Dancers for the XX Century” (2012), dancer: Fabian Barba, Les Champs Libres, Rennes (photo by Nyima Leray, via

When: Opens Friday, October 18, first performance 12–5 pm
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

The first of three scheduled projects by French choreographer Boris Charmatz and his Musée de la danse (“Dancing Museum”), Friday afternoon’s show kicks off the Museum of Modern Art’s three-week dance program, Musée de la danse: Three Collective Gestures. Over three consecutive weekends, the pieces, which include durational works and performance throughout the museum, will explore what dance and museum have in common.“[A] museum, Charmatz has written, “can modify BOTH preconceived ideas about museums AND one’s ideas about dance.” —JP

 Art as Therapy

When: Friday, October 18, 6:30–8 pm
Where: The Great Hall at Cooper Union (Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, East Village, Manhattan)

Trade your therapist for a surrealist. In a free lecture at Cooper Union, writer Alain de Botton will discuss his new book, Art as Therapy, a collaborative work he wrote with philosophical art historian John Armstrong. Together, the two examined the ways art can helps us in our lives — to find clarity, rest, and resolution. So what’s the art cure for narcissism—JP

 Gowanus Open Studios

When: Friday, October 18–Sunday, October 20
Where: All around Gowanus, Brooklyn

Open studios events are a great way to get to know local artists, as well as the larger communities they work in. This weekend is your chance to visit Gowanus, the underappreciated (at least in the art world) creative community living on the banks of a Superfund site. The old industrial buildings in the neighborhood are themselves quite interesting, and they’ll be filled with hundreds of artists showcasing their work. Here’s a directory to help you get your planning started.

A still from Jon Kane's "McAllister Tug Film," which will screen at the Maritime Film Festival (via
A still from Jon Kane’s “McAllister Tug Film,” which will screen at the Maritime Film Festival (via

 Maritime Film Festival

When: Saturday, October 19, 4 pm–midnight ($15 suggested donation)
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer St, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

Speaking of creative communities on the water — and a much larger body of water, at that: Red Hook. Ever since recovering from and reopening after Hurricane Sandy, art center Pioneer Works has been programming one awesome event and show after another. This weekend it hosts the Maritime Film Festival, which “aims to explore the human legacy of life and expedition on the water.” The lineup features 15 short films, including contributions from artists Swoon and Duke Riley, as well as special guest Reid Stowe, who will speak about his time setting the record for the longest continuous sea voyage without resupply or stepping on land: 1,152 days.

 Take It to the Stoops

When: Saturday, October 19, 4:30 pm
Where: Park Place between Underhill and Vanderbilt Avenues (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

This Saturday artist Suzanne Lacy is orchestrating what promises to be a great event/socially engaged artwork. “Between the Door and the Street” is a massive project that will involve some 300 women (and a few men) sitting and having conversations on the stoops all along one block in Brooklyn. They’ve been chosen to represent a wide cross-section of backgrounds and perspectives, and they’ll be talking about gender politics today (and anything that encompasses). We can’t wait to follow along.

 Postmasters Reopens for Good

When: Saturday, October 19, 5 pm artists’ talk, 6–8 pm reception
Where: Postmasters Gallery (54 Franklin Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)

Although they already had their beta launch, Postmasters is reopening for real now — like, for good! The new space is big enough and configured such that they can fit not one but two solo exhibitions inside. So they’re kicking things off with Monica Cook and Steve Mumford. Mumford will show drawings from Guantanamo, while Cook’s will be … well: “a complete and intricately-realized cosmology of sacrifice and reciprocity embodied by a parade of delicate, soulful animals and their jerry-built chariots.”

Strange, robotic-looking theremins! (via Butterscotch Records on Facebook)
Strange, robotic-looking theremins! (via Butterscotch Records on Facebook)


When: Saturday, October 19, 8 pm
Where: Judith Charles Gallery (196 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

This exhibition at Judith Charles Gallery is admittedly kind of weird: titled Odd Harmonics, it was curated by the head of Butterscotch Records, Allen Farmelo. But the weirdness is also what we like about it, because it’s centered around twelve custom-built theremins, and theremins are amazing. On Saturday night, musicians Mikael Jorgensen (from Wilco) and Greg O’Keeffe and the band New Weather will perform “among” the theremins. We are promised “immersive sonic and visual delights fueled by seriously psychedelic electronic music.”

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With listings by Jeremy Polacek

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