Sorry to say it, but Chelsea’s annual September celebration of the return of the art market doesn’t quite translate to broke-ass Bushwick. Instead of high-season blockbusters, you’re gonna get stuff that looks a lot like summer group shows, only it’s not as hot out. That’s cool— openings aren't so much about the art. Who wants to be beerless in Chelsea on a Saturday, anyway?
Tonight, September 4th
Talk: Brooklyn Commons, Fred Wilson and benandsebastian at the ISCP
Here’s one for the curators: to start off its new discussion series, the renowned residency International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) will be hosting a discussion on the politics of display. The speakers will be the Danish art duo benandsebastian, who use architectural forms to talk about societal structures, and Fred Wilson, who gets at the same topic by taking museum collections out of storage. For a taste of what to expect, check out Tyler Green’s recent interview with Fred Wilson on Modern Art Notes.
6:30 PM, ISCP, 1040 Metropolitan Avenue
Thursday, September 6th
Three shows open at A.I.R., the artist-run gallery for women in Dumbo. This group looks a little precious for our liking: meditations on light and color, stone carved to look like scattered envelopes. But if this is about intimate experience, you can’t knock it til you’ve tried it?
6 - 9 PM. A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 228
Friday, September 7th
Given recent threats of nuclear warfare, Matt Marello’s all-over apocalyptic cartoon mandalas feel particularly timely. Does that sound ridiculous? Yes, I know.
Ink drawings by Hugo Crosthwaite are another “we’ll see” (a little bland), but they’ll also be at Pierogi.
7 - 9 PM, Pierogi Gallery, 177 North 9th Street
Saturday, September 8th
Opening: Wraithworld, Vaudeville Park
Finally, something interesting! “Wraithworld,” a solo show of angsty, expressionistic paintings by Michael Hafftka, depict “transmogrified hominoids engaging with each other or struggling with internal, spiritual activities, sometimes manifested as shadowy specters.”
6 - 10 PM, Vaudeville Park, 26 Bushwick Avenue
Opening: Medium is the Same, Pierogi Gallery
Having never seen his work, it’s hard to say what Cheon pyo Lee’s first solo show at Interstate Projects will be like— something to do with clapping monkeys and an investigation into kinetic sculpture. It’s a break from painting, and it’s legitimately weird, which may be a big plus.
6 - 9 PM, Interstate Projects, 66 Knickerbocker Ave
Opening: Pressing Matter, Parallel Art Space
Parallel Art Space is having a show of three artists who only use their hands to make their work, including Antonia Perez, Hilda Shen, and former Work of Art finger painter Judith Braun. The concept doesn’t seem to go much further than that and, as the press release itself notes, “Most artists today…are making work by hand.” This could be just about anything. So why go? Because Braun, at least, goes some way towards making “handmade” abstraction that’s not also precious, and because Regina Rex is upstairs.
7 - 10 PM, Parallel Art Space, 1717 Troutman Street, No. 220
Opening: Yesterday Amorphic, Regina Rex
One floor above Parallel, Regina Rex is having a show of three artists—Ginny Cook, Rosemary Mayer, and David J. Merritt—who make things that look like relics. Recommending shows at Regina Rex is pretty much instinct now; if you don’t understand why, check this one out for yourself.
7 - 10 PM, Regina Rex, 1717 Troutman, #329
Installation: Brighton Is Cool, Ocean Is Hot, On the beach adjacent to New York Aquarium
You can’t cool a beach, but that’s not stopping the artist collective Monstra Personale from pumping 36 A/C’s of freon on the beach next to the aquarium. Luckily, it looks like the stack of thirty-six air conditioners will just run for the day.
2 - 11 PM, On the beach adjacent to New York Aquarium