Your Concise New York Art Guide for April 2021
April is going to be a busy month for solo shows, especially for female artists (and we love to see it). There’s a lot to read, from Alice Neel’s first retrospective at the New York Museum in decades to a survey by Julie Mehretu at the Whitney.
But unfortunately we are still in a panorama (or a pandemic if you just want to be scientific about it). So don’t forget your masks and book these appointments if necessary.
– Dessane Lopez Cassell
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From Silvia Prieto (1999), dir. Martín Rejtman (Courtesy Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical)
When: until April 12, 2021
Where: Film at Lincoln Center (online)
Neighboring Scenes is jointly presented by Film im Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical and offers an exciting selection of nine Latin American films from 2020 as well as the groundbreaking comedy Silvia Prieto from 1999, directed by Martín Rejtman and new by Museo del Cine and EYE Filmmuseum was restored. Two free conversations with Rejtman and with Marco Dutra and Caetano Gotardo, the Brazilian filmmakers who directed “All the Dead Ones”, will accompany the film series.
Installation view by Julie Mehretu, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2021 (from left to right: “Retopistics, A Renegade Excavation” (2001); “Stadia II” (2004); “Dispersion” (2002); “Untitled 2 “(2001);” Mogamma, a painting in four parts “(2012) (Image courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art)
When: until August 8th
Where: Whitney Museum (99 Gansevoort St, Meat Packing, Manhattan)
Gargantuan yet intricate multilayered abstractions shaped by contemporary social concerns, from civil unrest to climate change, overtake the walls in Julie Mehretu’s robust mid-career survey that runs from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Whitney Museum. The exhibition spans more than 20 years of the famous artist’s ever-evolving practice with 30 paintings and forty works on paper plus an insightful film about Mehretu at work made by fellow artist Tacita Dean.
Installation view by Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves: The x in florxal is silent when spoken, Artists Space, 2021 (Image courtesy of Artists Space, New York; photo by Filip Wolak)
When: until May 1st
Where: by appointment at Artists Space (11 Cortlandt Alley, Tribeca, Manhattan)
In the Artists Space, a solo exhibition by the Pushcart nominated poet Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves shows collages, drawings, photographs and a site-specific installation that includes various crystals, a figure of a knight and a lot of life, plants with human names. The exhibition expands on key topics in Greaves’ journal of ethnobotanical literary criticism, The Florxal Review.
Yayoi Kusama, “Pumpkins that scream about love beyond infinity” (2017), mirrors, acrylic, glass, LEDs, wooden panels (courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden)
When: April 10th to October 31st
Where: New York Botanical Gardens (2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx)
This highly anticipated exhibition, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, features indoor and outdoor installations of works by contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama that span 250 acres of the New York Botanical Gardens. The exhibition will feature a variety of artwork from Kusama’s career, including botanical sketches, and four new pieces such as the artist’s first “Obliteration Greenhouse” and a 16-foot pumpkin sculpture.
Allison Janae Hamilton, “Once again in the midst of the pines” (2021), signed and dated in ink (verso), archival pigment print, image dimensions: 40 x 60 inches, framed: 40 7/8 x 60 7/8 inches; Edition of 5 plus 2 AP (Image courtesy of the Marianne Boesky Gallery)
When: until April 24th
Where: Marianne Boesky Gallery
For her first solo show with the gallery, Hamilton continues her myth-making research in the southern United States, the region where she and generations of her family have long been at home. Showcasing a new collection of photographs and sculptures, A Romance explores the tensions between colonial heritage, continued environmental exploitation, and the Eden tales that were once used to warrant forcible expansion into the region.
Rindon Johnson, “Coeval Proposition # 2, Atlantic Last Year, Or You Look Really Good, You Look Like Nothing Ever Happened, Or Weakness” (2021), real-time portrait animation program, projectors, platform, computer ( courtesy of the image) SculptureCenter)
When: until August 2nd
Where: by reservation at the SculptureCenter (44-19 Purves St, Long Island City, Queens)
In his first solo exhibition at the museum, the interdisciplinary Berlin artist and writer Rindon Johnson, who is perhaps best known for his virtual reality works of art, presents a sculptural reinterpretation of the Transamerica pyramid in San Francisco and a visualization of weather data in an area of the North Atlantic Particularly affected by climate change, halfway between SculptureCenter and Chisenhale Gallery, London, where an accompanying exhibition will follow in November. Elsewhere in the museum, SculptureCenter’s annual Open Call Group exhibition, In Practice, features work on grief and processing by a cohort of emerging artists.
Lucía Vidales, “Fickle” (2020), oil and encaustic on canvas, 20 x 15.50 inches (courtesy of PROXYCO Gallery)
When: until April 24th
Where: PROXYCO Gallery (121 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
For Sudor Frío (Cold Sweat), Vidales presents a number of more recent paintings, each of which indulges [changed to singular here bc modifying “each”] in the artist’s characteristic themes of mortality and subdued, gestural abstraction. Faulty limbs and gracefully emotional streaks of color abound.
Azikiwe Mohammed, “King Manor, Queens, NY” (2021), 9 ¼ x 13 inch embroidery (Image courtesy of the artist)
When: until April 23
Where: by appointment at the Yeh Art Gallery of St. John’s University (8000 Utopia Pkwy, Jamaica, Queens)
The 30 textile works that can be seen in Azikiwe Mohammed’s solo exhibition at the Yeh Art Gallery are embroidered with stylized portraits of black motifs from Queens, New York to Jackson, Mississippi (the two zip codes in the title of the exhibition) as well as a distinctive iconography of candles, Flowers and alcohol. As a tribute to places that are important to the black American communities, the installation refers to log cabins in the rural south where quilting took place, as well as to black cellar bars of the 1960s and 1970s.
Installation view of Precious Okoyomon’s FRAGMENTED BODY PERCEPTIONS THAN HIGHER VIBRATION FREQUENCIES FOR GOD, Performance Space, New York, 2021 (Image courtesy Performance Space New York; Photo by Da Ping Luo)
When: until May 9, 2021
Where: by appointment in the Performance Space (150 1st Avenue, East Village, Manhattan)
At Performance Space’s Keith Haring Theater, New York-based artist and poet Precious Okoyomon constructs an organic environment that provides space for grief and brings together moss, insects, dirt, gravel, and damp kudzu ashes from a Japanese plant that the ground uses was cured cotton was grown. Okoyomon, the winner of Frieze’s annual artist award, will also be showcasing an overlapping site-specific, performance-activated installation for Frieze New York this May.
Alice Neel, “Andy Warhol” (1970), oil and acrylic on linen, 60 × 40 inches (© Alice Neel’s estate; image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
When: until August 2nd
Where: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Alice Neel: People Come First is Neel’s first retrospective at the New York Museum in two decades. Based on her oeuvre from her early work from the 1920s to her work from 1984, the year of her death, the expansive exhibition shows the psychologically insightful portrait paintings for which Neel is known – famous characters and everyday New Yorkers alike – . along with her lesser-known still lifes, landscapes, and cityscapes, while nodding on the political and activist dimensions of her practice.
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