This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

EI ARAKAWA: WEWORK BABIES (11 Cortlandt Alley)

Ei Arakawa

[A group of children follow each other down a dirt path in a wooded forest, their backs turned away from the camera. The path leads towards a grassy clearing, lit by radiant sun. Across the frame is the logo for "WeWork," offset on a diagonal.]

Artists Space
11 Cortlandt Alley
Sunday, December 8, free, 2:00
212-226-3970
artistsspace.org

Fukushima-born, LA–based performance artist Ei Arakawa will lead a parade of a different kind on Sunday, December 8, inaugurating the new home of Artists Space. The former New Yorker is presenting WeWork Babies (11 Cortlandt Alley), beginning at 2:00 outside Artists Space at 11 Cortlandt Alley with a march of plastic infants that will then go into the lobby and down into the cellar gallery, which serves as an art baby nursery. The piece, complete with Q&A, will be performed by Arakawa, Malik Gaines, Tony Jackson, Sohee Kim, Erika Landström, Shuang Liang, George Liu, Yuri Manabe, Molly McFadden, Gela Patashuri, Jamie Stevens, and Tinatin Tsiklauri, with music by Boston-born, Brooklyn-based composer and installation artist Stefan Tcherepnin and his seven-month-old son, Igor Törnudd-Tcherepnin. Founded in 1972, Artists Space “strives for exemplary conditions in which to produce, experience, and understand art, to be a locus of critical discourse and education, and to advocate for the capacity of artistic work to significantly define and reflect our understanding of ourselves.” The opening-month celebration continues with such other free programs as the album launch “Speaker Music: drape over another” on December 13 and the book launch “Alexander Zevin: Liberalism at Large” on December 16.

FIRST SATURDAYS: BEST OF THE BOROUGH

Tuesday_Smillie_S.T.A.R._2000

Tuesday Smillie, S.T.A.R., watercolor, collage on board, 2012 (courtesy of the artist / © Tuesday Smillie)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, December 7, free (some events require advance tickets), 5:00 - 11:00
212-864-5400
www.brooklynmuseum.org

The Brooklyn Museum shows off the best of the borough in the December edition of its free First Saturday program. There will be live performances by Los Hacheros, Gemma, DJ Laylo, Adrian Daniel, and drag collective Switch n’ Play (featuring Divina GranSparkle, K.James, Miss Malice, Nyx Nocturne, Pearl Harbor, and Vigor Mortis with special guest Heart Crimson); Visual AIDS screenings of short films commemorating the annual Day With(out) Art, followed by a conversation between filmmakers Iman Shervington and Derrick Woods-Morrow, moderated by writer Mathew Rodriguez; a book talk on Elia Alba’s The Supper Club with Sur Rodney (Sur) and Jack Waters, focusing on the conversation from the book that asks “What Would an HIV Doula Do?”; a curator tour of the Arts of Japan galleries with Joan Cummins; teen apprentice pop-up gallery talks in “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall”; a night market with handmade artisanal products; and a poetry reading and book signing by Brooklyn poet laureate Tina Chang from her latest book, Hybrida. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Garry Winogrand: Color,” “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” “yasiin bey: Negus,” “One: Xu Bing,” “Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion,” “JR: Chronicles,” and more.

LE CONVERSAZIONI: FILMS OF MY LIFE

Laurie Anderson. Photography by Ebru Yildiz / Nicole Krauss. Photography by Goni Riskin.

Laurie Anderson and Nicole Krauss will be at the Morgan Library on December 5 for latest Le Conversazioni presentation (photos by Ebru Yildiz and Goni Riskin)

Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Ave. at 36th St.
Thursday, December 5, $20, 7:00
212-685-0008
www.themorgan.org

The ongoing series “Le Conversazioni: Films of My Life” continues December 5 at the Morgan Library with Laurie Anderson and Nicole Krauss sitting down for a discussion with moderator Antonio Monda, the artistic director and cofounder of Le Conversazioni, an Italian festival started in 2006 dedicated to literature but which has since spread to include other disciplines. Anderson is an Illinois-born, New York-based, Grammy-winning musician, filmmaker, composer, and multimedia performance and spoken-word artist who has released such records as Big Science and Mister Heartbreak, made such films as Home of the Brave and Heart of a Dog, and staged such cutting-edge shows as United States Live, Moby-Dick, and The End of the Moon. Krauss is the Manhattan-born award-winning author of Man Walks into a Room, The History of Love, Great House, and Forest Dark. They will be discussing films that influenced their work. The 7:00 event is being held in conjunction with the Morgan exhibition “Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff — Highlights from the Ricordi Archive,” which will be open at 6:00 for ticket holders.

DOC NYC — UNSTOPPABLE: SEAN SCULLY AND THE ART OF EVERYTHING

Sean Scully

Abstract artist Sean Scully is profiled in intimate documentary

UNSTOPPABLE: SEAN SCULLY AND THE ART OF EVERYTHING (Nick Willing, 2019)
Cinepolis Chelsea
260 West 23rd St. at Eighth Ave.
Thursday, November 14, 7:15
Festival runs November 6-15
www.docnyc.net
seanscullystudio.com

“When I first met Sean, he told me, ‘I want to be the greatest abstract artist of my generation,’ and I thought, this is a lot of hubris. I didn’t know him then, and I believe him now,” says Sukanya Rajaratnam of the Mnuchin Gallery in New York about painter and sculptor Sean Scully in Unstoppable: Sean Scully and the Art of Everything. Don’t be surprised if you feel exactly the same way after you see Nick Willing’s bewitching film, making its North American premiere at DOC NYC on November 14. Born in Dublin in June 1945 and raised on the tough streets of South London where his family lived in squalor and he was in a gang, Scully was determined from early on to be more than just a successful artist, and he’s achieved his goal. “People want to see Scully like they want to see or Warhol or van Gogh, and that’s quite unique for an abstract painter to have risen above the fray and become an icon,” Hirshhorn chief curator Stéphane Aquin says.

Willing follows Scully through a whirlwind 2018 as the artist travels around the world, from his studios in Berlin, Bavaria, and Manhattan to gallery and museum shows in Washington DC, the National Gallery in London, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, De Pont Museum in the Netherlands, the Hugh Lane in Dublin, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, San Cristobal in Mexico City, a church in Montserrat, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the Mnuchin Gallery on the Upper East Side, and Newcastle University, where he went to art school, as well as key places from his youth. It’s exhausting and electric watching the driven, dedicated Scully make these rounds while also creating new work, forcefully slashing at the canvas with his bold brushstrokes. Willing traces Scully’s evolving style, from his initial figuration to his use of grids and geometric patterns and his famous stripe paintings. “The presence of the vertical and horizontal grid in his work, for me, is indicative of a person who knows he has a volatile temperament and is seeking to control it,” explains his Newcastle tutor Bill Varley. Meanwhile, fellow Newcastle student Moira Kelly proclaims, “The stripes are delicious. The stripes are about experiences. The stripes are like poems.”

Sean Scully

Sean Scully reveals his working process and more in Unstoppable: Sean Scully and the Art of Everything

Scully carefully manages his career, monitoring the market, giving generously to museums, participating in retrospectives and new shows, and delivering animated talks and lectures, but it’s about his legacy, not the money, and he doesn’t care one iota for trends or critics. “It’s not possible to discourage somebody like Martin Luther King or Bobby Kennedy; they believe so much in what they believe that they don’t mind if they get shot. I don’t mind either ’cause I’m doing what I believe, and that’s all there is to it,” he says, a tough, bald imposing figure of a man who looks like someone you would not want to get into a bar fight with. Writer and art critic Kelly Grovier notes, “Sean very much believes in the supernatural power of his paintings, that the works not only communicate a kind of truth but they actually have the power to affect change in this world . . . for the better.”

Willing also explores intimate details of Scully’s personal life, delving into his hardscrabble childhood; his relationship with his two ex-wives, Catherine Lee and Rosemary Henderson; the tragic loss of his first son, Paul; his distaste for Donald Trump and the American fascination with guns; and his life now with his third wife, Liliane Tomasko, and their son, Oisín. Scully usually works from instinct, attacking the canvas with his brush in ways that mimic the martial arts that he practices, but his deep love for Oisín has brought him back to figuration. He not only creates paintings of his son on the beach based on photos he has taken with his iPhone, he has also worked on a series depicting the US flag that replaces the stars in the upper left corner with a gun. I’ve seen several Scully shows over the last decade, including “Wall of Light” at Mnuchin in 2018, consisting of his magnificently meditative stripe paintings, and “Eleuthera” at the Albertina in Vienna, colorful, large-format oils of his son playing in the Bahamas. Unstoppable sheds new light on the artist, his work, his process, and his inspiration. “He’s a bit like the Ancient Mariner,” Grovier says. “He goes around the world, gallery to gallery, person to person, stopping almost anyone who will listen to tell them the great truth that his paintings portray.” It’s a gospel that Willing now spreads to an even wider audience.

PERFORMA 19

Sarah Friedland: CROWDS,

Sarah Friedland’s CROWDS will attract crowds at La MaMa as part of Performa Biennial

Multiple locations
November 1-24, free - $50
performa19.org/tickets

The eighth annual Performa Biennial kicks off today, celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Staatliches Bauhaus, the German art school founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius that set in motion a major movement in art, architecture, and design around the world. There will be dozens of performances across disciplines, including film, dance, theater, music, installation, and unique hybrids, often incorporating architectural and sculptural elements, as well as conversations and panel discussions through November 24. The price for ticketed events range from $10 to $50, with most around $15-$25; among the highlights are artist Nairy Baghramian, dancer-choreographer Maria Hassabi, late modernist designer Janette Laverrière, and architect Carlo Mollino’s Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre), taking place on two floors of a Fifth Avenue town house; Lap-See Lam’s Phantom Banquet, a multimedia performance piece about ghosts and Chinese restaurants in Sweden; Pat’s You’re at Home, a one-night-only collaboration between Jacolby Satterwhite and Nick Weiss; Yvonne Rainer’s restaging of her seminal 1965 work Parts of Some Sextets, with new choreography and a recording of the original score; Huang Po-Chin’s Heaven on Fourth, which tells the story of a Chinese immigrant sex worker who committed suicide in Flushing in 2017; and the grand finale, Radio Voices, led by David J of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets with special guests Curse Mackey, Rona Rougeheart, Vangeline, and Heather Paauwe. But there are also dozens of free shows in cool locations, from museums and art galleries to outside on the street, most of which do not require advance RSVP; the full list is below.

Friday, November 1, 4:00 - 8:00
Saturday November 2, 4:00 - 8:00
Sunday, November 3, 2:00 - 6:00

Zakaria Almoutlak and Andros Zins-Browne: Atlas Unlimited: Acts VII–X, with the voices of Ganavya Doraiswamy and Aliana de la Guardia, 80 Washington Square East

Friday, November 1
through
Sunday, November 24

Ylva Snöfrid: Nostalgia — Acts of Vanitas, daily painting performance ritual, fifth-floor loft at 147 Spring St.

Saturday, November 2
Shu Lea Cheang, Matthew Fuller: SLEEP1237, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 5:50 pm - 6:25 am

Gaetano Pesce: WORKINGALLERY, Salon 94 Design, 3 East Eighty-Ninth St., 2:00 - 4:00

Saturday, November 2
through
Sunday, November 24

Yu Cheng-Ta: “Fameme,” live and filmed performances about reality television, Wallplay, 321 Canal St.

Tuesday, November 5
Tara Subkoff: Deepfake, the Hole, 312 Bowery, 7:00

November 6, 13, 16, 20
Luca Veggetti with Moe Yoshida: From Weimar to Taipei (Roland Gebhardt-Mercedes Searer’s Selfdom, Luca Veggetti’s Fourth Character, Chin Chih Yang’s Black Hole, Rolando Peña’s Less Is More), WhiteBox Harlem, 213 East 121st St., 7:00

Thursday, November 7
Yahon Chang: Untitled, Performa Hub: Deitch Projects, 18 Wooster St., 5:00

Sarah Friedland: CROWDS, three-channel video installation of durational dance, La MaMa La Galleria, 47 Great Jones St., 6:00

Saturday, November 9
Pia Camil and Mobile Print Power: Screen Printing Workshop, Queens Museum, 1:00

Niels Bolbrinker and Thomas Tielsch: Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus, Goethe-Institut New York, 30 Irving Pl., 3:00

Duke Riley: Non-Essential Consultants, Inc., Red Hook Labs, 133 Imlay St., 6:00

LAP-SEE LAM, PHANTOM BANQUET, 2019. PRODUCTION STILL. COURTESY THE ARTIST AND GALERIE NORDENHAKE, STOCKHOLM.

Lap-See Lam’s Phantom Banquet takes place at Deitch Projects (photo courtesy the artist and Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm)

Sunday, November 10
Glendalys Medina: No Microphone, Participant Inc., 253 East Houston St. #1, 4:00

Sunday, November 10, 17, 24
Glendalys Medina: The Shank Live, Participant Inc., 253 East Houston St. #1, 8:00 am

Monday, November 11
Nkisi: Listening Session, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 6:00

Monday, November 11
through
Sunday, November 17

Dimitri Chamblas, Sigrid Pawelke: UNLIMITED BODIES, Performa Hub: Deitch Projects, 18 Wooster St., 12:00 and/or 1:00

Tuesday, November 12
Huang Po-Chih, Su Hui-Yu, Yu Cheng-Ta: “The Afterlife of Live Performance” Panel Discussion, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 6:00

Adam Weinert: Monuments: Echoes in the Dance Archive, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Bruno Walter Auditorium, 111 Amsterdam Ave., 6:00

Tuesday, November 12, 19
Glendalys Medina: Dear Me, Participant Inc., 253 East Houston St. #1, advance RSVP required, 4:00 - 9:00

Wednesday, November 13
Paul Maheke, Ligia Lewis, Nkisi: Levant, Goethe-Institut Cultural Residencies, Ludlow 38, 38 Ludlow St., 6:00

Thursday, November 14
The New Blockheads: The Brotherhood of the New Blockheads, the Mishkin Gallery, 135 East Twenty-Second St., 6:00

Friday, November 15
Bauhaus at the Margins: Gender, Queer, and Sexual Politics, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 6:00

Heman Chong, Fyerool Darma, Ho Rui An, and Erika Tan: As the West Slept, Silver Art Projects, 4 World Trade Center, twenty-eighth floor, 7:00

Glendalys Medina: Dear Me, Participant Inc.,

Glendalys Medina’s Dear Me plays to one visitor at a time (photo courtesy the artist)

Saturday, November 16
“A School for Creating Humans”: Bauhaus Education and Aesthetics Revisited, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 1:00

Sunday, November 17
Bodybuilding: Architecture and Performance Book Launch, including a lecture-performance by New Affiliates (Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb), Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 4:00

Lap-See Lam in conversation with Charlene K. Lau, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., free with advance RSVP, 4:00

Tuesday, November 19, 6:00
through
Sunday, November 24, 8:00

Éva Mag: Dead Matter Moves, production of clay bodies, the Gym at Judson Memorial Church, 243 Thompson St., 1:00 - between 5:00 & 8:00

Tuesday, November 19, 6:00
Friday, November 22, 8:00

Torkwase Dyson: I Can Drink the Distance: Plantationocene in 2 Acts, multimedia performative installation, Pace Gallery, 540 West Twenty-Fifth St.

Thursday, November 21
Machine Dazzle, Narcissister and Rammellzee: Otherworldly: Performance, Costume and Difference, Aronson Gallery, Sheila Johnson Design Center at Parsons School of Design, 66 Fifth Ave., 6:00

Sarah Friedland: CROWDS — Conversation with Tess Takahashi, La MaMa La Galleria, 47 Great Jones St., 7:00

Thursday, November 21, 6:00
Saturday, November 23, 1:00 & 3:00
Sunday, November 24, 1:00 & 3:00

Tarik Kiswanson: AS DEEP AS I COULD REMEMBER, AS FAR AS I COULD SEE, featuring eleven-year-old children reading his writings, Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, 1 Bowling Green, free with advance tickets

Friday, November 22
Tarik Kiswanson: AS DEEP AS I COULD REMEMBER, AS FAR AS I COULD SEE: In Conversation with Performa Curator Charles Aubin, Performa Hub, 47 Wooster St., 5:00

Saturday, November 23
Cecilia Bengolea, Michèle Lamy: Untitled Performa Commission, featuring boxers and ballet, dancehall, vogue, and contemporary dancers, Performa Hub: Deitch Projects, 18 Wooster St., 4:00

Sunday, November 24, 8:00
Éva Mag: Dead Matter Moves — In Conversation with Camilla Larsson and Yuvinka Medina, the Gym at Judson Memorial Church, 243 Thompson St., 3:00

FIRST SATURDAYS: CROSSING ASIAN AMERICA

Xu Bing, Square Word Calligraphy: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Walt Whitman, ink on paper, 2018

Xu Bing, Square Word Calligraphy: Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, Walt Whitman, ink on paper, 2018 (photo courtesy of the artist)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, November 2, free (some events require advance tickets), 5:00 - 11:00
212-864-5400
www.brooklynmuseum.org

The Brooklyn Museum parties with Asian pride in the November edition of its free First Saturday program. There will be live performances by the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra (playing works by Mastora Goya and Chen Yihan, featuring such instruments as the koto, erhu, guzheng, and pipa), Hong Kong-born, Brooklyn raised singer-songwriter Reonda, the Metropolitan Opera (previewing Philip Glass’s Akhnaten with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Gandini Juggling, and the Philip Glass Institute at the New School’s College of Performing Arts), Collective BUBBLE_T (with DJ sets by Tito Vida and Stevie Huynh, Clara Lu performing “The Butterfly Lovers” on guzheng, and Walang Hiya NYC), Miho Hatori’s New Optimism, and comics Fumi Abe, Karen Chee, Saurin Choksi, Aidan Park, and Irene Tu; a screening of Mountains That Take Wing (C. A. Griffith & H. L. T. Quan, 2009), followed by a talk with community organizer Akemi Kochiyama, granddaughter of one of the film’s subjects; poetry readings by Diannely Antigua, Mark Doty, and Jessica Greenbaum, hosted by Jason Koo, celebrating Walt Whitman, the inspiration behind the exhibition “One: Xu Bing”; teen pop-up talks in the Arts of Japan galleries; a curator tour of the Arts of China galleries and “One: Xu Bing” with Susan L. Beningson; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make works on paper with brushpens inspired by the calligraphy in Arts of Asia galleries; and a community talk with the W.O.W. Project about the future of Chinatown. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Garry Winogrand: Color,” “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” “JR: Chronicles,” “Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion,” “Infinite Blue,” and more.

THE ROOF GARDEN COMMISSION — ALICJA KWADE: PARAPIVOT

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Alicja Kwade has created a unique solar system on the Met roof with Parapivot (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Met Fifth Avenue
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
Daily through October 27 (weather permitting)
Recommended admission: $25 adults, children under twelve free
212-535-7710
www.metmuseum.org
parapivot slideshow

In 2015-16, Berlin-based Polish artist Alicja Kwade turned time upside down and backward in Against the Run, a reconfigured nineteenth-century-style city street clock that stood at the Scholars’ Gate entrance to Central Park. She now focuses her attention on space in her first solo US museum exhibition, Parapivot, continuing on the Met’s roof through October 27. Kwade’s construction consists of nine round, polished stones, evoking planets, precipitously balanced in interlocking steel frames. The daughter of a cultural scientist mother and an art historian father, Kwade’s works often involve scientific inquiry. Overlooking Central Park, Parapivot recalls such earlier pieces by Kwade as Ousia, Changed, Abakus, and But the Same, exploring issues of art, perception, and the natural world.

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Polished spheres are like planets in steel-framed construction by Alicja Kwade (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“The work is not an illustration of something we invented; it’s more like an illustration of us inventing,” Kwade says in a catalog interview with Met chief curator Sheena Wagstaff. “In other words, it’s more like a reflection of ourselves than of something we already did, a sense of what could be a system, what we do, and how we read things.” Thus, Kwade’s solar system will call up different things for different people as they walk around and through it. “I never want to have an answer,” she says in the catalog. “I want to have more questions, but not answers.”