Top Art Shows in New York This Week: Nuvolo to Kahlil Joseph | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Top Art Shows in New York This Week: Nuvolo to Kahlil Joseph

Vajracharya's Ritual Crown, Nepal, Early Malla period, 13th century. Gilt-copper alloy inlaid with semiprecious stones
(Courtesy: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Barbara and David Kipper, 2016)

The coming week awaits for the art-enthusiasts of New York City with a wide range of exhibitions and events, including the presentation of new works by American filmmaker Kahlil Joseph, to an exhibition on Chinese contemporary art at Guggenheim. Blouin ArtInfo hand-picks a list of these must-visit events for its readers:

“Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal” at The Met Fifth Avenue

December 16, 2017 through December 16, 2018

Centered on five examples of Vajracarya crowns - the most important symbol of Buddhist ritual performed in Nepal- the exhibition creates an other-worldly atmosphere at gallery 251 space within the Met Fifth Avenue. Surrounded by paintings of ritual performances, the display includes a recently acquired early Vajracarya crown dating to the 13th or early 14th century, which is accompanied by an 18th-century crown from the Met’s collection, and two others recently discovered in the museum’s Department of Arms and Armor. Along with these five crowns, an assortment of bronze and wooden ritual utensils, Nepalese cloth paintings, and archival photographs of ritual enactment are also on view at the show.

“Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound” at Museum of Art and Design

Running through February 25, 2018

This multi-component exhibition features a host of interactive installations, immersive environments, and performing objects, to explore the ephemeral and abstract nature of sound as substance, in the backdrop of an era overpopulated by visual information. The sound here has been framed as an interdependent material that is physically crafted and transmitted through electronic circuits and signals, radio waves, and resonant bodies that provides an almost tangible experience to the visitors. The show features contemporary artists, designers, and performers who respond to sound’s potential as a material that influences how people experience space, their environment, and time.

“Kahlil Joseph: Shadow Play” at New Museum

Running through January 7, 2018

Marking his first solo presentation in New York, Los Angeles–based artist and filmmaker Kahlil Joseph (b. 1981, Seattle, WA) debuts his new film installation “Fly Paper” (2017) in this show. With a practice that always kept music as its nucleus, Joseph’s new work departs from his admiration of the work of photographer and artist Roy DeCarava (1919–2009), whose works are also marked by the motif of music, as he is known for his images of celebrated jazz musicians and everyday life in Harlem. “Fly Paper” is an extension of DeCarava’s virtuosity by Joseph, with a presentation of film and digital footage that contemplates the dimensions of past, present, and future in Harlem and New York City. It also touches on themes of filiation, influence, and legacy, marking a personal reference with Joseph’s connections to the city through his family, especially by his late father.

“Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” at Guggenheim

Running through January 7, 2018

With a display that consists of a vast selection of contemporary art from China spanning 1989 to 2008- a period that is arguably considered the most transformative one for the modern Chinese and recent world history- this exhibition is the largest show on this subject ever mounted in North America. Divided into six chronological and thematic sections installed in the rotunda and two tower galleries, the show offers an interpretative survey of Chinese experimental art framed by the geopolitical dynamics attending the end of the Cold War, the spread of globalization, and the rise of China. The show includes works by more than 70 artists and collectives, featuring approximately 150 famous and lesser-known works on loan from private and public collections around the world.

Max Ernst’s “Beyond Painting” at Museum of Modern Art

Running through January 1, 2018

The exhibition features the works of German painter Max Ernst. The selection of works on display is a survey of the artistic career of Ernst, with a focus on his attribute for ceaseless experimentation. It looks at his pursuit of radical techniques that went beyond traditional painting to incorporate the irrational and the turmoil that World War I brought and it continued even through and after the World War II.


“‘Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei EisensteinRobert Longo” at Brooklyn Museum

Running through January 7, 2018

From a distant perspective, it might seem bizarre to have these three artists, renowned each in their own right, displayed alongside each other. Upon closer inspection however, one can see how they complement and contrast each other while promoting a fascinating rhetoric around their subject matters.

“Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined” at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Running through February 25, 2018

The show presents an interconnected series of fictional portraits by artist Ojih Odutola (b. 1985), in her debut museum solo in New York. Known for her intimate drawings that explore the complexity and malleability of identity, these selected works depict the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families. These life-sized enigmatic and mysterious figures, set in the lavish backdrops of domestic bliss and abundance of comfort etched through the artist’s crafty maneuvering with charcoal, pastel, and pencil, reflect her own range of inspirations that span from art history to popular culture to experiences of migration and dislocation.

“Murillo: The Self-Portraits” at The Frick Collection

Running through February 4, 2018

Marking the 400th birth anniversary of Spanish Golden Age painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (b. 1617), the show presents two self-portraits that are the only known images of the painter by his own hand. The two portraits have not been seen together since at least the early 18th century. The exhibition will also feature a group of 15 other works on loan from international private and public collections. These will include paintings of other sitters by Murillo, as well as later reproductions of the two paintings that reflect their fame in Europe.

Elizabeth Murray: Painting in the '80s” at Pace

Running through January 13, 2018

This exhibition explores a critical decade in Elizabeth Murray’s (b. 1940) career, the decade during which the artist began painting her iconic shaped canvases. The exhibition draws together 16 paintings created by her in the 1980s where Murray balances seemingly opposing forces — combining geometric and biomorphic shapes, hard edges and feathery brushstrokes, imagery and abstraction and oil paint and three-dimensional structure.

“Nuvolo and Post-War Materiality 1950–1965” at Di Donna Galleries

Running through January 26, 2018

Featuring 20 never-seen-before artworks by Italian painter Giorgio Ascani aka Nuvolo (1926–2008), the show explores the level of artistic variation and use of materials and processes by this pioneering figure of screen-printing techniques. The selection of works on display includes pieces from the artist’s series “cuciti a macchina,” “daini,” and “diagrammi.” The show examines and charts the artist’s development and radicalization of the existing traditional notions of painting and sculpture through the utilization of the physical properties inherent in raw materials. The show also includes works by other post-World War II artists such as Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla, Lucio Fontana, and Cy Twombly among others.

Françoise Grossen at Blum & Poe

Running through January 6, 2018

The exhibition presents a selection of sculptural works by New York-based Swiss-born artist Françoise Grossen (b. 1943 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland), marking her third solo show with the gallery.  Created across three decades, these works on view encompass three segments of her practice- hanging sculpture, floor works, and a series of maquettes that preceded her expansive installations of the 1970s. The selection of works in this show represents the artist’s interests and influences as a young fiber sculptor, which later turned her into one of the leading artist of her trade, who made a wide impact towards the archetypes of 1960s and 1970s aesthetics.

“Rosha Yaghmai: Postcards & Pipes” at Marlborough Contemporary

Running through December 23, 2017

The show features a selection of wall-mounted and floor sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Rosha Yaghmai (b.1979), an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Yaghmai’s preoccupation with mechanisms of seeing and the eye itself are demonstrated in the freestanding sculptures on view. Titled “Optometers,” these slim and serpentine works are constructed from found industrial conduits, embellished with tinted eyeglass lenses and wisps of eye-shadow. The wall-hanging works, which are refereed as “Awnings”, are fittingly cast in fiberglass from draped canvas, almost appearing as paintings.

“Fahrad Moshiri:  Snow Forest” at Perrotin

Running through December 23, 2017

Marking his fifth solo with the gallery, Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri (b. 1963, Shiraz, Iran) presents his latest series of works in this exhibition. Inspired from the photographs of snow trees taken during the winter in Iran, these new compositions are hand-embroidered with pearl beads, appearing very similar to calligraphy. The form of these text-like motifs remain, although abstract in nature, devoid of any meaning, evoking a sense of melancholy amidst an imagery resembling of branches and snow in the middle of the forest.

Donald Baechler at Cheim & Read

Running through December 23, 2017

This exhibition presents textured, imagery-laden new works by American artist Donald Baechler (b. 1956). Baechler’s works are identifiable for the use of his clichéd yet signature motifs like skulls, roses, globes and soccer balls to depict scenes of childhood. The exhibition is an extension of the artist’s continuous exploration of heavily outlined, iconic imagery set against richly textured, layered fields, which often are composed of fabric collage.

Arturo Herrera’s “Paintings” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Running through January 20, 2018

The show brings together a selection of new works by Berlin-based Venezuelan artist Arturo Herrera. The artist’s diverse body of work, which predominantly includes collage, felt sculpture, and wall painting, carry references of the complex traditions of abstraction, with the use of found material and/or imagery from popular culture, employing modernist strategies of fragmentation, re-composition, and repetition. The works on view, are created through engaging these strategies on the painted canvas for the first time, and devoid of any collage elements that were very much part of Herrera’s previous works.


Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibitions.