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Art Digest December, NYC 2019

Hello there!

Hope you are staying warm this December. Our curator decided to warm you up a little bit.

So, here the hottest list of New York exhibitions which you must see before 2020.

Let's start with the Bronx Museum, where we can see the Henry Chalfant exhibition called "ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977-1987". Looking back at the beginning of the graffiti era launched in the midst of a tumultuous time in New York City history, Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987 will feature documentation of works no-longer extant by legendary subway writers, including Dondi, Futura, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Zephyr, and including Bronx legends Blade, Crash, DAZE, Dez, Kel, Mare, SEEN, Skeme, and T-Kid. Henry Chalfant has produced a voluminous body documenting the emergence of the trend since its early days in the Bronx, following its transformation into the international phenomenon it is today. Chalfant’s photographs are a work of visual anthropology and one of the seminal documents of American popular culture in the late twentieth century. He had developed a technique of capturing exposures in rapid succession on his 35mm camera from different positions on the platform, documenting the entire train in multiple, overlapping shots.

Henry Chalfant "ART VS. TRANSIT, 1977-1987"

Next step: Midtown MoMA and an exhibition of landmark performances and related videos, objects, and installations by the multidisciplinary artist Pope.L., who is a consummate thinker and provocateur whose practice across multiple mediums —including painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, theater, and video — utilizes abjection, humor, endurance, language, and absurdity to confront and undermine rigid systems of belief. Spanning works made primarily from 1978 to 2001, the exhibition features videos, photographs, sculptural elements, ephemera, and live actions. 

MoMA: Pope.L

Let's see what's going on in Chelsea.

Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to announce "The social revolution of our time cannot take its poetry from the past but only from the poetry of the future, and Pan-African Pulp, two solo exhibitions of recent paintings by Meleko Mokgosi" exhibition, which name is taken from Karl Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. This text points to the limits of revolutionary discourses and proposes that it is only through disavowing the past that revolutionary action can occur. Similar to this argument, this body of work argues both for a disavowal of past grand narratives as well as the recuperation of non-Western forms of knowledge that were not privileged to coexist with conventional or established discursive frameworks. All twelve paintings are paired with a text that is taken from the writings of women either from Africa or the African Diaspora. By pairing text and image, Mokgosi's work aims to further questions around the politics of representation and strategies of resistance.

Jack Shainman Gallery: Meleko Mokgosi

In Lower Manhattan Leslie-Lohman Museum presents an exhibition which explores the history of queer sex work culture, and its intimate ties to art and activism. Coined by bisexual activist, Carol Leigh, aka. The Scarlot Harlot in 1978, ‘sex work’ is broadly defined as exchanging sex or erotic services for gain and connotes personal agency and politicized action. More than a portrait of life at the margins, what emerges in this exhibit is a demonstration of queer and transgender sex workers’ deep community building, creative organizing, self-empowerment, identity/desire affirmation and healing and the use of pornography as a deft tool for queer and trans liberation.

Leslie-Lohman Museum: ON OUR BACKS: The Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work

"JR: Chronicles" in Brooklyn Museum. The presentation covers nearly 20,000 square feet of our Great Hall and traces JR’s artistic evolution since 2001, focusing on his commitment to the community and civic discourse through the use of large-scale media such as news and advertising as well as architectural interventions. Working at the intersections of photography, social practice, and street art, JR’s participatory projects have fostered collaborations and conversations around the globe. The exhibition centers on The Chronicles of New York City, a new monumental mural incorporating the portraits and stories of over one thousand New Yorkers. The immersive installation also features JR’s most well-known works across photography, installation, film, and video from the past fifteen years.

Brooklyn Museum: "JR: Chronicles"

Let's go back to the Grand Station and take a train to Beacon.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Mel Bochner’s first Measurement room, Dia has commissioned Bochner to realize a new, large-scale work from his Measurement series at Dia: Beacon. Regarded as one of the leading American Conceptual and Postminimal artists in the 1960s and 1970s, Bochner pioneered the play between the characteristics of numerical values, space, and language in his work.

In May 1969 Bochner realized the first works in his ongoing Measurement series, using black tape to draw simple, linear segments across the surfaces of Dia cofounder Heiner Friedrich’s Munich gallery. Punctuating these lines were numbers that corresponded to the length of the measured surface: the width of a window bay, the height of a doorframe, and so on. Several of the measurements were further subdivided, indicated by notched marks interspersed at intervals across a wall. In this work, as in subsequent iterations of this series, Bochner used lines to wrap around the architectural envelope of the gallery in a systematic evaluation of its spatial parameters and the perceptual experience that unfolds within it. At Dia:Beacon, red tape maps the various surfaces of one of the museum’s largest galleries, running horizontally across walls at a height corresponding to the artist’s eye level.

Dia:Beacon. Bochner

Another train and whoosh! New Haven, Yale University.

Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art presents a wide variety of Indigenous voices and experiences through more than 75 artworks dating from the early 19th century to the present.

This student-curated exhibition — the first exhibition of Indigenous art to bring together objects from the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library — showcases basketry, beadwork, drawings, photography, pottery, textiles, and wood carving by prominent artists such as Maria Martinez (P’ohwhóge Owingeh [San Ildefonso Pueblo]), Marie Watt (Seneca), M.F.A. 1996, and Will Wilson (Diné [Navajo]), among others. Guided by the four themes in its title, the exhibition investigates the connections that Indigenous peoples have to their lands; the power of objects as expressions of sovereignty; the passing on of artistic practices and traditions; and the relationships that artists and nations have to animals, plants, and cosmological beings. The objects on view contribute to the larger narrative of American art and act as touchstones for further partnerships with Indigenous nations.

Yale University: Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art

See you in New York or around ;)


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