Contrary to the art world’s discursive habits, art isn’t a code you crack; it’s more like a place you go, ideally in good company. This February, go there. Lend an ear to a sonic fusion of orchestral music and noise from a concrete plant, watch furniture spring to life in protest or pleasure, and dance in a glittery reimagining of San Francisco’s first Black-owned gay bar.
When: through February 26
Where: EFA Project Space (323 West 39th Street, Midtown West, Manhattan)
Hilma’s Ghost, a feminist artist collective cofounded by Brooklyn-based artists Sharmistha Ray and Dannielle Tegeder in 2020, used ritual divination — and an invocation of the spirit of the organization’s departed namesake, the Swedish Theosophist artist Hilma af Klint — to curate Cosmic Geometries. Work by a diverse group of 25 creators, including Carrie Moyer, Yevgeniya Baras, and Laleh Khorramian, unites around a shared affinity for the spiritual, the mystical, and the occult in abstraction.
When: through February 26
Where: Meredith Rosen Gallery (11 East 80th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
“The feeling of presence: this is the defining quality of the metaverse,” a voice flatly tells us, borrowing some of Mark Zuckerberg’s vacant techno-utopic utterances. Among the highlights of Athens-born, Los Angeles-based artist Theo Triantafyllidis’s solo show are two video installations that connect contemporary feelings of alienation with the radicalization pipeline: one simulation depicts bored Orks on their electronic devices amid storms and kitchen fires, while the other features a violent clash of figures, some of whom carry white nationalist flags.
When: through February 26
Where: Dia Chelsea (537 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Dia Art Foundation, which counts Max Neuhaus’s sound installation in Times Square as one of the eleven sites it manages, has been a staunch supporter of sound art for some time — and now has three releases to celebrate. In Listening Space, gallery-goers can enjoy a jukebox preloaded with the nonprofit’s sound publications, from On Kawara’s “One Million Years (Future)” (1993), in which a man and a woman methodically count, to new records by La Monte Young, Deantoni Parks and Lucy Raven, and Carl Craig.
When: through March 5
Where: White Columns (91 Horatio Street, Meatpacking, Manhattan)
After a pandemic pause on the tradition, New York’s oldest alternative art space has opened the 12th iteration of its Annual, thoughtfully guest-curated by New York City-based photographer Mary Manning as a reflection on and response to their past year of art experiences. The exhibition features work by 25 intergenerational artists, including Patrick Angus, Aria Dean, Stewart Uoo, and Gordon Parks, and will be accompanied by a screening of Barbara Hammer’s films at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
When: through March 5
Where: Salon 94 (3 East 89th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
In 1967, The Judson Gallery debuted a suite of fantasy furniture by downtown New York artist and radical feminist writer Kate Millett, who is best known today for her 1970 text Sexual Politics. The furnishings, currently on view at Salon 94, are whimsical, anthropomorphic, and wonderfully weird fusions of found objects and hand-carved wood that form a cabinet that opens its chest cavity, a bed with protruding feet, a stool that feeds itself, and even a table on roller skates (whose depiction on New York City’s streets in a 1967 edition of Life was weaponized as “proof” that Millett, a doctoral candidate at Columbia, was not a serious scholar).
When: through March 6
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th St, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Organized in conjunction with The Studio Museum in Harlem, The New Eagle Creek Saloon presents Oakland-based artist Sadie Barnette’s fluorescent recreation of the San Francisco gay bar that her father, founder of the Compton chapter of the Black Panther Party, operated in the early 1990s. On select Saturdays, the architectural installation is activated by DJs invited by queer scholar and artist madison moore as part of The Kitchen’s new nightlife and club culture residency; visitors are invited to dance, an homage to queer Black spaces past and present.
When: through March 28
Where: SculptureCenter (44-19 Purves St, Long Island City, Queens)
Don’t put it back like it was, co-organized with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, surveys the work of Liz Larner, an astonishingly versatile sculptor and installation artist who came out of CalArts in the 1980s. The works on view run the gamut from Larner’s early experiments with bacterial cultures, to a kinetic wall-bashing machine, to the ceramic slabs that have occupied the artist for the past two decades. Though materially and aesthetically diverse, these sculptures are rooted in a common interest in the ways that bodies move and exist in social and architectural space.
When: through April 24
Where: Madison Square Park (11 Madison Avenue, Nomad, Manhattan)
Overtaking four lawns of Madison Square Park, Hugh Hayden’s ambitious sculptural installation features 100 wooden elementary school task chairs rendered unusable by the bare tree branches that aggressively sprout from them. Contemplating inequity in the American education system, Hayden’s Surrealist twist on vernacular classroom furniture depicts institutionalized learning as a thicket that is structurally uninviting, exclusionary, and absurd.
When: February 3–March 12
Where: Susan Inglett Gallery (522 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Initiated in the early 2000s, Beverly Semmes’ ongoing “Feminist Responsibility Project” intervenes with vintage porn magazines; using paint or ink to obliterate the bulk of women’s bodies in graphic images, Semmes transforms the subjects into awkward abstractions. Continuing this complex gesture, recent works on view in POT PEEK explore the resemblances between the effaced women and vessels, literally and conceptually.
When: February 17–June 5
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
Celebrating six decades of art by Harlem-born nonagenarian Faith Ringgold, this long overdue retrospective features a collection of figurative paintings, narrative textiles, and soft sculptures shaped by a belief in the power of women’s labor and Black visual traditions. A highlight is the entirety of the “The French Collection” (1991–1994), Ringgold’s 12-part series of experimental story quilts exploring the life of a Black American artist and model working in the modernist circles of 1920s Paris.
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