Looking at the month ahead, Something Curated highlights six of the most exciting art exhibitions taking place in New York this November.
One Last Trip to the Underworld, at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery || Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg (Until 20 Dec 2019)
Spanning both of the gallery’s floors, this much anticipated show is Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg’s first solo exhibition in New York since 2013 and is the premiere of four new video works. Djurberg and Berg’s collaborative works conjure surreal landscapes that explore the shadows of human subconsciousness. Using sculpture, stop-motion film, sound, and immersive installation the artists construct narratives that speak to emotional tension, confliction, sexual impulse, and violence. Rendered through dark humour, with a hint of the absurd, Djurberg and Berg’s work explores an emotional gamut of fear, innocence, power, greed, and shame.
Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre), at 1014 Fifth Avenue || Nairy Baghramian & Maria Hassabi (6–10 Nov 2019)
In their largest collaboration to date, Nairy Baghramian and Maria Hassabi present Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre), an installation and live performances inhabiting two floors of a Fifth Avenue townhouse originally built in 1906. Taking cues from the spatial qualities of the building, the two artists turn domestic space into an intimate stage that probes the interplay of architecture and bodies while teasing out fantasies. Baghramian’s friendship with the late designer Janette Laverrière lays the groundwork for Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre). Over the last decade before Laverrière’s passing, Baghramian and Laverrière together explored the designer’s archives to imagine new variations and reinterpretations, often with a playful take on assumed notions of design’s utilitarian function versus art’s autonomy.
Black Girl’s Window, MoMA || Betye Saar (Until 4 Jan 2020)
After nearly a decade of focused work in printmaking, artist Betye Saar created her autobiographical assemblage Black Girl’s Window in 1969. This exhibition explores the relation between her experimental print practice and the new artistic language debuted in that famous work, tracing themes of family, history, and mysticism, which have been at the core of Saar’s work from its earliest days. Celebrating the recent acquisition of 42 rare, early works on paper, this is the first dedicated examination of Saar’s work as printmaker.
You’re at home, at Pioneer Works || Jacolby Satterwhite (Until 24 Nov 2019)
Jacolby Satterwhite’s exhibition You’re at home is an immersive environment revolving around the artist’s digitally-animated series Birds in Paradise, which constructs mythological, queer universes derived from American consumerism, pop culture, African folklore, ritual, and personal narratives. Inspired by early 90s digital media like Final Fantasy and Daft Punk’s 2003 animated album-length film Interstella 5555, Birds in Paradise is set, in large part, within a giant coliseum, a recurring architectural motif that Satterwhite likens to the archetypal 360° viewing experience of ancient Rome. Satterwhite himself becomes a repetitive presence, dancing alongside multitudes of digital avatars, which move ritualistically to the artist’s choreography.
Louisiana Suite, at Kasmin Gallery || Keith Sonnier (21 Nov 2019 – 11 Jan 2020)
Kasmin hosts an exhibition of rarely seen seminal work by Keith Sonnier at the gallery’s flagship space in Chelsea. Large-scale works from the on-going series Ba-O-Ba, which the artist began in 1968, utilise large panes of glass and Sonnier’s signature neon tubing in a geometric composition that forms a confluence between the sculpture and the gallery wall and floor. Based on the Greek mathematical theory of the Golden Ratio, the series takes its title from the Haitian French dialect in Sonnier’s native Louisiana for ‘bath of colour’ or ‘light bath.’ They are quintessential examples of Sonnier’s ability to masterfully synthesize architecture and light, speaking to a formal inventiveness that has defined nearly six decades of work.
Imagine a World Without You, at JTT || Damon Zucconi (Until 15 Dec 2019)
JTT presents its third solo show with Damon Zucconi, Imagine a World Without You. Included in the exhibition are websites programmed by the artist displayed on televisions, laptops, and iPhones, as well as a series of UV cured prints on the walls. The title implies a directive to the viewer, but it also is a directive that systems as ubiquitous as spell check take by automatising corrections to human based errors. On view is a new series of prints, which Zucconi created by downloading on-model photographs from a fashion e-commerce website and processing them using custom-written software. The software breaks images down into fine grids and then re-assembles them, interlacing the fragments as sequences mixed with fields of pure colour, creating composites without changes in opacity.
Feature image: Betye Saar, Black Girl’s Window, MoMA. Until 4 Jan 2020. (via MoMA)