Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions and one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey.
“What Have They Done with All the Air?” by William Kentridge
Where: Goodman Gallery
When: November 25, 2023 - January 20, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: William Kentridge's new presentation of drawings and sculptures is inspired by his forthcoming theater production, The Great Yes, the Great No, which tells the story of migration and colonization through the voyage of a ship from Marseille to Martinique. Experiments in costume design utilizing ripped paper and cardboard are placed alongside drawings meant to be used as backdrops for the performance.
Know Before You Go: The Great Yes, the Great No tells the story of passengers aboard a converted freight ship from Marseille. The lineup includes surrealist André Breton; anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss; communist novelist Victor Serge; the Nardal sisters, who co-founded the the anti-colonial Négritude movement in Paris in the 1920s and '30s; and Frida Kahlo.
“And ever an edge”
Where: MoMA PS1
When: November 16, 2023 - April 8, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: “And ever an edge” showcases new work by the Studio Museum in Harlem’s artists in residence: Jeffrey Meris, Devin N. Morris, and Charisse Pearlina Weston. Through sculptural works, paintings, installation art, and performance, the artists examine diverse methods of Black resistance and overlooked histories of forced migration and displacement through mundane and found objects.
Know Before You Go: Haitian-born artist Jeffrey Meris creates multimedia sculptures exploring the body’s physical form and architectural capacity. Brooklyn-based artist Devin N. Morris uses collected and discarded objects to create immersive representations of spaces in and around the neighborhood of Harlem. Through translucent glass inscribed with faded texts and photographs, conceptual artist Charisse Pearline Weston confronts the legibility of the material and the precarity of Black life.
“Snappy Armpits and More” by Christian Ludwig Attersee
When: November 18, 2023 - January 15, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: O’Flaherty’s first all-painting show, “Snappy Armpits and More,” exhibits works by the prolific contemporary artist Christian Ludwig Attersee, which span from 1965 to the present. The Austrian renegade is known for his free-spirited ingenuity, use of vibrant, bold colors, and the obscure and nuanced undertones in his work.
Know Before You Go: Attersee's self-prescribed last name comes from Lake Attersee, which he grew up near and where he became an award-winning sailor prior to his career in the arts. Traces of this nautical influence can still be seen in his work.
“Carolee Schneemann: Of Course You Can / Don’t You Dare”
Where: PPOW Gallery
When: November 17 - January 20, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: With a selection of mid-20th century works by American visual artist Carolee Schneemann, “Of Course You Can / Don’t You Dare” is the first substantial exhibition of her paintings, drawings, assemblages, and film on view in New York since her death in 2019. The show opens with a series of rarely-before-seen drawings of Schneemann’s then partner, composer and musical theorist James Tenney, and their cat Kitch, diving headfirst into her singular use of gesture and movement.
Know Before You Go: From 1957 to 1961, when Schneemann was pursuing her MFA at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she often received contradicting criticisms from her professors who remarked “Of course you can!” or “Don’t you dare!” inspiring the title for this exhibition.
“The Third Dimension” by Olga Balema
Where: Bridget Donahue
When: November 18, 2023 - January 13, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Ukrainian-born, New York-based artist Olga Balema interrogates the property of transparency in her new exhibition, “The Third Dimension.” A continuation of a previous sculpture series, made by fusing thin sheets of plastic, the work asks viewers to consider their surrounding reality, and to discover the patterns quietly emerging in her practice.
Know Before You Go: The plastic works are made without any prior sketching or planning. The quick manipulation of the material allows for on-the-spot revisions and reconfigurations, but utlimately makes process a final aesthetic facet of the art.
“Guyton/Walker & Sara Cwynar”
Where: Post Times, 29 Henry Street
When: Through Dec. 17, 2023
Why It’s Worth a Look: For its first exhibition, the new Henry Street gallery Post Times is presenting two multi-part artworks by New York-based duo Guyton/Walker and multidisciplinarian Sara Cwynar. The works share a common thread, beginning their process with acquired source images that are then manipulated, at times beyond recognition. The mix of sculptural and wall-hanging works take up the small storefront, operated by artist Broc Blegen.
Know Before You Go: Post Times is not Blegen's first entrepreneurial venture. He is also involved with Bases, a minimalist line of sneakers, and In The Mood Cock Rings, which sells mood rings for the nether regions.
“Heart Drop” by Leidy Churchman
Where: Matthew Marks
When: November 18, 2023 - January 13, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Inspired by Buddhist text the Heart Sutra and the physical feeling of your heart plummeting while jumping off a diving board or riding a rollercoaster, “Heart Drop” is Leidy Churchman’s way of bringing the viewer into the present moment where the past has left, the future is yet to come, and now is all there is. Featuring 21 new paintings, this is the artist's first Los Angeles solo show in five years.
Know Before You Go: In one of the exhibited works, Churchman creates numerous smaller versions of Magritte’s painting La reproduction interdite (Not to be Reproduced), 1937, each with nuanced differences, like in the scale of the figures or color of the background. The seemingly never-ending image gets to the root of Churchman's fascination with emptiness and the ineffable.
“Reflection” by Dyani White Hawk
Where: Various Small Fires
When: November 18, 2023 - January 6, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: “Reflection” displays Dyani White Hawk’s new abstract paintings, mixed-media works, and eight-channel video installation titled LISTEN, which incorporates female voices speaking in eight different Indigenous American languages. Similarly, White Hawk’s geometric paintings derive influence from Native art forms traditionally utilized by women.
Know Before You Go: As viewers are invited to examine the paintings, they’ll hear an ensemble of overlapping Indigenous languages coming from the video portraits of LISTEN. The absence of an English translation urges spectators to confront the reality of how few Americans really speak, or even recognize, languages originating from the continent.
“Hospital” by Pope.L
Where: South London Gallery
When: November 21, 2023 - February 11, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Since the 1970s, American artist Pope.L's work has remained unconfinable, spanning writing, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. On display across South London Gallery’s Main Gallery and Fire Station, “Hospital,” is his first solo exhibition in a London institution. In a statement, Pope.L said, “‘Hospital’ is that sensation of lying on your back on a stretcher in a hallway cold staring at the veins in the ceiling above while it stares right back.”
Know Before You Go: The Main Gallery houses a reworking of Eating the Wall Street Journal, 2000, showing three massive leaning tower structures upon which Pope.L once sat on a toilet, coated in flour and wearing just a jockstrap, while he ate pages out of the Wall Street Journal.
“Extraterrestrials” by Ron Nagle
Where: Modern Art
When: November 17, 2023 - January 6, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: Ron Nagle’s latest exhibition features new sculptures and drawings split across two of the gallery’s spaces: “Extraterrestrials” at Bury Street and “Conniption” at Helmet Row. Nagle’s handmade works use porcelain and ceramic melded with contemporary materials like catalyzed polyurethane and epoxy resin and drawing from influences such as Brutalist architecture, Japanese Shibui, glamorized food porn on social media, and West Coast hot-rod cars.
Know Before You Go: The sculptures in “Conniption” are, in part, inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s unusual blending of playful colors, raw wood, and stone materials with Brutalist design. “Extraterrestrials” provides a contrast from the sculptor's usual upright work, favoring a flattened and more gestural surface.