Art This Week in Culture

This Week in Culture: January 15 - 21

Phil Davis, The Beach Boys, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Shoot the Lobster.

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.

New York 

“The Beach Boys” by Phil Davis
Shoot the Lobster
When: January 18 - February 24, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: In this exhibition, instantly recognizable iconography is reduced to its most gestural form. The artist uses a diverse range of source material in his practice, ranging from Halloween catalogs to love songs, delving into the complexities of identity and representation.  
Know Before You Go: Speaking about his rendering of the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds cover, the artist explained, "The experience of recalling the image is reflected in the way the painting is made; it is emblematic of chasing an image or memory instead of fully realizing it. This sensation is also a symptom of the same economy. If the paintings were ‘fully’ rendered they would just be pictures, not paintings."

“Tommy Puett” by Mark Flood
Elliott Templeton Fine Arts
When: January 12 - February 11, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: Everyone has an esoteric obsession, and for Flood, that is relatively obscure '90s sex symbol Tommy Puett. This latest exhibition brings the artist's fascination with the retired actor and former teen idol to a head. Repetitive uses of the actor's face are paired with cut-and-pasted pictures of Puett in teen magazines. 
Know Before You Go: Reflecting on his fixation, the artist once described his 1998 work Bodies in Space saying it was “a diagram of Mark repeatedly stopping his obsessive thoughts about Puett by making art … I can act out my sex addiction or stay home and make art.”

Jennifer Guidi, Hour after Hour Like an Opening Flower, 2022-23. Image courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

“Rituals” by Jennifer Guidi 
When: January 17 - March 2, 2024
Why It’s Worth a Look: “Rituals” invites viewers on a visual journey through imagined landscapes. The artist’s intricate technique—blending sand, acrylic, oil, and rocks—creates striking works that are balanced in their tranquility and intensity, allowing viewers to delve into Guidi’s inner topography. 
Know Before You Go: In a statement, Guidi shared, "As an artist, it’s my job to be in service of a viewer, in terms of creating a sense of calm and a sense of joy. I want to add beauty to the world and fight the chaos." 

“The Inseparable” by Martin Barré
Matthew Marks Gallery 
When: January 13 - March 2, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: The barrier between series and single works is broken down in this presentation of the artist's largest single artwork composed of a set. Barré's meticulous adherence to geometric principles, evident in each canvas, created a work that blurs the line between fragmentation and reunification.
Know Before You Go: The Inseparable is the only work that the late artist created specifically to be indivisible from its myriad of parts.  

Hung Liu, Cookie Queen, 1994. Image courtesy of the artist and Eric Firestone Gallery.

"Godzilla: Echoes from the 1990s Asian American Arts Network” 
Eric Firestone Gallery 
When: January 17 - March 16, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: This exhibition is centered around the 1990s Godzilla network, which challenged artistic norms and promoted visibility for Asian Americans. Artists on the show's lineup—including Pacita Abad, Rina Banerjee, and  Rirkrit Tiravanija—are pulled from the organization's significant exhibitions.
Know Before You Go: Godzilla’s 1991 mission statement once read, “Godzilla is a New York-based group of Asian American visual artists and art professionals whose goal is to establish a dynamic forum that will foster information exchange, mutual support, documentation and networking among our expanding numbers across the United States.”

“Find and Keep” by Janine Iversen & Peter Shear 
January 13 - February 10, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: This exhibition explores abstract art’s nebulous presence in the cultural sphere, where compositional logic lets idiosyncrasy take center stage. Iversen and Shear’s forays into the genre are here put in conversation: his small-scale works rest beside her painting studies. 
Know Before You Go: The exhibition's title, "Find and Keep," is in part inspired by Picasso's proclamation, "I do not seek. I find."

Photography by Ghislaine Leung. Image courtesy of the artist and The Renaissance Society


“Holdings” by Ghislaine Leung
The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago
When: January 20 - April 14, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: “Holdings” introduces a nuanced exploration of conceptual art and institutional critique through Leung’s unique method of writing “scores.” These summaries detail the intended execution and materials of an artwork, subsequently interpreted and carried out by the gallery or institution in collaboration with the artist. With a focus on value and labor, Leung’s work navigates the complexities of identity and diaspora.
Know Before You Go: This exhibition at The Renaissance Society is the British artist's debut in a U.S. institution. 

Los Angeles

“End of Thinking Capacity” by Naoki Sutter-Shudo 
Gaga & Reena Spaulings
When: January 13 - February 17, 2024 
Why It’s Worth a Look: Naoki Sutter-Shudo’s work, often rendered at the miniature scale, is meticulously crafted as a blend of Eastern and Western sensibilites, pulling at the tension between the two geographies, and between nature and man-made inventions. Drawing from interior designs but operating at a dioramic size also lends a humorous touch in its subversion of expectations.  
Know Before You Go: Sutter-Shudo is a multilingual artist whose work is deeply influenced by his upbringing in the cultures of Japan, France, and the United States.