The DART Board: 05.24.2023

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday May 24, 2023

Closing June 4: Wangetchi Mutu | Intertwined at New Museum

Celebrate the closing weekend of Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined with the artist, who will join exhibition co-curators Vivian Crockett and Margot Norton in conversation at the New Museum. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Mutu discuss her multimedia practice that layers mythical narratives and sociohistorical references to confront contemporary realities. Tickets

Wangechi Mutu, an artist who divides her time between New York and her native Nairobi, has made her presence felt here since the late 1990s. Once moved in to study at the New School, then earning her BA at Cooper Union School of Art and later an MFA at Yale, she began making art that went against the grain of prevailing trends. She made collaged figurative paintings, sculpture and installations, and both live and video performances exploring what it is to be a woman of color working in a male dominated art world.  Photos © Peggy Roalf

Representing the full breadth of her practice, Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined, a museum-wide exhibition, presents collaged paintings and drawings, sculpture, film, and performance that combine the beautiful and the grotesque in scenarios that recall the artist's fascination with science fiction and dystopia. Read the entire DART feature here 

Join exhibition tour with curators Margot Norton and Vivian Crocket here

New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, NY Info



Continuing: Yayoi Kusama at David Zwirner

Recent works by the Japanese artist, including a new Infinity Room, celebrate her 10th year being represented by the gallery and are presented at all three Chelsea locations. The exhibition, which features 36 new paintings together with sculptures further elaborating on her signature motifs of pumpkins and flowers, takes its name from three massive flower sculptures, each titled I Spend Each Day Embracing Flowers (above), located within the gallery at 519 West 19th Street.


Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929, and moved to New York City in 1958 where she soon became an integral part of the pop art scene. She was so far ahead of her time, however, that she was overlooked by the all-white male dominated New York art world; the only critic who understood and applauded her work was Donald Judd. The story of her practice in painting, sculpture and performance art [happenings], her enormous contribution to contemporary art and her subsequent recognition and idolization is told in the 2018 film Kusama: Infinity, by Heather Lenz, which is now streaming on HBO Max.

Her mosaic mural for the new Long Island Railroad terminal at Grand Central Station continues; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. has extended its Kusama exhibition, which includes two “Infinity Rooms” and the artist’s other works from its permanent collection. You can read my feature on Kusama’s 2021 installations, Cosmic Nature, at the New York Botanical Garden, here.

David Zwirner, 519, 525, and 533 West 19th Street, New York, NY Info



Continuing: Bob Thompson at 52 Walker | Closing at Michael Rosenfeld

One of the standout booths at Frieze NY was Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, which presented works by Bob Thompson (1937–1966). Currently on view at the gallery 52 Walker is a selection of paintings highlighting the artist's jazz-influenced style through which sengaged new audiences within the history of painting. Writing for Hyperallergic, John Yau said, "I can think of only two painters in the last 50 years who accomplished so much in such an abbreviated period: Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988) and Matthew Wong (1984–2019). What connects these very different artists is not their biography, however, but the feeling of separateness they inventively expressed in their work. 

"Thompson told his hometown newspaper, the Louisville Gazette: 'I cannot find a place nor category in which to put my paintings nor a name to call them.' His refusal to categorize or identify his work strikes this viewer as being an act of defiance, and much more."

Continuing to July 8 at 52 Walker Street, New York, NY Info Closing May 26 at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, 100 11th Avenue, New York, NY Info



Continuing: Uman | I Want Everything Now at Nicola Vaselli

Somalia-born Uman’s varied migrations and encounters with heritage influence her bold gestural work which feature seemingly freestyle markings, influenced by the Arabic calligraphy she studied as a child. The fifteen large boldly patterned paintings on view, largely comprised of geometric forms intermixed with abstracted natural forms, weird body parts and scribbles, in high-key yet delicately applied colors, offer densely figured surfaces that are at once painterly and reminiscent of finely stitched textiles.

Widely traveled and self-trained, Uman’s practice explores gender and cultural fluidity through paintings, drawings and sculpture, while remaining spiritually engaged and instinctive. A citizen of the world, Uma grew up in Kenya, then emigrated to Denmark in her teens. After a decade there she arrived in New York City with the new millennium and began showing her work at downtown galleries including White Columns and Karma, among others. 

Nicola Vasell, 138 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY Info


Thursday, May 25, 5:30-7:30pm: President’s Medal Block Party

Participatory installation by Greg Corbino; Drumline by Fogo Azul; Chats with climate scientists Klaus Jacob(Columbia University), Bernice Rosenzweig(Sarah Lawrence College), Eric W. Sanderson(New York Botanical Garden); Remarks by Mario Gooden, President, The Architectural League; Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League; Food and beverages from the Street Vendor Project; Furniture by Street Lab. Register/Map and Info

This event, free and open to the public, honors Rosalie Genevro for her service to the Architectural League. The President’s Medal is The Architectural League’s highest honor and is bestowed, at the discretion of the League’s President and Board of Directors, on individuals to recognize extraordinary achievements in architecture, urbanism, art, design, and the environment.


Wednesday, May 31, 6-8 pm Joan Mitchell By Her Friends at Cheim & Read

The release of the English edition published by les presses du réel will be celebrated with a discussion with author Guy Bloch-Champfort and fellow friends of Joan Mitchell: Elizabeth Kley, Bill Scott, Rob Storr, Jill Weinberg and John Yau.

The book includes interviews with Paul Auster, Claude Bauret Allard, Carole Benzaken, Franck Bordas, Velma Bury, Henri-Claude Cousseau, John Cheim, Philipe Dagen, Monique Frydman, Alan Glass, Elga Heinzen, Jacqueline Hyde, Betsy Jolas, Klaus Kertess, Serge Lemoine, Adrien Maeght, Brice Marden, Françoise Marquet, Joyce Pensato, Philippe Piguet, Marcelin Pleynet, Philippe Richard, Michaële Andréa Schatt, Bill Scott, Robert Storr, Jill Weinberg Adams, Mâkhi Xenakis, and Zuka.

A screening of a documentary film titled Joan's Friends by Bloch-Champfort will begin at 6:30 PM. 

Cheim & Read, 547 West 25 Street, New York, NY RSVP