Weekend Update: 01.26.24

By Peggy Roalf   Friday January 26, 2024


Friday, January 26, 6-8:30pm: Jared Deery | A Liminal Light 

Depicting still lifes, often with potted plants acting as a sort of cynosure, Deery maps out how the freestyle nature of flowers can reshape an environment around them. The paintings not only attract viewers, but reframe the meaning of space as they find themselves situated closer to or father away from the branching growths that Deery arranges in his pictures. 

While sometimes modeled on actual species of flowers, and mindful of the connotations different flowers have, Deery’s work generally derive more from the imagination than from observation. Even the convention of the Still Life, conceived as a recreation of carefully arranged objects comes into play in his work, these paintings are more like an artifact reanimated by his own conceptual “rules” about the subject. Each flower displayed is in a state of transition, caught at a moment of a day or a season to embody the changing awareness an obervant viewer might have. 

Freight & Volume, 39 Lispenard Street, New York, NY Info, 


Saturday, January 27, 4-6pm: Collage-making workshop with Chelsea Pettyjohn and Elizabeth Renstrom

Join Baxter St 2023 Mid Career Artist, Elizabeth Renstrom, and artist Chelsey Pettyjohn at 4 PM on January 27th for a collage making workshop using imagery from a fictional magazine titled Yummy (Teen Edition)—which Renstrom created in collaboration with designer Elena Foraker and writer Coralie Kraft.

Baxter Street at Camerta Club of New York, 128 Baxter Street, New York, NY Register



Saturday, January 27, 4:30: Alexis Rockman on Climate, Art and Technology

In conjunction with his solo exhibition of new watercolors The Toxic Sublime, Magenta Plains hosts Alexis Rockman in conversation with three scholars and artists all of whom operate at the intersection of art, technology, and climate. By utilizing Rockman’s new work as an entry point for the discussion, this conversation hopes to generate a dialogue about how each of these practitioners view the artist’s role in relation to the escalating climate crisis.

As one of the first and longest-working artists in the space of climate and environmentalism in fine art, Alexis Rockman is uniquely positioned to speak to the ongoing relationship between the environmental movement and the art world, and its growth through the decades. His specific brand of dystopian ecologically oriented painting is a key contribution to the climate futurist imaginary,

This solo exhibition of new watercolors by Rockman are conceived from unexpected perspectives, collapsing the boundary between the viewer and the world we inhabit. Examining the euphoria, psychedelia, and enchantment of experiencing nature, these works encourage the viewer to set aside fatalism in favor of an energetic defense of the environment. 

Magenta Plains, 149 Canal Street, New York, NY Info



Tuesday, January 30, 7–8:30 PM: Book Bans/Censorship

Across the country, book bans and challenges have reached record levels. Join an important and wide-ranging panel discussion on the matter with award-winning author Roxane Gay; Emily Drabinski, President of the American Library Association; Robert Pondiscio, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI); and Rahna Epting, Executive Director of MoveOn, who will explore why book bans are on the rise and what it means for censorship and democracy in America. Moderated by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times critic-at-large, Wesley Morris, this event is part of The Cooper Union’s Gardiner Foundation Great Hall Forum series.

Cooper Union, The Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY Register



Continuing: Godzilla | Echoes from ‘90s Asian American Arts Network 

This major exhibition exploring the history of Godzilla Asian American Arts Network, which was active in the 1990s, spans two gallery spaces and presents works by all of whom made their careers showing in alternative spaces. Above: Helen Oji, "Give and Take" (1994), oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches (courtesy Eric Firestone Gallery); below:Group portrait of some of the original members of Godzilla, published in the inaugural edition of their newsletter, Spring 1991. Photo by Tom Finkelpearl.


Godzilla founders—artists Bing Lee and Ken Chu, along with art historian Margo Machida—wanted to negotiate the visibility and representation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the art world. Godzilla functioned as a support structure and source of collective action for artists  whose goal was to establish a dynamic forum that would foster information exchange, mutual support, documentation and networking among its expanding numbers across the United States.

This comprehensive exhibition, while centered on a network, will ultimately look at individual artists and their unique voices, as well as stylistic development since the time of their involvement with Godzilla. It honors the open structure of Godzilla, allowing various themes to emerge, refusing any single unified aesthetic.

Eric Firestone Gallery, 40 Great Jones Street, New York, NY Info