8 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before July 27

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SATURDAY | Performance: Mahmoud Ahmed at Pioneer Works


Premiere: “Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos” at the Parrish Art Museum
The artists Tucker Marder and Christian Scheider will debut a performance based on the expansive 1984 play by that rascally Vonnegut, a former resident of nearby Sagaponack. —Nate Freeman
Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, 6 p.m.


Museum Bars

An M. Wells in the Sky: MoMA PS1 Opens a Boozy New Outpost of the Beloved Restaurant on the Roof


M. Wells Dinette, the stellar eatery at MoMA PS1, occupies the old cafeteria at the former school, and evokes universal childhood memories: waiting in line patiently, tray in hand, listening to the cafeteria ladies, generally following the rules. But a new collaboration between the budding Long Island City restaurant empire and the MoMA outpost seems less buttoned up than the fancy place downstairs, with a bar cart and summery rooftop vibes—it perhaps reminds one of the places in school where you can sneak away from teachers and sneak a cigarette. Read More

On View

‘James Lee Byars: 1/2 an Autobiography’ at MoMA PS1

'The World Flag' (1991) by James Lee Byars. (Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery)

In an art world painfully short on eccentricity, James Lee Byars (1932–1997) stands out as an exemplar of outré thinking—an unrelenting performer, sculptor, writer, flâneur, operator, mystic … the list could go on. A master of fly-by-night beauty—ephemeral performances and is-that-art? activities—he ensured that no show will ever entirely encapsulate his protean career, but this elegant and spacious retrospective, organized by Peter Eleey of MoMA PS1 and Magalí Arriola of Mexico City’s Museo Jumex (where the show originated), offers a piquant look at his thrilling achievements. Read More

On View

Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1

'Self-Portrait Under Plastic'  (1972) by Lassnig. (Photo ©Peter Cox, courtesy Collection de Bruin-Heijn)

At nearly 95 years of age, Austrian-born painter Maria Lassnig is having her first museum show in the United States. Like Philip Guston, Ms. Lassnig turned to figuration in the 1960s after a period of abstraction. Like Alice Neel, she has painted herself as a naked old woman holding a paintbrush; unlike Neel, Ms. Lassnig is usually alone in her paintings and brutally self-lacerating in her art. Read More


The Holy Fool From Oberhausen: Christoph Schlingensief’s Riotous Art Comes to New York


“Tötet Helmut Kohl” (“Kill Helmut Kohl”) read the banner that got German artist Christoph Schlingensief arrested. It was 1997, and the sign aimed at the conservative chancellor was part of his project for Documenta, the prestigious quinquennial art festival in Kassel, Germany. He could have gotten off the hook by telling the authorities it was “just art,” but he and the young curator backing him had other plans. Read More


Stark Realities

Stark with a still from her 2013 video 'Bobby Jesus’s Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention Is Free.' (Photo by Charles Roussel)

After taking the stage to warm applause at MoMA P.S. 1’s Performance Dome on Sunday afternoon, the artist Frances Stark held up a little tissue. “I have a Kleenex, just in case,” she said with a sad smile.

Ms. Stark, who is probably best known for the funny, strangely moving videos she has been making over the past few years with transcripts of online chats that she has with strangers, was at P.S. 1 to give a lecture about her longtime mentor, Mike Kelley, who killed himself in 2012 and is now the subject of a galvanizing and almost unanimously praised retrospective that fills every gallery in the museum, as well as quite a few of its hallways and stairwells. She had titled the talk “Complex Education: Paying Homage.” Read More

On View

Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1

'The Banana Man, 1983. (Courtesy MoMA PS1)

In 1995, the Los Angeles-based artist Mike Kelley, who passed away last year, created Educational Complex, a piece that reconstructs, in architect’s foam board, a model of all the schools he attended, combining them to form one giant, city-size imaginary facility. He hated school, so it is fitting that his posthumous retrospective should be a subversion of all 40,000 square feet of exhibition space at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, a former public school in Queens. The vast show, curated by the Stedelijk Museum’s Ann Goldstein, consists of some 270 howling, scatological, and often poignant and powerful works. Read More