Swag Sause: Your Guide To This Weekend’s Best Art Events in NYC

“You a bad girl and your friends bad, too. You got the swag sause, you dripping Swagu.” Well that’s how I’m feeling this weekend, anyway. So let’s swag our butts out of the apartment together and get to some of these openings. This weekend: a special multimedia emphasis.

Thursday April 11, 2013

Beginnings – “Hyperbolic” opening – 7-10pm

“First there was Da Vinci, then Picasso and now there is Matt Leines.” So reads the press release for this overview of painter Matt Leines’s work, and let’s just say the bar has officially been set. While the gallery may only be matching the show’s hyperbolic themes with their own language, we’ll take them on their word that here’s a Western-art-shattering exhibition to get our weekend started.

ClampArt – “Amsterdam” opening – 6-8pm

In honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival on the island of Manhattan, Joshua Lutz and three other photographers received a commission to take photographs of … Amsterdam. The result is, well, “Amsterdam,” an evocative and sometimes-somber photography series shot mostly on the outskirts of the hash-shrouded city. Mull this oblique homage to New York before stepping out onto its more palpable streets for the rest of your evening.

The Kitchen – “My Mother Laughs” performance – 7-9pm

Always-interesting performance and installation space The Kitchen opens its doors to the public for free for a reading from Chantal Akerman’s “My Mother Laughs,” a piece about her elderly mother’s shifting daily routine. After the reading visitors will be invited to a special preview of Akerman’s video installation “Maniac Shadows,” which opens on Friday.

Friday April 12, 2013

109 Gallery – Closing reception and performance – 7-10pm

“I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now” has has a run since late March in the 109 space, featuring both an ongoing installation from various artists and a shifting series of performances. Tonight the exhibition closes with a double-whallop reception and performance from Ryan Krause and Alex Hall. Make sure not to miss the pair for the effervescent-sounding “I am sitting in a room.“ Don’t judge a book by its title.

Nicole Klagsbrun – “Portraits, Maps, Texts” opening – 6-8pm

For his new exhibit, Ben Durham started from an unusual place: Mug shots of friends from childhood. After long searches on the internet for those, Durham created a series of drawings of the figures, coupled with texts that call to mind everything Durham remembers about the figures form his past. Check back in May for Durham’s collaboration with sound artist Robert Beatty, which layers vocals on top of his textured work.

The powerHouse Arena – “What Is/ What Matters” opening reception – 6-8pm

Down Under the Manhattan Bridge this Friday there’s a hot showcase of work from the students of Pratt’s BFA in Photography. Show up for the work from the school’s up-and-comers. Come back later in the run for a closing talk from the ever-interesting Kathy Ryan, director of photography at The New York Times Magazine. I’ll be all like: “How you make money for snapping with the photograph machine?”

Saturday April 13, 2013

Bureau – “History Works” opening – 6-8pm

For his new sculpture show, sculpture artist B. Wurtz collaborates with high-brow online literary magazine Triple Canopy. In the exhibit hall, a series of three new sculptures are surrounded by objects that inspire and speak back to them––from balls of twine to shrunken human heads––while a series of pictures distorts the sculptures. Meanwhile, online, Triple Canopy will run a version of the work, raising further questions of distortion and honesty in Wurtz’s work.

0.00156 Acres – “Found in Nature” opening – 7-9pm

To collect material for his photographs, Barry Rosenthal trolls beaches and marshes, doing his hardest labour shortly after storms. There, he finds heaps of trash––from cutlery to old plastic shoes––which he arranges into elegant and soothing symmetrical photos. Sit back, enjoy, and ask yourself whether the works evoke pleasant sensations or fears of an earth slowly destroyed by our own garbage.