Weekly Roundup

Liz Magic Laser. "The Thought Leader," installation view, 2015. Single-channel video, running time: 8 min. Featuring actor Alex Ammerman. Courtesy the artist and Various Small Fires.

Liz Magic Laser. “The Thought Leader,” installation view, 2015. Single-channel video, running time: 8 min. Featuring actor Alex Ammerman. Courtesy the artist and Various Small Fires.

The U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program selects a new class of Medal of Arts recipients, Liz Magic Laser creates a fictional TED talk, and work by ART21-featured artists included in exhibitions throughout the world in this week’s roundup.

Artist stages fake TED talk

Liz Magic Laser presents new video works for The Thought Leader at Various Small Fires (Los Angeles, CA), including (2015) and My Mind is My Own (2015), which are installed alongside related props and sculptures. For the show the artist created a fictional TED talk out of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Notes From Underground.” Closes February 21.

Art in Embassies awards artists

Julie Mehretu, Maya Lin, and Mark Bradford have been selected by the State Department’s Art in Embassies (AIE) program to receive a Medal of Arts. The program brings artwork to over 200 American consulates and embassies around the world as part of the State Departments efforts to promote cultural diplomacy. Secretary of State John Kerry will bestow the medals on the artists at a ceremony held in Washington, DC, on January 21.

Retrospective opens in four Houston venues

Mel Chin was interviewed by Molly Glentzer for the Houston Chronicle in conjunction with Rematch, a retrospective opening at four venues—the Blaffer Art Museum, Asia Society Texas Center, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art—with an adjunct show at Art League Houston. The shows include works made from about 1974 to the present. On view starting January 17.

200-year survey of African American art

Works by Martin Puryear, Carrie Mae Weems, and Glenn Ligon are featured in Represent: 200 Years of African American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA). The exhibition explores the evolving ways in which African American artists have expressed personal, political, and racial identity through paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, and prints as well as furniture, ceramics, silver, and textiles. Closes April 5.

Women artists explore utopia and dystopia

Herland at 60 Wall Gallery, Deutsche Bank (New York, NY) includes works by Cao Fei, Judy Pfaff, Carrie Mae Weems and other women artists. The show’s loosely references a 1915 novel of the same name by pioneering American feminist and sociologist, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and touches on themes of cultural hybridity, memory and transformation, nature and landscape, and personal and collective identity. Closes March 17.

Exploring human flaws as sites of interest

Work by Cindy Sherman is included in Fetching Blemish at Invisible-Exports (New York, NY). This group exhibition of portraiture and figurative work addresses human flaws as sites of revelation and distinction, and “revels in flaws, deformities and the grotesque, rendering or expressing internal conflicts and anxieties,” as a portal of identity and self-horror as a form of self-recognition. Closes February 15.

Group show features printmaking

Works by Richard Tuttle, Elizabeth Murray, and Kiki Smith are included in the Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) Group Show at Talley Dunn Gallery (Dallas, TX). The exhibition features lithographs and intaglio prints as well as recently a completed project by Tuttle created in collaboration with master printmakers at ULAE. Closes March 7.

Open-ended performances in Houston

Oliver Herring‘s Areas for Action is on view at DiverseWorks (Houston, TX) from January 21 through March 7. This accumulative exhibition consists of “daily performances, improvisatory sculptures, and real-time collaborative artworks created on-site with different groups of volunteers over several weeks.” Visitors are invited to participate or simply observe. Herring will give an artist’s talk on January 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Exploring theater photography in Italy

Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s self-titled exhibition at Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Italy) includes previously unseen photographs from the Theaters series, including Cinema Teatro Nuovo (2014), a shot of the former cinema-theatre in San Gimignano where the gallery is based.

Exploring the sculpture and drawing relationship

Arlene Shechet: Blockbuster will be on view at Lora Reynolds Gallery (Austin, TX). This exhibition of sculpture and drawing by Arlene Shechet is inspired by working with clay and, according to the artist, “The things that I build…grow over months because I might be able to add only one inch of material in a day.” On view January 24–March 21.

Contemporary art in a digital world

Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley will present work in “Not Really”: Fictive Narratives in Contemporary Art at the Castle Gallery at The College of New Rochelle (New Rochelle, NY). The show is an “artistic exploration of the illusory, fabricated, and contrived nature of our mediated and digitalized contemporary world,” through painting, sculpture, installation, video, and photography. On view January 27–April 19.