This Week in Art 2.13-2.19: Inescapable Politics

Protest at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Terminal 4, in New York City, against Donald Trump’s executive order signed in January 2017 banning citizens of seven countries from traveling to the United States. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Every week it seems there is more and more political news finding its way into these roundups. This week it comes in the form of a petition, signed by hundreds of artists, galleries, museums, critics and curators, against President Trump’s executive order suspending refugee entry and temporarily banning citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Signed by Kara Walker, Barbara Kruger, Pierre Huyghe, Catherine Opie, Mark Dion, critic/curator Philip Tinari, Joan Jonas, and art history professor Douglas Crimp among a growing list, the petition states, “Our field is dependent upon international collaboration and cross-cultural exchange, and these cross-border and cross-cultural collaborations benefit the general public; the ban thus affects all of us.”

Also this week:

Events & exhibitions

New York City

Waltham, MA

  • Tommy Hartung is opening a new solo exhibition at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum this Friday. Titled King Solomon’s Minesthe exhibition features work created specifically for the Rose, as Hartung “extends his investigation of mythmaking and storytelling tied to powers of surveillance, wealth, and politics.”


  • Last week Slought opened the exhibition Second Life, a project that explores thresholds in previously unfinished works about social and institutional boundaries. Featuring Krzysztof Wodiczko’s City Hall Tower Illumination (1987), the exhibition is on view through March 23.

San Marino, CA

  • This is the last week to see Lari Pittman’s Mood Books, an exhibition consisting of six large-scale art books that contain 65 hallucinogenic paintings styled after illuminated manuscripts. Mood Books closes a week from today on February 20 at The Huntington Library.

San Francisco


  • Marian Goodman Gallery is opening its first ever pop-up shop, selling a variety of products inspired and designed by John Baldessari, with prices starting at £1. The shop will be open for six days beginning this Saturday.

Edinburgh, UK

  • This is the last week to see the exhibition William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland: Conversations in letters and lines at Fruitmarket Gallery. Bringing together the work of two of South Africa’s most acclaimed visual artists, this exhibition foregrounds their forty-year friendship, and closes this Sunday, February 19. [Read a review in Apollo.]

Stockholm, Sweden

  • A new exhibition by Marina Abramović is opening this Saturday at Moderna Museet. Titled The Cleaner, the survey is on view through May 21 and includes early works through to today, in the form of film, photography, paintings and objects, installations and select archival material.

Zurich, Switzerland

  • Also opening this Saturday is a solo exhibition by Liz Magor at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst. It’s the first extensive exhibition of the artist’s work in Switzerland, and is titled you you you, on view through May 7.

It’s impossible to include all the incredible exhibitions and art events happening this week in a single post. If there’s something you feel should have been included in today’s roundup, leave a comment below!