the shed

Superblue Will Flood the World’s Art Capitals With Climate Change-Themed Immersive Art Experiences This Fall

Superblue, the immersive art experience offshoot of Pace Gallery that launched its own experiential art center in Miami this May, is bringing its signature high-tech spectacles to New York and London this fall.

First, an exhibition featuring DRIFT, the Dutch artist collective run by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Naut, touches down at the Shed in New York’s Hudson Yards in October. On view through December, the show is called “Fragile Futures.” It will present five newly commissioned works, collectively featuring sound art, kinetic sculpture, and film.

Though Superblue—and DRIFT—are known for crowd-pleasing fun, this time around the exhibition has a mission.

“This show will be a sequence of different spaces where people see different ways of connections between nature, technology, and between the space and themselves,” Gordijn told Midnight Publishing Group News. “We hear through our brains that the climate is in danger. We don’t really feel it. We don’t act.… I think it’s because we became numb for our environments. The direction that we want to take people is to bring them in contact with their environment, so that they can respond to it.”

DRIFT, <em>EGO</em> at Carré, Royal Theatre Amsterdam (2021). Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode, xourtesy of DRIFT.

DRIFT, EGO at Carré, Royal Theatre Amsterdam (2021). Photo by Ossip van Duivenbode, xourtesy of DRIFT.

Organized by Superblue senior curator Kathleen Forde, the show continues the collective’s “Drifters,” a series of screenings of films that depict immense concrete blocks levitating through the streets of New York City and other locations. As the film ends, a monumental concrete monolith appears inside the physical space, floating in the air in an apparent rejection of the laws of gravity. (It is actually a large balloon.)

“Fragile Futures” will also feature regular performances that bring additional additional floating blocks to the Shed’s massive four-story McCourt space, dancing in the air in a surreal display set to a soundtrack by Anohhi.

“What we would like to address is that change is actually something that is natural to us,” Gordijn added. “Although humanity has tried to block this out and build controlled environments, we are actually made to change and to constantly adapt to our environment. This is what we need to learn again, to be part of nature, to be adaptive to our space.”

DRIFT, DRIFTER at "Coded Nature," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018). Photo by Ronald Smits, courtesy of DRIFT.

DRIFT, DRIFTER at “Coded Nature,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018). Photo by Ronald Smits, courtesy of DRIFT.

Other installations in the exhibition include Coded Coincidence, featuring shimmering lights with movements echoing the flight pattern of elm seeds on the wind, and Ego, an ever-shifting hovering mass of hair-thin illuminated threads suspended in mid-air.

“DRIFT’s practice illuminates both the tensions and interplay between our man-made, natural, and emotional processes in ways that encourage us to more deeply consider our relationship to the world around us,” Superblue co-founder and CEO Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst said in a statement.

DRIFT’s New York outing with Superblue will also coincide with a November solo show at Pace’s Chelsea flagship, featuring sculptures from the collective’s “Materialism” series.

“It’s sometimes very hard to bring the right message in a group show, in a museum,” Gordijn said. “Superblue is actually the first organization or collective that helps artists that have these bigger ideas that don’t really fit into the current systems… It’s, for us, an incredible opportunity to finally be able to show our work in the way it was meant to be.”

Smoke rings emerge from a sculpture by Studio Swine as it is unveiled at the Eden Project in Bodelva, Cornwall. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

Smoke rings emerge from a sculpture by Studio Swine as it is unveiled at the Eden Project in Bodelva, Cornwall in 2018. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, in London, Superblue will be presenting the work of another group known for spectacular design, the Japanese-British duo Studio Swine. The Art Newspaper reports that the pop-up will take over the end of Pace’s lease on its Burlington Gardens space in London starting in October. (The gallery itself, and its more old-fashioned art program, is moving to Hanover Square.)

Studio Swine’s site-specific multi-sensory experience, Silent Fall, also happens to be about climate change. (The title is a play on the book Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, which kicked off the environmental movement.) It consists of an artificial forest installation that emits mist bubbles, enveloping viewers. The piece is meant to recall life evolving in the ocean at the dawn of time, as well as a possible future where real forests have gone extinct.

“DRIFT: Fragile Future” presented by Superblue and the Shed will be on view at the Shed, 545 West 30th Street, New York, September 29–December 19, 2021. Drifters performances will be held October 23 and 24; November 12–14, 19–21, and 26–28; and December 3–5, and 17–19 (additional dates to be announced).

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15 Events for Your Art Calendar This Week, From Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons to a Virtual Visit With Kenny Scharf

Each week, we search for the most exciting and thought-provoking shows, screenings, and events. In light of the global health crisis, we are currently highlighting events in person and digitally, as well as in-person exhibitions open in the New York area. See our picks from around the world below. (Times are all EST unless otherwise noted.)


Tuesday, March 2

Ja'Tovia Gary, THE GIVERNY SUITE, detail (2019). © Ja’Tovia Gary. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

Ja’Tovia Gary, THE GIVERNY SUITE, detail (2019). © Ja’Tovia Gary. Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

1. “When Did Video Become Art? On Surveillance” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

If you’re looking for a compact primer on how video moved from its origins in TV broadcasts and security cameras into the art-historical canon, then tune in to the next edition of the Whitney’s ongoing “Art History From Home” series. This week, artist, author, and lecturer Ayanna Dozier will use vital works by the likes of Andrea Fraser, Ja’Tovia Gary, Jill Magid, and others to walk viewers through video art’s complex relationship to our contemporary surveillance state, as well as how artists can use the medium to short-circuit the intrusive machinic gaze we now live under.

Price: Free with registration

Time: 6 p.m. 

—Tim Schneider


Kenny Scharf's Los Angeles studio. Photo courtesy of Kenny Scharf Studio.

Kenny Scharf’s Los Angeles studio. Photo courtesy of Kenny Scharf Studio.

2. “Kenny Scharf Virtual Visit” at RxART, New York

RxArt members can tune in for this virtual studio with Kenny Scharf, who will talk about projects such as his mural in the stairwell of the pediatric and adolescent psychiatric units at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. The street artist-turned-blue-chip darling will chat with dealer David Totah—tuning in from Scharf’s permanent FUNUNDERWORLD installation at his New York gallery—and RxArt founder Diane Brown.

Price: Free for Friends of RxART (membership is $100)
Time: 1 p.m.

—Tanner West 


Wednesday, March 3

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

3. “The Modern Portrait” hosted by the Philadelphia Show

As part of a monthly series, “New Conversations with the  Philadelphia Show,” University of Pennsylvania associate professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw and Philadelphia Museum of Art curator Jessica T. Smith highlight how 15 artists used portraiture to frame their perception of people and experiment with techniques, as well as to reflect on social issues.

Price: Free with registration.
Time: 5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

—Eileen Kinsella


Courtesy of the Helsinki Biennial.

Courtesy of the Helsinki Biennial.

4. “Helsinki Biennial Talks – Lecture by Dr. Paul O’Neill: The Biennial Impact” at the Helsinki Biennial

Irish curator, artist, writer, and educator Paul O’Neill will take a look at the worldwide proliferation of the art biennial over the past 20 years, with an eye toward covering “everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask” in the first virtual program for the inaugural Helsinki Biennial.

Price: Free
Time: 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

—Tanner West 


Mildred Thomas, <em> Construction </em> (c. 1973). Courtesy of Galerie Lelong.

Mildred Thomas, Construction (c. 1973). Courtesy of Galerie Lelong.

5. “Dialogues – Expanding the Legacy of Mildred Thompson” at Galerie Lelong, New York

In conjunction with its second solo exhibition of Mildred Thompson—a previously overlooked Black artist of the  Modernist era—”Throughlines, Assemblages and Works on Paper from the 1960s to the 1990s,” Galerie Lelong hosts the second event in its new “Dialogues” series, moderated by Melissa Messina, curator of the artist’s estate. The speakers include artist A’Driane Nieves, founder of Philadelphia’s Tessera Arts Collective, and Lauren Jackson Harris and Daricia Mia DeMarr, founders of Black Women in Visual Art.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 2 p.m.–3 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Thursday, March 4

Image courtesy of The Shed. Clockwise from top left: Howardena Pindell, Heather Hart, Shani Peters, Tiona Nekkia McClodden. Photos: Nathan Keay; Heather Hart; Texas Isaiah; Chanel Matsunami Govreau.

6. “Pindell’s Legacy: Artists/Activists/Educators” hosted by the Shed

This is your last chance to catch an installment of “Pindell’s Legacy,” a series of online talks exploring the work of artist Howardena Pindell. The talk, moderated by The Shed assistant curator Adeze Wilford, will feature Pindell alongside interdisciplinary artists Heather Hart, Shani Peters, and Tiona Nekkia McClodden. “Pindell’s Legacy” has run in tandem with “Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water,” a video project by the artist that was unrealized since the 1970s. Through a mix of personal anecdotes and historical data, Pindell’s first video in over 25 years explores racism, the history of lynching in the US, and the healing power of art. If you’re in the New York area, you can catch the show in-person at The Shed through March 28.

Price: Free with registration.
Time: 6:30 p.m.

—Katie Rothstein


Courtesy of a Blade of Grass

Courtesy of A Blade of Grass.

7. “Making Change Now: Contextualizing Cancel Culture, Hyper-Partisanship, and the Politics of Progress” at a Blade of Grass, New  York

After an organizational restructuring that winnowed the staff of A Blade of Grass to just one—director Deborah Fisher—the nonprofit kicks off its new season of programming with community organizer and cultural worker Scot Nakagawa and racial justice and human rights expert Loretta J. Ross. The two will discuss the influence of the media and the ways in which it helps drive partisan divisions within society, and how people’s consumption of media shapes their beliefs.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Sandhya Kochar. Photo courtesy of Sandhya Kochar. Torkwase Dyson. Photo by Gabe Souza. Ann Hamliton. Photo by Calista Lyon.

Sandhya Kochar, Torkwase Dyson, Ann Hamilton. Photos by Gabe Souza and Calista Lyon.

8. “Torkwase Dyson in Conversation with Ann Hamilton and Sandhya Kochar” at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio

The Wexner continues its “Diversities in Practice” talk series with Torkwase Dyson, the museum’s residency award recipient, who will speak about her work with Ohio State art professor Ann Hamilton and architecture lecturer Sandhya Kochar.

Price: Free with RSVP
Time: 7 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


George Mumford. Nadia Hallgren. Photo by JJ Medina.

George Mumford, Nadia Hallgren. Photo by JJ Medina.

9. “Lens Mix 4: Nadia Hallgren and George Mumford” at FotoFocus, Cincinnati

FotoFocus’s LensMix conversation series returns with filmmaker Nadia Hallgren and sports coach George Mumford, who will discuss overcoming professional boundaries facing African Americans to work with the likes of Michelle Obama and Kobe Bryant.

Price: Free with registration
Time: 6 p.m.

—Nan Stewert

Thursday, March 4–Sunday, March 14

Sophie Kahn, <em>The Divers VI</em>. Courtesy of the artist.

Sophie Kahn, The Divers VI. Courtesy of the artist.

10. “Sophie Kahn: Dematerialized” on Mozilla Hubs

Nearly a year after lockdown cancelled her exhibition “Dematerialized” at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Sophie Kahn is finally debuting the show, albeit in dramatically altered form, staged in the world of VR. The artist has recreated both the physical space and the works themselves, which were 3-D printed sculptures based on scans of live models in different poses. You can book a virtual tour where Kahn will guide your avatar through the interactive 3-D experience, in which sculptures expand and levitate off their pedestals as you approach. (A VR headset is recommended, but optional, to experience the show.)

Price: Free with registration
Time: Opening, 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., and by virtual appointment

—Sarah Cascone


Friday, March  5

Illustration by franzidraws. Courtesy of the Design Museum Everywhere.

Illustration by franzidraws. Courtesy of the Design Museum Everywhere.

11. “Design’s Role in Equity: Diversity in Action Preview Workshop” at the Design Museum Everywhere, Boston

The Design Museum Everywhere is hosting a free workshop to preview its “Diversity in Action” training program, a three-month course hosted by its director of learning and interpretation, Diana Navarrete-Rackauckas with the aim of illustrating the role design plays in equity.

Price: Free with RSVP
Time: 1 p.m.–2 p.m.

—Nan Stewert


Through Saturday, March 6

"Joyce Pensato: Fuggetabout It (Redux)" installation view (2021). Photo courtesy of Petzel.

“Joyce Pensato: Fuggetabout It (Redux),” installation view (2021). Photo courtesy of Petzel.

12. “Joyce Pensato Fuggetabout It (Redux)” at Petzel, New York

In 2011, Joyce Pensato was evicted from her East Williamsburg studio after 32 years. She turned her legal defeat into art, staging a critically acclaimed exhibition at Petzel featuring hundreds of paint-splattered objects from her former workspace. She showed the installation in two other iterations during her lifetime; now, her estate has worked with the gallery to stage a “Redux” version, accompanied by the late artists’s “eyeball” paintings, based on characters such as Elmo and Felix the Cat.

Location: Petzel, 456 West 18th Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Saturday, March 6

Guests at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Art + Feminism at MoMA. Photo by Manuel Molina Martagon, courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

Guests at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Art + Feminism at MoMA. Photo by Manuel Molina Martagon, courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

13. “The Met x Wikipedia Virtual Edit Meet-up: Women’s History Month” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Met is one of 57 institutions around the world holding an Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon for Women’s History Month. Edit-a-thons look to add information about women artists to the free online encyclopedia to boost efforts to bridge the gender gap in the art world. The Wikimedia NYC chapter will provide lists of artists and artworks, as well as training on editing and creating articles. Tune in on Facebook or YouTube to watch, or sign up on the Wikipedia Meetup page.

Price: Free
Time: 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

—Sarah Cascone


Through Saturday, March 27

Jordan Kasey, Storm, 2020 Courtesy of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

14. “Jordan Kasey: The Storm” at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York City

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery presents “The Storm,” Jordan Kasey’s third solo show with the gallery. The show consists of eight new large-scale paintings with the artist’s signature figures that take up the entirety of the surface. The paintings depict slices of loneliness: a solo man with an umbrella, a figure lit up with lightning, which leaves the viewer to wonder if the storm is literal internal. Light and shadow is used to create the feeling that something is looming just out of view, giving each work a surreal, dreamlike quality.

Location: Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, 7 Franklin Place, New York
Time: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

—Neha Jambhekar


Through Saturday, March 20 

Installation view "Eric Standley: Songs for the Living," 2020. Courtesy of Dinner Gallery.

Installation view “Eric Standley: Songs for the Living,” 2020. Courtesy of Dinner Gallery.

15. “Eric Standley: Songs for the Living” at Dinner Gallery

Made of scrupulously arranged layers of multicolor laser-cut paper, Eric Standley’s intricate works bring to mind mandalas, Gothic architectural webs, and the delicate carvings common to Islamic prayer niches. Though newly made, Standley calls the work artifacts because, for him, the act of assembling them is akin to an act of discovering—as though the forms already exist out in the world, and he has happened upon them. Set against bright, geometric forms painted onto the gallery walls, the exhibition has the feel of a sanctum, a place with reverence for complexity, study, and moments of peaceful contemplation.

Location: Dinner Gallery, 242 West 22nd Street, New York
Price: Free
Time: By appointment, Tuesday–Saturday

—Katie White

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