9 ART EVENTS TO ATTEND IN NEW YORK CITY THIS WEEK
Opening: Adriana Varejão at Lehmann Maupin
Adriana Varejão’s jarring abstractions look at the ugliness that lies underneath our everyday lives—the colonialist implications of everyday objects and the way identity is coded into them. In the past, the Brazilian artist has made sculptural works in which tiles from the Baroque period are blown open, revealing blood and guts underneath them; the beauty of colonialist structures is quite literally built on violence. But tiles, for Varejão, refer to the structures that guide life, and so, in her new works, Varejão will combine allusions to Minimalism, a style based on constructions, with Native American motifs. In new paintings, these visual motifs are laid over her face, making her image a toss-up of symbols that create identity. Meanwhile, in new works from her “Mimbres” series, Varejão continues making art about a New Mexican people that make pottery using a crackled technique. The picture plane quite literally bursts open, in reference to how forms are unstable when cultures come together.