TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
Party: Legacy Bash at the American Folk Art Museum
The American Folk Art Museum is here to liven up your cold and dreary winter with a historically themed costume party. Escape the cold with a Victorian-era soiree that boasts “period-themed refreshments, entertainment, music, and more.” Prizes for the best 19th century costumes should inspire you to get in the spirit. — Alanna Martinez
American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, New York, 7-10 p.m., $50 Members, $60 Non-members
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18
Opening: “Aaron Johnson: PISOCKOPHILIA, New Painting” at 57 STUX + HALLER
New York artist Aaron Johnson debuts Pisocko, a monster Picasso of his own creation, and his “demoiselle-esque” muse, in his newest paintings. “PISOCKOPHILIA” will feature Mr. Johnson’s “sock paintings,” where the sock plays the role of ready-made and is utilized as a relief sculpture on the surface of the canvas, juxtaposed with his older “reverse painted acrylic polymer peel paintings,” for which he is best-known. There’s so much going on in each painting, that perhaps the press release teaser is all that’s needed to entice: “Bleeding hearts throb in lusty couples sharing coffee and toast, or pizza and wine, as lovers endure dismemberments of their flesh-rotting bodies.” — A.M.
57 STUX + HALLER, 24 West 57th Street, New York, 5:30-8p.m.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Opening: “Alice Neel: Drawings and Watercolors 1927-1978” at David Zwirner
Here we get a show of drawings and watercolors by the 20th Century giant of figurative portraiture. It should be a bit of sunshine in the midst of cloudy 7-degree weather. — Nate Freeman
David Zwirner, 537 West 20th Street, New York, 6-8 p.m.
Opening: “Configured: An Exhibition Featuring 2014 NYFA Fellowship Finalists at Onishi Project’s Innovators Showcase” at Onishi Project
Work by several of the newly announced 2014 NYFA Fellowship finalists will go on view at Onishi Project in this group exhibition. Competition for NYFA fellowships is high; this year alone there were 4117 applications which resulted in 93 fellows, three collaborations, and 15 finalists. The seven artists in this show will exhibit work across a broad range of mediums, from digital electronic media to ceramics. In conjunction with the show, there will be a Meet the Artist celebration on Saturday, February 28, and a professional development workshop with NYFA staff who will present information about the Artist Fellowship program on February 24. — A.M.
Onishi Project, 521 West 26th Street, New York, 6-8 p.m.
Opening: “Joyce Pensato: Castaway” at Petzel Gallery
Brooklyn native Joyce Pensato will show new paintings, drawings, and a series of digital c-prints of wall collages done in her studio space. Cartoon and comic characters feature heavily in her drawings and paintings, the familiar faces and iconic shapes of Batman, Mickey Mouse, and Homer Simpson acting as Ms. Pensato’s vehicle for new explorations in color. And for the first time, viewers will get a glimpse into her studio and career through the c-prints—they’ve never been shown publicly. — A.M.
Petzel Gallery, 456 West 18th Street, New York, 6-8 p.m.
Opening: “Lynn Hershman Leeson: Origins of the Species” at Bridget Donahue
It’s the inaugural exhibition at the new space run by Bridget Donahue, the much-beloved former director at Gavin Brown’s enterprise who left last year to open her own eponymous gallery on the Bowery. The subject of the first show is the filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose work Randy Kennedy eloquently likened, in The Times last week, to a critique of Hume by Isaiah Berlin. Which is to say that her work deals with the strings and lack of strings that bind us to history, and that it’s wonderful to see. — N.F.
Bridget Donahue, 99 Bowery, 2nd Floor, New York, 6-8 p.m.
Performance: “Mixology: HOWDOYOUSAYAMINAFRICAN?” at Roulette
The Yams collective is comprised of a group of artists of the African diaspora who live and work together, and notably stirred controversy when it withdrew from the 2014 Whitney Biennial in protest to Joe Scanlan’s film “Donelle Woolford.” As part of MIXOLOGY 2015, it will show a multipart film that reimagines the traditional opera structure through an abstracted spoken, chanted, sung, and screamed original score recorded in the collective’s studio. A central theme to the work is “What happens to the black body when it is haunted by a ‘blackness’ outside of it?” — A.M.
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 8 p.m., $15 General Admission, $10 Members/Students/Seniors, $5 Series Members
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20
Opening: “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” at Brooklyn Museum
The bombastic hip-hop Renaissance renderings of Kehinde Wiley get ready for their close-up with a much-anticipated show at the other borough’s biggest institution. And he’s got a few new tricks up his sleeve, including six stained-glass windows and some busts that come straight outta the French Enlightenment. — N.F.
The Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Opening: “Alan Vega: Welcome to Wyoming” at Invisible-Exports
I can’t help but think of Alan Vega first and foremost as the lead singer of Suicide, and the ultimate Ghost Rider Motorcycle Hero. But he’s also a celebrated and accomplished visual artist: he studied under Ad Reinhardt at Brooklyn College, Barbara Gladstone represented him for decades, Deitch Projects mounted a show of his work in 2002, and in 2009 he was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon. The show at Invisible-Exports will be his first in New York in over a decade. And if for some reason you were thinking about skipping it, here’s a nutso quote from Mr. Vega in the press release: “I used to go out to the Bowery and draw these old guys. Always done while I’m blitzed. Never touch them straight. I write like that, too. Some things come out of me that would never come out of me straight. Never. The sculptures I would never do any other way but straight. That’s dangerous shit, man.” — N.F.
Invisible-Exports, 89 Eldridge Street, New York, 6-8 p.m.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Opening: “Augustus Thompson: You’re Somebody I’m Trying to Get Over” at 55 Gansevoort
One of the most promising of the young turks involved with the Red Hook-based Still House Collective, Augustus Thompson will present a performance in the tiny gallery steps away from where the new Whitney will be come May. No word on what will go down, but 55 Gansevoort proprietress Ellie Rines tells me, provocatively, “Bring gloves.” — N.F.
55 Gansevoort, 55 Gansevoort Street, New York, 7 p.m.
Opening: “Andrew Kuo and Scott Reeder: It Gets Beta” at Marlborough Chelsea
This is the kind of loopy pairing that, after a few seconds of confusion, instantly makes perfect sense. Andrew Kuo is the king of cats-as-humans Instagram who makes cleanly abstract works with geometric repetition and day-glo shades. Scott Reeder is partial to text-based monochromes but spent 11 years making a goofy, ultra campy feature-length film, a space romp called Moon Dust. The duo was masterminded by Jake Palmert, the co-owner of Green Gallery in Milwaukee, and in addition to the show in Chelsea, they’ve set up a nightclub called Thinkers in the Marlborough Broome Street space. Swing by for a drink after the opening, as something deliciously strange will inevitably happen. — N.F.
Marlborough Chelsea, 545 West 25th Street, New York, 6-8 p.m. and Marlborough Broom Street, 331 Broome Street, New York, 8-10 p.m.
Opening: “Brad Troemel: On View: Selections from the Troemel Collection” at Zach Feuer Gallery
It can be rather fun when Brad Troemel indulges in his pranksterish tendencies. And now we have this: Mr. Troemel has been collecting works by a subspecies he calls the “celebrity-turned-artist,” or CTA. Yes, he’s spent time and money buying “art” made by various public figures who are certainly not visual artists in the strictest sense, but still make often quite futile attempts to that aim. “Simultaneously an art object, a memorabilia item, and a hyper-intimate autograph, CTA works…are a highly potent bundle of commodities nestled within themselves, able to be extracted individually or allowed to appreciate in value simultaneously as a diversified portfolio,” he writes by way of explanation. It’s worth stopping by just to see who exactly he’s collected. — N.F.
Zach Feuer Gallery, 548 West 22nd Street, New York, 6-8 p.m.