Tired of hate-watching reality TV? Same here. Luckily, these days there’s an extra plentiful selection of visual art you can view from the comfort of your own tower of self-isolation. With today’s public launch of Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms, art lovers all over the world now have an opportunity to view works that were previously planned for the Hong Kong iteration of the prestigious art fair. (Originally scheduled to begin March 19, the fair was canceled last month due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.) To accompany your virtual visit to the fair, we’ve gathered several other online exhibitions worth checking out. While the viewing conditions may be new to some, engaging with these standout artists and artworks is well worth the learning curve as we adjust to our new normal.
Carmen Argote: Me at Market, Commonwealth & Council, Art Basel Viewing Rooms (through March 25)
As someone who was sad to miss Argote’s 2019 show at the New Museum, I found this viewing room a delightful opportunity to take in some of the LA-based artist’s richly textured canvases. Often incorporating organic and regionally specific materials — such as cochineal, avocado, lemon juice, and iron — Argote’s work is deeply tied to notions of home and place and her own experience as an immigrant in the US. Her interdisciplinary works are informed by architecture, the environment, and histories of labor and colonialism, and offer tactile impressions of the varied landscapes where her practice has taken her, including residencies and back to her native Guadalajara. —Dessane Lopez Cassell
Pairing the works of Purvis Young, a Miami-born outsider artist, and Édouard Vuillard, a French Les Nabis artist, Shin Gallery’s modest viewing space makes for an ideal digital experience. In the back corner of the gallery, two walls bear dozens of paintings by Young — who created voraciously and often — fit together like puzzle pieces. Eazel’s platform allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal with Young’s painterly experimental artworks. You see his use of materials like wood, his obsessive repetition; the same similar face is reiterated again and again, in different hues and sizes, sometimes haloed, alongside long-legged animals and other silhouettes. Two small drawings by Vuillard hang opposite more imposing works by Young, their works in conversation for their ambiguous, hurried brushstrokes and unique modes of representation. —Jasmine Weber
Co-curated by Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen, this online exhibition starts off by asking a question that I’m sure is on many folks’ minds at the moment. Described by the curators as a “a platform for the exchange of ideas at this time of crisis,” this exhibition includes a compelling group of artists — including Amir H. Fallah, Aziz + Cucher, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Zhao Zhao — all of whom present work that responds to climates of uncertainty. For as the curators remind us “art offers solace or has instigated resistance and rebellion.” —Dessane Lopez Cassell
Regarding the title of his first solo exhibition with a New York gallery, Nicholas Galanin explains, “to carry the songs of Indigenous people, to carry the songs of the land, is inherently disruptive of the national anthem.” This expansive show brings together work of varying mediums primarily concerned with the experiences of Indigenous folks in the United States, and the precarity and violence of assimilation after colonialism. His woven textile work, “White Noise, American Prayer Rug” (2018), featured here, was a fan favorite in the most recent Whitney Biennial. Installed nearby is “The Imaginary Indian (Totem Pole)” (2016), which clings to a wall. The hanging totem, covered by Victorian wallpaper, is a poignant commentary on assimilation in a nation that has been diligent in its attempts to violently stamp out Indigenous cultures. —Jasmine Weber
Music by late Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg provides an aggressively ominous soundtrack to Josephine Meckseper’s somber Pellea[s], a 42-minute film now streaming on Timothy Taylor’s website after premiering at the Whitney Museum in 2018. As the black-and-white film begins, we watch droves of soldiers march in unison through the streets of Washington on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, DC, as a narrator, an army man, opines: “The city looked like the setting of a tragedy.” The film, inspired by Maurice Maeterlinck’s Symbolist play, Pelléas and Mélisande, vacillates between a tormented romance; the 2017 Women’s March; and the preceding presidential inauguration, the latter of which is presented as a parallel to the rise of 20th-century European fascism. —Jasmine Weber
An oldie but an extremely comprehensive goodie, this years-long project curated by Rhizome’s Aria Dean highlights and preserves 100 works of “net art,” which the nonprofit describes as “a field characterized by broad participation, diverse practices, promiscuous collaboration, and rapidly shifting formal and aesthetic standards.” Organized in partnership with Rhizome’s digital preservation department, the online exhibition, an accompanying anthology, and a related exhibition at the New Museum, The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics, chart a layered and rich history of the internet via artworks both born of and in response to it. —Dessane Lopez Cassell