Art Criticism & Agendas: Soft Talk & Solidarity

A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY

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A conversation with Annie Godfrey Larmon and Leslie Dick, moderated by Mira Dayal

A.I.R. Gallery and SOHO20 are pleased to announce a collaborative programming series, Art Criticism & Agendas, to be held at both spaces this spring, as a conceptual extension of SOHO20’s “Rethinking Feminism” initiative. Art Criticism & Agendas will consider how different writers position their criticism as an act of solidarity, for whom, and on what terms. In one of its earliest uses, solidarity—a complicated term whose meaning has shifted over time—was tied to the concept of debt, signifying that each involved party could be held financially responsible for another. By implication, mutual support was a kind of social obligation. In thinking about this logic with respect to criticism, what does it mean to have an “agenda” while writing? While “having an agenda” is usually seen as a detriment or conflict, these conversations will consider how this implied level of planning and obligation might be productive for feminist objectives.

The first panel in the series, Art Criticism & Agendas: Soft Talk & Solidarity, on April 14th at A.I.R. Gallery, features Annie Godfrey Larmon and Leslie Dick, moderated by SOHO20 Curatorial Fellow Mira Dayal. The two terms in this panel’s title, “soft talk” and “solidarity,” are key to Larmon’s recent essay “Dirt is Clean When There is a Volume,” published in apricota, and Dick’s “Soft Talk,” published in X-TRA. Both Larmon and Dick suggest, in different contexts, that critique is a method of support, but that support should generate both tension and discovery. Both writers also contend with other artists’, professors’, institutions’, or authorities’ responses to the described critical approaches.

Attendees will be invited to read these selected essays in advance for context, although all are welcome to thoughtfully respond to the discussion regardless of preparation.

Read “Dirt is Clean When There is a Volume” by Annie Godfrey Larmon here.
Read “Soft Talk” by Leslie Dick here.

Annie Godfrey Larmon is a writer and editor based in New York. Her writing has appeared in apricota, Artforum, BBC Culture, Bookforum, CURA., Even, Frieze, MAY, The Miami Rail, Spike, Texte zur Kunst, Topical Cream, Vdrome, WdW Review, and The White Review. The recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for short-form writing, she is the editor of publications for the inaugural Okayama Art Summit and a former international reviews editor of Artforum. Last year, she was a writer in residence at the LUMA Foundation in Arles, France and at Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy. She is currently at work on her first novel and a monograph on the work of Beverly Pepper.

Leslie Dick is a writer who has taught in the Art Program at CalArts since 1992. Currently she also works as a Visiting Critic in Sculpture at Yale School of Art. She published two novels and a book of short fiction, and her writing on art has appeared in various magazines, journals, and catalogues. Recent publications include: “Soft Talk: Thoughts on Critique,” X-TRA; “Marisa Merz: Unavailable,” X-TRA; and “Intentional Accidents: Reflections on Sarah Charlesworth’s Stills,” X-TRA. Her piece “The Interpretation of Dreams” was reprinted in Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative Writing 1977-1997, eds. Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian (Nightboat, 2017).

Mira Dayal is an artist, critic, and curator based in New York. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Art Criticism, co-curator of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, and an assistant editor at Artforum. Dayal’s studio work has focused on the routines and materialities of language and the body. Her most recent solo exhibition was at Lubov gallery in January 2019. Past shows include Material Metaphors at NARS Foundation, Spectral Imprints at A.I.R. Gallery on Governor’s Island, and Volley at Abrons Art Center. Extending and researching these interests, Dayal has previously curated programming and exhibitions on the subjects of intimacy, material residues, and commemoration for venues including Helena Anrather Gallery, A.I.R. Gallery, the Pfizer Building, and Barnard College; she also assisted New Museum curator Margot Norton with research for Sequences VIII: Elastic Hours, a biennial in Reykjavik. Dayal’s curatorial practice primarily engages the work of emerging and underrepresented artists. In September 2018, she curated a show of Lizzy De Vita and Hong Seon Jang for 5-50 Gallery, followed by Formula 1 at CUE Art Foundation, where she is a Curatorial Fellow, in April 2019.

Lifelines: A Poetry Reading at A.I.R. Gallery

A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY


A.I.R. Gallery invites you to join us on Sunday, February 17th at 3:00pm for a reading with poets Sarah Riggs, Eléna Rivera, and E. Tracy Grinnell. The reading will take place in Gallery I in connection with Stratus Lift, an exhibition of paintings by Carrie Johnson. The poem above is an excerpt from “Blue Abstraction” by Eléna Rivera.

Sarah Riggs is a writer, artist, filmmaker, and translator ( She has published poetry books with 1913 Press, Burning Deck, Reality Street, Ugly Duckling Presse, Chax, Editions de l’attente, and Le Bleu du Ciel as well as chapbooks with Belladonna* and Contrat Maint. Just published are paintings in collaboration with Emily Wallis Hughes’ book of poetry, Sugar Factory, with Spuyten Duyvil (January 2019), and forthcoming is a show of drawings for Laynie Browne’s Amulet Sonnets (forthcoming also as a book with Solid Objects) and translations of Etel Adnan’s Time from the French with Nightboat (forthcoming 2019). Riggs is currently working with Mirene Arsanios on the web publication of “Footprint Zero,”a project of especially New York and Morocco-based artists responding to the environmental crisis for of the non-profit Tamaas (

Eléna Rivera was born in Mexico City and grew up in France. Her book of poetry, Scaffolding (2017), is available from the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. Her translation of The Ink’s Path by Bernard Noël was published by Cadastre8zero (2018) in a bilingual edition with artwork by François Rouan.

E. Tracy Grinnell is the author of four books of poetry: Hell Figuresportrait of a lesser subjectSome Clear Souvenir, and music or forgetting. “Helen, A Fugue” was published in the first volume of the Belladonna* Elders Series in conversation with A Pear / Actions are Erased by Leslie Scalapino. Limited edition chapbooks include Mirrorly, A WindowLeukadiaHell and Lower EvilHumoresqueQuadriga, a collaboration with Paul Foster Johnson, and harmonics. Grinnell’s poetry has been translated into French, Serbian, and Portuguese. She currently teaches in the MFA Writing Program at Pratt Institute and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founding editor and director of Litmus Press.

Read the full press release here.

Introduction for Activist Collectors with the Women's Caucus for Art

A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY


The Women’s Caucus for Art invites you to a conversation with National Exhibition Chair Noreen Dean Dresser on Saturday, February 16th at 1:00pm on the art of collecting, the front line for defining culture in your community.

Original works in a postcard format represent exhibits, studio walks, performances, and installations that comprise a regional roadmap of America. Come support art activists and engage in the complex diversity that is art in America today.

All works sell as donations to the National WCA Lifetime Achievement Awards for $50.

Painting in the Now

A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY


A.I.R. Gallery invites you to a conversation with artist members Jane Swavely, Joan Snitzer, and Susan Bee, moderated by artist and critic Mira Dayal, on the occasion of Jane Swavely's solo exhibition Jinx. Join us Saturday, December 15th at 4pm in the gallery. This is the final weekend of the exhibition, which closes on December 16th at 6pm. 

Jane Swavely is a painter and has been a member at A.I.R. since 2011. She was previously represented by CDS Gallery. Her paintings simultaneously point to the history of the medium while maintaining a firm conversation in the now. Her current exhibition of new paintings is her fourth solo show at the gallery.

Joan Snitzer is a New York member of A.I.R. Gallery. She has been affiliated with the gallery since the 1970’s, employed as A.I.R.’s first director. Her paintings express a poetic and colorful relationship between our histories and current visual surroundings. She examines traditions of abstraction while offering a painted atmosphere to contemplate the natural and fabricated world. 

Susan Bee is an artist, editor, and book artist. She has had eight solo shows at A.I.R. Gallery. Bee has been a member of the gallery since 1996. She is a painter of scenes and screens. In her landscapes, still lifes, and figurative paintings, expressionist and symbolic intensity run riot, with striking pop imagery, linear gestures, and layered painterly textures. 

Mira Dayal is an artist, critic, and curator based in New York. She is the founding editor of The Journal of Art Criticism, co-curator of the collaborative artist publication prompt:, curatorial fellow at SOHO20 and CUE Art Foundation, and assistant editor at Artforum. Dayal’s studio work has focused on the routines and materialities of language and the body.

Barrow Street Press, Who Needs Poetry?



In celebration of our book contest winners, Sarah Ann Winn's 2017 Alma Almanac and Tina Barr's 2018 Green Target, we have invited these authors, along with contest judges and renowned poets Patricia Spears Jones and Elanie Equi, to join in reading from their work at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. We have also invited poet Jayson P. Smith, accompanied by dancer and choreographer, Morgan Burke, to perform together, and demonstrate more preciously, the interactive and multi-disciplined nature of the written word. We are so grateful to have these voices come together, as they each actively challenge, push against, and illuminate the silver-lining of our current social, political, and aesthetic realities. Come join us and be reminded of why poetry matters and who needs it. 

155 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Friday, October 5, 2018
7PM Sharp 

Strategies of Difference

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Wednesday, September 26

6:30-8:30 PM

Here at A.I.R. Panel Discussion

Marking the 25th Anniversary of A.I.R.’s Fellowship program, Strategies of Difference welcomes the 2018-19 Fellows in a conversation responding to the increasingly urgent priorities of what a feminist future looks likes. Strategies of Difference builds upon A.I.R.’s history of radical vision through presenting alternative methodologies and ideas intended to have an impact on contemporary configurations of power. Each Fellow will present an aspect of their research or work that reconfigures the role of the artist within their surrounding environments; both on an individual local level and on the systemic issues at hand. They will cover a range of themes including a failed prison system, language across cultures and generations, immigration and borders, representation and identities.

This year's Fellows Include:
Melanie Crean, Isabella Cruz-Chong, Kim Dacres, Macon Reed, Gabriela Vainsencher, and Zhiyuan Yang.

Moderated by Roxana Fabius and Patricia M. Hernandez.

Your Body Is a Planet: A Poetry Workshop About Identity & The Earth You Want To See


Thursday, August 23, 2018
6:00–8:00 PM

This workshop empowers marginalized communities to imagine their bodies in the world they want to see. We will learn about how art, murals and poetry have been the lifeblood for changing the world and shifting mental health: from migrant justice movements to prison abolition to supporting survivors of sexual assault, and to queer and trans resilience and liberation. Participants will write poetry that can empower new forms of care and healing in themselves and their own communities.

Artist and Poet, Jess X. Snow will present on her animation and mural work and share her own
spoken word poetry before leading into an intimate and meditative workshop where participants are invited to re-imagine their younger selves as a planet and write a poem from the perspective of that planet. We will learn how a poem, once written, can be shared in a room, on a public wall, online, or on a stage, and have the power to shift perspectives, unite communities and then open a portal into a future that we dream of living in.

Meet the Artist
Jess X. Snow is a queer Asian-Canadian public artist, filmmaker, and pushcart-nominated poet.
The Tribeca Film Institute, Adobe, and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific Center have supported her
film work. Her public art and political graphics have appeared on PBS Newshour, The LA Times,
the UN Human Rights Conference, NBC Asian America and outdoor walls across the country. She has illustrated children's books and cover art for Macmillan USA, Yale University Press, YesYesBooks, Black Girl Dangerous Press among others, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress and the New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History. Her first chapbook of poetry is forthcoming.

Meet the Curator
Katie Fuller was an educator for eleven years before curating her first show, Race and Revolution: Exploring Human Injustices through Art, in the summer/fall of 2016. She uses curated art shows as a means of confronting and educating the public on historical trauma and systemic racism. Last summer she co-curated Race and Revolution: Still Separate – Still Unequal with Larry Ossei Mensah, an exhibition about contemporary school segregation. The show just closed at its third location and will continue to travel from Autumn 2018 - 2019. Still Separate – Still Unequal was chosen as a “Best of Brooklyn 2017” by Hyperallergic magazine. As a street art initiative, Unbroken by Bars was voted top ten Philadelphia street art projects by Streets Dept in 2017 and it just closed at the Gutman Library Gallery at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, her shows and public programs have been reviewed by Vice, ArtForum, Artsy, Daily Kos, Art Fuse, and LA Weekly.


Removing Biases Against Families Impacted by Incarceration


Wednesday, August 22, 2018
6:00–8:00 PM

Unbroken by Bars in partnership with The Osborne Association presents "Removing Biases Against Families Impacted by Incarceration"

More than 2.7 million children in the United States have an incarcerated parent on any given day, yet these children are largely invisible due to the stigma that families experience when they share that a loved one is incarcerated. As a result, many families do not speak about incarceration and do not receive the support that would help them succeed and thrive. Most children want and need to visit with their incarcerated parents and incarcerated mothers want opportunities to parent while behind bars, but biases and misconceptions about what is best for children are a barrier. Join us for a discussion with three formerly incarcerated mothers who will share how their relationships with their children were Unbroken by Bars and learn how you can create safe spaces and confront stigma so that children, mothers, and families have the opportunity to thrive and flourish. The discussion will be moderated by Allison Hollihan of the New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents.

(Our Love Is) Unbroken by Bars is an ongoing art and storytelling project curated by Katie Fuller with prints and a mural by Jess X Snow. This iteration, held in collaboration with A.I.R. gallery, addresses the systemic neglect of women, who are the fastest growing prison population, specifically women who gave birth while incarcerated.