“By Land, Air, Home, and Sea: The World of Frank Walter” was assembled for the David Zwirner Gallery by Hilton Als, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic for The New Yorker. Walter is a fairly little known artist, whose work Hilton Als first encountered at the Venice Biennale in 2017.
He was a Black man born in Antigua in 1926. He was highly educated, and made his living originally in the Antiguan Sugar Syndicate. He traveled the world, experienced racism in many different places, struggled with mental health, and finally returned to Antigua, where he took up art in many different forms — he wrote plays, recorded original music, sculpted and painted until he died in 2009.
Bear in mind, you shouldn’t show up expecting a blockbuster: This is an intimate show concentrating mostly on landscape paintings. The images are small, with dimensions ranging from postcard to paperback book cover size. But Walter’s pictures are moody and elemental, exerting a kind of dark gravity that pulls you in and makes you look close to share his vision. Through July 29th; davidzwirner.com
“The Art of Making It” is a new documentary opening on Wednesday at the IFC Center, which takes a good, hard look at the business of art galleries and museums, and how a successful career happens, or maybe doesn’t. Director Kelcey Edwards introduces viewers to some talented young artists, like painters Jenna Gribbon, Gisela McDaniel and Chris Watts. You also meet professionals who work in various roles in the arts world: curator Helen Molesworth, New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz, and gallerists like Marc Glimcher of Pace Gallery and Hilde Lynn Helphenstein — the latter better known as the satirical Instagram personality Jerry Gogosian.
The world they describe seems elitist, capricious and arbitrary. You really get a very clear sense of the challenges even successful artists such as Charles Gaines have faced — and, paradoxically, how the pandemic may have set the stage for change. Screenings on June 29th and 30th will include panel discussions with filmmakers and featured artists. Open June 29th; ifccenter.com
Last but not least, some music from Venezuela by way of Miami. C4 Trio — the first part is pronounced “say cuatro” — is made up of three superstars of cuatro, a nimble little guitar-like instrument with four strings. Edward Ramírez, Héctor Molina and Jorge Glem are joined by bass player Rodner Padilla in the group, which has made seven albums and won two Latin Grammys. The group’s newest release is an EP titled “Back to Four.”
C4 Trio is playing two shows in the area this week. On Wednesday at 7 pm, they’ll perform for the Summer Concerts on the Hudson series at Lincoln Harbor Park in Weehawken, New Jersey. And on Thursday at 7:30 pm, they’re appearing at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium, on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets. c4trio.com