ICA staff share their recommendations for the best art, music, talks, film, participatory art projects, and pancakes to check out this fall.

The heftiest compendium of ICA staff recommendations yet.

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Yoko Ono’s Community-Sourced Art Piece Arising, in conjunction with the exhibition One More Story… at the Reykjavik Art Museum
Oct 7, 2016–Feb 5, 2017

This October, the Reykjavik Art Museum opens Yoko Ono’s latest exhibition, One More Story… In association with the exhibition, Ono has issued a call-to-action for women all over the world, inviting them to submit their own stories of harm, trauma, and harassment, along with a photograph of their eyes. The contributions will become part of an onsite work, Arising. Submissions can be delivered in person, through the mail, or via email. The work resonates strongly with me because there hasn’t been any woman I have known that hasn’t experienced some kind of transgression based on their gender. I encourage all woman to participate and let their stories be seen and heard!  —Carly Bieterman, Box Office Manager

Martine Gutierrez: True Story at Boston University Art Galleries
October 14-December 11 (Artist Talk October 13 at 6:30 PM)

RISD graduate Martine Gutierrez’s hauntingly seductive imagery explores the construction of gender and self. Her solo show at Boston University’s art galleries, True Story, will present video and photographic works by the Brooklyn-based performance artist. I recently became a big fan of Gutierrez’s music and look forward to spending time with her visual works in the galleries. —Lenny Schnier, Education Department Assistant

ART: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons at Samsøn Gallery
Through Oct 15

I am mostly familiar with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons’s pieces comprising multi-paneled, large-scale Polaroids; so I am excited to see this series of works on paper at Samsøn that she made in conjunction with her participation at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Across many different mediums, Campos-Pons’s work conveys ideas related to history, race, gender, memory, and the formation of identity.  —Chris Hoodlet, Membership Manager

DESIGN: Bryony Roberts, Tailored, at Pinkcomma Gallery
Through Oct 21 

I just found out about the wonderful small exhibition space Pinkcomma, run out of the studios of architecture and design firm Over, Under, in the South End. They’ve got a great interactive sculpture exhibition by the designer Bryony Roberts on now, and I’ll look forward to following their programming in the future. The small space has a big mission in Boston: “The gallery aims to foster and recognize a more creative and experimental scene that has grown out of one of the world’s most significant capitals of architectural education. For all the city’s stodginess, Boston’s six architecture schools and their instructors have unleashed some of the most provocative figures on the world scene. Why hasn’t this culture permeated the city’s own architectural sense of itself?” —Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator

For those holding onto summer with its deep, shadowy greens, and floral flourishes, this show’s for you.

ART: Milton Avery’s Vermont at Bennington Museum
Through Nov 6

Get yourself to bucolic Bennington, Vermont, for some of the most beautiful works on paper you will ever see in person. Milton Avery’s watercolors are some of the most sensitive, inventive, weird, delicate, and descriptive marking-making I have seen in some time. Unlikely, poetic color choices animate passages of dry hatching, lush and wet multi-color strokes, and an all-over surface that both evokes the natural world it illustrates and creates a field of deeply pleasurable abstraction. For those holding onto summer with its deep, shadowy greens, and floral flourishes, this show’s for you.  —Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator

ART: Sarah Sze at Rose Art Museum
Through Dec 11

Sarah Sze, who choreographed a performance piece with Trajal Harrell in Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present and represented the United States in the 55th Venice Biennale, recently created an immersive, large-scale installation piece for the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. The kinetic work, called Timekeeper, tracks her inventive and chaotic method of keeping time–an exciting concept to steep oneself in and explore in the museum’s largest gallery space. Catch a talk by the artist on Nov. 17 at 6:30.  —Shane Silverstein, Performing and Media Arts Assistant

ART: Vision and Justice: The Art of Citizenship at the Harvard Art Museums
Through Jan 8, 2017

The Harvard Art Museums have an illustrious history as teaching museums, and the crop of small exhibitions organized by faculty for their classes this semester demonstrates the beautiful possibilities of a teaching with art. Sarah Lewis’s show Vision and Justice: The Art of Citizenship “examines the contested relationship between art, justice, and African American culture from the 19th through 21st century in the United States” and includes elegant, provocative juxtapositions between formally innovative documentary photography from the 1960s and conceptually driven photographic practices of the current day. A rhyming back-and-forth between clothing and textiles, poignant gestures, and tightly framed bodies presents a pairing of Gordon Parks and Lorna Simpson that I will not soon forget.

Around the corner from Lewis’s show is a small presentation of a few great print works by Philip Guston and Ben Shahn, two of my first favorite artists (we’re definitely overdue huge surveys of both of those artists’ timely and urgent work). The pairing is part of Matt Saunder’s invitingly titled Painting, Smoking, Eating, a painting class that would send me back to undergrad in a second.  —Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator

Sophisticated, tough, smart, and dealing with some culture’s most urgent issues around education, race, gender, relationships, and the digital condition…

ART: UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Through Jan 29

I sadly missed Frances Stark’s survey exhibition when it opened at the Hammer in LA, so I’m happy that our friends at the MFA are bringing the show to our doorstep. Sophisticated, tough, smart, and dealing with some culture’s most urgent issues around education, race, gender, relationships, and the digital condition, Stark’s formal innovations never cease to amaze.  —Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator

FILM: kijidome Presents Lola Rocknrolla
Sep 17–Oct 22; Opening Reception and Screening Sep 17, 6–8 PM

A sucker for anything John Waters-esque or B-movie camp, I am looking forward to kijidome’s presentation of Lola Rocknrolla’s riotous and subversive films this fall. An amalgamation of counterculture, burlesque, drag, and an irreverent practice of taking stereotypes for a joyride and thereby turning them on their heads feels important, timely, and still fresh.  —Kate McBride, Marketing Associate

PERFORMANCE: 1 Minute Solos at Mobius
Sep 24

I am super excited about a performance event that I am involved with at Mobius! It will be an event of one-minute short performances based on the theme movement. I will be exploring how food responds and moves on my body.  —Carlie Bristow, Teen Programs Assistant

FESTIVAL: International Pancake Film Festival at the Brattle Theatre
Sep 29

The International Pancake Film Festival, now in its ninth year, brings a stack of homemade, pancake-centric short films to the Brattle Theatre on Thursday, September 29. For the first time, the festival will add a theme to the standard pancake motif: Nautical. Pancakes served at 7:30; show begins at 8.  —Shane Silverstein, Performing and Media Arts Assistant

TALK: Douglas Crimp at Boston University
Oct 6

More than any other art critic, Douglas Crimp was on the forefront of AIDS activism and theorizing the artistic strategies that would become known as “The Pictures Generation,” and post-modernism more broadly. These seemingly contrasting threads in his personal life and scholarship are the subject of his memoir, Before Pictures, which he will share at Boston University on October 6.  —Samuel Adams, Curatorial Research Fellow

MUSIC: Lake Street Dive at the Wang Theatre
Oct 7

Lake Street Dive are no strangers to Boston, having formed the band while studying New England Conservatory of Music, but I would argue they’re still underappreciated. Smart, spirited, and technically superb, they make even covers—including the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” and a genius interpretation of “Rich Girl” by Hall + Oates that surprises me every single time I hear it—sound both classic and totally new. Don’t miss this chance to hear them in the gorgeous Wang Theatre, before they get any bigger.  —Kris Wilton, Associate Director of Creative Content and Digital Engagement

In Edgar Arcenaux’s hands, the historical anecdote becomes like a massive fulcrum, lifting hefty objects and shifting understanding.

ART: Edgar Arcenaux: Written in Smoke and Fire at the MIT List Visual Arts Center
Oct 14, 2016–Jan 8, 2017

Many artists mine history, often for those arcane stories that, when levied, teach us a lot. In Edgar Arcenaux’s hands, the historical anecdote becomes like a massive fulcrum, lifting hefty objects and shifting understanding. I am simply thrilled to be able to see his new performance installation Until, Until, Until based on Broadway star Ben Vereen’s infamously misunderstood blackface performance at Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural event, in addition to two other significant works.  —Ruth Erickson, Associate Curator

ART: Now’s the Time, at UMass Boston’s University Hall Gallery
Through Oct 17

Todd Pavlisko rarely stays within any boundaries set by galleries, museums, or the visual arts. He has shot a gun down a museum hall of great master paintings, cast discarded coins he’s found in gold, and hammered a nail through his own foot. Last I checked in with him, he was working with students and an engineer at Wentworth to create a functioning catapult. Adventurous, humorous, and earnest (in a cheeky Midwestern way), Pavlisko surely has something interesting up his sleeve for his solo show at the UMass art gallery.  —Ruth Erickson, Associate Curator

MARKETPLACE: Boston Public Market’s Harvest Party
Oct 20

I’ve been a huge fan of Boston Public Market since it opened last summer – all my favorite local vendors are there; plus I’ve discovered so many new things to love! Their Harvest Party in October sounds like all my favorite things – food, cooking, music, and more food – and the ticket price supports their operating costs as a nonprofit.  —Hannah Gathman, Associate Director of Special Events and Outreach

TALK: Zanele Muholi lecture at MassArt
Oct 25

The fall season is often over-packed with incredible events and programming, but I am particularly excited about Zanele Muholi’s lecture at MassArt on October 25. The South African photographer’s poignant and impactful portraits of individuals from black LGBTI communities in her native country have garnered well-deserved international attention and critical acclaim over the past few years. Muholi’s images, some taken a decade earlier, resonate to this day and speak profoundly to our current socio-political climate. As she is based in Johannesburg, it is a treat to have her in the area and should be illuminating to hear her discuss her own work and practice.  —Jessica Hong, Curatorial Assistant

ART: Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now and Renée Green: Pacing, both at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Oct 27, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017 + October 2016–April 2018 respectively

In advance of leaving the Carpenter Center for California College of the Arts this fall, former director James Voorhies solidified some incredible programming, including Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now, coordinated by guest curator Liz Munsell of the MFA. Looking back at Chile’s violent coup d’état and its aftermath, the exhibition will smartly carry forward works and documentation from that period into the present through responsive performances and collaborations by a younger generation of Chilean artists. Also starting in October is artist Renée Green’s two-year Institution (Building) residency and exhibition. A professor in MIT’s program in Art, Culture and Technology since 2011, Green has yet to receive the institutional visibility in Boston that her work deserves, so a two-year deep dive is both timely and necessary.  —Jeffrey De Blois, Curatorial Assistant

ART: Bruce Conner: It’s All True at MoMA and then SFMoMA
Until October 2 + Oct 29, 2016–Jan 22, 2017

When I first saw Conner’s pulsating 1966 black-and-white dance film Breakaway, I was mesmerized, and then I learned about his funky assemblage sculptures from Kevin Hatch’s revealing study, and I was hooked. I am not sure I am going to get to see this major survey at MoMA in New York, but I am going to make a special trip to San Francisco to see it at SFMoMA and, while I’m there, scope the newly renovated and massively expanded museum.  —Ruth Erickson, Associate Curator

TALK: “Art After Democracy” at the Clark Art Institute
Nov 1

On November 1, the Clark Art Institute will host a conversation on “Art After Democracy,” allowing thinkers such as Tania Bruguera and Boris Groys to respond to neoliberal practices that have spectacularized and commodified cultural production over the last twenty-five years.  —Samuel Adams, Curatorial Research Fellow

…it hits you in the gut and won’t easily be forgotten.

ART: Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning at the Harvard Art Museums
Nov 4, 2016–Apr 9, 2017

I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of Doris Salcedo’s work at the MCA Chicago last year, and I can’t believe I have a second chance to experience it so soon again in her solo exhibition Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning at the Harvard Art Museums. I have a longstanding interest in memorials and monuments, especially quieter, less monumental ones. Among the most poignant I’ve seen are Salcedo’s sensitive, even feminine works memorializing individuals lost to political violence in Colombia, such as A Flor de Piel, a room-sized tapestry of thousands of carefully pressed, hand-stitched rose petals. Like her work Atrabiliarios in the ICA’s collection, it hits you in the gut and won’t easily be forgotten. Also, don’t miss the excellent film about Salcedo’s incomparable public works.  —Kris Wilton, Associate Director of Creative Content and Digital Engagement

MUSIC: The Berlin Philharmonic at Symphony Hall
Nov 11

The Berlin Philharmonic is one of the finest orchestras in the world, with a bottom-heavy, brassy tone that is rarely heard in American orchestras. Their beloved, outgoing conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, leads them in a special concert that includes Gustav Mahler’s monumental 7th Symphony in Symphony Hall on November 11 as part of Celebrity Series of Boston.  —Samuel Adams, Curatorial Research Fellow