My contributions to the latest installment of 7 picks a week, the arts and culture guide I compile weekly for Gothamist.
See mysticism and melancholy through a world-famous painter's eyes
"Exodus," an exhibition of recent works by the German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, is so big one coast couldn't contain it. Part of the show is on view at Gagosian's space at 555 West 24th Street in Chelsea; the other part is housed at Gagosian at Marciano Art Foundation, in Los Angeles. Evoking themes from ancient mythology, the Book of Exodus and the writings of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Paul Celan, Kiefer conjures old gods, monuments and ruins in his characteristically haunting manner. Gagosian, through Friday, Dec. 23; gagosian.com
Be astonished by a jazz quartet's fiery flights
If you've ever had the experience of feeling so overwhelmed by the intensity of a group's cooperation that all you could do was smile and laugh in dumbstruck awe, you've got a good idea of what to anticipate in an encounter with John Zorn's New Masada Quartet. Playing material from Zorn's Masada songbooks – part Jewish theme, part free-jazz steam – the iconoclastic saxophonist's group with guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Kenny Wollesen is among the most joyous outfits he's ever led, and that joy is contagious. Roulette, Sunday, Nov. 27 at 8 p.m.; roulette.org