* Kadar Brock "Dredge" @ The Hole / 312 Bowery. You know what I like served dredged? Sweetbreads, run through a cayenne-spiked flour and deep-fried to crispy offal deliciousness. You know what else I like dredged? A suite of new huge-ass canvases by young Kadar Brock, one of the torch-bearers for contemporary abstraction. In the past, he ripped, abraded, and sanded down paintings, and in more recent cycles he's piled, agglomerated, and swept up residue from past works into new textural marvels, landscapes of paint flecks and torn fabric like the stuff you find under your sofa after a wild night of partying, only way artsier. So: dredge, "to sprinkle or coat", also "to unearth or bring to notice" — sounds just about right to this guy.
+ Kasper Sonne "Zero Emotional Content". I think pairing this Danish artist's reductive practice, ranging from monochromes to film to installation, with Brock's historical residue makes for a study in tasty contrasts. We shall see.
* Liu Xiaodong "In Between Israel and Palestine" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 745 Fifth Ave. Back in 2010, Liu depicted idyllic scenes of Muslim and Christian families intermingling in Yan Guan County in north-central China. Around participating in a program at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art this past spring, Liu traveled around the area, interacting with and painting the locals. That this new series includes mostly small-scale diptychs underscores the cultural divides and omnipresent tenseness in the region.
* "Parasitic Gaps", curated by Miriam Katzeff @ Team Gallery / 83 Grand St. OK so take two awesome artsy connoisseurs, Margaret Lee (director of 47 Canal) and Matthew Higgs (director and chief curator of White Columns), and put 'em in a room together. Even better if they often show together, which they do. Add Georgia Sagri, most recently awesome for her beguiling performances and installations at the 2012 Whitney Biennial and at PS1 during EXPO this spring. Add James Hoff, 2013 artist-in-residence at famed experimental music venue ISSUE Project Room, whose individual expertise includes the intellectual history and phenomenon of earworms and involuntary audio imagery. Guess what: I'm there. You should be too.
* "Calligraffiti: 1984/2013" @ Leila Heller Gallery / 568 W 25th St. The gallery re-stages its potent 1984 group exhibition on mid-century abstraction, U.S. graffiti, and calligraphic artists from the Middle East and diaspora (then curated by Jeffrey Deitch) with new works and site-specific interventions, including a mural by Tunisian-French artist eL Seed.
* "Digital Expressionism" @ The Suzanne Geiss Company / 76 Grand St. Ben Wolf Noam organized this three-artist exhibition, including transforming the gallery space into a bunch of gradient painted columns. Meanwhile, Korakrit Arunanondchai and Greg Parma Smith take on global commerce and identity, respectively, in works involving real and digitally printed denim and oil-painted graffiti murals (again, respectively).
* Diana Copperwhite "Loose Ends" @ 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel / 532 W 25th St. The Irish artist's stateside exhibition debut comes in collaboration with her Dublin gallery, Kevin Kavanagh. Copperwhite's brushy canvases are in full effect here, sharp chromatic stripes executed boldly over cloudy translucent fields and, in some cases, obscuring figures.
* Razvan Boar "Cameo" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. I'm a fan of the young Romanian artist's sexy goth canvases of nudes emerging from perennial shadows, but count me extremely intrigued by his sorta new direction: bright colors, geometries, interspersed with outlines of pinup cuties and storybook-style illustrations.
* Vicki Sher "Always Bring Flowers" @ frosch&portmann / 53 Stanton St. You concentrate when you observe Sher's sparse vignettes, typically pencil, ink, and some sort of acrylic wash on paper, a figure here, an object there, maybe dashes of color or a line of text and that's it. In their ostensible simplicity lies an engaging irresistibility. This time, she brings transparent cotton scrim into play, creating compositions with overlapping layers and dualities.
* Mark Hundley "The Waves, The Body Alone" @ Team Gallery / 47 Wooster St. I dug Hundley's 2011 solo debut at the gallery, which focused on a partially imagined past involving Joan Baez. This time, he takes Virginia Woolf's experimental novel The Waves as the jump-off, and while I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with this particular novel, I expect Hundley's full-experience style (constructed advertisement prints, emotive color choices etc) will make the narrative flow that much clearer.
* Nathan Carter "THE FLY-BY-NIGHT MEGA METRO SUB ROSA TURBULENT TWISTER" @ Casey Kaplan Gallery / 525 W 21st St. From the looks of it, Carter's hyper-industrialized cities of the near future, confidently colorful and in a state of constant flux and repair, remind me a bit of Austin TX's hyperbolic construction boom. Considering the Brooklyn artist hails from Dallas, itself an exuberant hub for build! build! build!, that sort of makes sense.
* Sonya Blesofsky "Renovation" @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. Blesofsky is interested in transitions in architecture, but her new series of sculpture and drawings feature concrete (sometimes, like, literally concrete) elements from their original subject matter, outfitting her fragile works with firm undertones.
* Cristina De Middel "The Afronauts" @ Dillon Gallery / 555 W 25th St. In the mid-'60s, there was a brief moment when Zambia was to join the U.S. and Soviet Union in launching a manned rocket to the moon, but a dearth of funding from the Zambian Government and the UN stymied the program. This very true story became the subject of de Middel's 2011 series, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and now premieres in a New York gallery.
* Texas Biennial 2013 @ Big Medium / 916 Springdale Road. OK, so here's the thing! The epicenter of TX*13 (can't make the star in the logo with this keyboard, dammit) excellent-ness goes down at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, which is some 30-45 minutes by automobile outside Austin proper. And that's not to forget the TX*13 commissioned project by The Dallas Collective occurring at Ballroom Marfa (in Marfa), nor the invitational four-artist show at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston — all that is happening and I'm sure all of it is awesome, once I actually visit those cities to see it for myself. What I have seen, however, is this "new and greatest hits" group exhibition at Big Medium in Austin, co-curated by former Biennial curators Virginia Rutledge (TX*11) and Michael Duncan (TX*09), featuring some 26 Biennial artists showing past entries and recent works. All in all, it's got some gems, and I particularly dig the contrast of old and new, like Shane Tolbert's TX*11 industrial-dyed and artist-stained fabric paired with brand-new, organically abstract (like finger-painted, almost) paintings. Or Jayne Lawrence's Metamorphosis-like bug-horror graphite drawing (new) vs her fabric/nature humanoid sculpture (TX*09). The Biennial proper is up through early November, but this exhibition at Big Medium runs through 28 September, so hop to it, yo.
* Matthew Day Jackson "Something Ancient, Something New, Something Stolen, Something Blue" @ Hauser & Wirth / 511 W 18th St. Yeah, alright, I may roll my eyes at the gallery press release dubbing Jackson a "modern American frontiersman", but I dig the guy, really! His hewn wood and heavy metal sculpture and mixed-media oeuvre, which I've been into since at least 2008, hit a deep emotional point that I can't quite express in words but feel, inevitably, indescribably, each time I encounter his works. Beefy automobiles, astronauts, and scholarly landmarks recur here, each with narratives personal to the artist and probably not so far away from our own respective experiences.
* Cary Leibowitz "(paintings and belt buckles" @ Invisible-Exports / 89 Eldridge St. New location alert! I loved the gallery's narrow-ass space on Orchard St, personally, but I am stoked to see what they can do creatively with the "larger, taller, squarer" storefront. Hell, Eldridge is on the up and up, yo, didn't you know? Having "Candy Ass" Leibowitz kick off a new season of programming sounds genius.
* Greg Haberny "Burn All Crayons" @ Lyons Wier Gallery / 542 W 24th St. Haberny takes on pharmaceutical culture via his own experiences as a child with dyslexia and ADHA. "Just go draw," his teachers used to admonish him. And, brother, did he ever, so expect a signature, sensorial-overloading installation to follow.
* Charline von Heyl @ Petzel Gallery / 456 W 18th St. Much as I hype Kadar Brock's upcoming solo at The Hole and his contributions to contemporary abstraction (all deserved, trust me), I gotta give dap to von Heyl, who has over 20 years of boundary-crushing abstraction under her belt, including participation in this year's "Abstract Generation" group show at MoMA. I loved her 2010 solo at the gallery, and this one — her seventh solo at Petzel — should be no doubt right up my alley.
+ Allan McCollum "Plaster Surrogates Colored and Organized by Andrea Zittel". Let that title sink in for a minute. While McCollum's motif of repetitive yet entirely unique "surrogates", which he's produced since the early '80s, bears the imprint of factory production with a handmade twist, the involvement of Zittel adds another layer to the equation. She selected the colors, then McCollum and team painted his monochromatic "surrogates", then with Zittel they collated 24 "panel collections" of the entire production. A new foray into communal artist practice indeed.
* James Cullinane "Limbus" @ Robert Henry Contemporary / 56 Bogart St, Bushwick. Animal traps copied onto Mylar, map pins as "readymade pointillist brushstrokes", lacquer-like red acrylic mixed to vary slightly between each panel, 3D vs 2D, collage vs the artist's direct hand. Lots of push-pull here.
* "LAME LEWD AND DEPRESSED" feat. Lane Hagood, Mark Flood, and Jeremy DePrez @ Co-Lab / 721 Congress. Can Austin handle the mayhem? An entire show of DePrez's typically refined, patterned abstract paintings in a reduced palette of unmixed colors would be a fine statement in and of itself. Up the ante with the cross-national punk powerhouse Flood and Hagood's art-history-referential and self-referential salon style, and… well, that's one bold way to kick off the Texas gallery season. Considering Russell Etchen, manager of the beloved former Domy Books, co-presents this three-artist extravaganza, I expect we're in for something awesome. Don't sleep, Austin!
* Phil Collins @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / 521 W 21st St. No, not "that" Phil Collins. I write of the Turner Prize-winning artist, whose 2006 debut at the gallery was also my debut into that most formidable of NY exhibition spaces. I was much younger than, much dumber and perhaps somewhat better looking, but I was doubly hooked on the videos and photography of the artist who shared a name and nationality with a pop musician whom I am unashamed to dig plus on the eclectic international programming of the gallery itself. So here we are, over seven years later, definitely older and probably wiser, returning to my favorite NY gallery and to the artist who started the whole damn thing.
* Blek le Rat "Ignorance is Bliss" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. LeVine's gallery comes off a major and successful celebration of graffiti power-hub Wooster Collective's 10th anniversary with a major solo exhibition of new works by the pioneering French stencil artist Blek le Rat. How hugely influential is this dude? For you scenesters, consider a quote from guerrilla artist Banksy: "every time I think I've painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier." Oh, and: Blek le Rat will create a public mural in the city, so get stoked for that, too.
* Carol Bove "RA, or Why is an orange like a bell?" @ Maccarone / 630 Greenwich St. Bove is everywhere right now, from a major project "Caterpillar" commissioned by High Line Art to a seven-part sculpture "The Equinox" at MoMA that opened last month. So can a "mere" gallery contain her? Considering Maccarone's spacious, raw space, and what they've shown of her in the past, I'd say it's not so much "contain" as it is "blossom".
* Kim Gordon "Design Office, since 1980" @ White Columns / 320 W 13th St. The first major survey of the rock legend and former Sonic Youth bassist/frontwoman's ongoing art practice, ahead of a monograph this fall. Gordon's first show at this space was in 1981 and called "Design Office". For the expert reader: Gordon's new noise-rock duo Body/Head unleashes a guitar maelstrom at Union Pool in Williamsburg on Tuesday, 10 September.
* David Adamo + James Castle @ Peter Freeman Inc / 140 Grand St. An intriguing dialogue happening here, between Adamo's chalk floor and typically hewn-to-emaciation wood forms with historic soot drawings from Castle, selected by Adamo in close collaboration with the James Castle Collection and Archive.
* Merike Estna "spinach & banana" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. In her NY solo debut, the young Estonian artist 'flips the script', as it were, crumpling her stretcherless abstract paintings around the gallery while projecting small videos on the walls. This will be a variation of a multimedia installation Estna staged at Kumu Art Museum (Tallinn) in 2012.
* Charles Gaines "Notes on Social Justice" @ Paula Cooper Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Ahead of his major exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem next year comes a four-part survey of Gaines' language-imbued and sociopolitical juxtaposition works. Included here are works from "Night/Crimes" (begun in '94) and the newest series, which shares the exhibition title and features musical scores dealing with political subject matter.
* Michael Raedecker "tour" @ Andrea Rosen Gallery / 544 W 24th St. The London-based Dutch artist hasn't had a proper show in this city since 2009, his previous, captivating exhibition at the gallery. Raedecker incorporates thread into his austere, almost monochromatic acrylic compositions, to where even glitzy subject matter like tricked-out chandeliers take on an almost sinister undertone, like "The Shining".
* Robert Polidori "Versailles" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 541 W 24th St. Photographs from the artist's acclaimed series depicting the Château de Versailles.
* Matthew Craven "Oblivious Path" @ DCKT Contemporary / 21 Orchard St. Craven curated the group show "Acid Summer" in the gallery this past, very very hot NY summer. Now it's his time to shine, revealing deliriously colorful test-pattern compositions and archaeological collages in his solo debut at DCKT. Who's up for a sweltering September?
* "The New Sincerity" @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces. When Wes Anderson, Lil B, and the ineffable, late great David Foster Wallace get name-dropped in a press release, you know dopeness is gonna ensue. Granted, none of the three aforementioned gentlemen have works in this show, but the duality of irony and sincerity coursing through their respective oeuvres is an apt springboard to the six artists featured here. Florian Baudrexel, Julia Rommel, Fabrice Samyn, Colby Bird, Roy McMakin, and Rosy Keyser deliver refreshing doses of relatable (and sometimes quite raw) emotion through a range of media.
+ Frank Selby "Candles and Games". Selby's debut solo in the gallery's project room provides a concise counterpoint (or deeper truth?) to the main show. His method is hyperrealistic graphite drawings on mylar, each depicting either social conflict or natural disaster but usually both, collaged deftly to heighten the emotive impact depicted within and from us, the viewers.
* Takeshi Ikeda "All Day Long" @ Ai Kowada Gallery / 6F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). In his return to Tokyo after a scholarship stint in NYC, Ikeda considers experimental music and its relationship to post-Tohoku earthquake Japanese society. In other words, temporal art.
* Saori Ono @ Gallery MOMO / 1-7-15 Kamezawa, Sumida-ku (Toei Oedo/JR Sobu to Ryogoku Station). The Tohoku devastation continues to resonate in the Japanese art scene. Ono's hometown of Fukushima was the literal epicenter of the destruction, and the odyssey of her family and their collective experience during that time culminated in a mature, hopeful shift in her naturalistic paintings.
* Nici Jost "ROSAROT" @ balzerARTprojects / Wallstrasse 10, 4051 Basel. My favorite li'l Basel gallery made the leap across the Rhine to its new location this past summer, and it inaugurates the larger space with lotsa pink. This color is Jost's signature hue, and she delivers every loaded ideology across the pink spectrum in her nostalgic and/or perception distorting video installations and photography.
* Cynthia Daignault "Which is the Sun and Which is the Shadow?" @ Lisa Cooley / 107 Norfolk St. The artist's user-interactive invite (evite?) for her upcoming solo show reads like an acutely emotive Mad Lib, concluding with the "send" button changed to "I am trying to tell you something". Meaning, is it us communicating with Daignault? Or Daignault with us? In that, though we select the words in the blanks, she set the parameters. Her own works, paintings with multiple viewpoints or showing the same setting over time, require such duality and deep investigation. Consider me intrigued.
* Raha Raissnia "Series in Fugue" @ Miguel Abreu Gallery / 36 Orchard St. Raissnia is proficient in triangulating the relations between her experimental filmmaking, drawing, and painting. What does this mean. Like, uh, layering and erasing media, creating that same sort of slow flux present in her layered dual slide projections, each bearing a different frame rate. My prognosis: essential.
* "PIZZA TIME!" @ Marlborough Broome St / 331 Broome St. A group show of hot modern and contemporary artists centered around NY-style slices. What could be better? (hint: that's a majorly rhetorical question, yo) Expect that Domino's Perl script hack "Pizza Party" by Cory Arcangel and Michael Frumin, an outsized slice of "regular" by Claes Oldenburg, surrealistic food pron from Michelle Devereux, plus contributions from John Baldessari, Catharine Ahern, Reena Spaulings, and, uh, Willem de Kooning? Why not! A pizza joint installation by madcap duo Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe? We can only hope.
* Valerie Piraino "Photoplay" @ Cindy Rucker Gallery / 141 Attorney St. I think the exhibition title is particularly apt, for in Piraino's NY solo debut, she unveils a new body of work called 'drawn sculptures' that incorporate burnishing photographic transfers onto drywall, which just sounds dope.
* Beth Dary "New Nature" @ Muriel Guépin Gallery / 83 Orchard St. Dary emphasizes transformation and temporality in her cross-media works, utilizing egg tempera and beeswax in organic compositions — like Yayoi Kusama under an electron microscope.
* John Houck "A History of Graph Paper" @ On Stellar Rays / 1 Rivington St. Much to celebrate here: the gallery inaugurates its new location (the former Sue Scott Gallery space) and its fifth anniversary as a commercial gallery (I've clocked four of those years attending its exhibitions) with its first solo exhibition of LA-based artist Houck. For one, I'm stoked to see what the team does with this larger, 2nd-fl space, which must like double the size of its former street-level (and tiny basement) gallery on Orchard. For two, Houck's a photographer, but he's as keen on experimenting with commercial printing as he is fashioning models to snap the shots. So this could be quite dope.
* Aaron Fowler + Michael Shultis @ Thierry Goldberg Gallery / 103 Norfolk. "Pirate paintings" and pillow fight scenes belie the chromatic overdose and transgressive undertones present in these two young artists' respective works. Their NY gallery debut includes a multipanel collaborative work loaded with cultural signifiers and youth culture relevance.
* Caetano de Almeida @ Eleven Rivington / 11 Rivington + 195 Chrystie St. The gallery celebrates its third solo exhibition for the Campinhas, Brazil-born artist with a two-venue show, featuring large-scale watercolors and Op-tastic paintings.
* Will Rogan "Sculptures in the Wind" @ Laurel Gitlen / 122 Norfolk St. Subtle interventions factor into Rogan's work, be it altered or erased magazine pages, considered photographic pairings, the transience of time captured on film or, more obliquely, in sculpture — that sort of thing. Expect to spend more than a few minutes in this show.
* Shinro Ohtake @ Take Ninagawa / 1F 2-12-4 Higashi-azabu, Minato-ku (Tokyo Metro Namboku/Toei Oedo Lines to Azabu-Juban Station, Exit 6). The most recent 10-year encapsulation of Ohtake's assemblagist and mixed-media oeuvre. He has a major installation of archival works in The Encyclopedic Palace at this year's Venice Biennale, and I am pretty stoked to see his contemporary endeavors.
* Piet Mondrian + Barnett Newman + Dan Flavin @ Kunstmuseum Basel / Sankt Alban-Graben 16, 4051 Basel. I've enjoyed seeing singular works by these three abstract artists from three different generations within the museum's permanent collection, but now MoMA and the Centre Pompidou and other institutions lend their power plays on this 20th-C investigation into color, form, and space.
* John McCracken "Works from 1964-2011" @ David Zwirner / 537 W 20th St. In short, a career survey of the West Coast plank pioneer, featuring his signature propped sculptures with those succulent minimalist finishes, plus paintings and sketches to really trick out his oeuvre. A comprehensive McCracken monograph, featuring an essay by art historian and curator Robin Clark, accompanies the exhibition.
* Jean Dubuffet "Late Drawings" @ Pace Gallery / 32 E 57th St. 'Landscapes of the mind', said the late great 'low art' maestro of these like four dozen drawings from the last decade of his career. The gallery mounted an immersive exhibition of Dubuffet's final two years of works last year, but "Late Drawings" is just that: a bunch of works on paper, feverishly detailed, vibrantly colorful and figurative or elementally abstract.
* Hayv Kahraman "Let the Guest be the Master" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 513 W 20th St. Kahraman encapsulates the "immigrant consciousness" in her works, having lived in Iraq through Hussein's reign and subsequent U.S. intervention (and now residing in San Francisco). Her solo debut at the gallery includes boundary-blurred nudes on wood panel and linen.
* Kerry James Marshall "Dollar For Dollar" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 524 W 24th St. Ahead of his major traveling survey that debuts at Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Antwerp in October, the Chicago-based artist takes on socioeconomics and conceptual black aesthetics through paintings and a sculptural installation of big-ass coins.