Bit lite on music; all the bands are going to Texas...
* Rendez-Vous with French Cinema @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St). This unbearably chic festival of contemporary French cinema is back. I warned you two weeks ago to begin reserving your shows, b/c 1) this is a very popular film festival (IMO, third to New York Film Festival and NYAFF) and 2) Film Society members were already reserving their tix since the last week of Feb. So go at it. THRU MAR 21
* Ed Paschke @ Gagosian / 980 Madison Ave. A bristling career look at the gritty Pop artist, whose seductively rendered oil paintings, in increasingly sickly, hallucinogenic hues, reveal the shady underside of the 'cool'. Jeff Koons, Paschke's asst in the mid-70s, curates this exhibition.
+ Alberto di Fabio. Vivid acrylic abstracts of stuff that looks like supernovas and plant cells, paintings to lose yourself in.
* Marlene Dumas "Against the Wall" @ David Zwirner Gallery / 533 W 19th St. New paintings and other works taking reference from media imagery of Israel and Palestine, but w/ a broader theme of isolation and lack of communication, w/ Dumas' typical stripped-down and ghostly figurative brush.
* Ursula von Rydingsvard "ERRATUS" @ Galerie Lelong / 528 W 26th St. How do you immediately make W 26th St cooler, and thereby answer the male-artist large-scale-sculpture shows @ Gagosian nearby? Drop three monumental new works by von Rydingsvard, epic carved, undulating cedar walls and waves. I cannot wait!
* Todd Hebert @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 513 W 20th St. Paintings and works on paper in a hyperrealistic style that somehow, probably due to the lighting (cityscapes, christmas lights etc) and the use of blurring, become cleverly abstract.
+ Ross Rudel "Burgeon", new mixed media sculptural works, adding a bit of grounding to the show.
* Ryan McGinley "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" @ Team Gallery / 83 Grand St. McGinley takes on the raw studio portrait. Result: a slew of b&w photos, piercing gazes, oddly spontaneous despite the behind-the-scenes meticulousness of McGinley's work. w/ a few large-scale, exuberant color photos to buoy the mood a tad.
* Joseph Smolinski @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. Environmentally-conscious works on paper and video, related to American wildlife and infringing technologies and industry.
* Charline von Heyl @ Friedrich Petzel Gallery / 537 W 22nd St. New almost collage-y mixed media abstract paintings, marrying Von Heyl's intricate linework w/ sensuous undulating shapes, drips and splashes of color.
* Charles Sabba "If You Don't Want Your Thoughts Stolen Don't Open Your Mind" @ Y Gallery / 355A Bowery. Artist/police officer Sabba brings an intriguing medium to the mix, as in fingerprint ink, used in renderings of art-thieves and recreations of infamous related events, created on FBI and New Jersey PD fingerprint cards.
* Warren Isensee @ Danese / 535 W 24th St 6th Fl. The laborious, multicolored bands of rounded-corner rectangles return, but it looks like Isensee has injected even more humor into his works on paper and paintings beyond their witty titles. Dare I even call them: musical?
* "Restless (Le Bel âge)", (dir. Laurent Perreau, 2009) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre (part of "Rendez-vous with French Cinema"), 8:45p. Debut film by Perreau, w/ young actress Pauline Étienne as a rebellious orphan sent to live w/ an exceedingly gruff grandfather (legendary Michel Piccoli) — and the cross-generational bond that forms in the process. w/ Perreau in attendance.
* Aki Sasamoto "Strange Attractors" @ Whitney Museum (part of 2010 Whitney Biennial), 4p. I caught Sasamoto last year at Zach Feuer and I was hooked. I have this vision in my head about Joseph Beuys' chalkboard 'teaching' performances, and to me Sasamoto's stream-of-consciousness forays into the sociopolitical, the mathematical and the mundane (somehow she balances all this, coherently) is, to me, like a Beuys. Her lair @ the Whitney, astrewn w/ video cameras and hanging net bags containing microphones and water glasses, is the site of her shows, performed at 4p on dates incl the numerals '6' and '9' (so if you can't make this one you've other chances).
* Catherine Opie "Girlfriends" @ Gladstone Gallery / 515 W 24th St. A combined experience of new color photographs and vintage b&w prints of the butch-dyke identity, via celebrity (k.d. lang, Eileen Myles), friends and partners.
* Jim Torok "You Are a Vibrant Human Being" @ Pierogi / 177 N 9th St, Williamsburg. Torok provides a two-for-one in this exhibition of his new portraitures, w/ realistic miniatures of friends and neighbors v. cartoon-like renderings of clowns w/ accompanying loose-brush, text-only paintings.
* Elliot Hundley "Agave of the Bacchae" @ Andrea Rosen Gallery / 525 W 24th St. Taking cues from Euripides, Hundley has created something of an installation, backgrounded by loads of photographs of costumed players and zooming off from there. I'd imagine the opening reception to be appropriately 'Bacchanal'.
+ Inez Van Lamsweerde + Vinoodh Matadin & Eugene Van Lamsweerde "Sculptographs". I mean...this just SOUNDS cool non?
* Simon Hantai @ Paul Kasmin Gallery / 293 10th Ave. Fantastically patterned 'folded' canvases from Hantai's heyday in the '60s onward. IMO he's way underexposed here so this should be a treat for a genre-pushing Abstract artist from the mid-20th C who wasn't a NYer (or even an American for that matter).
* "Making Plans for Lena (Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser)", (dir. Christophe Honoré, 2009), screening @ Walter Reade Theatre (part of "Rendez-vous with French Cinema"), 8:45p. Classic Honoré, w/ Chiara Mastrioianni in a riveting single-mom performance. Oh, and that tousled-haired heartthrob Louis Garrel has a cameo. Honoré AND Mastrioianni attend for the Q&A.
* Janet Cardiff & George Burnes Miller @ Luhring Augustine / 531 W 24th St. Several great (happier) multisensory encounters from the duo, incl the large installation "The Carnie" (a sonically-treated carousel) and something billed as a DJ mix-station called "The Cabinet of Curiousness", which sounds like a circuit-bent card catalog that must be scene — and 'played' — to be believed. You know I'm down!
* Meg Webster @ Paula Cooper Boutique / 465 W 23rd St. Trust me in this absolutely calming, sensorial minimalist show. Webster coats square sheets of paper w/ various spices, ingredients or industrial media to create fragrant 'monotone' pieces. Another instance where experiencing in person is WAY better than just photos.
* "Debris" @ PPOW / 511 W 25th St #301. Three artists make beautifully intense works out of discarded stuff. Aurora Robson's ink and junk mail collages could be some twee Pop Surrealist masterwork. Her works come off way cheerier than the full-on assault of Sarah Frost's derelict keyboards and Portia Munson's show-stopping 'Pink Project' and 'Green Piece', which are a whole bunch of stuff in those colors.
* "Le Refuge", (dir. François Ozon, 2009) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre (part of "Rendez-vous with French Cinema"), 6:15p. Never one to avoid a tricky subject, Ozon delivers: ex-junkie awakens from coma, realizes she is preg w/ dead lover's child. Keeps baby and chills on beach, dead lover's brother visits her. w/ Ozon for a Q&A. ALSO SUN 8:45p
* "Making Plans for Lena (Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser)", (dir. Christophe Honoré, 2009), screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette St, Ft Greene (B/M/QR to DeKalb, 23/45 to Nevins), 5:30p. So BAM took on a few of the Lincoln Center's "Rendez-vous with French Cinema" screenings, like this bijoux w/ Chiara Mastrioianni in a riveting single-mom performance. Oh, and that tousled-haired heartthrob Louis Garrel has a cameo.
* "The Mirror/Zerkalo" (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975) screening @ Anthology Film Archives / 32 2nd Ave (FV to 2nd Ave), 9p. The circular, non-chronological, loosely autobiographical centerpiece of Tarkovsky's oeuvre, bookended by the trippy futurist affairs "Solaris" and "The Stalker".
* Peter Kruder @ Littlefield / 622 Degraw, Boerum Hill (M/R to Union), 10p/$20. Like a really nice bit of k.b. I had in university, the hazy, sexual music of Kruder (aka Peace Orchestra, and one 1/2 of Kruder & Dorfmeister) comes rushing back into my lungs. I had NO IDEA he has a 'new' album out, "Private Collection" from last summer (it's a mix, true, but a sexy mix). This could be scintillatingly hot.
* Japan Nite @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 8p/$15. Bright, swingy pop from Tokushima? Check: CHATMONCHY. Chorus-y power-pop? Check: Red Bacteria Vacuum. Psych-rock crossed w/ Ramones? Check: Okamoto's. 3rd Wave ska played by a bunch of REALLY cute Osaka girls? Check: JinnyOops! OK, I'm there.
* "Hadewijch" (dir. Bruno Dumont, 2009) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette St, Ft Greene (B/M/QR to DeKalb, 23/45 to Nevins), 3p. The new film of the challenging Fanders-based, New French Extremity director, about a young girl banished from a super-duper strict Catholic convent and her ensuing relationship with and Arab boy and his fundamentalist brother.
* "Solaris" (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972) screening @ Anthology Film Archives / 32 2nd Ave (FV to 2nd Ave), 4p. Haven't decided which '70s-era Tarkovsky film is the trippiest: "Solaris", "The Mirror" or "The Stalker" (sadly not screening here). The latter is truly a psychedelic affair, w/ a journey akin to that of Ilya Khrzhanovsky's "4" (see TUES), but you can't beat "Solaris"' incredibly thoughtful, emotive sci-fi.
* CHATMONCHY @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FV to 2nd Ave), 8p/$7. "Three Girls from Japan Who Rock", so sez CHATMONCHY's Myspace page. OK I'm convinced! They also play Japan Nite (SUN) @ Bowery Ballroom. w/ Sky White Tiger, aka Louis Schwadron, a rather tripped out dude from Polyphonic Spree.
* Fruit Bats @ Bowery Ballroom / 6 Delancey St (F/JMZ to Essex/Delancey), 8p/$15. Positive vibes, love songs, shimmery folk-rock. Well...I am an unabashed fan of twee-pop, no? Add Eric Johnson + crew, like a dash of The Association crossed w/ Allman Bros, to the mix. I can dig.
* "4" (dir. Ilya Khrzhanovsky, 2005) screening @ Knitting Factory / 361 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 6:30p/$5. A harrowing, psychedelic journey into a particular taiga hell. The first 1/2 of this unparalleled mind-trip is a brooding three-POV dialogue in a dark Moscow bar. Witty, wry, sexy, slightly twisted — all that. Then it quickly spirals way out into a frightening, yet not totally unbelievable, landscape.
* Marina Abramović "The Artist is Present" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/V to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St). There she is, performing the shows titular new piece, seated in an uncomfortable-looking wooden chair at a similarly wooden table in the centre of Marron Atrium, surrounded on four sides by massive softboxes and a few video cameras. She's probably wearing an incredible flowing dress and, besides the queue of people waiting to sit across from her, fulfilling the 2nd part of "The Artist is Present", there's probably a bunch of people milling around, maybe trying to snap a photo on their iPhone, perhaps sitting against the wall, taking in the spectacle, then slowly relaxing as Abramovic's spirit pervades the space, as fully and effectively as Pipilotti Rist's "Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)".
This is how I suggest you take in the show. Note Abramović, walk about the atrium, then head upstairs. The 6th Fl opens w/ a cacophony, throwing you off your senses. There are video screens lining one wall (you catch her wrenching howl emitted from "Freeing the Voice", 1976, where she screams until she loses her voice), another screen overhead (the disquieting "Art must be Beautiful, Artist must be Beautiful", 1975, where she furiously brushes her hair, drawing blood), and prints and slideshows on the other wall of her "Rhythm" series. The room is dark, a deafening vocal soup bounds off all corners, and in the distance, flanking a narrow doorway, is the 1st reperformance piece, "Imponderabilia" (1977), two nude performers that you must pass between before proceeding further into the show. I dare you not to lose your balance! It's an effective juxtaposition, the initial jolt of the room w/ the shimmy b/w the performers. Further in we get Abramović's many collaborative works w/ Ulay, her longtime lover and artistic equal, two of which are reperformed here: "Point of Contact" (1980), done in a spotlit nook, where the two performers point their index juuust to the point of not touching whilst staring into each other's eyes, and "Relation in Time" (1977), done here in a clinical all-white chamber, where the two sit back to back w/ their hair tied together. The palpable tension in the former (no doubt due to the fact that they're 1) standing and 2) pointing) doesn't translate to the latter, which was originally performed for like 17 hours straight by Abramović and Ulay. Bypass the video explanations/installation of "Balkan Baroque" (1997, which obviously doesn't hold the same visceral impact as the original — better is the installation for "House With An Ocean View", show at Sean Kelly Gallery in 2002 and feat. here w/ a new voiceover soundtrack) and catch "Nude with Skeleton" (2005), situated on a platform, in a room w/ some of Abramović's later Balkan Erotic Epic videos. In the adjacent room is the strenuous "Luminosity" (1997), where the nude performer is suspended high up on the wall, caught in the glow of a spotlight that just LOOKS hot. Besides "Point of Contact", this seems for me to be the toughest reperformed piece. The MoMA included two fine informative installations here as well, one a timeline of Abramović, childhood to present day, w/ related photography and info, and also Abramović's singular "Seven Easy Pieces", performed at the Gugg in Nov 2005, w/ a video of each work. This was my 1st close contact w/ the artist, doing Joseph Beuys' "How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare" (1965). It's a fab way to pull the show together, as most NYers will remember it, even if they didn't attend it. I advise you to retrace your steps back to the entrance (though note: you can't pass through "Imponderabilia" the opposite way; it's a one-way gate) and you just might catch the performers switching spots. The reperformances last 2.5 hours and the changeover, something like the performers waking from a dream, donning robes, and sleepwalking off whilst the the person/duo deftly glides into place, is mesmerizing.
Now return to the atrium, your mind probably overwhelmed as mine was by what you experienced on the 6th fl, the five performances and loads of video and stills. Return to the light-drenched space, abuzz with museum guests yet somehow quiet, somehow calming. Go over to the queue and then sit with Abramović. She's like RIGHT THERE. She didn't shy away from an audience after "Rhythm 0" (1974), when that one bastard placed a loaded gun at her head. She was there in 2005 at the Guggenheim, performing Vito Acconci's "Seedbed" (1972) as an endless legion walked over her. And she's here now, bringing all this incomparable energy to the space. Sit with her for a bit, look into her eyes and share some of that energy, give some of that back to her so she can continue being one of the finest artists alive.
* Otto Dix @ Neue Galerie / 1048 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). I hesitate to begin this review on the 1st Dix show of its kind and calibre in N. America w/ complaints, but I've got two: 1) the absence of his early Cubo-Expressionist works (one is included in the show, "Memory of the Halls of Mirrors in Brussels" from 1920, and it's a psychedelic beaut) and other glaring omissions ("The Skat Players", also in Cubo-Expressionist style, and the trippy "Matchbook Seller" from the same period are represented here by loose drawings, not the knockout paintings they would become) and 2) the lack of chronology, though this makes for a slightly disorienting viewing and perhaps an overall fulfilling experience, so long as you make the rounds at least twice. I guess the thing is, this is the 1st N. American Dix show of its kind, the purveyor of Neue Sachlichkeit, and it is enormously amazing, but if there is anything lacking it comes all the more glaringly obvious. That said, this show packs a punch, most evidently from the "Der Krieg" (The War) installation of 50 etchings from a much larger suite. Dix made these haunting, disquieting works as a soldier in WWI and the atrocities on and off the battlefield — imagery of ravaged corpses, dark barren ground, lecherous men w/ prostitutes, and above all skulls, skulls everywhere — are a grueling viewing. I mean I THOUGHT I knew Dix delved into troubling subject-matter but these are truly intense and, as they all come from the same 1916-7 period, indelibly coherent. Upstairs is looser, selections of realist portraits (personal faves "Portrait of the Laryngologist Dr. Mayer-Hermann", w/ its mirrored backdrop, "Portrait of the Lawyer Dr. Hugo Simons" against a nondescript color, a recurring theme of Dix's, and of course the dramatic "Portrait of the Dancer Anita Berber", where he's captured the highlights in each and every silky fold of her scarlet-red, form-hugging dress), self-portraits (check esp the juxtaposition on "Self-Portrait with Nude Model") and landscapes — which I've never seen before, Dix's landscapes, which span into miles in the distance. This isn't 'light' subject matter, either, b/c for every mother w/ child, buttoned-up dandies, or sexy nude woman we have messy watercolors of prostitutes and soldiers, etchings of lustmord, and one watercolor titled "Dedicated to Sadists" w/ a pair of whip-wielding dominatrixes.
* "\ (Lean)" @ Nicole Klagsbrun / 526 W 26th St #213. YES, a brainy group show w/ a varied cast based around a taut li'l theme that, on the surface is easily illustrated (stuff leaning) but, in execution allows for so many different things. Case in point: Nari Ward's line of fourteen burnt baseball bats, each coated w/ a mottling of cotton. It's a disturbing piece on many levels and cuts to the crux of the artist's dynamic, informed style. I suppose the opposite end, at least in mindless eye-candy, would be John McCracken's stunning "UFO", mirrored quite funnily by Rashid Johnson's "Pink Lotion Box", a surfboard-sized lozenge of plexiglass filled w/ Pepto Bismol-colored lotion. The blunt use of packing materials is in high form here, ranging from Gedi Sibony's typically discreet works and Robert Gober's drawbridge-sized "Plywood", which is exactly that but painted so subtly that it glows at a distance — and of course the double-take provided by Mitzi Pederson and Sam Moyer's buoyant choices (sand and glitter for her, moving blankets for him). And special mention to Bas Jan Ader, contributing I think the oldest piece here (1970), a performance still of him falling against a sawhorse — he was perhaps the most tantalizing figure in MoMA's "In & Out of Amsterdam" show (which LIST readers will note I'm still obsessed w/ that knockout show).
* Jessica Jackson Hutchins "Over Come Over" @ Laurel Gitlen (Small A Projects) / 261 Broome St. Hutchins does a fine job of conveying the beguiling impression of human presence and absence via her trade glazed ceramic vessels and roughly composed plaster forms (and deftly chosen other media). Her Pres. Obama-newspapered sofa at this year's Whitney Biennial is one of the stronger pieces in an overall solid show, AND she had an echo-y presence at this year's Armory Show (repped by this gallery and Derek Eller's) — so 2010 has been a particularly good year to 'get to know' this Portland-based artist's dynamic mixed media works. This show works excellently as an installation, w/ pieces involving chairs (the striking "Sweater Arms", incl. a sweater pinned to a chair by a ceramic vase) or chair-like forms (the disarming "Leaning Figure") referenced in collage works on paper. Same deal in the side gallery, w/ a crouching ceramic blob, "Disgraced Skater", echoed w/ collaged newsprint works about the same subject.
* Robert Morris @ Leo Castelli / 18 E 77th St. Q: What's cooler than seeing Morris' seminal 1969 scatter piece back in Castelli's gallery? A: I don't know!!! Is that a trick question?? This is brilliant: a room you can navigate through full of juicy metal angles and slabs (from shiny brass to textured Cor-Ten steel to deep zinc and lead), w/ the walls piled high by blocks and floppy triangles of black felt. This recreated work is augmented by nine original work drawings related to the piece.
* Tara Sinn "XANAX" + Rafaël Rozendaal "Broken Self" @ Spencer Brownstone Gallery / 39 Wooster St. NICE. Multimedia (aka web-based) artist Rozendaal was one of my favorites from this year's VOLTA NY w/ good reason: his super-creative (and often endearingly simple) 'sites' carried emotion far beyond the typical source-code. One of those pieces, "Broken Self", is recreated in the gallery as a (by now) very patina'd painted screen of a brick wall, the floor littered w/ glass shards. There's a barrier like 20' away and a bunch of empty liquor bottles. You sign a waver, don the gloves and protective eyewear, and hurl a bottle at said screen (I did a Brooklyn Brewery IPA; it felt GREAT). Wayyy different than the mouse-click thing from the original site. I'd love to see more of these Rozendaal-concocted interactives. Sinn's contribution of XANAX involves Mylar balloons and is a cheeky counterpoint to Rozendaal.
* Rosson Crow "Bowery Boys" @ Deitch / 18 Wooster St. The penultimate show at Deitch is a fierce summary of classic (and in blurred ways, contemporary) naughty downtown NYC culture, so infused in Deitch itself, wielded w/ hallucinogenic panache by Crow. Her works are huge and familiar by degrees (even if you've never been to The Cock, you'll no doubt recognize its facade, or white-neon titular animal, unless you've like never been on the Bowery before. In some works, she combines the 'old' bad boy-type w/ the new, like "The Bang Bang Room", overlaying Andre Balazs' Boom Boom Room w/ Bruce Nauman's neon copulating figures. Others have particular timing, like the riff on the Dakis show at the New Museum. Or there's "The Nest", named after the Dash Snow + Dan Colen famous installation at Deitch, perhaps the gallery's pivotal show and, considering Snow's premature passing, definitely the coda to an era.
* Josef Albers "Formulation: Articulation, 1972" @ Peter Blum Soho / 99 Wooster St. The sumptuous collection of 127 silkscreened plates, finished shortly before Albers' death and acting as a summation of his ongoing investigation into color and perception. The exhibition is laid out as a portfolio — oh how I would have LOVED to see the originals, on the wall where they belong — and there is so much beauty here it's out of control. Albers took shapes, his beloved square, prisms, lines, curves, and built, rebuilt endlessly. Nothing feels overdone, nothing fussy or unnecessary. But intriguing objects emerge, like treble clef curves in one instance, blocky owl faces in various complementary colors in another. And there's nothing quite like his cascading lines, which I so enjoyed as the glass reliefs seen at the MoMA's "Bahaus" show.
* Olafur Eliasson "multiple shadow house" @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Eliasson never ceases to disappoint. His simplistic-on-paper installations (here focusing on light, shadow, and color — nothing new to the artist) should thrill even the most jaded art-goer. Unless you're a total killjoy. The titular piece, a wooden framework w/ projection-screen walls and varying colored spotlights, is a dormant creature until you and your friends begin traversing it, then it comes alive like a really fantastic avant-garde carnival attraction. Upstairs, amid Eliasson's spectrum watercolors, is 'abstract afterimage star', a flotilla of light projectors that switch on seemingly randomly — or is it really? — throwing up abstract tangram shapes on the wall that overlap into gorgeous color combinations.
* Beverly Pepper "Metamorphoses" @ Marlborough Chelsea / 545 W 25th St. Ahhhh this is dope!! I MUCH prefer Pepper's smaller works, like this blocky selection rendered in delicious media like onyx, Zimbabwe granite and marble. The variations on angles, crypto-portals and bent triangles lends itself to like this slightly sci-fi futuristic vibe, like said objet were ephemeral forms discovered on Mars or whatnot, so they embody a prescience that requires further contemplation. I could stare at them for hours.
+ George Rickey. Classic works from Rickey's estate, lighter-than-air steel cubes and rods (and in the case of the 'Nebula' sculptures, schools of fish) that wave or undulate via fans and ambient airflow. A mesmerizing accompaniment to Pepper's weightier offering and a very satisfying dual-sculpture exhibition.
* Superflex "Flooded McDonald's" @ Peter Blum Chelsea / 526 W 29th St. The 21-minute allure of this Danish collective's titular video rivals many of the long-players in theatres right now. Picture this: they mocked up a true-to-life McDonalds (that iconic fast-food institution that has metastasized globally) then inundated it w/ water. Said deluge first appears to come from the loo (hilarious), but then its everywhere, rising w/in minutes. One of the 1st casualties, funnily enough, is the life-size Ronald McDonald statue (made of plastic, I'm guessing, as it floats buoyantly amidst the waves). Then you have the trays of uneaten food sweeping off the tables (the lead-up is palpable, you're like 'oh I canNOT wait to see what happens'). Finally, the electric signage (golden arches et al) fizzle out, and we're left w/ a few minutes of creepy submerged darkness, the odd fry or soda can floating by... Superflex's other two videos don't hold the same power, though their cinematic 'Burning Car' will satiate action-movie freaks.
* Gary Simmons "Midnight Matinee" @ Metro Pictures / 519 W 24th St. Simmons makes vintage cinema signage ghostly and frightening by hazing it out like cold flames on spare, black backgrounds. This works most effectively on the massive wall painting, effectively matte-ing the black and permitting the divided image to be sucked up the top and bottom edges.
* James Rosenquist "The Hole in the Middle of Time" @ Acquavella / 18 E 79th St. The American Pop legend, and a personal hero of yours truly, has a history of adding 'movement' to his epic paintings — which goes beyond the obvious dynamism of his increasingly abstract works, I mean like physical moving parts like laser clocks and conveyor belts. But Rosenquist takes it a step further w/ the installation 'The Hole in the Wallpaper', 14 spinning laser-print reproductions of his classic works, each inscribed w/ a static mirror reflecting us and the greater room. This piece accompanies the titular exhibition, large works of melting cosmic clocks and silly string fireworks explosions, augmented by either spinning painted clock-face mirrors or outsized colored pencils.
* Park Jihyun "Incense Series: Weightlessness" @ Gana NY / 568 W 25th St. Park composes — 'paints' or 'erases' if that helps — his works on paper w/ fire, marking them w/ burning incense to create cloudy subtracted forms. The show opens w/ a very effective installation of 'trees', nighttime on one side and daytime on the other. There are also several that look like breaks in a forest canopy, looking up into a night sky aswirl w/ stars. Another daytime work is a cloudbank framed by a window. Another thing: all these are impossibly abstract up close, which adds to the laboriousness of Park's process, effectively burning in just the right spots so, when viewed from a dozen feet back, the image becomes crystal sharp.