* Okie Dokie + McDonalds @ Party Expo / 929 Broadway, Bushwick (JMZ to Myrtle Ave), 8p. Turn the distortion up all the way, the freaky CA speed-metalers Okie Dokie and mic-maiming local guys McDonalds. w/ Graffiti Monsters.
* Richard Kalina "A Survey" @ Lennon, Weinberg Gallery / 514 W 25th St. Love it: one of my all-time favorites from the gallery roster, Kalina's dotty, effusively colorful abstracts are sort of like 'Secret City' from PBS in a Fruity Pebbles palette. This exhibition covers 40 years of Kalina's oeuvre.
* Sung Soo Kim @ Doosan Gallery / 533 W 25th St. Twisted sculpture that promotes audience interaction, as in investigating 'em from various POVs like navigating a tesseract.
* Ryan Brown "Borders" @ Y Gallery / 355A Bowery. Hand-crafted books reflecting the artist's thought processes, culled from stuff like Google Images but decidedly low-tech in execution.
* "Process/Abstraction" @ Paul Kasmin Gallery / 293 10th Ave. I quite like this idea: connecting the 'old guard' (Frank Stella, Morris Louis etc) w/ the younger hotshots (Christopher Wool, Nathan Hylden, Zak Prekop — who has some fine pieces in "Greater New York" @ PS1), via procedural abstraction. Only dude artists in this show, unfortunately, but beyond that it sounds quite compelling.
* Yoram Wolberger @ Benrimon Contemporary / 514 W 24th St 2nd Fl. A technical take on 'cowboys & indians' toys, from precise life-size sculpture to prints.
* Summer Show @ BravinLee Programs / 526 W 26th St #211. Sol LeWitt, Allan McCollum, Mark Grotjahn + the Jameses (Siena and Welling)? I'm there!
+ Chris Astley "Geronimo". Sort of a cross b/w Lynda Benglis and Mario Merz, Astley molds misshapen concrete forms inside plastic bags, then paints them and stacks them.
* Saul Chernick "Borrowed from the Charnal House" @ Max Protetch / 511 W 22nd St. Gorgeous, massive ink drawings that can resemble sculptural reliefs or woodcut prints, mixed w/ classical and banal imagery.
* Dream Diary + The Aerosols @ Silent Barn / 915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood (L to Halsey, M to Myrtle/Wyckoff), 8p. PopJew curated a stellar lineup for this one, incl. aptly named Dream Diary (locals from this year's NYC Popfest) + San Fran's psych-pop The Aerosols (my 1st time!). w/ stalwart crew My Teenage Stride & The Surprisers.
* "Open Studios" w/ robbinschilds @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/V to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 2:30-5:30p. Check installation/performance duo robbinschilds and their work-in-progress contribution to "Greater New York", 'I came here on my own'.
* "Dirty Pictures" (dir. Etienne Sauret, 2009) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, G to Fulton), 9:30p (part of BAMcinemaFEST). Some of you may have read the good chemist's 'chemical love story' "PiKHAL" (and followup "TiKHAL"), co-written w/ his wife, whilst in university. Ohhh yes: this is the doc on the developer of MDMA (plus loads other phenethylamine derivatives), a cult hero and thoroughly radical mind.
NB: it is a bummer "Dirty Pictures" cannot screen alongside "Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3D", next WED.
* Man Forever + W-H-I-T-E @ Monster Island Basement / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. The avant-indie collective Man Forever (Shahin Motia of Oneida, Allison Busch of Awesome Color, Brian Chase of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) are joined by appropriately trippy Corey Hanson aka Valencia CA's W-H-I-T-E.
* JEFF the Brotherhood + Quintron & Miss Pussycat @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. The South invades DbA tonight, w/ the creative 'swamp tech' combo Quintron & Miss Pussycat from New Orleans (begin w/ Miss Kitten & The Hacker, then add circuit-bent machines and puppets) and the grunge-stomp of Nashville's Jake + Jamin Orrall.
* Vlatka Horvat recommends: Ofri Cnaani "The Vanishing Woman" @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/V to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 4p. Video artist Cnaani will create live-cinema performance in two parts, the 1st based around the Israeli Kibbutz movement and the dawn of cinema, the 2nd as real-time filming w/ objects.
* robbinschilds "SalzburggrubzlaS" @ The Bushwick Starr/ 207 Starr St, Bushwick (L to Jefferson, M to Knickerbocker Ave), 8p (CATCH performance series), $10. Andrew Dinwiddie and Jeff Larson co-curate this bimonthly performance/video series. The draw for me is the aforementioned robbinschilds (currently in "Greater New York") who will perform their work-in-progress multilinear piece.
* Soft Black + Boom Chick @ Party Expo / 929 Broadway, Bushwick (JMZ to Myrtle Ave), 8p. THIS, in my opinion, is the only place to see Soft Black...unless they're playing in McCarren Park late at night. Their 'glo-fi', whatever you want to call it, fractured funk is an excellent match for Party Expo. Boom Chick's stripped down girl-guy bluesy duo might remind you of a red/white-clad duo but I'm mad excited to see 'em.
* "Putty Hill" (dir. Matthew Porterfield, 2010) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, G to Fulton), 8:45p (part of BAMcinemaFEST). A beautiful, haunting film set around a funeral in working-class Baltimore, by the director of the exquisite, meditative, hot-summer's-day "Hamilton".
* Jacuzzi Boys @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FV to 2nd Ave), 8p/$8. I've been waiting to see these trippy Miami boys ever since I heard "Smells Dead" on PopJew's mixtape. w/ mega-group K-Holes.
* Anamanaguchi + So So Death @ Party Expo / 929 Broadway, Bushwick (JMZ to Myrtle Ave), 8p. Props to Party Expo for throwing the fiercest lineups in Brooklyn. The ferocious bass/drums combo So So Death (ATL) are tempered by the raw NES punk from Brooklyn's Anamanaguchi. Just look for the cheery signage outside. w/ Surf Team
* McDonalds + Church of My Love + Sleepies @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. If you missed McDonalds' WED show, this is another thrashy chance to catch 'em, w/ Montgomery AL's Church of My Love (on their "Red Drink Tour") + Brooklyn's tough-as-nails Sleepies.
* Kyung Jeon "Belle Rascal" @ Tina Kim Gallery / 545 W 25th St 3rd Fl. Jeon combines her effortless mural-sized, wildly detailed renderings of kids in various shenanigans — like a combo Korean folklore and Bosch — with a suite of intimate small-scale drawings of solitary figures on everything from handmade paper to matchbooks and incised cardboard.
* Josephine Meckseper @ Elizabeth Dee / 545 W 20th St. Don't let the chrome and mirrored installation blind you from the hard imagery, as Meckseper takes on the U.S. occupation in Iraq and trends of the U.S. Supreme Court, though all is drenched in hyperbolized luxury, 20" rims here, blinged out wristwatches there. If you've ever thought those alpha car lots lining 11th Ave were a bit...grotesque, you'll dig Meckseper's show.
* "Jack in the Space" @ Dean Project / 45-43 21st St, Long Island City. Heng-Gil Han, visual arts director of the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, curated an excellent six-artist show on diffusing space. Lishan Chang's charred baguette installation assaults you nasally before you even see the loaves, torpedo-like crawling the walls and leading you to Kyung Woo Han's walk-in Mondrian painting/video installation. Hyong Nam Ahn's more seductively sedate "Springtime in Brooklyn", a jagged neon, metal and wood sculpture like a robotic butterfly, deserves several passes.
* "Natural Renditions" @ Marlborough Chelsea / 545 W 25th St. Marlborough's massive summer group show is incredibly trippy this go-around, a riot for the senses. It is too much to take in all at once, but worth repeat, brief visits to zero in on the better works. I was pleased to see Rob Wynne's exquisite blown-glass 'shrooms here and Kim Dorland's tortured mixed-media canvases are fantastic, subtly touching on deforestation. It's saying something when Will Ryman contributes one of the more innocuous pieces in a show. Better, and keeping w/ the overall theme of 'natural', are Valerie Hegarty's and Amit Greenberg's branch-incorporated sculpture.
* "Barakat: The Gift", curated by Gaia Serena Simionati @ STUX Gallery / 530 W 25th St. A great group exhibition of contemporary artists from the Middle East and N. Africa. Political undertones score many of the works, like Halim al Karim's haunting 'Witness' series (blurred figures w/ piercing eyes) and Moataz Nasr's 'Propaganda', disarmingly cartoonish war renderings on embroidered textiles. Nabil Nahas' textured acrylic abstracts take physicality to another level, coral-reef like patterns (think Yayoi Kusama, in 3D) on canvas.
* Tucker Nichols @ ZieherSmith / 516 W 20th St. A fantastic, gallery-filling assortment of tableaux and goodies the artist created while in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. The sculptural stuff shines, much of it odd, Dadaist conglomerations of unlikely banal objet (bottle caps w/ sealant, rags dyed red to resemble a floral bloom, greenish shredded paper like a vaguely tacky Easter-ish motif, or the super-simple slabs of rock and wood aping books.
* "Other as Animal" @ Danese / 535 W 24th St 6th Fl. A whole bunch of artists render animals, from the literal (the photorealistic oil on panel robin by Diane Andrews Hall, Simen Johan's emotive lamb C-print) to the not-so-literal (Julie Heffernan's storybook scene, Ross Bleckner's cyanotype-ish oil on linen), w/ some real gems (Catherine Howe's saturated color explosion, Erick Swenson's stoic simian bust).
* Ye Nan "Phosphorous Red" @ Chambers Fine Art / 522 W 19th St. The majority of Ye's works on paper involve the titular concept, liquid phosphorous used in match-making, in these surreal, spacey collages. But the dealmaker here is the opening gallery, where several walls are covered w/ this odiferous paper (think a matchbook's striking surface), the floor littered w/ spent matches. Ye struck them repeated across this coarse, stinky paper, creating explosive birds and other designs recalling Cai Guo-Qiang only w/o the gunpowder.
* Gene Davis @ Ameringer McEnery Yohe / 525 W 22nd St. Classic colored-line test-pattern abstracts in acrylic or oil and Magna — to create that colored-pencil effect — incl. one massive wall-spanning canvas that you can get lost in.
* Scott Musgrove "How is the Empire?" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. I think I'd love to live in Musgrove's un-Darwinian world, full of lush big-eyed (and usually long-necked) critters, sumptuously rendered in oil-on-panel dioramas. His exhibition is furthered by sculpture in varying forms, from the massive bronze to wee carvings out of wood, plastic and other media, to a stunning wood-inlay motif w/ meandering glass 'river', to a furry composite called "Abominable Backhoe" (complete w/ googly eyes), like the baddest-ass toy you ever wanted but couldn't have.
+ Louie Cordero "Sacred Bones". The Manila-based artist mixes Filipino mythology w/ what looks like classic Bollywood imagery and American cult classics in feverishly colored acrylics.
* Mamma Andersson + Jockum Nordstrom "Who is sleeping on my pillow" @ David Zwirner Gallery / 525-533 W 19th St. Swedish power couple — actually they're both contemporary artists — have been doing their accomplished (though low key) thing for quite awhile, but this is their 1st concurrent show, which besides their respective new works (gorgeous, deep watercolor and acrylic interiors by Andersson, subversively folksy collage by Nordstrom) include three collaborative pieces — which is to Nordstrom's benefit, in my opinion. His flattish composites are greatly aided by the lush depths of Andersson's backgrounds.
* "In Praise of Shadows", Dirk Braeckman & Bill Henson @ Robert Miller Gallery / 524 W 26th St. A moody, sexy photo duet, of figures and empty spaces. I preferred the inky grayscale of Braeckman's the best, whether the flutter of a curtain or the mist-lined scene of a naked woman's back on a bed, to Henson's dusky landscapes filled w/ Ryan McGinley's style of androgynous youth.
+ Justin Allen. His trompe l'oeil paintings on wood panel of the most banal (plastic bags and rubbish bags) are beautiful, if banal, and tiny.
* "American ReConstruction" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. Michael Hoeh curated this contemporary photography show, which showcases a LOT of pre- and post-printing trickery. Jowhara AlSaud's stunning aluminum-mounted works feel more like combo line-drawings and acrylics and Jeremy Kost's, while ostensibly untreated, do a cheeky collage effect a la David Hockney, only with Polaroids.
* Johannes VanDerBeek "Another Time Man" @ Zach Feuer LFL / 530 W 24th St. Compare/contrast VanDerBeek's room-filling mix-matched craft objects w/ Coolquitt's offering. Though in this case, they're more traditionally linear and artsy. VanDerBeek works in such diverse throwaway mediums as painted paper towels (shuffling out a slew, rabbit-breeding-like to put Josh Smith's productivity to shame) and painted aluminum mesh, formed into lifesize figures like a trippy hippie.
* "Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Utagawa Kuniyoshi" @ Japan Society / 333 E 47th St (456 to Grand Central, 6 to 51st, E/V to Lex/53rd). Tattooed dudes fighting giant octopi, tigers, massive spiders, uh crocodile-sharks? Women too! As many gorgeous color woodblock prints of "Woman in a Hilltop Teahouse", there seems to be its equivalent "Woman Taking Down a Marauding Dragon Spirit" — or something like that. And if you get this 'pulp-comics' vibe from the lot — or you manga lovers, you see a lot of familiar images — that's b/c Utagawa-san was endlessly influential to loads of today's artists. These works hail from like 150 years ago but it's a good glimpse at pop culture of the time, tall-tales, debauchery, heroism (there is a sequence from the classical "Water Margin" on display) and poetry. Plus a lot of super trippy stuff, like Kabuki actors and this gigantic cat spirit, or, uh "Octopus Games", which has Utagawa-san replacing humans w/ dancing octopi in a festive scene (there's one like this too only it's got a bunch of cats instead of octopi). I can't make this stuff up, I'm not that creative.