* "Hamilton" (dir. Matthew Porterfield, 2006) screening @ 92Y Tribeca / 200 Hudson St (1/ACE to Canal St), 8p/$12. Note the incredible floating- and fixed-camera in Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless" and most of Taiwanese New Wave directors Tsai Ming-Liang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien's output. Now add Porterfield to that, the contemporary American director whose deft camerawork I am most excited about. This 60-minute humid summer's day working-class Baltimore slice-of-life is a brilliant, bittersweet gem.
* "Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3D" (dir. Mark Lewis, 2009) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, G to Fulton), 6:30/9:30p (part of BAMcinemaFEST). Australia's beetle-devouring, poisonous cane toads in 3D. That's a deal-maker right there.
* Secret Show @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 11p/$5. It's not exactly a secret anymore, but this late-night, last-minute show, feat. two bands who have just-released LPs (Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing) + one w/ hopefully an album on the way (Frankie & The Outs) epitomizes my oft-used term "dope".
* "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", 12-2p. Check installation/performance duo robbinschilds and their work-in-progress contribution to "Greater New York", 'I came here on my own'.
* "Heat Wave" @ Lombard-Freid Projects / 531 W 26th St. Five young(ish) artists from the Middle East (plus one from Indonesia) mix culture and politics w/ popular culture. This should be an excellent platform for us to learn about the artists, for though several (Maya Schindler and Noa Charuvi from Israel) live in NY, they have rarely shown stateside.
* Summer Show @ Robert Miller Gallery / 524 W 26th St. Considering the gallery artists present here, Lee Krasner, Joseph La Piana, Robert Greene etc, I'm thinking this is a texture/perception show.
* GNY: Cinema @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/V to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 3p. Feat. collab short-films "New Report" (2005) and "New Report Artist Unknown" (2006) b/w K8 Hardy and Wynne Greenwood, plus Elisabeth Subrin's "Shulie" (1997).
* Goodnight Loving (Wis) + Big Troubles @ Silent Barn / 915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood (L to Halsey, M to Myrtle/Wyckoff), 8p. Popjew-curated shows tend to fall heavily on the 'dope' side. This one, w/ local garage-rockers Big Troubles and Milwaukee's jam-tastic Goodnight Loving (their 1st of several nights in the city).
* Aki Sasamoto w/ Saul Melman performance @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/V to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to Courthouse Sq), part of "Greater New York", 2-4p. If you've been to the boiler room in the basement of PS1 and wondered what was up w/ those stacked salt-blocks (plus Melman's sporadic gilding of the boiler), that's all part of "Central Governor" his half of a performance w/ Sasamoto ("Skewed Lines", in a cocoon-like loft in the back).
* Andy Warhol "The Last Decade" @ Brooklyn Museum / 200 Eastern Parkway, Park Slope (23 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum). The 1st U.S. museum survey of the Pop icon's late works, from his highly abstract "Shadows" to his "Camouflage" and "Rorschach" paintings. Mind you, the Gagosian did this already back in 2006, as their inaugural 21st St location show.
* Yevgeniy Fiks "Ayn Rand in Illustrations" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. Bit of a guilty pleasure maybe, and inventive, as Fiks juxtaposes Rand's texts w/ detailed renderings of Soviet Socialist Realist art.
* "Le Amiche" (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1955) screenings @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston, ACE/BDFV to W 4th St). Before my favorite Italian Modernist director dove into his long-take suite w/ muse Monica Vitti (beginning of course w/ 1960's "L'Avventura"), he was already working up themes of the petite bourgeoisie (and casting gorgeous women) in 'The Girlfriends'.
* "Wah Do Dem" (dirs. Ben Chace & Sam Fleischner) screenings @ Cinema Village / 22 E 12th St (NRW/456/L to Union Square). Pale, skinny Brooklyn musician takes a meandering journey about Jamaica after missing the cruise-boat back. Call it a 21st C. odyssey, but it looks beautiful: the landscape breathes greenery and even nightfall feels sun-warmed. Plus it makes me think of Nanni Moretti's "Caro Diario", and I don't just mean the moped trip.
* "Taxi Driver" (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1976) midnight screening @ Sunshine Cinema / 143 E Houston St (FV to 2nd Ave). I don't know what's hotter, relatively speaking: wiry, mohawked Robert De Niro, waifish Jodie Foster, or Harvey Keitel as a pimp. Hell, it made for my favorite season of Junya Watanabe menswear. ALSO SAT
* Ducktails + Wild Nothing @ Monster Island Basement / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. Summertime proper washes in on a wave of guitar loops and synthy psychedelia, courtesy of Matt Mondaile (Ducktails, + Real Estate's shimmering guitarist) and amigos. w/ Velvet Davenport.
* Goodnight Loving (Wis) @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$8. Night #2 of Milwaukee's Goodnight Loving should be a little faster and dirtier, w/ inclusion of locals Ex Humans, and that's fine with me.
* Rotating Gallery 2 "the backroom", curated by Kate Fowle @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E/V to 23rd St/Ely Ave, G to Courthouse Square), part of "Greater New York". ICI Executive Director Fowle creates Rotation 2 (of 4) during "Greater New York", a sort-of research-room full of her artists' inspirations and source materials.
* Heliotropes + Librarians @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 7p/$7. A benefit for the Montcoal, WV mining disaster, w/ Morgantown's indie boys Librarians + the sweet, sweet dissonance of Brooklyn's Heliotropes, who currently claim the distinction of 'my new favorite band'.
* Talib Kweli & friends feat. Jean Grae @ Brooklyn Bowl / 61 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$5. I think I 1st caught Jean Grae on an Immortal Technique track, "The Illest", back in the day, and brother she is an ILL MC. I've got my fingers crossed Kweli joins her for "Say Something".
* Ducktails + Nonhorse @ Silent Barn / 915 Wyckoff Ave, Ridgewood (L to Halsey, M to Myrtle/Wyckoff), 8p. Tape-heads rule tonight, w/ Nonhorse's sound-scaping freakouts and Human Resource's Oval-ish interventions, then Matt Mondaile (Ducktails/Real Estate) adds a guitar to the mix.
* "Homunculi" curated by Trinie Dalton @ Canada / 55 Chrystie St. An appropriately physical show, w/ strong works by Allison Schulnik (doing the impasto thing well, like a 'bouquet of flowers' painting), Matt Greene (and I must say, I'm really impressed w/ his works here) and Ruby Neri, particularly her doll-like duo, resembling like a delicate cross b/w Louise Bourgeois' knit figures and Folkert de Jong.
* Allison Katz "Le Tit." @ Rachel Uffner Gallery / 47 Orchard St. These glistening oil paintings, in a range of sizes and on canvas, linen and panel, bounce between soft-edged Fauvism and harder abstraction, but Katz has a strong command of lines and figures throughout. I look forward to seeing more from her.
* "Depth Perception" @ Stephan Stoyanov Gallery / 29 Orchard St. A smart group show that juuust takes you off-balance enough w/o pitching you over the edge. Thomas Eller's compressed photo-assemblage is actually the most static work in the show, against Geoff Kleem's gently trippy "The Good Forest" (use the supplied 3D glasses), Roland Flexner's drizzly blue-tinted prints (compare w/ his sumi-e 'landscapes' from this past Whitney Biennial), and Claire Ellen Corey's swirling Monet-inspired "Cove".
+ "Sites of Memory", downstairs gallery. William Stover curated this excellent architecture-imbued group show in the cavernous lower gallery. It's a bit like experiencing the basement of PS1 for the 1st time, so take your time and don't miss a thing. Highlights: Rebecca Chamberlain's (of 2010 VOLTA NY) triptych ink interiors, Eva Davidova's disarming metallic photocollage, and typically strong offerings from Candida Hofer, Rachel Whiteread and the Bechers (plus don't miss Nina Waisman's sound installation). A deft interplay w/ the upstairs show.
* Richard Kalina "A Survey" @ Lennon, Weinberg Gallery / 514 W 25th St. Big Kalina fan here, I dig his particular type of abstraction, which I know best as kids' breakfast cereal-colored geometric collage-paintings. This 40-year look at his oeuvre necessarily solidifies his presence, from early '80s castle- and ocean-inspired paintings that echo the strong lines of Charles Demuth to contrasty b&ws and eventually the dotty, patterened canvases I'm used to seeing.
* "Process/Abstraction" @ Paul Kasmin Gallery / 293 10th Ave. Let's get this out of the way: this is a dude-only show of process-driven abstraction, so in that sense it's predictable. In another sense: it's a satisfying show, in places. Hell, anytime Christopher Wool is included (here on of his telltale photocopy-ish enamel on linens) I'm game. His outdoes Nathan Hylden's acrylic on aluminum, as Morris Louis' chromatic eruption blasts Ian Davenport's admittedly laborious acrylic outta there. Double props to the perception-screwing Kenneth Noland and the refreshingly reductive Zak Prekop (of "Greater New York").
* Chris Astley "Geronimo" @ BravinLee Programs / 526 W 26th St #211. You might not believe it by reading the description — 2 doz.+ bags, filled w/ wet cement then, after hardening, painted and stacked upon one another — but Astley's fortlike installation in the gallery is both transfixing and oddly organic, almost like a Philip Guston background come to life.
* Leslie Wayne "One Big Love" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 513 W 20th St. So there's this idea of impasto — thickly applied paint to the surface — then there's Wayne's signature violent, mesmerizingly beautiful version. She slathers the canvas, rips up parts months later, folding them onto themselves and then adds more paint, more layers. The end result are jewel-sized miracles that can resemble impossibly-colored wood-shavings, seashell insides, arctic landscapes, plastic food, and at the most 'simplistic' acid-colored twisted affairs not entirely unlike Steven Parrino. I dig, I dig.
* Sherrie Levine @ Mary Boone Gallery / 745 Fifth Ave. This is a great elegant take on Levine's redoubling, in a classic look at her oeuvre. The standout "Newborn (Black/White)" installation, four cast-glass Brancusi redoes on borrowed pianos (taken in spirit from a Brancusi home installation photo), is soothing: the relative scales of the delicate sculpture against their super-sized 'display platforms' works well. Levine's cheeky answer to Duchamp in "Fountain (Buddha)" is a shiny, cast-bronze wonder, esp. when you observe the reflections in the interior surfaces. And her framed and painted wood works from the mid-'80s show a hand-crafted Levine that you just might not be that familiar with.
* Hany Armanious "Birth of Venus" @ Foxy Production / 623 W 27th St. At the offset, Armanious' 2nd solo show at the gallery may seem quite a bit quieter (and smell better) than his alarming "Year oft the Pig Sty" installation in 2007, but his core practice of meticulous object-castings is in full form here. Don't miss checking everything from all angles, like the underside of the metaphysical "Effigy of an Effigy with Mirage" or the charmingly named "Party Pooper". Things, as they say, are NOT always what they appear.
* Mike Kelley "Arenas" @ Skarstedt Gallery / 20 E 79th St. Bring a hankie: Kelley's classic circa-1990 'Arenas', aka stuffed toys with blankets on the gallery floor, conjure powerful sensations of nostalgia, let alone transgressive anthropomorphizing. Seven of the eleven originals assembled here for the 1st time since their debut installation. Don't miss it.
* Lee Bul @ Lehmann Maupin / 201 Chrystie St. I'm all about the flotilla of compressed/abstracted wood-and-metal architecture hanging in Lee's new exhibition. It's a great 'next step' for the artist, moving beyond the highly-accessorized glitz of her previous show into something cleaner, sharper and much darker.
* Shirazeh Houshiary "Light Darkness" @ Lehmann Maupin / 540 W 26th St. Houshiary's meticulous networks of screenlike colored-pencil lines, interwoven with washes of aquacryl, produce these shadowy optical effects like Will O' the Wisps or sunsets. And don't miss the two video works in the side gallery, which are excellent and further impart her methodology: stare at them long enough and reenter the main gallery, and the static works may well appear to be shimmering.
* Ghada Amer "Color Misbehavior" @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. More like 'color exuberance', which doesn't quite have the same ring, though it rings true to Amer's fantastic 1st show at the gallery. Her signature embroidered and acrylic-wash renderings of female nudes, from cheeky juvenile posturing to straight out of a porno mag, take on richly patterned, Manala-like forms in such psychedelic works as "Waterfall" and "The Black Bang". A series of works on paper, showcasing both her deftness w/ just needle and thread and her unique take on watercolor, complete the exhibition.
* Richard Prince "Tiffany Paintings" @ Gagosian / 980 Madison Ave. Richard Prince "Tiffany Paintings". At 1st blush, Prince's latest output doesn't have the sort of 'meat' one can visually latch onto like his fab "Canal Zone" show two years ago (or his various "Nurses", "Hoods", "Cowboys" etc). But when you slow down and take in these overall minimalist paintings — the basic formula is a Tiffany's ad in the upper right corner, surrounded on two sides by swaths of monochromatic haze — it all starts to make sense. Underneath layers of paint lie obits, some barely readable, to Richard Pryor and Bob Richardson (in "Even Lower Manhattan"), to Tom Wesselmann (in "Christmas"), to Karel Appel ("The Motor") — to the incredibly touching one for Dash Snow ("The Finish" — in which Prince selected words from the NY Times, not included in Roberta Smith's Snow obit, for emphasis: 'nice', 'good', 'happy', 'beautiful'). These are incredibly personal — and personalized — works. And the most abstract of the lot, "Stranded" and "Will Be Girls", where any text is lost in the noise of acrylic washes, find us most captivated as we stare deep into Prince's canvases, searching for just who he made them.
* Thomas Struth @ Marian Goodman Gallery / 24 W 57th St. Struth's gorgeous new massive C-prints are lovely, abound w/ super-crisp color and form. I have little idea what most of them are, despite their super-descriptive titles ("Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X Detail Max Planck IPP, Greifswald", "Tokamak Asdex Upgrade Periphery Max Planck IPP, Garching"), which look like chrome and wires and hazard yellows and reds, out of a James Rosenquist ultra-abstract, but I like 'em all the same.
* "Twenty-Five" @ Luhring Augustine / 531 W 24th St. Dropping the term 'greatest hits' is not to knock this exhibition, celebrating the gallery's 25th year of doing it right, putting on dope shows w/ a great roster of artists (and guests). Nearly everything's a highlight, incl. Janine Antoni's suitably visceral "Lick and Lather" (1993), Michelangelo Pistoletto's "Metrocubo d'infinito" (1966, the old dog in the show, and probably not what you're used to seeing from the artist, though he does use mirrors), Jon Kessler's enigmatic "Noriko" (1994) and Christopher Wool's bloody "Minor Mishap II" (2001).
* Kiki Smith "Lodestar" @ The Pace Gallery / 545 W 22nd St. Smith's new installation at the gallery — her 1st NY gallery exhibition in eight years — is a quiet stunner: some three dozen glass panels, tall and narrow like windows from an old house, upon which she painted figures denoting a woman's life-cycle. And while the array doesn't provide a tidy, Hollywood-style progression — though a birth factors in early on and the panes do end with a casket — the meandering walk itself, along and between the glass, is like moving through a lucid dream. You control how you progress through it, but the figures around you, the recurring young woman, the mother and the older matron, flit in and out in their own performance.
* Andy Goldsworthy "New York Dirt Water Light" @ Galerie Lelong / /528 W 26th St. An overall quiet show for the discreet landscape-manipulator, as he documents his interventions in Manhattan's busy streets. The inkjet suites depicting the public's complete obliviousness to the evaporating gutter water on the sidewalk around them is typical, but one series in particular — "Gutter Water – Night, West 43rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, New York, March 5, 2010" — bathed in neon, as blurred crowds totally miss the magnificent water spiral on the ground as it dissipates into nothingness, really struck a chord w/ me. How many of these seemingly innocuous, though secretly pleasing, 'interventions' exist out there for us to discover?
* Summer show @ On Stellar Rays / 133 Orchard St. I hope you've been to "Greater New York" by now, the fab 5-year survey of hot NY-based artists at MoMA PS1. This gallery has a strong showing there, and its revolving show, on for another two weeks, features participants incl Debo Eilers (pastel-hued mixed media sculpture), Zipora Fried (minimalist abstraction + screwy portraiture) and Tommy Hartung (stop-motion video).
* Jorge Pardo @ Friedrich Petzel Gallery / 537 W 22nd St. Pardo relegates himself to nearly strictly MDF and acrylic, to incredible results. The showpiece is a mazelike, interlocking series of honeycombed MDF structures, what the gallery calls a 3D library, full of Pardo's web-image reproductions (random stuff, from tigers and Princess Diana to Che Guevara and lowbrow Mike Kelley-ish humor).
* Uta Barth "...to walk without destination and to see only to see" @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / 521 W 21st St. 'Walking trips' sounds like such a simple concept, when the artist decided to take her camera with her and document them, including her own shadow in the diptychs and triptychs against close-ups of sun-drenched leaves. But looking at these print pairings carries a feeling not unlike waking from reverie, as the soft-blurred shapes pull into arresting focus, all the while against the elongated shadow of Barth's legs or, in one example, as foam from seawater pools around her feet. It's a mesmerizing feat, and it links beautifully w/ the special series of unseen vintage works (some of her earliest, circa '79) in the back gallery.
+ Ian Kiaer. The 'discreet installation' artist (my description) uses Alexandre Dumas' "The Black Tulip" as inspiration for this textural show, a mix of black and white elements of varying reflective qualities and mediums. Bend down for closer views, step all the way back, look from angles, interact w/ these quiet 'still-lifes' to fully experience them.
* William Pope.L "landscape + object + animal" @ Mitchell-Innes & Nash / 534 W 26th St. This is the 1st Pope.L exhibition I recall where the artist — "the friendliest Black artist in America" — is not present for his typically enduring performances. That said (and there is an ongoing performance here, w/ volunteers, called "Cusp" that involves a figure in oversized PJs, clutching a brimming cup w/ green ink on a mound of soil), Pope.L's presence is palpable in this installation, from the scattered and ripped stuffed animals to the paintings and slogans that cover the walls ("Green People Are a New Kind of Shit"). It's like he visits the gallery every night, his 2nd studio, and moves things around unbeknownst to us.
* Alison Elizabeth Taylor "Foreclosed" @ James Cohan Gallery / 533 W 26th St. Taylor's singular mastery of marquetry (intarsia wood inlay, circa the Court of Versailles) continues to amaze. Her works in this show are (on the whole) sparer, as she zeroes in on the grim details of foreclosed homes (check the sunny titles: "Shotgun Hole with Additional Vandalism", "Hole Kicked", "Pickaxe Swing"). There is a great depth to these subtler works, though, in a 3D sense, esp. in "Wires Ripped", which really looks like a gash in the wall. Several larger works, like the stunning "Security House" (which deftly renders foliage, sand, rock and feathers in various woods) round out the exhibition.
* Martin Creed @ Gavin Brown's Enterprise / 620 Greenwich St. The Scottish conceptualist created a very tactile, very IDably beautiful installation this time, blanketing the floor of the gallery w/ marble planks in varying colors. That's essentially "it", but the work stretches beyond the perimeters of the public space, into the offices and further back, organically.
+ Jonathan Horowitz. The artist restages his notorious "Go Vegan!" installation at La Frieda Meats, at 601 Washington and just around the corner from Creed's show. His work, a combo of screenprinted cute animals, portraits of vegan celeb, and video of cows being bled in a slaughterhouse work brilliantly off the steel walls, hooks, and rubbery doors of the empty meat-market. I wonder, though, if it were like in a white-box space if it would have the same propulsion. Here, though, it's excellent (though I'm still carnivorous).
* Stuart Cumberland "Gone/There" @ Nicholas Robinson Gallery / 535 W 20th St. Some of my favorite 'painterly' elements, all in one place. Take Roy Lichtenstein's Ben Day dots and recontextualize those for today, filtered through a Keith Haring palette w/ bold black squiggles and washes from Christopher Wool's world.