Wednesday, August 11, 2010

fee's LIST (through 8/17)

* "Enter the Void" (dir. Gaspar Noé, 2009, France) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 7p/good luck. Part of "Film Comment: Summer Meltdown". You're not getting into this VICE-cosponsored screening, w/ deviant enfant terrible Noé, Paz de la Huerta and Nathaniel Brown in attendance, this slo-mo acid float through a neon-drenched Tokyo, w/ the requisite drugs, sex and afterlife. I have class this evening so that's my excuse. But you... YOU should be there! (fingers crossed this reappears at Lincoln Center's upcoming NY Film Festival — or at Austin's Fantastic Fest, hell that would be wicked).

* "Weekend" (dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1967) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E to 5th Ave/53rd St, DF to 47-50th St), 7p. AKA "Week End", JLG's arguably final film from Nouvelle Vague, and it's a stunner: the typical petty bourgeoisie couple trapped in apocalyptic gridlock in the French countryside. A literal and figurative "trip".

* Memoryhouse + Twin Sister @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave), 7:30p/$10. I'm huge into lovely Ontario duo Memoryhouse's new EP "The Years", it's like positive-vibe Portishead w/o the beats, sort of. Local darlings Twin Sister's magnetic presence is like a groovy drug.

* "Younger Than Moses" Group Show @ Benrimon Contemporary / 515 W 24th St, 2nd Fl. Who says the NY gallery scene (specifically W.Chelsea) takes a European holiday? (Oh wait, I did...) This raucous affair (perhaps echoing New Museum's "Younger Than Jesus" triennial?) centers on 'idle worship', meaning the stuff that hooks our attention when we're in-between destinations, I guess. Emphasis on audience participation here (w/ everything!) and feat. an opening night performance w/ Kahori Kamiya "Hashtag" (twitter accounts necessary!) and w/ "artist in bathroom residence" Ryan V. Brennan.

* River Rocks 2010: Deerhunter + Real Estate @ Hudson River Park / 353 West St, Pier 40 (1 to Houston, CE to Spring), 6p/FREE. The potentially star-crossed pairing of suffocatingly hypnotic (and increasingly pop-driven) Deerhunter w/ NJ's coolly surf-minded Real Estate, replete w/ clever songwriting, active rhythm sections and loads of guitars. They play together again at Webster Hall on Oct 15, but this is show is 1) free and 2) outside so that equals LIST-certified dopeness.

* Twin Sister + Memoryhouse @ Monster Island / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford/JM to Marcy), 8p/$10. A night of dreaminess, and a decidedly more indie venue for these two bands. The A/V experience that is Ontario's Memoryhouse, think your favorite trip-hop band from the '90s but nearly beatless, w/ Denise Nouvion's soaring vocals + absolutely magical dream-disco locals Twin Sister, one of my favorites.

* Deerhunter (DJ set) + Ducktails @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8:30p/$10 w/ RSVP to popgun booking. Catch Deerhunter TWICE in one night, albeit as a (promisingly trippy) DJ set, w/ Matt Mondinale (Real Estate) and band as Ducktails. w/ The Big Sleep.

* Grizzly Bear @ The Beach / Governor's Island (take a NY Water Taxi ferry *before* 5:30p from Pier 11 at South Street Seaport (23/45 to Wall Street, J to Broad St) or from Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park (AC to Jay St, 23/45 to Borough Hall), 6p/$33 (roundtrip ferry fee). The OTHER mega concert this evening, besides the Deerhunter performance way on the other side of Manhattan, is clearly Grizzly Bear. I personally find "Yellow House" quite sombre (though beautiful) and "Veckatimest" a bit pop-ish, but what better way, really, to experience this talented foursome than on a beach past sunset? If you've done Wsburg Waterfront already, it's totally not the same. w/ The Walkmen + Gang Gang Dance

* German Measles + Eternal Summers @ Live at the Pyramids / 32D S. 1st St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 7p/$8. Here's one indie 11211 venue I've embarrassingly not attended (yet!), chock full of local indie, incl. my faves Eternal Summers and party-boys German Measles. w/ Reading Rainbow + Rescue Birds.

* "Scott Pilgrim v. the World" (dir. Edgar Wright, 2010) screenings, in wide release. Avid LIST-readers know I eschew wide-release films unless there's a serious reason to see 'em. And this has loads of reasons: comic-book/video game-style cinematography, Michael Cera as the charismatic bassist lead, fighting a legion of superpowered exes to win fuchsia-haired GF Mary Elizabeth Winstead's honor, all the while being stalked by his own crazy ex-GF named (in the film) Knives Chau. KNIVES. I would totally date a girl named "Knives".

* "Classic 3D" @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston, ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), through AUG 26. OK so beyond "Avatar" and the upcoming "Piranha 3D", what dope 3D films have debuted recently? "Clash of the Titans"? The absurdly named and be-coloned "Dogs & Cats: The Revenge of Kitty Galore"? Uh, "Step Up 3D" (give me a break). Luckily, Film Forum takes us back to the 'golden years' of classic 3D cinema, meaning 1953-4, way back when they had to use two projectors to run the films properly. Oh, they're absurd all right (in fact, "Dogs & Cats" wouldn't be out of place here), but they're way fun. Check the site for the full list and read on for some of my picks. And, lest you were worried, super-cool 3D glasses provided!

* Heliotropes + Heavy Hands @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$7. Frequent LIST-readers will remember my love for Heliotropes and their gorgeous mixture of hypnotic vocals w/ sludgy, heavy guitars and rhythm. Pair them w/ psyched-out stoner-rockers Heavy Hands and it's the heaviest lineup tonight. w/ Poison Arrows (Chicago)

* Eternal Summers + Yvette @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8. Noisy local duo Yvette (two dudes actually) I missed when they played w/ So Cow at Death By Audio last month. And any opportunity to see Eternal Summers' 90s-sunny pop is a good thing.

* "Gorilla at Large" (dir. Harmon Jones, 1954) screenings today and tonight @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston, ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), part of "Classic 3D" series. Guy dies at the carnival, so everyone suspects the star gorilla did it. Or wait: was it actually someone wearing a gorilla COSTUME? And this is in full-color 3D, remember.

* Saturdays @ Rock Yard w/ Frankie & The Outs + MINKS / 354 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JMZ to Marcy), 2p/FREE. NY in general and Brooklyn in particular is replete w/ free outdoor concerts this summer, and if you are just hankerin' for some tunes and cheap beer but don't want to hassle w/ wacky weekend service to Long Island City, brother (and sister) have I got an alternative for YOU. How about a Captured Tracks-heavy lineup at Rock Yard, Jelly NYC's decidedly uber-alt space in Wsburg, feat. the fierciest Frankie & the Outs (on the crest before their album debut this Sept) and glamorously moody MINKS? Yes, MAYJAH. w/ Total Slacker (and a slip 'n slide)

* Underwater Peoples Summer Showcase @ Shea Stadium / 20 Meadow St, Bushwick (L to Grand), 7p/$5. The 2nd annual NY-area summer showcase of all good things surf- and psych-, to help us all ride out the last weeks of this heat like a green curl at our backs. Last year's at sweaty Market Hotel was completely ace and earned a rightful place in my LIST Top Ten Cultural Events of 2009, and this year's lineup sounds promising. feat. Ducktails, Julian Lynch, Big Troubles, Air Waves, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks and more.

* Warm Up: ?uestlove (DJ Set) + These Are Powers @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City (E to 23rd St/Ely Ave, G to Court Square), 2-9p,$15. Ahmir Thompson, aka the illustrious Roots drummer ?uestlove, is one of the wisest, chillest contemporary musicians (and that's not just my opinion, either). His DJ set should epitomize deep-funk eclectic, i.e. you'll learn something while you're gettin' down. Bombastic local fab-partiers These Are Powers precede.

* Screaming Females @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. I still have the fury of Screaming Females ringing melodiously in my ears post-Siren Fest, where they absolutely SLAYED and I think won over several thousand new fans. So expect DbA to be extra-crowded tonight.

* Nite Jewel @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8:30p/$10 advance (buy 'em here). Too many concerts today! My schedule is booked solid, but you should definitely check Ramona Gonzales' electrifying project Nite Jewel, which is like one-part bedroom disco and one-part dancey "Feed Me Weird Things"-era Squarepusher, w/ lyrics. w/ Blood Orange

* PUJOL + Fergus & Geronimo @ Don Pedro / 90 Manhattan Ave, E.Williamsburg (G to Broadway, L to Montrose, JM to Lorimer), 8p/. It's PopJew's birthday party, and she has some of the best taste in local talent (plus indie rock in general — I credit her for getting me into the Nashville scene). This best-of bash feat. Daniel Pujol and his band (Nashville), Denton TX's Fergus & Geronimo + local rockers Home Blitz & Moonmen on the Moon Man, and I've a feeling it's going to run late.

* Anamanaguchi @ Brooklyn Bowl / 61 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 11:55p. Depending on how late the Underwater Peoples show runs, a strong dose of hacked NES punk might be the ticket, and no one does it better live than these guys. Bonus fact: they composed the soundtrack for "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game".

* "Out of the Blue" (dir. Dennis Hopper, 1980, Canada) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 8:30p. Part of "Film Comment: Summer Meltdown". The "Easy Rider" for the '80s, so says the trailer. That sums it up: Linda Manz as juvenile punk and daughter to belligerent ex-con Hopper (surprised?), w/ cameo by Canadian punk band Pointed Sticks. Takes you back, doesn't it?

* The Beets @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/. I'm always up for some Beets, aka Jackson Heights' finest garage-rockers. The lineup just got a little sweeter w/ inclusion of Austin TX's three-chord champs Rayon Beach.

* !!! + Future Islands @ The Pool Parties / E River State Park, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 2p/FREE. I'm big into the fill-the-stage dirty disco-funk that is !!!, but their lineup has morphed to such a degree (no Justin Van Der Volgen hypnotic basslines, no Tyler Pope buzzsaw guitars, no John Pugh whiteboy soul, no Jerry Fuchs, may he rest in peace) that I wonder "can the core still break it down?" So long as they have Shannon Funchess on guest vocals and Paul Quattrone on drums (plus Nic Offer's shameless ass-shaking) the answer is YES.

* "Those Redheads From Seattle" (dir. Lewis R. Foster, 1953) screenings tonight @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston, ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), part of "Classic 3D" series. Widowed mom and daughters (everyone's a redhead, like the title states, except the youngest girl) head to Alaska seeking a Gold Rush fortune. Oh, and this is a musical.

* "Fear Over the City" (dir. Henri Verneuil, 1975) screening @ Anthology Film Archives / 32 2nd Ave (F to 2nd Ave), 7p. Nouvelle Vague's classic thug Jean-Paul Belmondo as stalwart police inspector, leaping across rooftops to catch a killer. Add a signature score by Ennio Morricone (think any of Sergio Leone's films) and it's golden.

* "Stones in Exile" (dir. Stephen Kijak, 2010, USA/UK) + "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out"! (dirs. Albert Mayles, Bradley Kaplan & Ian Markiewicz, 1969/2009, USA) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 8:30p. Part of "Film Comment: Summer Meltdown". One behind-the-scenes motley from the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street" anthemic double-album, one live video of the Stones' '69 Madison Square Gardens performance + photo shoot.

* Eux Autres + Knight School @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/. Proper, spare sunny pop from the San Fran trio Eux Autres, who you will instantly fall in love w/ if you listen to 'em. It's like your best day from university and your favorite holiday rolled into one.

* "Annual Summer Invitational" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. Deep w/in the August heat, amid the shuttered galleries on holiday in W.Chelsea, there's a shining beacon of ABSOLUTE DOPENESS that is Jonathan LeVine Gallery. This show of 13 emerging artists kills. Take your pick, really, it's all good, but personal faves: Nicoletta Ceccoli gemlike acrylics on paper (fantasy scenes mixing whimsy and dread, of the Trevor Brown/Mark Ryden vein); Tran Nguyen's stunning figurative portraits in diluted acrylic and colored pencils (balancing classic early Surrealism, like '20s style, or like a Sofia Coppola film); LOLA's gently warped acrylics on board (like she used a Dali-sized horsehair brush to capture each and every wrinkle in fabric and animal fur); Andrew Hem's textured mixed media works (somehow both Second Life and the E. European "doomsday" painters like Alexander Tinei and Zsolt Bodoni). And that's just personal taste. The exhibition runs the gamut into feverish abstraction (Alex McLeod's C-prints, which wouldn't be remiss in a Nintendo Wii platform game, and Oliver Warden's somehow "pixellated" oil smears) and EVOL's startlingly photorealistic spraypaint on cardboard is unbelievable even in person. Highly recommended.
+ "Two-Way Street". The gallery teamed w/ Choque Cultural in Sao Paulo in feat. four Brazilian street artists, Chivitz (Alexandre Tadeu Alves), NOVE (Joao Paulo), Presto (Marcio Penha) and Ramon Martins, and beyond the ginormousness of Martins' mural-sized canvas a James Rosenquist-like washing-machine abstract of markers and spraypaint, I rather dug NOVE's swooping, sprite-like characters, somehow human and mechanical, rendered in acrylic and spraypaint on wood.

* "Year One" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. One of my favorites of the summer. Four fantastic, moody C. and E. European artists who are still getting little play in NY beyond this gallery. Alexander Tinei is my immediate favorite — his strong showing at NY VOLTA this past year sealed the deal for me — and this trio of new, dreamy nudes is riveting. Same deal w/ Josef Bolf's small, streaky, darker figures. Zsolt Bodoni's large, doomsday-ish industrial scenes and Daniel Pitin's smaller renderings from film stills balance the people with setting to create an all-inclusive haunting diorama.

* "Le Tableau", curated by Joe Fyfe @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. This beauty of a group show focuses on the surface of the canvas (or whatever medium) and the artists' creative lengths in the realm of 2D abstraction. What we receive is a dexterous abstraction show, always a strength of this gallery, incl. Louise Fishman's sumptuous, trowelled "Violets For My Furs" (w/ a crimson bloom in the upper left corner), Merlin James' "CAT", which is just that, an almost stenciled violet cat walking amidst a fuzzy spectrum of festive soap bubbles, the curator's own "After Corot", a deft 'color-block' abstract composed entirely of pink felt, orange-crush cotton, and jute, and a classic Joan Mitchell diptych as an aquatic field. There are nearly two dozen others that I didn't name, and much of it works.

* "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.

* Carol Bove + Sterling Ruby + Dana Schutz @ Andrea Rosen Gallery / 525 W 24th St. Q: how to incorporate the respective abilities of these three very different contemporary artists? A: don't even try, just let them do their thing. But in doing so, and w/ some deft planning, the gallery has managed to successfully mute Ruby's atmosphere-sucking quality in his brutal, large-scale sculpture (the slickened, wooden cannon "Consolidator") w/ Bove's pair of scale-defying Plexiglas and metal-mesh boxes. They're elevator car-sized, true, yet the transparent quality and the metallic shimmer tricks the eye and creates an interesting effect w/ the space. Schutz's trio of new paintings are good, primarily the very abstract "Finger in Fan", and adds a color element to the room.

* "Normal Dimensions", curated by Neville Wakefield @ Half Gallery / 208 Forsyth St. I'm feeling mono-no-aware here, the permeability of time, in experiencing this four-artist show. Carol Bove's oeuvre traditionally exemplifies that, esp. her impossibly delicate "Woman", little more than a stunning, fluttering peacock feather attached to a steel tether. Olympia Scarry's too, here the disquietingly large slab "Saliva", made of that and lye but mostly rendered fat, in a suspended state of animation (we hope). Susan Collis' luxe interventions require us to look very, very close, at the wall-protectors made of glittering gems and the platinum square staples in a diamond-shaped array. Xaviera Simmons' Xerox print of a barn owl carrying a mouse provides the literal message.

* Ragnar Kjartansson "The End" @ Luhring Augustine / 531 W 24th St. The young Icelandic artist's contribution to the 2009 Venice Biennale — daily portrait paintings of his lugubrious model/friend — may have raised some eyebrows on paper. But the end result, 144 colorful "snapshots" hung salon-style to cover the gallery's main room, is pretty magnificent, and consists almost entirely of off-moment gems rather than formal posing. Plus, in the back gallery: Kjartansson's new film "The Man" w/ blues pianist patriarch Pinetop Perkins, shot in such a way that it feels like the back wall is missing and Perkins is there, tickling the ivories in a sunset-drenched field before our very eyes.

* 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.

* "The Mass Ornament", curated by John Rasmussen @ Gladstone Gallery / 515 W 24th St. A fantastic group exhibition w/ a fierce undercurrent of dread running through much of the art. The game here is marginalized subjects and discreet interventions, but that's a bit broad so let me break it down for you. Nick Mauss (showing at "Greater New York" at MoMA PS1) has these slightly off double-chairs placed about the gallery. They link a frightening Gedi Sibony installation, which looks like a cloaked piano-sized apparition suspended high up on a wall, bodily prints by Alina Szapoczikow (way under-appreciated, check her at MoMA's "Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions" show), Ned Vena's disquieting rubber-on-linen Op-abstracts and Patricia Esquivias' ("Younger than Jesus") captivating four-part "Reads Like the Paper Group" film, w/ her hypnotic monotone overhead.

* "Touched" @ Lehmann Maupin / 540 W 26th St. I'm taking back much of my overall reticence toward summer group shows. There are many fine ones on now, incl this very physical one at the Chelsea gallery. Love impasto? Allison Schulnik's are like cake-frosted portraiture and Angel Otero's (particularly that yellow one) will burn your eyes out in a good way. Like impossible-to-categorize mixed media sculpture? My fav was Brett Lund's, which look like a cross b/w Huma Bhabha and Anselm Reyle.

* "Lush LIfe Ch 4: Let It Die", curated by Omar Lopez-Chaoud & Franklin Evans @ Lehmann Maupin / 201 Chrystie St. The BIG show of the nine, even though it doesn't utilize the upper gallery floor, literally spilling out into the street w/ Robert Buck's "shrine". Lots of fine work here, from Robert Melee's "melted" interventions, Amy Longenecker-Brown's scene-setting paintings contrasted w/ Rashid Johnson's spraypainted text on a mirror. The neighborhood, as I understand it, is in disarray, so the resultant exhibition is suitably in flux.

* "Lush Life Ch 6: "The Devil You Know", curated by Omar Lopez-Chaoud & Franklin Evans @ Colette Blanchard Gallery / 26 Clinton St. LaToya Ruby Frazier's b&w portraiture and Chakaia Booker's armored-detritus vest really elevate this chapter. One of the most intense exhibitions in the show.

* "The Tell-Tale Heart (part 2)" @ James Cohan Gallery / 533 W 26th St. Obsession and its unraveling. Props to the gallery for a unique spin on the conventional summer show, and double-props for the result. Lots of gun-imagery here (I suppose that's not surprising), from Koto Ezawa's simple-vector "soap opera" animation (echoed by Keren Cytter's stage-dialogue melodrama) to Shirin Neshat's disquieting b&w print (rune-inscribed bare feet around the barrel of a rifle). Dash Snow's print, the glistening just-expelled semen on the nude back of an anonymous figure, I've seen before but fits the tunnel-vision focus underlying the non-gun works (see also: Felix Gonzalez-Torres' lonely chairs/TV installation).

* "Jo and Jack: Jo Baer and John Wesley in the '60s" @ Matthew Marks Gallery / 522 W 22nd St. Baer's son Josh curated this selection of paintings and works on paper by these two seemingly very different artists from their time living and working together in NYC. I've seen them separately many times, so I didn't get the hook: Wesley's flat, simplified, almost minimalist Pop-like figures and nudes v. Baer's extremely minimalist canvases, usually just a colored border around a white or off-white expanse. But the key here, in this beautiful exhibition, is how well the artists play off one another. How Baer's 3D-like "frames" echo the clean lines of a single or repeated Wesley character. Even how they applied the paint to the canvas and the respective sizes of the canvases relate, as if to experience one work you need to see the ones to either side of it.

* Jeff Kessel @ Derek Eller Gallery / 615 W 27th St. Amid this season of group exhibitions, we have the Brooklyn artist's solo debut at the gallery, and it's a beauty not to be missed. I caught him last year in a three-artist abstraction show at Bortolami, and I was quite taken by Kessel's large, troweled-paint canvases. This grouping of ecstatic new works, like the shadowy one invoking Louise Fishman's style, or the grayish, speckled one resembling a drop-cloth (or Josh Smith's style, only paint-on-canvas), is fantastic. For one reason or another, he's not in "Greater NY" (mistake!), but I think we'll be seeing much more of Kessel in the future.

* "You Were There", curated by Thomas Duncan @ Rachel Uffner Gallery / 47 Orchard St. This was a cool idea: show the artists' (Rita Ackermann, Justin Adian, Joe Bradley, Sarah Braman, Sara Greenberger Rafferty and Josh Smith) work from 2005 and from 2010, one example of each. w/ someone as prolific as Smith, who may have created like 2,000 unique works in that timespan, it's interesting two see two same-sized canvases from him, the newer looking more screenprint-ish but even so, no massive change. Sarah Braman's is an interesting transformation from stacked and painted cardboard boxes to stacked and spray-painted Plexiglas and steel, a bit like Donald Judd w/ a lot of whimsy (Dan Graham, maybe?). And I absolutely loved the (older) Ackermann "African Nurse", a golden-hued mixed media painting that embodies the sensuality of Matisse and Gauguin, plus Chris Ofili's silver-leaf works, only it's totally Ackermann.

* "in here" @ Laurel Gitlen (Small A Projects)" / 261 Broome St. Five artists take on representing the relationship of what is visible and invisible, and if that sounds abstract in words it makes loads more sense in person. Take Michele Abeles' bodily version of still-life photography, b/c what you see, and what she lists, is PRECISELY what you get (esp. "Fuschia, Yellow, Green, Blue, Numbers, Man, Cement, Paper", 2010). She and Uri Aran (who mixes computer renderings w/ inkjet prints, to creatively collaged effect) are both in "Greater NY" at MoMA PS1, but their newish works here are exceedingly superior. Add Jamie Isenstein's continual portrayal of her/the body, Halsey Rodman's assemblage, and Erik Wysocan's marquee installation (hint: view it from multiple angles), and you've got a concise, smart summer group show.

* "Shape Language", organized by Natalie Campbell @ Nicole Klagsbrun / 526 W 26th St #213. An incredible group show amid a veritable sea of summer group shows, centered on the ostensibly simple thesis of color and form. We're rewarded with a very savory exhibition, anchored by Blinky Palermo's ovoidish gray form and peer Imi Knoebel's jagged, colorful collage. From these '70s-era springboards, the rest of the show is a voyage through the creatively minimal and patterned (Ned Vena, Zak Prekop, Joe Bradley) to the luxuriantly colorful (Amy Sillman, Patrick Brennan, Wendy White's particularly entrancing multicanvas work). Yes, it's all artists/styles I easily get into, but I think you will too. Trust me on this one: Klagsbrun's show carries my highest recommendations.

* "Spray!" @ D'Amelio Terras / 525 W 22nd St. I dug this multigenerational show involving artists using aerosol-based media as their main component, at least in what was featured here. This spans Yayoi Kusama's early '70s signature psychedelia and Dan Christensen's gestural spraypaint-on-canvas from '68 to Jacqueline Humphries, Rosy Keyser and Sterling Ruby today.

* "Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art" @ Metropolitan Museum of Art / 1000 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). It is w/ heavy heart that this stellar exhibition — a leading example of the Met's fantastic recession-era programming, i.e. drawing from what you've already got — comes to a conclusion. So the Met's Cubist-era collection pales in comparison to MoMA's (no "Still Life With Chair Caning", no "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"), true, but check the rich examples from Picasso's Blue and Rose Periods, like the shocking "La Douleur" and the regal "The Actor", respectively), plus the Met's room of linocut prints rival's MoMA's easily. See this one one more time, hang out on the roof and have a beer, take in the dregs of late summer surrounded by culture.