* Latinbeat 2010 @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St). I've been a fan of Latinbeat since 2007, w/ the one-two punch of Gael Garcia Bernal's "Déficit" (still not available stateside?) and Fernando Pérez's haunting "Madrigal". 2008 had the cute stuff, "Malta con huevo" (Cristobal Valderrama, Chile) + Monique Gardenberg's "O Pai, O". And I loved "Lovely Loneliness" (Victoria Galardi & Martin Carranza's Argentinian co-direction) in last year's festival. This year's shouldn't disappoint, w/ 16 films from eight countries, nearly everything a U.S. premiere film. Check the schedule for showtimes and ticket info, and read further for my picks. THRU SEPT 18
* "Catfish" (dirs. Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost, 2010) advance screening @ Performance Space 122 / 150 1st Ave (L to 1st Ave), 7p/RSVP here. By now you may nor may not know what "Catfish" is, but if you only seen the charming-into-confoundingly-truncated trailer, that's OK. It's a budding romance, filmed as a documentary and set on Facebook, only… Anyway, catch it tonight before the proper opening on the 17th. All the intrigue is totes worth it.
* Sleep @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple / 317 Clermont Ave, Ft Greene (C to Lafayette Ave, G to Clinton-Washington), 8p/SOLD OUT. Legendary Cali stoner rockers absolutely decimated Brooklyn Masonic Monday night, beginning w/ Matt Pike's ferocious solo riffs off "Dopesmoker", segueing into a quaking, defibrillating dirge. We were all believers then. Tonight's show has been sold out for ages, but if you can snag tix somehow, its totally worth it. One of the most intense live shows I've ever seen. w/ Lichens
* Masako Inkyo "Shin-ra-ban-shou" @ Onishi Gallery / 521 W 26th St. This exceptionally cool "yoji-jukugo" (four-character idiom) roughly translates as "all things in nature". It encompasses Inkyo's latest inspiration in her dynamic calligraphy works, matching five brushwork styles w/ aspects of nature. Also: she is my kanji sensei at Japan Society, so of course she is marvelous.
* Zsolt Bodoni "Fehérlofia, Son of the White Mare" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. Bodoni, who enjoyed a fab inclusion in the four-artist "Year One" show at the gallery this past summer, returns w/ ferocity in large-scale, grimy industrial oils/acrylics of factories, car-parks and ruined landscapes, interspersed w/ Hungarian folklore. Note: Bodoni is participating, w/ a bunch of dope Eastern European artists incl some repped by the gallery (Alexander Tinei, Josef Bolf, Goran Skofic) in "After the Fall" at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill NY, which opens SUN 9/19.
* Zilvinas Kempinas "BALLROOM" @ Yvon Lambert / 550 W 21st St. Oh this is going to be MAYJAH. Avid art-goers may recall the artist's scene-stealing installation at "Especes d'espaces", the hoola-hoop-sized magnetic loop "suspended" b/w two industrial fans. He returns w/ a solo installation bearing his signature unorthodoxy: a humming, color-shifting, temporal flux about the entire gallery — and, I think, a good visual primer before Gaspar Noe's "Enter the Void".
+ Roman Opalka "Passages". The artist's 1st solo exhibition at the gallery, running concurrently at the Paris gallery. His focus in NY are the details, literally, a triptych zoomed in to an infinite number chain, ostensibly a monochrome when viewed from a distance.
* Craig Kauffman @ Danese / 535 W 24th St 6th Fl. Late-period works from the high-gloss Cali minimalist, whose vacuum-formed acrylic reliefs and floppy Plexiglas shapes are a bit Dali and a bit "new-car" all at once.
* Sarah Peters "An Appeal to Heaven" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. The artist's continued investigation of colonial America, from inky maelstrom-like seascape drawings (the "Mayflower" series) to stylized bronze busts ("Descendants and Believers").
* Nathan Carter @ Casey Kaplan Gallery / 525 W 21st St. Carter's last exhibition at the gallery, this time in 2008, was a chorus of Miro-esque figurative abstraction, as painted steel sculpture. It was phenomenal and I'm looking forward to the "mad scientist" one-upping his craft.
* Yi Hwan-Kwon @ Gana NY / 568 W 25th St. Oh I'm sure you've come across Yi's unmistakable photorealistic yet absurdly distorted sculpture, if at an art fair or biennale. Think familiar film antiheroes (Luc Besson's "Leon", Trinity from "The Matrix") as they'd appear along the event horizon of a black hole (or an impossibly wide-screen TV, fitting w/ the imagery). His 1st solo U.S. exhibition.
* Marcel Broodthaers "Section Cinéma" @ Marian Goodman Gallery / 24 W 57th St. Broodthaers' conceptual museum, Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section Cinema, w/ screenings of six of the iconic artist's films.
* Marcel Broodthaers "Major Works" @ Michael Werner Gallery / 74 E 77th St. Concurrent w/ the Goodman show, this career-spanning exhibition contains, as the title would convey, some of the Belgian artist's strongest (yet in instances very rarely seen) works. From his poetic text paintings and Surrealist imagery, to the mesmerizing late-period installation "Dites Partout Que Je L'ai Dit".
* Louise Bourgeois & Tracey Emin "Do Not Abandon Me" @ Carolina Nitsch / 534 W 22nd St. An intriguing pairing across generations, of the queen of bodily abstraction (Bourgeois) and the contemporary body-inclined iconoclast (Emin), in 16 collaborative gouache works from the past two years that explore gender, sexuality, birth and attachment, common themes in both their oeuvres.
* Adam Fuss "Home and the World" @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. The experimental photographer works on the theme of snakes and ladders, cons and pros, quite literally in large, calligraphic slithering C-prints and massive daguerreotypes.
* Lori Field "The Sky is Falling" @ Claire Oliver / 513 W 26th St. Field's multilayered colored pencil and encaustic works remind me of chewing through a bag of psylocibin and diving head-first into a field of daffodils. Pop culture and human/animal hybrids poke in and out of these very druggy scenes.
* "Counterpoint: Outsider Art from Japan" @ Miyako Yoshinaga art prospects / 547 W 27th St 2nd Fl. Tokyo's Yukiko Koide Presents gallery co-organized this exhibition of five artists from Studio SYU, a creative workshop for the disabled located in Kawaguchi-shi, Saitama.
* Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao @ Julie Saul Gallery / 535 W 22nd St, 6th Fl. Huge-ass panoramic photographs, up to 8' long, of stuff we know as NYers (whether original residents or transplants), hell even tourists know Coney Island, Times Square etc. But well…they're breathtaking to look at (and digital jigsaw puzzles, collaged from a day's worth of exposures).
* Gabriel Hartley @ Foxy Production / 623 W 27th St. The way this London-based artist works over his (somehow) bodily abstracts is, at least in THIS writer's head, how Thurston Moore and Lee Ronaldo produce those wicked sounds w/ their guitars.
* Joseph Zito "Not Even the Saints Can Help" @ Lennon, Weinberg Inc / 514 W 25th St. The gallery goes a bit aside from their solid repertoire of abstraction w/ Zito's sparse boat installation, augmented w/ vaguely nautical watercolors for cohesion.
* "Stop Motion" - Keith Edmier & Allam McCollum @ Friedrich Petzel Gallery / 535 W 22nd St. The exhibition is a clue for what's within: McCollum's signature "surrogates" as an array of plaster-molded dogs (in convincing stop-motion) and two basalt-cast human hearts from Edmier.
* Lee Friedlander "Recent Western Landscape" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 745 5th Ave. The beauty of arid, tangled underbrush, as only Friedlander can capture. Shot around Death Valley, Glen Canyon, and the Mojave Desert. And note: Friedlander's "America By Car" exhibition, the ultimate roadtrip, just opened at Whitney Museum.
* Karl Wirsum "Drawings 1967-70" @ Derek Eller Gallery / 615 W 27th St. We haven't had a solo show from this original Hairy Who member in a lonnnng time. This one, culled from the artist's fecund sketchbooks, should be enlightening.
* Elaine Stocki, Whitney Claflin, Ian Campbell "Handshakes" @ Thomas Erben Gallery / 526 W 26th St 4th Fl. Three young, emerging artists working in varying mediums that all dovetail somehow to photography (found Polaroids, stock digitally printed posters, manipulated etc).
* Jeff Bark "Lucifer Falls" @ Hasted Hunt Kraeutler / 537 W 24th St. The namesake comes from a natural swimming pool and waterfall located in Robert H. Treman State Park in the Finger Lakes region, set into like majestic fantasy bookcovers via Bark's lens.
* "The Interrupted Image" @ Nicholas Robinson Gallery / 535 W 20th St. Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath curated this diversified take on visual perception, which incl Wafaa Bilal's video installations riffing off Edouard Manet's "A Bar at the Folies Bergere", Birgit Graschopf's abstractified (I made that word up) massive C-prints, Rashid Rana's photo collages mating pornography and slaughterhouse imagery w/ Persian carpets, and more.
* Andra Ursuta "The Management of Barbarism" @ Ramiken Crucible / E. Broadway at Clinton. Sculpture and drawings from the "third world improviser / Romanian village punk" (so quotes the press release), incl. cartoonish representations of intrusion on settled culture and brutal works combining torture, eroticism, self-discovery and her Romanian background.
* Nakhee Sung "between you and me" @ Doosan Gallery / 533 W 25th St. The NY residency program inaugurates its fall season w/ Sung's small-scale abstract works on paper and a mixed media wall drawing, involving vinyl among other things.
* Yoshitomo Nara "Nobody's Fool" @ Asia Society / 725 Park Ave (6 to 68th St). The super MAYJAH mid-career of one of Japan's most notoriously successful Neo Pop artists. Yeah, you know Takashi Murakami's druggy flowers and Vuitton collabs (and "My Lonesome Cowboy"), but Nara's petulant li'l girls and punk-rock aesthetics are extremely pervasive, in Western pop culture, too. 20 years of paintings, sculpture, drawings and Nara's mini-house installations — a must-see this fall.
* "Honeymoons" (dir. Goren Paskaljevic, 2009, Serbia/Albania/Italy) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 7p. The Serbian director Paskaljevic, who was forced out of Belgrade by the Milosevic regime and had a brilliant retrospective at MoMA in 2008, returns w/ his latest film, bridging Serbian and Albanian worlds and lives of young couples seeking a more open, multinational Europe. Paskaljevic attends THU screening for a Q&A. Also screening SAT (5p), SUN (2:30p)
* Oval @ ISSUE Project Room / 232 3rd St, Gowanus (MR to Union St), 8/10p, $20. Two incomparable sets from glitch forerunner Markus Popp, whose unparalleled "94 Diskont" from 1995 (had I only encountered this when it came out, when I was in middle school, I think I'd be a verrrry different person now) w/ its literally "deconstructed" audio, is as fresh now as it was when Mille Plateaux reigned the experimental electronic scene.
* Noveller @ Littlefield / 622 Degraw, Boerum Hill (D/NR to Union St), 8p/$12. LIST readers should also note my love for Sarah Lipstate's drone-guitar project Noveller. Her engrossing sets, teasing out melody and noise in cascading sonic waves, often accompanied by her own experimental short films, are truly moving. w/ Austin TX's Balmorhea
* Dan Colen "Poetry" @ Gagosian / 555 W 24th St. NY downtown iconoclast Colen's 1st major solo exhibition in his own city (notwithstanding the one held in Gagosian's toilets in '06, srsly), a cocktail of subversion and sloganeering that may well hit much closer to home than you'd be willing to admit — oh, and this is one of the hottest openings in town, so dress fierce and don't miss it.
* Gerhard Richter "Lines Which Do Not Exist" @ Drawing Center / 35 Wooster St. As mayjah as it gets: the 1st proper stateside exhibition on the legendary artist's works on paper, b/c though he's known for his mix of blurred photorealism and oil-slick abstraction, Richter has worked extensively in watercolor, ink and graphite since the mid-60s. Need I go on how essential this is?
* Roy Lichtenstein "Reflected" @ Mitchell-Innes & Nash / 534 W 26th St. An excellent companion to Gagosian's museum-quality still life show this past summer, Mitchell-Innes & Nash focus on Lichtenstein's two-prong use of reflection — as literal mirroring and as appropriation (such as his "Interiors" series from the '90s) to further synthesize the artist's total oeuvre. This precedes a major exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, on Lichtenstein's b&w drawings, opening Sept 24.
* Pipilotti Rist "Heroes of Birth" @ Luhring Augustine / 531 W 24th St. Two room-filling, environment-conducive video installations, the fabric-tinged "Layers Mama Layers" and the triptych "All or Nothing", plus Rist's designed chandelier and wallpaper installation in the back gallery. If you've figured it out from reading thus far, there is a LOT of good art out there right now.
* Tetsumi Kudo "Cubes and Gardens" @ Andrea Rosen Gallery / 525 W 24th St. Two of the Japanese innovator's finest series from the '60s, filled cubed representing the European state (he was living in Paris at the time) and the seminal "Garden of the Metamorphosis in the Space Capsule", a room-filling riot of UV light and wilted plantlike forms.
* "New Work" feat. Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Martin Honert, Charles Ray, Terry Winters @ Matthew Marks Galleries / 522 + 526 W 22nd St + 523 W 24th St. Think about it: new works by dope mid-career artists, incl. extra bonkers sculpture by Fritsch and Gober, a big painted relief from Ray, and loads else I'm unwilling to give away, so as not to spoil how badass these exhibitions are shaping up to be.
* Dan Flavin @ Paula Cooper Gallery / 534 W 21st St. Brilliant (no pun): after David Zwirner's fantastic Flavin installation from last November, plus the year-long reopening of X Space and the stairwell Flavin there, the naysayer may preclude that the city is "tired" of this fluorescent alchemist. No way. The gallery hosts four of Flavin's early works, including a knockout pink and yellow "corridor" from 1972-5.
* Ingrid Calame "Swing Shift" @ James Cohan Gallery / 533 W 26th St. I'm into Calame's unique take on environmental-driven abstraction, via her massive enamel-on-aluminum renderings and even massive-er wall drawings in powdered pigment. Think a bit of Gerhard Richter's impossible oilslick abstraction marked w/ Mark Bradford's reappropriated signage and destroyed map-like renderings, as a starting point.
* Arlene Shechet "The Sound of It" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 513 W 20th St. Experimentation w/ glazed clay sculpture, via negative-space firings, non-traditional glazes and a sort of balletic working-over of the medium itself.
* "Mine" @ Invisible-Exports / 14A Orchard St. A potentially emotionally assaulting group show, intensely personal and created under degrees of trauma, despair and duress. The inclusion of Bob Flanagan (performance artist/writer/poet) should be eye-opening, as I know him best for his heavy "supermasochist"-related performance, created in balance to his terminal cystic fibrosis. Though Jana Leo's mixed media work carry an even more visceral theme: her traumatic experiences with sexual assault. And finally there's Hannah Wilke, whose final photographic record followed her deterioration under lymphoma. Deep breath.
* Angelo Filomeno "The marquis and a bearded dominatrix with a cake in the oven" @ Galerie Lelong / 528 W 26th St. The macabre is still present, but Filomeno tones down the pervasive skull imagery in favor of embroidered silks, stained burlap and — just to remind us he hasn't totally eschewed the dark side — a triptych of decomposing severed heads.
* Polly Apfelbaum "Lost + Found Colour" @ D'Amelio Terras / 525 W 22nd St. A temporal and site-specific floor installation of Apfelbaum's signature "drop-color", here sequined fabric pieces arranged onsite. Bit like floating in a hardedge abstract painting.
* David Scher "regular is best" @ Pierogi Gallery / 177 N 9th St, Williamsburg. Scher's newest works on paper are impossibly detailed, weathered landscapes and figurative studies, and frightening enough to recall Stephen Gammell's illustrations for "Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark" (which still scare me, to this day).
* Jennifer Steinkamp @ Lehmann Maupin / 540 W 26th St. Slithery new 3D animation from the video-installation artist. She eschews flowers and foliage this time for arteries and tendons, to a full effect I can only imagine is "visceral".
* "The Space Between Reference and Regret" @ Friedrich Petzel Gallery / 537 W 22nd St. Some of my favorite "challenging" artists, incl. Philippe Parreno, Sephen Prina, Daniel Burin and ultimate fav Wade Guyton work off minimalism and their surroundings to convey info. I'll throw my cards down on this and call it "mad essential".
* Janaina Tschape "Acqua Alta" @ Sikkema Jenkins & Co / 530 W 22nd St. Venice as a mythological aquatic wonderland, as imagined in a video work w/ related stills and drawings.
+ "Come Through". An art-process group show feat. Jessica Dickinson, Emily Do, Sheila Hicks, Ree Morton, Fabienne Lasserre, Siobhan Lidell and Molly Smith.
* Judy Pfaff @ Ameringer McEnery Yohe / 525 W 22nd St. One of the artists I credit w/ dragging me headlong into modern art, seriously, Pfaff's "3D collages" and kinetic room installations remain unparalleled. Her works on paper concentrate those ideas into intimate, manageable form.
* Laurent Grasso "SoundFossil" @ Sean Kelly Gallery / 528 W 29th St. A sublime collection of works, centered around the multimedia experience "Horn Perspective", which may sound simple b/c it's a smooth tracking-shot along a forest, but if you caught Rivane Neuenschwander's "The Fall" at New Museum (my closest comparison), you know there's way more to it than that. Plus a copper "anechoic wall", meant to trap sound reverberations, in the side gallery.
* Allyson Mellberg @ Cinders Gallery / 103 Havermeyer St, Williamsburg. Like really really twisted storybook illustrations (see David Scher, Pierogi Gallery), Mellberg's vintagey paintings (pigments mixed w/ egg and spinach) embody childlike innocence and cruel violence all at once.
* Treasure Frey "Shards" @ Like the Spice / 224 Roebling St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 6:30-10p. We should be paying more attention to this LA-based geometric abstractionist. Her "color slice" mixed media works are marvelously playful and deftly conceived.
* Mark Mulroney "Really Creative Pictures" @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. The Rochester-based artist puts his sketchbooks on display, relating them to his larger "sketch paintings", dense, collage-y works that are one part Dr. Seuss, one part Vaughn Bode.
* Sandow Birk "American Qu'ran" @ PPOW / 511 W 25th St #301. Birk isn't new to illustrative/translated works (he's done Dante's "Divine Comedy" before), but this work-in-progress, an English translation of the Qu'ran, w/ interspersed America-specific illustrations (Hurricane Katrina, urban street scenes, golf courses) is meant to inspire reflection and encourage greater understanding. Let's check it out.
* Patrick Jackson "Tchotchke Stacks" @ Nicole Klagsbrun / 526 W 26th St #213. Think Jeff Koons (or Jeffrey Vallance, or Damien Hirst for that matter) have cornered the market on banal articles en masse, ridiculous yet undeniably good-looking? Check Jackson's titular installation, like being in a '50s Americana coffeetable hell, and get back to me.
+ Jason Tomme "Paper Lead Poem". The Chinati Foundation artist-in-residence in 2008 (already a winner, in this writer's mind), works w/ sheet lead and shaped paper (mixed w/ spray paint) to create heavy monoprints.
* "Plus One", curated by Dan Cameron @ Perry Rubenstein Gallery / 527 W 23rd St. Big SVA MFA recent-grad show, w/ each artist paired w/ their respective mentor in completing a work. Mining fresh talent: it could be dope.
* Yoshitomo Nara, in conversation w/ Hideki Toyoshima @ Asia Society / 725 Park Ave (6 to 68th St), 6:30p/$15. Miwako Tezuka, co-curator of "Nobody's Fool", Nara's absolutely major mid-career retrospective, talks w/ the artist and his longtime installation collaborator Toyoshima. Hopefully grunge music is a topic.
* "Modus Operandi" (dir. Frankie Latina, 2010) midnight screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). Deep breath. Sasha Grey (adult film star, perhaps best known by art-house audiences for her non-porn lead role in Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience") presents this coked-up mindbender, a frothy mix of Nouvelle Vague, Japanese New Wave and '70-era exploitation cinema. There's a plot all right (secret agent seeking secret briefcases to avenge his wife's murder, befriends other secret agents, to oodles of ensuing violence), but I can't yet wrap my head around this cast, ranging from Danny Trejo (Mr. Machete!) to Mark Borchardt (the gangly indie actor from "American Movie", amid others), w/ wild stage-names like "Casey Thunderbird", "Black Licorice" and "Agent Xanadu". And just to up the bonkers factor, Grey, Trejo, Borchardt, lead Randy Russell, Michael Sottile and dir. Latina are all attending FRI screening! If you're thinking "Brian's betting on posing for photos w/ Grey and Trejo" then 'ding-ding-ding!'. Also SAT midnight (w/ Grey, Borchardt, Russell, Sottile and Latina in attendance).
* "A Clockwork Orange" (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1971) midnight screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). Nearly 40 years later, this super-deviant, ultraviolet dystopian British satire cuts to the quick just as brutally as I'm sure it did 10 years before I was born. Nattily dressed gangs, laced milk, Beethoven, sex and beatings. Eyeball torture. Also SAT midnight
* Ryoji Ikeda "datamatic [ver 2.0]" performance @ Florence Gould Hall, FIAF / 5 E 59th St (NRW to 5th Ave, 6 to 59th St), 8p/$18 ($12 for members FIAF/Japan Society). In a coproduction w/ Japan Society, the renowned artist/composer Ikeda leads Crossing the Line 2010 w/ a vivid computer-generated projection scored w/ layered electronics, like silver bullets of multisensory A/V. Check the trailer on Youtube: it's a bit like being trapped in the "Matrix", crossed w/ Jenny Holzer and Anthony McCall, w/ a Pan Sonic soundtrack. Meaning it's dope. ALSO SEPT 11 same time
* Turbo Fruits (TN) @ Mercury Lounge / 217 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave), 7:30p/$12. Colour Revolt (MS) headline the 1st of 2 NY shows w/ personal fave swamp-punk rockers Turbo Fruits.
* Thomas Function (Alabama) + Sweet Bulbs @ Monster Island / 128 River St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$7. I am really feeling Brooklyn's psych-art-rockers Sweet Bulbs, who marry sweetly stoic half-time vocals w/ pounding percussion and lots of snarling feedback. Show up early for them, then stay for the southern pop of Thomas Function.
* forgetters (ex-Jawbreaker) + BELLS≥ (ex-Jawbox/Oxford Collapse) @ Cake Shop / 152 Ludlow St (FM/JZ to Delancey), 8p/$8. Cake Shop's requisite "heavy" night w/ some familiar faces from my high-school days. Zach Barocas commands the drums for BELLS≥ and Blake Schwarzenbach's newish band forgetters has a debut 7" on the way.
* Liquor Store + Ex Humans @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p. NJ's Liquor Store do some of the fastest, no-nonsense punk right now. And they have like five guitarists (I don't know, I always lose count). Local guys Ex Humans have that raw energy that makes me wish they'd existed when I was in high-school and encountering Green Day's "Dookie" (actually, the boys were probably in high school as well).
* Twin Sister + Holiday Shores (Tallahassee) @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$8. Tiny Bruar Falls is going to be full to the brim tonight, as local disco-funk indie-popstars Twin Sister return w/ their secret brand of magic. w/ Ava Luna
* Darlings @ Union Pool / 484 Union Ave, Williamsburg (L/G to Lorimer), TK. Frequent LIST-readers know I'm a huge Darlings fan. Their particular brand of indie-pop swerves from tidy to noisy, oftentimes in the same song, and the dude/girl harmonizing always gets me. They're ace. w/ Christmas
* Rob Pruitt "Pattern and Degradation" @ Gavin Brown's Enterprise / 620 Greenwich St. I'm wagering Pruitt's latest contempo-Pop onslaught is this season's fiercest visual experience. A city-block-spanning romp through spraypainted "Amish quilts" (Pruitt takes inspiration from Rumspringa), photo transfers of Cinnabon, composite self-portraits, pandas, and (I'm guessing) glitter.
* Liu Xiaodong "Yan Guan Town" @ Mary Boone Gallery / 541 W 24th St. One of China's leading "New Generation" figurative painters returns to the gallery w/ a stunning, vibrantly colored suite of paintings rendered from domestic scenes in Yan Guan County, Gansu Province, China, a peaceful intermingling of non-indigenous Muslim and Christian cultures.
* Dike Blair @ Gagosian / 980 Madison Ave. Hybrid painting-sculptures and an installation that departs from Blair's installation-y style into one further blurring the lines b/w the 3D and physical and the flat and painted.
* Justine Kurland + Francesca Woodman @ BravinLee Programs / 526 W 26th St #211. Big Kurland fan here, and I'm thrilled to see "Girl Pictures", her seminal series of young, powerful female figures in landscape settings, shot b/w 1998-2004. While her more recent investigations have opened up the background to almost alienesque utopian (whether colonial Americana or some matriarchal oasis), the earthiness and immediacy of the earlier works have got me all excited. She's paired w/ Woodman's classic work from the late '70s.
* Hannah Wilke "Early Drawings" @ Ronald Feldman Fine Arts / 31 Mercer St. This is pretty dope: there are several Wilke-related shows happening concurrently. She's part of the super-personal Invisible-Exports show and is featured in The Jewish Museum's "Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism" (opens SUN). This suite of works on paper from the '50s through '70s, beginning when Wilke was barely 20, predate bodily abstractions from many of her peers, both female AND male artists.
* Anton Henning "Ferien Vom Du!" @ Zach Feuer LFL / 530 W 24th St. Sumptuous, saturated abstract still-life, Germanic totally but way warmer than the chilly organicism of Thomas Scheibitz.
* Alex Gross "Discrepancies" + Esao Andrews "Solid Void" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St. A charmed pairing in contemporary metaphysical figuration. NY-based Andrews slant toward a romantic Gothic sensibility, both storybook and cinematic. Cali's Gross (even infrequent art-goers may recognize his album art for Blonde Redhead's "23") manages both highly realistic and incredibly psychedelic imagery at once, often cut w/ Japanese influences.
* Naama Tsabar "Untitled (Speaker Walls)" performance @ MoMA PS1 / 22-25 Jackson Ave (E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to 45 Rd/Courthouse Sq), 4p (part of "Greater New York"). You know those forbidding, buzzing duo of monoliths that produce echoing feedback and bass if you dare to pluck their strings? That's Tsabar's piece, and she returns w/ a quintet to perform an abstract composition on those walls. I'm jazzed just typing this!
* "The Last Mistress" (dir. Catherine Breillat, 2007) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 8p. Before seeing Breillat's enveloping take on "Bluebeard", I knew her for this film, an opulent b&w period soap, requisite dramatic pauses, intertitles and balletic sensuality included.
* Panda 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/$30 (incl roundtrip ferry fee). Look: like w/ any AC-related event, don't go into this expecting "Comfy in Nautica" and discernible vocals — unless, that is, Noah Lennox rewards everybody and gives 'em to us. I love the guy; his honeyed words on AC's "My Girls" and his knockout third-ish album "Person Pitch" reign supreme. That said, Lennox live is challenging, but no doubt w/ the possibility to transcend boundaries. He's got a new album on the way (upcoming single is called "You Can Count on Me"). w/ Teengirl Fantasy
* Summer Thunder Backyard Show @ Union Pool / 484 Union Ave, Williamsburg (L/G to Lorimer), 3p/FREE. Fingers crossed for excellent weather! Hit up the taco truck and stick around for party-vibe local indies Growing, McDonalds, Coconuts + more.
* Turbo Fruits @ Union Hall / 702 Union St, Park Slope (MR to Union St), 8p/$12. So technically Colour Revolt (MS) headline w/ "slow-cooked indie rock", but I like the southern-fried refrains of Turbo Fruits even better.
* Coasting (album release) @ Dead Herring / 141 S 5th St #1E, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/. The guitar-drums duo isn't an unusual thing anymore (and White Stripes obvs made it super famous), but I still get floored every time I see Coasting live. Madison Farmer (also in Dream Diary) shreds and sings, quite well, while Fiona Campbell (also in Vivian Girls) commands the drums, adding fills and complexity to complement her bandmate. They're deeply ingrained in Brooklyn's indie music and promotion scene + this is their debut 7" party, so show some love. w/ Fluffy Lumbers + The Surprisers (LIST fav)
* "Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism" @ The Jewish Museum / 1109 Fifth Ave (6 to 96th St). Judy Chicago, Louise Fishman, Eva Hesse, Amy Sillman, Nancy Spero and Hannah Wilke are just some of the 50 years worth of artists shown in this six-part exhibition (focused on self-expression, the body, decoration, politics, writing and satire). And though not all the artists are necessarily Jewish, the exhibition draws from The Jewish Museum's collection and follows the major exhibitions for Hesse, Joan Snyder and Louise Nevelson. With featured gallery talks throughout the exhibition's duration (check future LISTs for further details).
* Cordy Ryman @ DCKT Contemporary / 195 Bowery. Ryman's mixed media works, whether tight painterly compositions (in bright enamel and acrylic) or cobbled assemblages of brick, wood and scraps, are replete w/ physicality and mindfully architectural. Which doesn't surprise me too much, his father is surface-master Robert Ryman.
* Alex Olson "As a Verb, As a Noun, In Peach and Silver" @ Lisa Cooley Fine Art / 34 Orchard St. I REALLY like the direction Olson takes in her new paintings: minimally toned, then slashed, scarred, stepped on, paint layered on and removed, imbued w/ their respective histories. Eye-catching, in other words.
* TM Davy @ Eleven Rivington / 11 Rivington. Sumptuous mixed-media paintings of lush foliage and either strapping or waifish lads, lounging out and flinging come-hither looks.
* Paul Mullins "If It's All the Same t'You" @ Collette Blanchard Gallery / 26 Clinton St. New oil on panel paintings of cropped imagery filtered through a haze and charming snapshot-like scenes of hounds and objects.
* Julia Goldman "Swimmers" @ Museum 52 / 4 E 2nd St. The NY-based artist has lightened up on her brick- and fence-like textural overlays into her already attenuated figurative paintings, leavening the bathing figures caught in hazy blurs.
* Kirsi Mikkola "Flex" @ Sue Scott Gallery / 1 Rivington St. Huge cut-paper painted abstracts in the Berlin-based Finnish artist's debut solo show at the gallery. Her massive near-futuristic constructs remind me a bit of Mark Bradford's urban weathered landscapes.
* JJ Peet "Shadow" @ On Stellar Rays / 133 Orchard St. The title relates both to Peet's paintings, sort of neo-metaphysical 'scapes partially created from crushed ceramics mixed w/ pigment, and to his mobile painting studio, the work-in-progress lab where he creates his art.
* Dmitry Gutov "In Our Days, Everything Seems Pregnant with its Contrary" @ Scaramouche / 52 Orchard St. This powerful Moscow-based artist's last solo exhibition in NY was when he repped Scaramouche at 2009 VOLTA NY. He returns w/ large Constructivist-styled typography paintings.
* Pam Lins "Problem Picture Sources New Sculptures" @ Rachel Uffner Gallery / 47 Orchard St. Archival prints of books on sculpture, in a reductive meta-exercise.
* "Digression" @ Hendershot Gallery / 195 Chrystie St. The inaugural show in the gallery's new location centers on the fluid, attractive "anecdotal" works by artists Chitra Ganesh, Liz Magic laser, Simone Leigh, Divya Mehra, Justine Reyes, Kenya Robinson and Mary A. Valverde.
* Yul Brynner "YUL: A Photographic Journey" @ Lehmann Maupin / 201 Chrystie St, 3-5p + book signing w/ Victoria Brynner. A stunning, comprehensive look at the classic 20th C. actor's intimate celebrity photography. Think Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Mia Farrow — and considering Dennis Hopper's illuminating photography show at Tony Shafrazi last fall, it's both valuable and essential to see another side to this screen legend.
* Lara Schnitger "Two Masters and Her Vile Perfume" @ SculptureCenter / 44-19 Purves St Long Island City (E/M to 23rd St/Ely Ave, 7 to 45 Rd/Courthouse Sq), opening 5-7p. A sculptural installation drawing off themes from Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal", feat. Schnitger's unique stretched fabric and wood. Her incredible solo exhibition at Anton Kern last year, which included a tremendous black-nylon matrix in addition to sexualized, metamorphic mixed media works, still resonates in this writer's mind.
+ Elizabeth Neel "Stick Season". New smeared, gestural works on paper and sculpture, some of the most unceasingly torrid, nightmarish renderings of their kind.
* "Eva y Lola" (dir. Sabrina Farji, Argentina, 2010) screening @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center @ 65th St (1 to 66th St), 1p (part of Latinbeat 2010). My #1 pick for this year's Latinbeat Festival, and not just b/c the co-leads Eva (gorgeous Celeste Cid) and Lola (charismatic Emme) perform in a punk cabaret in the film, but also b/c the friends' investigation into past class politics and strife in Argentina sounds terribly compelling. PLUS: there is a related event, "Women Leading the Latinbeat", a celebration and panel discussion on women filmmakers in Latin cinema, w/ Farji in attendance, at 11a in Lincoln Center's Furman Gallery. If you have tix to "Eva y Lola" you can attend the pre-screening talk/brunch for free. (note: "Eva y Lola" ALSO screens SAT at 6:30p, & I don't usually do these retrograde posts but the info's here b/c of the related panel discussion)
* ContemporAsian Short Films @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 5p. One massive four-piece from MoMA, feat. "A Letter to Uncle Boonmee" (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009, Thailand/Great Britain/Germany), "Madam Butterfly" (dir. Tsai Ming-Liang, 2008, Italy/Taiwan/France), "Cry Me A River" (dir. Jia Zhangke, 2008, China/Spain/France), "Lost in the Mountains" (dir. Hong Sang-soo, 2009, Korea). Of note: Weerasethakul's full-length "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" won the 2010 Palme d'Or at Cannes and is debuting here at the NYFF at the end of the month. See this "prologue" first. ALSO MON 7p
* "Vampires" (dir. John Carpenter, 1998) screenings at BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft Greene (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 4:30/9:15p. Before there was the supremely badass "Blade", there was James Woods & a group of slayers against a Wild West-ish vampire clan, led by a "The Crow" lookalike.
* Deakin + Prince Rama @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Willamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), $15. Album release party for local positive-vibes, reverb-drenched trio Prince Rama, who are touring w/ the rather exceptional glitchy solo outfit of one Deakin (yes, the tall guy who was/is in Animal Collective). Additional mind-altering substances prrrrobably not necessary here. w/ Silk Flowers
* Suzan Frecon @ David Zwirner Gallery / 522 W 19th St. Subtle, contemplative new abstract oils and watercolors and her 1st solo exhibition at the gallery (off a strong contribution from this year's Whitney Biennial).
* Marc Newson "Transport" @ Gagosian / 522 W 21st St. OK I know Newson for his industrially-styled furniture design. This exhibition, however, a mini-retrospective of one particular tangent, focuses entirely on the artist's exploration and reinterpretation of travel and movement, everything from "Aquariva" (off the Italian boatmaker Riva and its '60s original Aquarama) to sci-fi-ish concept cars, bicycles and planes. In a gallery.
* Al Taylor "Rim Jobs and Sideffects" @ David Zwirner Gallery / 519 W 19th St. It's a cheeky title, but it's also the actual name of two of the artist's late-period series, "Rim Jobs" (from 1995, using Marcel Duchamp's bike wheel readymades as a jump-off) and "Sideffects" (1995-7, an double-sided wall installation), presented comprehensively here. Though the artist would've referred to the lot as "drawings in space", not sculpture per se, echoing his innovations in blending is works on paper w/ 3D objects.
* Bing Wright @ Paula Cooper Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Works from Wright's two photo series "Silver Prints" and "Silver on Mirror", sparsely composed and terribly elegant. + a signature "Fly Disaster" scroll as extended narrative.
* "Grass Grows by Itself" @ Marlborough Chelsea / 545 W 25th St. A way Zen summer group show, one of the most toned-down from this gallery I've ever experienced, and that's a good thing. Hell, anytime you've got a Wade Guyton "U" mirrored sculpture, distorting space (and, seemingly, time) in its alternating concave and convex surfaces, I'm sold. The groupings of Kianja Strobert and Mark Bradford works are like studies in texture and topography, and the inclusion of discreet pieces by Wolfgang Laib (rice, brass cones) and Richard Tuttle (green acrylic, sawdust, wood) were wise inclusions. Upstairs I didn't dig as much (the jolts of color felt gratuitous), but I admittedly loved the Dale Chihuly blown glass, like mutant psychedelic plants out of either Jim Woodring's world or "Alice in Wonderland", which are rather colorful and play well w/ Chakaia Booker's classic wall-spanning, snarling tire structure.
* "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.
* "Big PIcture", curated by Tom Sanford and Ryan Schneider @ Priska C. Juschka Fine Art / 547 W 27th St 2nd Fl. Artists Sanford and Schneider (exhibiting here as well, w/ some of the more "realistic" compositions) culled together an impressive group show that tends toward loose, muscular semi-abstraction. I'm referring to Lisa Sanditz' melted ice-cream-like addition to a parking lot, to John Copeland's typically texture-heavy brushwork, to Brian Montuori's Bacon-esque snarl of amorphous form against an exacting forest backdrop, to Aaron Johnson's visually pulsating, visceral Adam and Eve portrait to Jeremy Willis' howling dripping Dali-esque landscape of appendages.