* Huma Bhabha @ Peter Blum Chelsea / 526 W 29th St + Salon 94 / 1 Freeman Alley. An essential double-header (is that a sports term?) from Bhabha, continuing her reapplication ink, paint and collage elements on vintage photography, creating vivid and sometimes 3D results. Salon 94 focuses on Bhabha's sculpture in a set of six brutal hybrids.
* Wierd 7th Anniversary Party @ Home Sweet Home / 131 Chrystie St (F/JMZ to Delancey, BD to Grand St), 12a. The tasty local label for all things coldwave and neo-industrial brings the chilly, minimalist aesthetics of Xeno & Oaklander from the New Museum Theatre (where they just performed, if you can believe it) to a more fitting venue, the foggy basement domain Home Sweet Home. MUCH better.
* Marin Majik & Goran Skofic @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. Both artists are Croatian, so I'm instantly a fan, obviously. But seriously, Majik's take on photorealism (exposing the canvas' surface through his thin paint application) is like pixellated digital imagery. Skofic mixes video art with photography. This is their joint debut U.S. gallery exhibition. Show some love.
* Focus Shanghai: Lu Chunsheng and Birdhead @ Thomas Erben Gallery / 526 W 26th St 4th Fl. Michelle Loh and Katy Martin curate this special gathering, featuring Lu's full-length film "History of Chemistry: Vol 2 - Excessively Restrained Mountaineering Enthusiasts", shot in post-industrial landscapes, and a photography installation by the duo Birdhead, Song Tao and Ji Weiyu.
* Lee Krasner "Paintings 1959 - 1965" @ Robert Miller Gallery / 524 W 26th St. This sounds very special: Krasner's seminal 'night journey' paintings, not purely abstract works created during bouts of chronic insomnia, all painted at night; plus related gestural works and drawings. An excellent enriching show against the broader Abstract Expressionist NY at MoMA.
* "Einfluss: 8 From Dusseldorf" @ Hosfelt Gallery / 531 W 36th St. The Next Wave from Germany, of young contemporary artists and students of the pioneering artists associated w/ Kunstakademie Dusseldorf (think Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer etc). Feat. Cornelius Volker, Jutta Haeckel, Luka Fineisen, Driss Ouadahi, Bernard Lokai, Stefan Kurten, Stefan Ettlinger and Birgit Jensen.
* Hwang Jai-Hyoung @ Gana NY / 568 W 25th St. Hwang's debut solo show in NY is a survey of the artist's politically-charged, textural oil paintings, based on his self-appointed time as a laborer in the poor town of Taeback, Korea, filled with his hard-working and disenfranchised countrymen.
* Sang-ah Choi "Insatiable Appetite" @ Doosan Gallery / 533 W 25th St. Pop-up book art. Courtesy of resin-coated paintings and sculpture w/ slick, eye-popping (there's that word again) results. Let that stew for awhile.
* Yumi Kori @ Miyako Yoshinaga art prospects / 547 W 27th St 2nd Fl. Kori works in light and shadow in her gallery-filling installations, creating vivid sensorial experiences.
* O Zhang "a splendid future for the past" @ Forever & Today / 141 Division St. I'm a big fan of Zhang's thoughtful observations on Chinese youth and contemporary society. She contributes an installation in this new show, a timeline detailing crimes and accidents in NYC's Chinatowns this past year, plus a pair of rabbits (available for adoption thru Rabbit Rescue & Rehab, really) in a specially constructed living space, a sign of happiness and hope.
* Michael Hurson @ Paula Cooper Gallery / 465 W 23rd St. Selections from Hurson's "Eyeglass" series of drawings and paintings, comic strip-style, from 1969 to 1971.
* Anish Kapoor "Shadows I, II, III" @ Carolina Nitsch / 534 W 22nd St. A portfolio of color etchings from Kapoor, a different angle from his spatial-disrupting and enveloping installations and sculpture.
* Odili Donald Odita "Body & Space" @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 513 W 20th St. Dynamic polygonal color abstract paintings by the artist, rhythmic and space-defining.
* Michael Anderson "The Street is My Palette" @ Claire Oliver / 513 W 26th St. Anderson uses adverts as the basis for his mosaic-style collages, reflecting our daily overdose of Pop culture and materialist solicitations.
* Christopher K. Ho "Regional Painting" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. A conceptual show spurned by the artist's yearlong sojourn in remotest Colorado.
* Anthology's 40th Anniversary - "The Limits of Control" (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2009) screening + Jarmusch in-person, @ Anthology Film Archives / 32 2nd Ave (F to 2nd Ave), 7:30p. The 1st of several notably essential events celebrating Anthology Film Archives' longevity and promotion of the independent and avant-garde. I loved "The Limits of Control", from lead Isaach De Bankolé's sharp suits and knowing focus, to the hiply zen Spanish backdrop, to the smoldering Boris-infused soundtrack, to Christopher Doyle's signature hazy lens, to Paz de la Huerta's bare ass. See it again, meet Jarmusch (and probably Jonas Mekas), and thank Anthology for keeping it cerebral and dope.
* Brian Chippendale & CF signing @ The Strand / 828 Broadway (NRQ/L/456 to Union Square), 7p. Mr. Chippendale aka 1/2 of Lightning Bolt (you know, the furious, masked drummer/vocalist, plus his solo drum-noise project Black Pus, which incidentally sounds a lot like Lightning Bolt w/o the guitars) and surrealist graf-artist CF take over the Strand Bookstore for a dual signing. Chippendale contributes new tome "If 'n Oof" and CF "Power Mastrs 3" (sounds a bit like Moebius-era "Metal Hurlant"). This begs the question: where is the mosh-pit?
* "Death By Baϟϟ" @ K&M / 225 N 8th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 10p. Filthy darkest techno by DJs William Streng & Alex Kasavin, plus projections of Japanese torture porn. Sometimes everything comes together.
* Embarker + Walter Carson & Brian Osborne @ Goodbye Blue Monday / 1087 Broadway, Bushwick (J to Kosciusko, JMZ to Myrtle/Broadway), 8p. The searing aural assault of Carson & Osborne (of Heat Retention Records) is augmented by the inclusion of Embarker (aka Michael Roy Barker), a circuit-bending wizard and ferocious live act.
* Tabatabai, Schiff, Bell @ Danese / 535 W 24th St 6th Fl. A neapolitan (ice-cream) of minimalism and subtlety. Hadi Tabatabai infuses his stark monochromes w/ woven grids. Karen Schiff's works on paper are meditative patterns. Dozier Bell does charcoal on Mylar renderings of dusky twilight.
* Kadar Brock "Unclaimed Space" @ Thierry Goldberg Projects / 5 Rivington St. Old works eradicated into new, in highly textural residues of power-sanders and ghostly remnants. The gallery notes Christopher Wool here, so of course it's got my attention.
* James Esber "You, Me & Everyone Else" @ Pierogi Gallery / 177 N 9th St, Williamsburg. Esber's style is plasticky and garish, pop-minded but in a Philip Guston style (dedicated readers understand my feelings on Guston). That said, Esber's more psychedelic works garner my attention, and the interconnectivity of these new projects is worth a view.
* "White Material" (dir. Claire Denis, 2009) @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). The theatre's Denis retrospective ends with her new work, and full-circle if you will, as she returns to Africa, the setting of her debut "Chocolat" over 20 years ago, and its lead Isaach De Bankolé, here playing a wounded rebel officer to Isabelle Huppert's coffee plantation-owning Maria.
* "Maniac" (dir. William Lustig, 1980) midnight screening @ Sunshine Cinema / 143 E Houston St (F to 2nd Ave). A new 35mm print of this seminal American slasher/splatter flick, which is sure to place all the scalpings (plus Tom Savini's notorious "disco boy scene") in deliciously vivid splendor. Banned (at one point, nearly) everywhere! Adults only! w/ dir. Lustig in person! Also SAT, same time
* "A Brighter Summer Day" (dir. Edward Yang, 1991) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave, Ft. Greene (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 7p. A rare one-shot screening of the Taiwanese New Wave director's magnum opus, a filmic bildungsroman on volatile '60s Taiwan.
* "Kati with an i" (dir. Robert Greene, 2010) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 9p. Think like an anti-MTV coming-of-age documentary, following Alabama teen Kati's exit from high-school and aided by Sean Williams' ("Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo") sharp camerawork.
* "Total Badass" (dir. Bob Ray, 2010) screenings @ reRun Theatre / 147 Front St, DUMBO (F to Jay St, AC to High St), 9:30/11:55p. The title, and that this is a documentary set in Austin TX's underground, is enough convincing for me. If you need more, I'll quote directly from "The Austin Chronicle" on Ray's subject Chad Holt: "Holt comes across like a lost John Waters' collaborator, or a real-life version of Nicolas Cage in 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans'." Any questions? Also MON 10p, TUE 7p.
* Sweet Bulbs + Darlings @ Bruar Falls / 245 Grand St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/FREE. Brooklyn's finest. The noisy fuzz-tsunami Sweet Bulbs just released their debut album, and stalwart indie-poppers (w/ just the right degree of curdling feedback) Darlings prove that you can combine the sweet and the dissonant to addictive effect. Also: it's free. Incroyable!
* The Beets + Eternal Summers @ 285 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$8. If you've continually missed out on an indie live music night and you want a condensed, Twitter-length, five-hot-bands roster, well here you go: we've got indie and jangle-rock, mostly local (except Eternal Summers, but they're dope), and beer is cheap.
* "Einfluss: 8 From Dusseldorf" Artist panel discussion @ Hosfelt Gallery / 531 W 36th St, 2p. Amei Wallach, veteran art critic and curator (plus the director of "Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and the Tangerine") moderates a panel of the young Next Wave German artists in this exhibition.
* Maya Hayuk "Heavy Light" @ Cinders Gallery / 103 Havermeyer St, Williamsburg. The color-consuming Brooklyn-based artist, who tends to work in mural-sized scale, invites us into one of her pieces, via a chandelier-like installation, awash in fractals and spacey color. The press release uses the term "interplanetary beanbags" as seating arrangements for this show, so of course I'll be there.
* Leah Tinari "Perfect Strangers" @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. Think back to Tinari's last solo show here: she installed a photobooth, where you the gallery-goer could snap a pic of yourself. She adapted a series of those snapshots into her new exhibition, a characteristically glossy reflexive examination and homage to her viewers.
* David Rabinowitch "Birth of Romanticism" @ Peter Blum Soho / 99 Wooster St. This series, begun in 2008, finds Rabinowitch at perhaps his most dynamic, layering geometric and collage works into brilliant, geometric constructions.
* "Littlerock" (dir. Mike Ott, 2010) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 6p. Two Japanese siblings on a U.S. roadtrip get stuck in Cali desert town Littlerock, tentatively befriending the local slackers. Also SUN 6p
* Peelander-Z @ Santos Party House / 96 Lafayette St (NR/JZ/6 to Canal St), 7p/$12. This will be my 1st up-close encounter w/ the Japanese avant-garde punks, whose live act is half-concert, half-performance art. w/ riot-grrls Tsushimamire
* The Raincoats + Kathleen Hanna (DJ set) @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St), 8:30p/$25. I still can't quite wrap my head around rock performances at MoMA (I don't mean Nick Zinner's DJing, love him though I do), but this one, presented by PopRally and featuring British post-punk legends The Raincoats (Ana da Silva and Gina Birch), plus the ineffable Hanna DJing (I hope she plays ONLY Bikini Kill tracks) is curious, intriguing even.
* "On Line" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave, 6 to 51st St). The transformation of drawing throughout the 20th C., from the most typical of pencil-to-paper to explorations of space, even performance. Only thing: it makes me very sad that this exhibition opens as Gerhard Richter's exquisite, experimental drawing show at The Drawing Center ends (on Thursday!).
* Weekend + MINKS @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JZ to Marcy), 8p/$10. A really stellar lineup tonight, the whole way. San Fran represents w/ Weekend & Young Prisms. Locally, we have MINKS & Big Troubles. Key words: post-punk, fuzzzzz.
* Steven Klein "Stag Film" @ John McWhinnie/Glenn Horowitz Bookseller / 50 1/2 E 64th St (6 to 68th St), 6-8p. The vivid photographer returns to one of his most celebrated subjects, the stallion — or in this instance, horse studding — capturing body movement, pose and the whole, well, penetrating process w/ his sharp lens.
* Bertrand Lavier @ Yvon Lambert / 550 W 21st St. The trickster Lavier hasn't had a solo show in NY, according to my sources, in over two decades. His take on the faux, the referential and the meta should be interesting.
+ Joseph Havel "Nothing". I am stoked for the Houston TX-based artist's debut here, another instance of a forward-thinking sculptor sorely overlooked in the NY scene."
* Matthew Dear @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$15. One of the sexiest albums this year had to be Dear's "Black City", stepping back from the pop-scene for a brooding, crackling-energy tech-thump, anchored by Dear's commanding baritone. But the man does rock out live, with a full band here (I've never seen him with a full band), and the inclusion of Noveller (drone-guitarist/filmmaker Sarah Lipstate) as opener makes the night even more irresistible.
* Peter Saul "Fifty Years of Painting" @ Haunch of Venison NY / 1230 Ave of Americas, 20th Fl. This has been a pretty fierce year for dueling American art trends. If you've been paying attention, you might recall MoMA overhauled their 4th floor w/ a luxurious Abstract Expressionist (New York) exhibition, culled entirely from the museum's vast holdings. Roy Lichtenstein has enjoyed several focused shows (incl. an extensive still-life extravaganza at Gagosian and a scholarly look at his work in reflections at Mitchell-Innes & Nash) and his "Ohh…Alright…" took top dollar (over $38 million of 'em, actually) at Christie's. And because I must: Gagosian's thrown a museum-worthy look at Robert Rauschenberg's entire oeuvre at their 21st St space. And yet, and yet. That same gallery, in their Madison Ave space, devoted a retrospective to Ed Paschke, the electrifying Chicago Imagist whose Pop-themed art goes way more garish than Warhol ever took it (and whose grip of neon and early-cyber in the '80s is, well, incredibly '80s-looking). Related Hairy Who stalwarts Karl Wirsum and Jim Nutt also appeared in solo gallery shows (Nutt's incl. a mix of classics and new works), all fiercely removed from NY art world trends of the day. So it's fitting, then, not quite an answer to these Pop Art/Abstract Expressionist rock-star shows, but rather an alternative to the heavy-NY presence, that we get an inspired survey of Cali grotesque-Pop artist (and tie-in to the Chicago scene) Peter Saul. The highlight, in all its contorted, lurid Day-Glo glory, is the massive "Typical Saigon" from 1968, Saul's biting retort to the Vietnam War. The cruelty depicted — American G.I.'s sodomizing and crucifying Vietnamese women — is intensified by the painting's plasticky surface, the stinging contrast of the colors and the warped, twisting movement of the figures. Its torturous energy still resonates. Though Gen. Custer, Christopher Columbus, the death penalty, and even the NY subway system are targets of Saul's cold-shock techniques. His "Icebox" series from the early '60s, echoed in new work "Refrigerator Breakdown", are benign by comparison. Saul's most recent style, pairing acrylic with oil paint in powdery-edged renderings, have this melted-3D effect, popping off their canvases with the threat of spilling into our laps. Bad taste rarely looks this good.
* Anton Corbijn "Inwards and Upwards" @ Stellan Holm Gallery / 1018 Madison Ave. Lovely large contrasty b&w digital prints from the photographer (and, lately, filmmaker, considering "Control" and "The American"), whose lens and compositions suit his subjects rather perfectly. From the veiled genius of Alexander McQueen to the measured softness of Gerhard Richter, seen from the back as he contemplates a massive abstract canvas, to an early Kate Moss, where just a masquerade mask transforms her into a fairytale figure.
* Monika Sosnowska @ Hauser & Wirth / 32 E 69th St. I think a key point in the Polish artist's distorted architectural-ish sculpture is their innate relationship w/ the walls they suspend and droop from (or the floors they bow out from and explore three-dimensionally). It might sound odd in print that a bench (metal, painted black) cantilevered and crawling up a wall looks 'natural', but in Sosnowska's talent it looks intentional.
* Bruce Nauman "For Children/For Beginners" @ Sperone Westwater / 257 Bowery. The pioneering conceptualist continues to set the tone of performative practice in A/V installations. If you caught "Days" (2009), his contribution to the 2009 Venice Biennale, that sonic cocoon of irresistibly simple subject matter (the days of the week, repeated in seven voices), you know what I'm talking about here. He ups that w/ video, counting fingers in various combinations w/ reflective motion. This would be the strongest work in the exhibition if it weren't for the stirring piano melodies playing in the lift-gallery, their speakers hidden so the sound flits back and forth in the small chamber. It elicits a basic emotional reaction intrinsic to music, but that doesn't mean it's no less pronounced here.
* Ana Mendieta "Documentation and Artwork, 1972-1985" @ Galerie Lelong / 528 W 26th St. I really love Mendieta's oeuvre, and the gallery has done a fitting homage to this unparalleled Conceptualist/performance artist in the 25th anniversary of her untimely death at age 36 w/ this trove of Mendieta's archival drawings, photography (incl. contact sheets!) and films, most of which have rarely (if ever) been shown publicly. The whole thing works and is museum-level in its enriching qualities (won't MoMA etc do a proper retrospective on Mendieta? Klaus Biesenbach, looking at you), but the real standout for me were the films. They're brief and silent, so you can watch them all, and you should. It is one thing to see a series of Mendieta's signature "Silueta"s, smoldering or burning shadowy, angelic figures in the ground, and another to see smoke billowing violently from a filmed "Silueta". Same deal w/ "Black Ixchell, Candle Ixchell", a wrapped Mendieta-sized figure w/ a candle burning over it. Another, "Mirage", totally had me transfixed for its 3-min runtime: the camera focuses on a slightly windy field. There's a mirror in the right corner, reflecting the artist in near-silhouette, sitting transfixed for the 1st minute, then systematically ripping a feather pillow (I think??) apart, then sitting still once again. It's somehow peacefully lulling and frightening simultaneously.
* Hiroshi Sugimoto "The Day After" @ The Pace Gallery / 545 W 22nd St. In this ineffable experimental photographer's debut solo show at Pace, he includes two 50-ft photographic polyptychs from his "Lightning Field" series, plus related single prints and even a reconstituted Tesla coil, which releases a crackling violet shock every five minutes (that's what Sugimoto-san told me anyway, when I had the pleasure w/ speaking to the artist at his opening reception). So we're thinking electrical storms. What I feel, though, is being deep underwater, safe from the obscene pressure of the depths but in some great undiscovered trench, populated by those deep-sea denizens that use bioluminescence to attract prey and see down in the abyss. Sugimoto worked electrical discharges across unexposed film in the darkroom to create such marvels as "Lightning Fields 177" (could be spacecraft) and the watery "Lightning Fields 168", expelling hot gassy haze and tendrils of light into…nothingness. That's the thing w/ many of these works, incl. the 1st polyptych in the front gallery: the unexposed film is a perfect black, or as close as perfect comes, permitting the flashes and charges of light, like dendrites or cell creation, to float against the surface. The back polyptych, however, while subtler overall, is alive w/ shadow and textures, like briefly illuminated glimpses of a never-before-see seabed, fabric-like, even, roiling and rolling across the prints. There are benches in this room for a reason: I suggest you sit down and take it all in.
* Mickey Smith "Believe You Me" @ Invisible-Exports / 14A Orchard St. Smith returns to NY Public Library, specifically the Picture Collection, for her new exhibition, though she brings some of the stacks w/ her, wedging them into a unique floor installation that is strangely ergonomic (though I'll see how well this thing ages, after much foot-traffic) and a literal basis for the new C-prints. She rephotographed images from the archives, played w/ combinations (one, w/ its garage-sale frames, is convincingly "family portrait" circa late '50s) and crops (esp. of more current figures, to playful effect).
* James Casebere "House" @ Sean Kelly Gallery / 528 W 29th St. You might remember two of the lead, large-scale C-prints in the main gallery from this year's Whitney Biennial, taken from Casebere's massive scale-model of Dutchess County NY. They are paired w/ other daytime and twilight "scenes", shots of mowed lawns, varying swim pools and burning logs in this plainly beautiful slice of Americana. Now contrast that w/ the much earlier works in the front gallery, a decidedly creepy selection of gelatin silver prints from the '80s and '90s that appear to be encased in either snow (good!) or ash (spooky!). What's consistent is Casebere's mindful use of lighting for both realistic and dramatic effect.
* Michael Heizer "Works from the 1960s and 70s" @ David Zwirner / 519 W 19th St. Anytime somebody says "Michael Heizer", i.e. the seminal earth-shaping artist, you've got my attention. He's probably best known for his massive land-moving, addition/subtraction works, like the epic work-in-progress "City" in Garden Valley, Nevada, or the yawning polygonal abysses "North, East, South, West" in the floor of DIA:Beacon. Zwirner Gallery fills in the blanks a bit, though, w/ Heizer's rarer, smaller art, geometric abstracts on shaped canvas, little more than asphalt-black latex covering raw canvas, and a handsome gray granite pie-slice set called "Vermont". Set atop two aluminum slabs, one can only imagine what "Vermont" would look like in Heizer's traditional outsized style.
* Adrian Piper "Past Time: Selected Works 1973-1995" @ Elizabeth Dee / 548 W 22nd St. Some of Piper's most political, combustive works, and this is coming from a brilliant artist astute at 'getting to' the viewer, latching onto our thoughts, preempting them, and leaving us w/ a LOT to mull over. "It's Just Art" (1980) will do it: a news broadcast interlaid w/ Piper, in sunglasses and looking fierce, mouthing wordlessly, plus newsprints feat. her thought-bubbles in related dialogue/response. "Ashes to Ashes" (1995) is an intensely personal one, family photos and text reflecting her parents' death, though I liked the balance here w/ "I Am Somebody. The Body of My Friends" (1992-5), 18 photographs of Piper w/ said friends. And a treat here, and (at least on surface-level) lighter in subject matter, is "The Big Four-Oh" (1988), a rare installation work from Piper, involving a deconstructed suit of armor, 40 hardballs, and her diary, plus a looping video of the artist dancing (back to the camera) effortlessly to '80s music. Don't miss it.
* Jenny Holzer "Retro" @ Skarstedt Gallery / 20 E 79th St. Beautiful classic pieces from Holzer's history, centered less on her famous LED screens and more on static text pieces, like the "Survival" series (benches, w/ text carved in indian red granite), "Living" series (benches w/ text carved in bethel white granite) and "Under a Rock" (really knockout gem mist black granite benches). Don't miss her enamel on metal text works from the early '80s, also from the "Living" series, like this gem: "After dark it's a relief to see a girl walking toward or behind you. Then you're much less likely to be assaulted." And this beauty: "When someone is breathing on you, you feel cool air pulled across your skin followed by moist warm air pushed in the opposite direction. This goes on at regular intervals and makes a perfect temperature." Truth.
* Gerhard Richter "Lines which do not exist" @ The 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. This is absolutely essential and a destination exhibition. Richter had a love-hate (or really a general disdain) w/ drawing, eschewing it for photographic studies that led to his paintings or just painting by itself, as it bore the most instances of experimentation and chance. Yet, he drew anyway, on "his own terms" as it were, and the results are equally mind-altering and effortlessly his own. Wavy, rose-bud-like forms in "Untitled" (1966) created w/ graphite on a drill, the field of blurred apparitions amid seismic zaps in "27.4.1999 (5)" (1999), the (exceptionally) realistic "Gebirge/Mountains" (1968), which remains a fury of crosshatchings, the sensual nude in "20.9.1985" (1985), De Chirico-esque and drawn from a photographic source. The majority of the lot is graphite and ink, and they're riveting, but there are several Richter-style colorful examples here and there, glorious saturated worlds more emotional than physical, delving deep w/in the viewer to command our full attention. Intensely delicious. NOTE: THIS ENDS THURSDAY. DO NOT MISS IT!
* Tara McPherson "The Bunny in the Moon" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St. Exceedingly stunning new paintings by McPherson, w/ her characteristic lunar-tinged figures now practically radiating blood-warmth in their quests for love. The artist's technique is masterful: her use of transparency and the sheen of skin is prominent here, and the related works on paper display her keen take on figuration, i.e. minimal use of lines = graphic, strong features.
+ Xiaoqing Ding "At the End of a Rainbow". Ding continues the drama in a series of new large-scale oils on paper, blurring Chinese folklore of supernatural foxes w/ Western fairytales. The result is some very pretty paintings, like "Daffodils Field" and its incredible depth (stick w/ that one over the sort of obvious, 'Wizard of Oz'-esque tituar piece). She augments the lot w/ four circular oils on panel, though by 'panel' I mean meticulously carved, ornamental wooden screens. A lovely duet w/ McPherson's show.
* Matt Connors "You Don't Know" @ Canada / 55 Chrystie St. Connors magnifies idle scribblings into a sort of dynamic lexicon, obliterates color w/ semitranslucent white paint and/or soaks the paint into raw canvas like Kool-Aid stains, in this pretty dope solo show. His experimentation rewards us w/ a unique style of abstraction in an ever-morphing field of abstract artists, a series never as obviously massive as the Abstract Expressionists but not so precisely tiny as his contemporaries Tomma Abts or JJ Peet. The roughly equal assortment of scribbles, erasings and infused-color works are offset by several digital C-prints, two of which sit unadorned, rolled up and precarious on the gallery's uneven floors, in two seemingly solid, vegetal colors.