* The Generational: "Ungovernables", curated by Eungie Joo @ New Museum / 235 Bowery (F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Spring St). The New Museum's first Generational iteration, 2009's "Younger Than Jesus", had a cheeky theme and some dope work…but I didn't love it as ecstatically as I'd hoped. This year's, inspired by strategic civil disobedience and self-determination, feat. a strong international roster, as in most of 'em have NEVER exhibited in the U.S. Meaning: we New Yorkers (and many visitors, I suspect) will actually learn a lot.
* "Printin'" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St). The artist Ellen Gallagher co-organized this accompaniment to MoMA's tour-de-force "Print/Out" (opening SUN), using her mind-blowing 60-part mixed-media portfolio "DeLuxe" as the jump-off. "Printin'" includes a sweeping chronology of artists working in multiple disciplines, incl. Vija Celmins, David Hammons, George "Krazy Kat" Herriman, Robert Rauschenberg, Martha Rosler and loads more.
* "Michael" (dir. Markus Schleinzer, 2011) @ Film Forum / 209 W Houston St (1 to Houston). It may well be an odd selling point coming from any other director, but "chilling debut feature from the casting director of Michael Haneke's "White Ribbon"" got MY attention. And from what I've read, Schleinzer's tense observational thriller—on the titular loner and the boy he keeps locked in the basement—is creepier than hell. Missed this one at 2011 Fantastic Fest.
* "Secret Reunion" (dir. Jang Hun, 2010) screening @ Tribeca Cinemas / 54 Varick St (ACE/1 to Canal St), 7p/FREE. Pair up two of Korea's most talented actors, Song Kang-ho as an NIS agent and Kang Dong-won as a sleeper cell newcomer in this thriller on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone, and you get the 2nd highest grossing film in Korea's 2010 box office AND a damn awesome film.
* "Viewpoints" @ AMOA-Arthouse / 700 Congress, 6p. Andrea Mellard, Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs leads a discussion on "Evidence of Houdini's Return", the kickass contemporary abstraction group show.
* Cut Hands @ ND501 Studios / 501 N IH-35, 9p/$8. William "Whitehouse" Bennett blazes into the U.S. w/ shards of boiling sonics and ill-ass beats, as his "afro-noise" persona DJ Cut Hands. I am so stoked that I plan to see him twice, in two different noncontiguous states. w/ Eloe Omoe
* Cults @ Unit / 1-34-17 Ebisu-nishi, Shibuya-ku (Tokyu-Toyoko Line to Daikanyama Station, JR Yamanote/Hibiya Line to Ebisu Station), 7p/5000 yen. Brooklyn cuties Cults are a bit like a garage-pop version of Boards of Canada. If that gets you jonesin', Tokyo's got your answer.
* "The Virgins Show", curated by Marilyn Minter @ Family Business (part of Anna Kustera Gallery, run by Cattelan and Gioni) / 520 W 21st St. feat. "Virgins" (Andrew Brischler, Eric Mistretta, David Mramor, Rebecca Ward etc) & "Born Again Virgins" (Patty Chang, Kate Gilmore, Laurel Nakadate, Wangechi Mutu, Mika Rottenberg, Aïda Ruilova—all very first works on video monitor)… plus supposedly the great Hennessy Youngman (aka Pharaoh Hennessy, aka Mr. Museums, aka The Pedagogic Pimp) joins the lineup as "coming later", so stay tuned! This just got MAYJAH-er!
* Valeska Soares @ Eleven Rivington / 11 Rivington St. Concurrent w/ Soares' exhibition at Galeria Fortes Vilaça in Sao Paulo comes three large-scale works on linen, constructed from vintage dust-jackets and hardcover books, plus works from "Edits", where Soares reproduces pages from Roland Barthes' "A Lover's Discourse".
* Yinka Shonibare, MBE "Addio del Passato" @ James Cohan Gallery / 533 W 26th St. Shonibare continues his exploration of the British Empire figurehead Lord Nelson in his latest film (lit. "so closes my sad story"), plus new photoworks from the series "Fake Death Pictures"—reenacting famous painterly suicides swathed in Shonibare's signature Dutch patterned fabric. Oh, and some fetish object sculpture from bygone eras, that too.
* "First Look" @ Yossi Milo Gallery / 245 Tenth Ave. The photo gallery inaugurates its new 10th Ave space w/ a curated group show, feat. artists whose first solo exhibition was presented at Yossi Milo. Including Mohamed Bourouissa, Pieter Hugo, Yuki Onodera, Sze Tsung Leong, Alessandra Sanguinetti and the mighty Kohei Yoshiyuki—this is an all-star lineup even if it were held in the gallery's old location. Def check it out.
* Marlo Pascual @ Casey Kaplan Gallery / 525 W 21st St. Here's what I know about Pascual: 1) I am a huge fan off her 2010 solo at the gallery, her "situations" of warped fashion-y C-prints and objects are super. 2) her press release for this show describes lighting, vegetables, and menswear. Probably a hit.
* Will Ryman @ Paul Kasmin Gallery / 293 10th Ave + 515 W 27th St. Ryman's debut with the gallery goes off in a big way, w/ site-specific sculptural installations in BOTH gallery spaces, another first for Paul Kasmin. The 10th Ave space holds one of Ryman's outsized, sinewy "everyone", w/ a paintbrush labyrinth in the back gallery. The new 27th St space becomes a gallery-sized stand-in for Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, only made of fabricated nails.
* Lyne Lapointe @ Jack Shainman Gallery / 512 W 20th St. A pictorial installation of new paintings, executed on wood panel via either paint or phosphorescent-coated pins, form the central component of Lapointe's show, focusing on darkness, light and memory.
* Charles Garabedian "Mythologies" @ Betty Cuningham Gallery / 541 W 25th St. Garabedian draws from characters and settings from Homer's epics and other Greek classics in a set of new paintings and works on paper. This exhibition, his third at the gallery , follows his 2011 career retrospective at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
* '"Artist and Publisher: Printmaking and the Collaborative Process" w/ Ellen Gallagher and Two Palms Press @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St), 6p/$10. Gallagher (who co-organized MoMA's "Printin'" show) in conversation on creative practice and collaboration w/ Two Palms Press. Christophe Cherix, Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books and organizer of "Print/Out" (opens SUN) moderates the talk.
* "The Ungovernables" artists roundtable Q&A, moderated by Eungie Joo @ New Museum / 235 Bowery (F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Spring St), 7p/$8. I seriously wish I were in town for this, as curator Eungie Joo joins like TWENTY participating artists in a roundtable informal conversation. I seriously hope the museum tapes this (or streams it live?).
* Charles Atlas "The Illusion of Democracy" @ Luhring Augustine Bushwick / 25 Knickerbocker Ave, Bushwick (L to Morgan). Bushwick has a teeming, fertile art-scene, full of creatives and creative gallery spaces. Now W. Chelsea powerhouse Luhring Augustine states its claim in a new space w/ a brilliant exhibition, the American post-punk video artist Charles Atlas, who despite participating in the upcoming Whitney Biennial hasn't shown locally in a long while. The exhibition feat. two video installations never seen before in NYC, "Painting by Numbers" (2008) and "Plato's Alley" (2009), plus a new large-scale video work created specifically for this show and space.
* Breyer P-Orridge "I'm Mortality" @ Invisible-Exports / 14A Orchard St. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, the mighty voice of the avant-garde, conceives an "inter-dimensional" collaboration between the material and immaterial worlds, in her second solo at the gallery.
* Adel Abdessemed "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf" @ David Zwirner / 525-533 W 19th St. In Abdessemed's debut solo at the gallery in 2009, he shoved three airplane fuselages and tailfins, like a sleeping dragon, into the space. That inherent politicized and spectator violence recurs in his new two-space show, including razorwire sculptures of the crucified Jesus, an installation of an abandoned lifeboat (recreated from one found in the Florida Keys, ostensibly used to transport immigrants)…plus a wall of taxidermy animals. Viewer beware.
* Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev "Brooklyn Bridge" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. The Kyrgyzstan-based duo presents a new 6-channel video installation, a series of interviews on illegal immigration within Brooklyn's Russian-speaking neighborhoods from Central Asia's former Soviet republics, plus experimental projections of Brooklyn Bridge and photos of Brighton Beach, the "bridge" between two societies, so to speak. Sounds awesome.
* Dan Flavin "Drawing" @ Morgan Library & Museum / 225 Madison Ave (6 to 33rd St). Perhaps it's not a total surprise that the modernist alchemist of fluorescent light installations was also an avid draftsman, but this "illuminating" survey constitutes the first retrospective devoted entirely to his drawings, from early watercolors to light installation studies and, uh, landscape sketches? Still, I'm intrigued.
* Film Comment Selects @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St). Rawer than NYFF, more international than the, uh, region-specific film festivals, and 1000% cooler than Tribeca. FCS returns w/ nearly three dozen new productions and classics, some w/o stateside distribution (translation: see 'em now or maybe never see 'em again). The festival lasts through MAR 1 so I'll update w/ my favorites, and read on for this week's picks (each bears a FCS slug).
* FCS: "Faust" (dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 8:15p. Faust's crazy craving for knowledge and power as the Enlightenment, and thus the source of 20th-century evil? That's the rub in this Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion winner, Sokurov's visual and sonic fiesta. Dig in. ALSO TUES 3:15p
* "Bullhead" (dir. Michael Roskam, 2011) @ Angelika NY / 18 W Houston ST (BDFM to Broadway/Lafayette). YES! Roskam's debut full-length—a seriously dark, bruising crime-thriller centered on Belgium's mafioso cattle industry—is Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. In my opinion, it's a winner, thanks in no small part to burly lead Matthias Schoenaerts, but see it for yourself. His steroidal performance masks a brutal secret too awesome to spoil here. Highly recommended!
* "L'Enfant" (dire. les frères Dardenne, 2005) screening @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St), 11a. This is a hard-ass, hard-knocks film, where a newborn's entrance to this world is complicated in that its parents are homeless minors, particularly the sleazy BF who sells the baby on the black market and realizes "hey, I'm an idiot! I need to get the baby back!" THRU SUN
* Saul Williams @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$20. Legendary charismatic lyricist and encyclopedic poet Saul Williams graces the Hall in a truly next-level night. Crown Heights agit-punk CX KiDTRONiK opens the event w/ a crackle of electro-rap.
* "Bullhead" (dir. Michael Roskam, 2011) @ Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar / 1120 S. Lamar. YES! Roskam's debut full-length—a seriously dark, bruising crime-thriller centered on Belgium's mafioso cattle industry—is Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. In my opinion, it's a winner, thanks in no small part to burly lead Matthias Schoenaerts, but see it for yourself. His steroidal performance masks a brutal secret too awesome to spoil here. Highly recommended!
* "Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow" (dir. Sophie Fiennes, 2011) @ Violet Crown Cinema / 434 W 2nd St. To witness an Anselm Kiefer work, whether it's an entire installation of mixed-media paintings, dioramas and sculptures or "just" a single piece, is to be thrown into a palimpsest of architectonic history. Fiennes begins with the world-renowned artist's studio and leads us deep within Kiefer's methodology and expression as a postwar master.
* Toshiaki Hikosaka + Takuro Sugiyama "Dead Paintings" @ Radium / 2-5-17 Bakurocho, Chuo-ku (JR Yamanote Line to Bakurocho Station). The two young artists present their own unique styles of abstraction, Hikosaka's systemic grids and Sugiyama's intertwined colors and planes.
* the milky tangerine @ Fever / 1-1-14 Hanegi, Setagaya-ku (Odakyu Inokashira Line to Shindaita or Shimokitazawa Stations), 7p/2000 yen. I fell in love w/ Tokyo indie-rockers the milky tangerine based on a sweetly dissonant single ("Your Beautiful Mind")…then I saw 'em at this very venue in December and fell in even deeper. They're absolutely awesome. w/ bet.
* The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Club Quattro / 5F 32-13 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station), 7p/5000 yen. Would I pay approx $65 USD to see hometown (Brooklyn) indie-pop cuties—and one of my favoritest bands in the world—The Pains play Tokyo. A: you bet.
* RECORIDE @ Koenji High / 4-30-1 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Chuo Line to Koenji Station), 7p/2500 yen. Think Miss Kitten crossed w/ Crystal Castles…but that only 1/2 quantifies the sweaty, electro-pop awesomeness of RECORIDE. Slam-dancing in effect. w/ Lily of the Valley
* Zak Prekop @ Harris Lieberman / 508 W 26th St. Paper-collaged canvases and monochromes layered with stencils from other paintings factor into Prekop's tonal, textural triumph, his second solo at the gallery.
* Bruce Brosnan "See, hear remember" + Tyler Vlahovich @ Feature Inc / 131 Allen St. Brosnan's candy-pop paintings on cut and shaped MDF and Vlahovich's smoldering, murky palette of oils or gouache on canvas and wood panel may be at opposing ends of the color spectrum, but each artist unearths this cool sense of depth and perspective in their respective abstractions while maintaining a clear flatness.
* "The Ungovernables" artist talk: "Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Project" @ New Museum / 235 Bowery (F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Spring St), 3p/$8. The artist-led initiative whose vision is to become a symbol of networking and trans-border association w/in the arts and photography in Africa, discuss their mission and current activities.
* FCS: "Mortem" (dir. Eric Atlan, 2010) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 5p. Think David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" but shot in b&w and French. That got your attention, right? Plus Atlan attends the screening!
* Zola Jesus @ Webster Hall / 125 E 11th St (NR/L/456 to Union Square), 6p/$15. Highly highly highly recommend enveloping within this super-cute songbird's gossamer soundscapes. I don't know how Zola's disarming croon and experimental roots play against speed-metal openers Liturgy, but I imagine the end result transcendent.
* Shunsuke Taira + Akito Nakai + Shinnosuke Yoshida @ Gallery MOMO Roppongi / 2F 6-2-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku (Hibiya/Toei Oedo Lines to Roppongi Station). In my experience, MOMO does a great job showcasing young artists. That's the case here w/ this three-artist show, ahead of their respective graduations from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts. They're all painters of a roughly figurative angle, plus Yoshida and Nakai have both had solos (Yoshida at MOMO's Ryogoku branch).
* "Melancholia" (dir. Lars von Trier, 2011) @ Toho Cinema Shibuya / 2-6-17 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit). The denouement of "Melancholia", which rightfully earned a best actress award at Cannes for Kirsten Dunst's role, had me contacting friends in NYC and Tokyo with promises of visiting them as soon as possible. It's the end of the world, beginning with a wedding reception for Dunst and teasing out her…complicated relationship w/ her sister, played pitch-perfectly by Charlotte Gainsbourg, ending w/ among the most emotionally devastating conclusions in my filmic history. Deserves to be seen on the big screen.
* 「大人の喧嘩」/"Carnage" (dir. Roman Polanski, 2011) @ TOHO Cinemas Chanter / 1-2-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku (Chiyoda/Hibiya Lines to Hibiya Station, Yurakucho Line to Yurakucho Station). Polanski's taut, tittering adaptation of the stage play "God of Carnage"—translated here as "Adults Fight"—works thanks to the electrifying cast of sparring parents Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz vs Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly.
* BiS + current of air @ Fever / 1-1-14 Hanegi, Setagaya-ku (Odakyu Inokashira Line to Shindaita or Shimokitazawa Stations), 7p/2500 yen. See my comments on the milky tangerine under FRI, and relay that into current of air, the pitch-perfect popstars who headlined that show at Fever last December. I'm throwing my bets behind BiS, too, aka "Brand-new Idol Society", three (or four?) PYTs who know how to rock out.
* "Print/Out'" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St). Part two of MoMA's tour-de-force on the printed medium (in conjunction w/ "Printin'") is this 200-work treasure trove on classic printmaking techniques, self-published artists' books, and digital technologies—mostly drawn from MoMA's own collection. Feat. Ai Weiwei, Ellen Gallagher, Martin Kippenberger, Lucy McKenzie, SUPERFLEX, Rirkrit Tiravanija and loads more.
* FCS: "I Wish/Kiseki" (dir. Hirokazu Koreeda, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 6:15p. Two boys' cross-country plan to reunite their estranged parents', via the clandestine rendezvous of two bullet trains. Plus Jo "Johnny Depp" Odagiri plays the dad, so I'm game. ALSO MON 8:45p
* FCS: "My Own Private River" (dirs. James Franco & Gus Van Sant) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 9p. Let's take this from the top: one screening. With James "River Phoenix" Franco leading a Q&A. Yeah, this is place to be.
* DJ Krush @ Music Hall of Williamsburg / 66 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 8p/$15. I can proudly state w/o boasting that I've been down w/ this original Japanese hip-hop DJ's smoky, jazzy breaks since '97 and "MiLight". Dude's almost 50 and he STILL brings it, like his monthly single series begun in 2011. Totally a mesmeric "evening with Krush".
* Frankie Rose "Interstellar" LP release party @ Knitting Factory / 361 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, G to Lorimer), 8p/$12. Miss Frankie Ross, a magnetic presence in Brooklyn's indie scene and one tough drummer, sheds her doo-wop garage-rock sound from debut S/T LP and emerges, butterfly-like, as a starry-toned pop star. She retains that voice, oh that awesome awesome melodious voice. w/ DIVE (extra-psychedelic!)
* The Suzan @ Death By Audio / 49 S 2nd St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$7. This "second home" homecoming show for Japanese tropic-pop darlings The Suzan (straight in from touring good ol' Nippon) will be undoubtedly MAYJAH. w/ The Can't Tells
* "Pumpkinhead" (dir. Stan Winston, 1988) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 10p. Schlock 'n roll typifies this cult classic supernatural stunner, the directorial debut of SFX whiz Winston. Feat. the titular bayou boogeyman attacking campers, how can you go wrong??
* Tom Molloy "New World" + Noriko Ambe "White Scape" @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces St. Molloy strips away the noise and distractions in his historically leaning or contemporarily relevant bodies of work—oftentimes by incredibly meticulous practices—leaving a sort-of podium for us to contemplate, discuss, argue. While he's not explicitly putting his own politics behind the dozens of thrift-store framed Internet-culled b&w images of male world leaders pressing the flesh in "Shake", the works circuitous nature and site-specific installation—where "Hussein/Mubarak" slides into "Mubarak/Bush" and "Bush/Putin", until we're back at "Hussein" again—, plus the fact these nonchronological shots span from 9-11 to the Arab Spring, naturally presents some theories. How these men are friends one minute, wheeling and dealing the next, and sworn enemies separated by several frames of their "friends" after that. Molloy's nine-part titular work features nine different LP sleeves of Dvorák's "New World Symphony", the texts painted over (Molloy's analogue to Photoshop, he said) to show only benign, sunny images of the Western frontier. That "incredibly meticulous practices" bit I alluded to earlier is most clear in "Somewhere", Molloy's hand-painted sheet music to the "Wizard of Oz"'s sweetly optimistic anthem, a work that began with a black sheet of paper and lots and lots of carefully applied white gouache. Noriko Ambe's suite of all-white cut-paper and cut-YUPO (a waterproof synthetic "paper" made from recycled polypropylene) are just sublime, "Tracking II" like footprints in fresh-fallen snow, "Spring 1" the imprint of a tree or a floodplain, "A Piece of Flat Globe Vol. 22" a calmly ancient canyon.
* Diana Al-Hadid @ Visual Arts Center / UT Art Building, 23rd St at Trinity. The Brooklyn-based sculptural alchemist dropped some heady topics in her talk preceding this exhibition, not only naming a certain Gothic painting of the Visitation from a Spanish museum as her point of departure in this stunning new work "Suspended After Image", but also labyrinths (and Jorge Luis Borges), Peter Bruegel (and Babel), and the Large Hadron Collider. All this clued me into Al-Hadid's remarkable sense of harnessing space and presence in her installations, morphing bulk into something oddly ethereal and organic, though still visually commanding. "Suspended After Image" is Al-Hadid's first instance of using a 3D modeling program and CNC router in her work, and the final flowing, terraced form acts more like a 3D painting than a proper sculpture, with the figure seemingly emerging from the frontal staircase while a flow of media colored like wet Frosted Mini Wheats echoes her opulent robes. Though there is an almost total spectrum of color infused in this work, mostly as frozen drips on the sides and back, the overall is a pristine grayish-white, which is absolutely stunning in the VAC's Vaulted Gallery.
+ "(im)possibilities. Five artists — Michael Stevenson, Erica Baum, Birgit Rathsmann, Patrick Resing, and Ellie Ga — extend Borges' metaphor of the library in this dialogue of narratives and human experience. This plays well with Diana Al-Hadid's installation in the Vaulted Gallery. I was most quickly taken by Baum's series "Dog Ear", utilizing folded pages from paperbacks and photographing them into unique fragmented dialogue. Ga's C-prints of an illuminated fissure within the Arctic ice, shot during her residency at the scientific research vessel Tara, feel otherworldly.
* Daniel Heidkamp "Glow Drops at the Chill Spot" @ Champion / 800 Brazos St. Take a plunge into Heidkamp's latest suite of radiant, textural scenes. He shows these interiors and exteriors completely independent from his ongoing portraiture, a strong move in my opinion. For the Brooklyn-based artist isn't just this accomplished figurative painter who also happens to paint rooms and landscapes en plein air. Rather, he is a strong force in capturing natural environments as he sees them, imbuing them with a resonating life-force and character that draws us into their layers of oil paint and dollops of impasto, confronting us with a disarming nostalgia. I may never have visited that Massachusetts backyard ("Here Glows Nothing") or Florida dockside ("Alligator Alley"), but it's like I can smell the air, feel the lawn beneath my trainers and the sun on my face. There's a physicality to Heidkamp's scenes beyond the presence of actual people, who he deftly folds into scenarios (the fireside "Feel It All Around", the portraitures' meta-effect in "The Night of 1000 Paintings") as accenting players. A very strong exhibition and a bold start to Austin's 2012 gallery season.
* Damien Hirst "The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011" @ Gagosian / 555 W 24th St + 522 W 21st St + 980 Madison Ave. Ha, I totally forgot to write about this when the exhibitions went up. Now they close a full day before I arrive in NYC to judge them for myself.
* Thomas Scheibitz + Mat Collishaw @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Big awesome two: Scheibitz inaugurates his SEVENTH solo at the gallery, "A Panoramic VIEW of Basic Events", w/ a powerful array of paintings, works on paper and sculpture that highlight his knack for classical architecture, urban imagery and pop culture. Collishaw fills the upstairs w/ an installation and photography from his "Insecticide" and "Last Meal on Death Row - Texas" series.
* Jeff Keen @ Elizabeth Dee / 545 W 20th St. The U.S. debut of the UK artist's post-Surrealist paintings and video, focused mainly on his influential body of work from the '60s and '70s.
* Bill Jensen @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. I like Jensen's drizzly, corroded surfaces in his very colorful abstract paintings. He introduces some triptychs here, and some worked-over etchings, in this exhibition of new works. (ENDS SAT)
* Michael Zelehoski "Secondary Structures" + Daniel Phillips "River Street" @ DODGEgallery / 15 Rivington St. The gallery pairs an alchemist of found objects and wood (Zelehoski) with Phillips' architecture/landscape-attuned video work.
* "FaceTime" @ On Stellar Rays / 133 Orchard St. A group exhibition focused on the face itself and the pernicious rarity of face-to-face encounters in a ubiquitously digital society. Feat. an international cast, including Maria Petschnig, Debo Eilers, Aleksandra Domanovic and Michel Journiac. Follows the original iteration of the show at IMO Projects, Copenhagen, curated by Toke Lykkeberg & Julia Rodrigues.
* Malcolm Morley "Another Way to Make an Image, Monotypes" @ Sue Scott Gallery / 1 Rivington St. The seasoned printmaker's first foray into monotype, demonstrating his knack for experimentation and color.
* "True Story" @ Grayduck Gallery / 608 W Monroe Dr. Three artists — Austinites Paul Beck and Pat Snow, plus Minnesotan Allen Brewer — play with, and off, perception and representation, reminding us as viewers that things aren't always as clear-cut as they first seem. Brewer takes a direct approach by purposefully painting (or drawing) his subjects blind, focusing on who or what he's rendering instead of the resultant object itself. So while some works carry ghostly remnants or shifts of his mark-making, others like the old man "Poopy" are startlingly realized, fully fleshed out like a Lucien Freud painting. Snow's watercolors and drawings mine his personal space, culling from memories, songs in the background and dialogue. Perhaps reflecting his background working alongside Robert Colescott and Howard Finster, many of Snow's works feature enveloping stories, like "Record Shop Girl" (the charming awkwardness hits close to home) and "I Think My Dog Is a Racist". His ecstatically rendered 99 watercolors "Girl Crazy/Crazy Girl" mostly features women artist friends from his former hometown, Birmingham AL, interspersed with silent movie-style title cards like "TOO Bad" and "Sweet Sad True", prompting an imagined (real?) conversation. The figures' range of renderings from classical to cartoonish reminded me a bit of Richard Linklater's classic Austin rotoscoped animation "Waking Life", which is where Beck comes in. He animated for that film and Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly", and his two suites of mixed media works made for this show tread the line b/w realism and almost nightmarish fantasy, soft-contoured figures floating against stark political undertones and lettering, all with a muted reddish palette. What's the message? That our own consciousness is a jumble of memories, daily interventions and environmental/societal irregularities, as mutable as the moments captured in these works.
* "The Scene" @ hpgrp Tokyo / B1F 5-1-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (Chiyoda/Hanzomon/Ginza Lines to Omotesando Station). The show's theme is the power held within a single photograph, featuring the talents of Joy Kawakubo, Takeshi Shimamoto, Michael Stanley, Rich and TARA.
* Kiyomichi Shibuya "Which do you choose?" @ Art Front Gallery / Hillside Terrace A, 29-18 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku (JR Lines etc to Shibuya). Point: I dig this guy's name. Point: I dig his visual device, the spirograph, incorporating cast light into tracked out floral patterns that somehow encapsulates both childhood, traditional Japanese imagery, and classic literature. (ENDS SUN)
* Maya Maxx @ Kido Press, Inc / 6F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Toei Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). Maya Maxx is a trip, like a Comme des Garçons outfit come to painterly life. The Pop artist does rainbows here, mixing her calligraphy background w/ bold printmaking techniques. (ENDS TUES)