* "Mythology" @ The Pace Gallery / 32 E 57th St. A group exhibition exploring the influence of ancient myths and archetypes on modern artists at their moments of transformation from figuration to abstraction. Feat. Alexander Calder, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, among others.
* "Wildness" (dir. Wu Tsang, 2012) screening @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St), 8p. Tsang is/will be featured in practically every show in town. That's not exactly an understatement, as the compelling "transguy/transfeminine" artist is in both the New Museum Triennial (opened last week) AND the Whitney Biennial (opening next week). That's the first one-two punch of its calibre in NYC that I can think of anyway. PLUS! Tonight is the debut of Tsang's film, a portrait of eastside LA's historic, LGBT-friendly bar the Silver Platter. Tsang attends the screening for a post discussion.
* FCS: "I Wish/Kiseki" (dir. Hirokazu Koreeda, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 1p. 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.
* "Rembrandt and Degas: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" @ Metropolitan Museum of Art / 1000 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). Self-portraits made by the Dutch master portraitist and young French impressionist—from the earliest part of their respective illustrious careers—shown side by side for the first time.
* Paul Graham "The Present" @ The Pace Gallery / 545 W 22nd St. Pace debuts the NY-based British photographer's latest body of work, his first exhibition in the States since 2009. "The Present" includes diptych and triptych photographic works, highlighting serendipitous moments of a city constantly in motion. A new monograph, published by MACK, accompanies the exhibition.
* Thomas Schütte @ Peter Freeman Gallery / 140 Grand St. The German artist inaugurates the gallery's new space in his first NY solo exhibition of new work in seven years. Schütte presents monumental installations in bronze, carved wood, ceramic and glass that should incorporate quite nicely w/ the space's former industrial background, plus he adds a set of large colored woodblock prints, new renderings from his '84 suite "Die Burg/The Castle".
* Michiel Ceulers "Des malentendus et le temps perdu" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. The gallery debuts the young Belgian artist in his first stateside solo show, who focuses on the bare essentials—canvases, wood panels, paint and spraypaint—in his deft exploration of abstraction.
* Ellen Harvey "The Nudist Museum Gift Shop" @ DODGEgallery / 15 Rivington St. Harvey explores the art nude in all its permutations, from the glitzily framed portrait to the boob-mug. Plus postcards of historical nudes, culled from NYC art museums and modified by Harvey to depict only the figures—because what is a "museum gift shop" without postcards?
* Adia Millett "Portraits of an Escape" @ Mixed Greens / 531 W 26th St. The Oakland-based artist revisits her old photographs of sculptural interiors, flipping them inside-out as new 2D façades. Her colorful architectural style holds a lot of personality, too, which is intentional as each structure reflects a portrait of someone in Millett's life.
* Jonathan Lasker "Early Works 1977-1985" @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. Twenty seminal paintings reflecting Lasker's unique, divergent abstract sensibility and his skill and combining contradictory elements (brushed/troweled, gestural/flat) in seamless ways.
* FCS: "Silent House" (dirs. Chris Kentis & Laura Lau, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 4p. Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman terrorized by spirits "in real time" while trapped inside her family's lakeside retreat. I am over the moon excited about this one.
* Prince Rama + Gary War @ Glasslands / 289 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8:30p. "Now Age" say the Larson sisters and core of the Brooklyn psych-electro experience. Gary War's garage-rock immersed in a lake is likewise mood-morphing, as is the Gang Gang Dance DJ set.
* Grimes (Montreal) @ Lamberts / 401 W 2nd St, 9:30p/SOLD OUT. Oh son, I know you wanted to see Claire "Grimes" Boucher enthrall intimate Lamberts w/ her uncanny avant-pop vox and "Darkbloom"-ing sound…but this show's been sold out since forever. Good on you, those w/ tix. w/ Born Gold
* Hajime Hasegawa "Primitive Vehicle" @ Art Front Gallery / Hillside Terrace A, 29-18 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku (JR Lines etc to Shibuya). Hasegawa's constructions of curved bamboo with metal and wooden beams emulate Greek mythology in a DIY sensibility.
* John Chamberlain "Choices" @ Guggenheim / 1071 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). The great American sculptor passed away late last year, but his signature colorfully crushed auto parts (and their typically equally colorful titles) will forever remained ingrained in modern art history. This isn't the first time the Gugg has decked its space w/ vehicles (Cai Guo-Qiang suspended 'em from the ceiling of his 2008 career survey, plus that critically condemned 2000 show "The Art of the Motorcycle")—but Chamberlain successfully contorted, ripped and shredded his autos in eclectic assemblages, yet each retains that "car essence". Expect about 100 works spanning his entire career.
* Hans-Peter Feldmann @ 303 Gallery / 547 W 21st St. You might remember Feldmann winning the 2010 Hugo Boss Award, which he displayed in its $100,000 entirety at the Guggenheim last year as a wallpapering of singles. The German conceptualist stages a new installation at 303, ahead of his upcoming solo at Serpentine Gallery, London, in April.
* "Hindsight" (dir. Lee Hyun-seung, 2011) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 9:15p. Leave it to dependable Korean screen-electrifier Song Kang-ho to draw us deep within this contemporary crime thriller. He plays a retired mob boss trying to make good, but charmed by a young woman a cooking class, he finds that old life grabbing back for him.
* Cut Hands @ Public Assembly / 70 N 6th St, Williamsburg (L to Bedford), 9p/$10. Pure decibel destruction! Though this ain't William Bennett's searing Whitehouse act, let's not forget he basically created the punishing subgenre known as "power electronics". As Cut Hands, Bennett's "afro noise" set features heavily on both fronts, from pummeling tribal rhythms that thump at your bowels, chest and throat, to scorching sonics. Stoked, right? w/ Xeno & Oaklander
* Parts & Labor (10-yr anniversary) @ 285 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$10. Final show for Brooklynite noise rockers, bringing those polyrhythms, wheezy electronics and B.J.'s beard since '02. I'll miss them! They go out in style tonight, joined by local psych-rockers Oneida and onetime P&L guitarist Sarah Lipstate's superlative guitar-drone project Noveller.
* Quiet Company @ Stubb's / 801 Red River, 8p/$10. Austin's nattiest brass-toned indie-rock stalwarts have been taking requests for fan-fave songs to play at their headlining showcase, which also feat. Ft. Worth's The Orbans and locals The Reynolds Number (enjoying their CD release). How's that for a solid?
* Shoji Ueda "Mode in Dunes" @ Taka Ishii Photography / 2F 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku (Hibiya/Oedo Lines to Roppongi Station). Ueda fuses fashion photography with Rene Magritte-style surrealism in this classic series of prints in the desert.
* Charles Long + Nicole Wermers @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery / 521 W 21st St. Long continues to twist and elasticize the boundaries of sculpture, in his ninth solo at the gallery. Upstairs, Wermers accents with a photo series from the Rodin Museum in Paris, contrasted with her own modernist sculpture.
* Ryan McNamara "Still" @ Elizabeth Dee / 545 W 20th St. The young performance artist inaugurates his debut solo at the gallery w/ a little help from his friends…or, I mean, YOU. He'll be in the gallery for the first three weeks, and the works you create with him (posted daily on the gallery website, plus a version in your inbox) will reappear as the gallery exhibition in the second half of the show. Expect impromptu performances, collaborations, maybe a dance or two.
* Alex Gross "Product Placement" + Victor Castillo "The Jungle" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. LA artist Gross' lush painterly style is kind of like Jim Rosenquist (or Richard Hamilton) for a decidedly 21st C. world, a globe-flattening blend of posh designer labels, a polyglot of languages on adverts, exotic critters and nondescript environments. It's a foreshortened world thrust continuously into hyperdrive, Asia, America and the Middle East coalescing into one postmodern hybrid. Meanwhile Castillo (also LA-based, born in Chile) takes on the socioeconomic crisis w/ spooky children's tales, rendered in paintings and works on paper.
* Donald Moffett "The Radiant Future" @ Marianne Boesky Gallery / 509 W 24th St. I caught Moffett's wonderful career survey "The Extravagant Vein" at CAM Houston this past winter, which just touched down in Saratoga Springs NY for an almost four-month run. He returns to the gallery after his 2010 dual w/ Robert Beck ("Range") w/ a suite of works exploring the roles of texture, mounting, and relief.
* FCS: "Silent House" (dirs. Chris Kentis & Laura Lau, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 10:45p. Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman terrorized by spirits "in real time" while trapped inside her family's lakeside retreat. I am over the moon excited about this one.
* "Quick" (dir. Cho Beom-goo, 2011) screening @ BAM / 30 Lafayette Ave (23/45 to Nevins, C to Lafayette), 9:30p. Think "30 Minutes or Less" but w/ bike messengers on Korean motorcycles and super-cutie Kang Ye-won standing in for Dilshad Vadsaria, only w/ a way more active role.
* "HONGKONGATHON" (various dirs., curated by Grady Hendrix) @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 10p. Grady Hendrix, genre genius behind NY Asian Film Festival, and local madman Lars Nilsen (Fantastic Fest/Weird Wednesdays at the Ritz) co-curated this rare/secret Hong Kong classics marathon. As Hendrix sez: "five movies, 10 hours, 100 ways to blow your mind." I don't doubt that for a second.
* Cloud Nothings (Cleveland) @ Red 7 / 611 E 7th St, 9p. First time I saw Dylan Baldi, aka "Cloud Nothings" and crew, back in I guess 2010 at a concrete-walled basement in Brooklyn, the whole thing was so damn loud and fuzzy, alt-punk tuned to 15. Not to say he's mellowed a bit in spanking-new second LP "Attack on Memory" (P4K awarded it "Best New Music"), but it's filled out with hooks and almost grunge atonality amid the grinding riffs and pummeling rhythm. Cloud Nothings is a full-out BAND. w/ A Classic Education
* Teengirl Fantasy @ Beauty Ballroom / 2015 E Riverside Dr, 9p/$12. A live set from fractured-house duo Teengirl Fantasy is a fine thing indeed, especially if you like dance like it's 1989. w/ Jacques Renault
* VNV Nation @ Elysium / 705 Red River, 9:30p/$30. Would I drop three Madisons to dial it back to '00 and slam-dance to VNV Nation's thunderous EBM anthems "Darkangel" and "Rubicon"? If I were in Tokyo, hell yeah. Pick yr poison. w/ Straftanz
* Quiet Hooves (ATL) @ Stubb's / 801 Red River, 9p. That weird-pop collective Quiet Hooves (think your favorite garage-rock act and a Gospel group sharing a sheet of acid) know how to get a groove going. w/ Reptar
* Marijke van Warmerdam "Haru" @ Taka Ishii Gallery / 5F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). The Amsterdam-based artist presents a series of paintings based on film stills printed on canvas, like frozen moments.
* Ai Udagawa "Sign" @ Kido Press, Inc / 6F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Toei Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). Udagawa typically incorporates embroidery into her mesmerizing, naturalistic acrylic and mixed-media paintings.
* "Zombie Ass" (dir. Noboru Iguchi, 2011) premiere @ Cinemart Shinjuku / 3-13-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi/Fukutoshin/Toei Shinjuku Lines to Shinjuku-sanchome Station). An epic of epic epicness, straight from the bowels of post-NOTLD cinema and thoroughly doused in Iguchi's deviant world of scat zombies, anal alien parasites…and lotsa cute girls. I loved the world premiere (at 2011 Fantastic Fest) so much that I saw the damn film twice, it's that great.
* "Pina" (dir. Wim Wenders, 2011) @ HT Yurakucho / 2-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku (Yurakucho Line to Yurakucho Station). I was cued into the late, great German choreographer Pina Bausch's electrifying performances years ago by my mentor, and they forever changed how I view movement (e.g. by one person, by person to person, in groups) and "modern dance". Plus Bausch was a kind of muse to Yohji Yamamoto. Now Wenders, an old friend, conjures a 3D experience with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch that gives us even a glimpse of what it must be like to be a Bausch dancer, part of her kinetic, romantic world. It sounds like a triumph.
* Incapacitants + K2 @ SOUP / B1F 3-9-10 Kami-Ochiai, Shinjuku-ku (JR Sobu Line to Higashi-Nakano Station), 7:30p/2500 yen. A night of audio fury, feat. legends Incapacitants playing "as loud as possible" (I mean sonically, not necessary their legendary LP) and audio pathologist Kimihide "K2" Kusafuka. w/ Nate Young (of Wolf Eyes)
* Cindy Sherman @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St). Sherman quickly created a niche for herself within the contemporary art and photography pantheon—plus that of feminism, self-representation, body politics—by using herself as the model. For over 30 years, Sherman has been director, photographer, stylist and subject, culling images from TV, cinema, magazines, art historical and current to supply her inspiration. This career retrospective features her b&w series "Untitled Film Stills" (1977-80), her history portraits (1989-90), extra-outlandish society portraits (2008) and recent photographic murals, in their American premiere, plus everything in between.
* FCS: "Almayer's Folly" (dir. Chantal Akerman, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 1p. You may know Akerman as I, from her '75 voyage "Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles", exploring the ellipses of conventional narrative cinema. Her latest, an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1895 titular debut novel, re-imagines the time to the 1950s and the Dutch fortune seeker in Malaysia as a critique of the bankruptcy of colonialism.
* Kyoka + Cokiyu + Sawako + 34423 @ SOUP / B1F 3-9-10 Kami-Ochiai, Shinjuku-ku (JR Sobu Line to Higashi-Nakano Station), 7p/2500 yen. Four Japanese soundscape artists create an alchemical improvisational night at the SOUP. Kyoka (Berlin/Tokyo) concocts some crazy beats, plus she's the first female artist on the Raster-Norton label. Cokiyu (Ehime) has performed in Denmark's SPOT FESTIVAL, the Tokyo Motor Show, and Tetsuya Nakashima's "Confessions" (that discreet sonic gloss? that's Cokiyu). I'm totally a fan of Nagoya-born Sawako (Tokyo/NYC) and her lush field recordings. Finally pop sound-collagist 34423 (Tokyo), or "Niyoshi Fumi".
* "An Evening with Phil Collins" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St), 7p. To my glamouramas from the '80s, no not THAT Phil Collins. I mean the wonderful artist and mega-photojournalist, who presents a selection of his globally-minded video works, incl. "how to make a refugee" (1999) and "use! value! exchange!" (2010).
* The Naked and Famous @ Club Quattro / 5F 32-13 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station), 7p/5500 yen. The Kiwi electro-pop cuties rock the hell outta Shibuya, fueled by crystalline keyboards, ass-shaking bass and Alisa Xayalith's potent vox.
* BobRins @ THREE / B1F 5-18-1 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku (Inokashira Line to Shimokitazawa Station), 7p/2300 yen. Melodic garage-rock from these Tokyo girls BobRins, propelled by Yukie's tight drumming. w/ 虫のしらせ (lit. "Foreboding"!)
* "The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde" @ Metropolitan Museum of Art / 1000 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). MAYJAH. Take Picasso's portrait of Parisian modern art patron Gertrude Stein as the jump-off for this lush grouping, encapsulating Stein and her brothers as tastemakers on 20th C. art. Though the focus is primarily on Matisse and Picasso, the exhibition also includes works by Pierre Bonnard, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Francis Picabia, and others.
* Georg Baselitz @ Gagosian / 522 W 21st St. The superlative German artist revisits aspects of his own history, but in paintings larger than he's ever created before: huge figures painted in bold colors against a shifting, constrast-y backdrop. Baselitz adds rough-hewn wood and bronze-cast sculpture to this exhibition of new works.
* '"Artist and Publisher: Printmaking and the Collaborative Process" w/ Marina Abramovic and Jacob Samuel of Edition Jacob Samuel @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 5th Ave/53rd St, 6 to 51st St), 6p/$10
* FCS: "Faust" (dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, 2011) screening @ Film Society of Lincoln Center / 65th St & Lincoln Center (1 to 66th St), 9p. 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.
* "White Night" (dir. Park Shin-woo, 2009) screening @ Tribeca Cinemas / 54 Varick St (ACE/1 to Canal St), 7p/FREE. This decadent crime-mystery thriller, replete w/ decade-spanning murders and entangled relationships, is based off Keigo Higashino's Shueisha-published story "Byakuyako" from the late '70s (later compiled into a best-selling novel). Plus Son Ye-jin plays the lead (hello!).
* 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.
* Jill Magid "Failed States" @ AMOA-Arthouse / 700 Congress. So check this: on 1/21/10, a young man named Fausto fired six bullets into the air outside the Texas State Capitol. Jill Magid — whose oeuvre navigates bureaucracy and security/intelligence w/ Mission Impossible deftness — was like steps away, pursuing her own future work, and witnessed it. Now six blocks from the scene and two years later, Magid stages an intriguing Conceptual show that ties Fausto's mysterious actions — and his silence throughout his trial — with that of Goethe's "Faust". The ground-floor gallery is her stage, replete with wall-decal directions ("Enter Fausto", "shots fired skyward", "enter Magid" etc), Magid's own play "Fausto: A Tragedy" (mirroring "Faust"'s original intention as a closet drama, meant to be read and not performed), and contemplative works. Deep encodings here, from six translations of "Faust" silkscreened on top of one another, to six bullet casings and a six-slide projection of the sky over the Capitol. Magid wrote a letter to Fausto, requesting his voice (absent in his trial) to read passages from "Faust" (whose Spanish translation is "Fausto") — his answer is still forthcoming, but it would add an intriguing layer to all this. Finally, there is Magid's family's '93 Mercedes, armored to B4 level and parked in Fausto's spot outside the Capitol, and her writing appearing in the February issue of the "Texas Observer", drawing this dialogue beyond the art-scene realm as it should be.
+ "Evidence of Houdini's Return". A really brilliant group show of fractured and re-envisioned realities, curated by Arthouse's Rachel Adams. I tweeted that it made me miss NYC, because it's precisely that sort of thoughtful exhibition that makes me look twice, thrice, at what I think I already know. Ex: Strauss Borque LaFrance's "BABE", a silvery lacquered wood plank pitched diagonally on the wall like classic John McCracken,…only just around the corner is that same plank, used as a shelf amid LaFrance's complex, mixed-media display. Another: Katja Mater's "Time Passing Objects", chromogenic prints that blur the line b/w photography and geometric drawings. Justin Swinburne's "Echo" works, multiple inkjet scans onto alu-dibond that echo (no pun) Gerhard Richter's signature abstracts while maintaining that sense of disarray like Wade Guyton's inkjet silkscreens. Bravo!
* Rashid Johnson "Rumble" @ Hauser & Wirth / 32 E 69th St. Ahead of the NY artist's 1st major solo museum exhibition "A Message To Our Folks" at MCA Chicago in April, the gallery debuts Johnson's cross-media series w/ boxing mega-promoter Don King as the jumpoff. The show is awesome. It smells...uniquely Johnson, owing to his signature use of soap (appearing here almost like thickly textured, abraded black paint) and lotion. But beyond tortured canvases of black soap and wax are cast bronze standing in as frozen canvas and jagged mirrors throwing our own reflections into Johnson's installations of leather-bound books and objects.
* Doug Wheeler @ David Zwirner / 519 W 19th St. A major new installation from the pioneering "Light and Space" artist, and the first-ever presentation of Wheeler's "infinity environment" in NYC.
* Ai Weiwei, Wang Xingwei, Ding Yi "Persona 3" @ Chambers Fine Art / 522 W 19th St. Ai's big "Sunflower Seeds" installation at Mary Boone Gallery a few blocks north of here may be drawing huge crowds, but I urge you to check this intriguing pairing as well. The three Chinese contemporary artists have created a cooperative work, temporarily exchanging artistic profiles in a demonstration of their mutual admiration for Chinese art scholar Hans van Dijk. Ai focuses Ding Yi's abstract style in iron; Wang channels Ai's furniture-manipulation in a new rosewood sculpture; and Ding Yi hearkens back to his earliest representational style in painting a Shanghai cityscape.
* "Marble Sculpture from 350 B.C. to Last Week" @ Sperone Westwater / 257 Bowery. First off: props for an awesome group show title and concept. I don't know how the gallery pulled this off, but this does indeed include Greek and Roman antiquities and Neoclassical sculpture, plus Dadaist biomorphic works and recent examples from Ai Weiwei, Barry X Ball and Tom Sachs.
* Udomsak Krisanamis "Space Out" @ Gavin Brown's Enterprise / 620 Greenwich St. The Thai-born collage alchemist (and avid golfer, apparently) comes off a successful cross-media show at Kunstverein Freiburg w/ a visual and textural panoply.
* Joyce Pensato "Batman Returns" @ Friedrich Petzel Gallery / 537 W 22nd St. It's Batman, dammit! Pensato resurrects her recurring motif, which she's worked w/ since the mid-'70s but ceased in '96, tripping the masked vigilante up in pastels—in addition to her traditional black, white, silver palette—and showing him against other Pop cartoon characters.
* 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.
* Tatsuo Majima "All the right moves" @ Taro Nasu Gallery / 1-2-11 Higashi-kanda, Chiyoda-ku (Sobu Line to Bakurocho Station). Majima takes on classic Tom Cruise movie posters in the artist's ongoing collision of cultural differences in modern society. (ENDS SAT)