Wednesday, June 27, 2012

fee's LIST / through 7/3

* Caro Niederer @ Hauser & Wirth / 32 E 69th St. H&W focuses on the Swiss artist's paintings, some 18 electrifying new works ranging from still-lifes to nighttime scenes that provide context for her broader cross-media oeuvre.

* "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (dir. Behn Zeitlin, 2012) @ Landmark Sunshine Cinema / 143 E Houston St. This 2012 Sundance winner sounds truly magical, the strained realities of a marooned "New Orleans" community in an uncertain near future as refracted in the gaze of a precocious little girl, who discovers paradise amid the brambles. 

* "The Thing" (dir. John Carpenter, 1982) screening @ Alamo Drafthouse Ritz / 320 E Sixth St, 7p. The Drafthouse's wonderful Summer of '82 roars on with the horror master's slow-burning classic. Screw the 2011 "prequel" and see the original, in full claustrophobic 35mm glory, as an Antarctic team try to capture and escape from a shapeshifting menace from beyond. ALSO SUN 7p

* "The Nature of Disappearance", curated by Dr. Dieter Buchhart @ Marianne Boesky Gallery / 509 W 24th St. The gallery produced a stunning advert for this group exhibition, an image of participating artist Mathias Kessler's wonderful aquarium diorama "Nowhere to Be Found", feat. a human skull slowly consumed by a flourishing coral ecosystem. In a subtle gesture, he reclaimed the ubiquitous art-world symbol—the skull—from post-Warholian emo-trendiness and Damien Hirst glitz. That alone receives my highest praise to see this unmissable exhibition. But beyond this, all the artists here are interested in the material integrity of their works and the possibilities of total loss from their respective experimentation and transgressive practices. Feat. Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Robert Smithson, Bas Jan Ader, Dieter Roth, Gustav Metzger, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, and Kessler.

* "Wish You Were Here" @ Ana Cristea Gallery / 521 W 26th St. Nobody in NYC is showing young E. European talent like Ana Cristea. Case in point: laddish Andrej Dubravsky, whose murkily titillating scenes I first discovered via Prague's Jiri Svestka Gallery. Or the jewellike subversion by Oana Farcas (seen her in Copenhagen's LARMgalleri). Their elder Gideon Kiefer rounds out the lot with his subtly surreal scenes. Recommended! 

* "Size Matters" @ DODGEgallery / 15 Rivington St. Artists comfortable w/ shifting scales within their respective practices. Some of this sounds tongue-in-cheek, like Rebecca Chamberlain presenting simultaneously her largest work (a 5ft-tall diptych) and smallest (a 12-inch double-sided plinth), but her adaptability within architecture and that of her peers Ted Gahl, Cassie Ralhl, Matt Rich, and Michael Zelehoski, sounds dope to me.

* Alex Van Gelder "Line of Inquiry" @ Cheim & Read / 547 W 25th St. The Paris-based artist's photographic meditations on death and decay aren't everyone's cup of tea, but his sumptuous platinum prints and transformative portraiture exemplify that old saying: "a picture is worth a thousand words".

* Rineke Dijkstra @ Guggenheim / 1071 Fifth Ave (456 to 86th St). The mid-career retrospective for the Dutch photographer, whose signature compositional style—single portraits or small groups against a minimal backdrop—carry an innate relational aesthetic. From lads in sportswear to adolescents in school uniforms or young male soldiers, the familiarity of Dijkstra's subjects remains uncanny. This exhibition includes over 70 color photographs and five video installations. 

* New York Asian Film Festival 2012 @ Walter Reade Theatre / Lincoln Center at 65th St (1 to 66th St). NYAFF is the baddest-ass of NY film festivals without question. Seasoned LIST-readers know you better be holding tickets for the hotter shows (as these babies tend to sell out majorly), so I'll eschew regurgitating my yearly rules and tips and just include a rundown of films I think you should see. Just look for the NYAFF 2012 tag.

* NYAFF 2012: "Vulgaria" (dir. Pang Ho-cheung, 2012) at 8:30p. The N. American premiere of Pang's madcap, talk-heavy, filthy new meta-comedy. That this is the powerhouse director of 2010's astonishingly violent "Dream Home" only reemphasizes Pang's adaptable nature. Oh, and he's attending this opening night screening.

* "A Burning Hot Summer" (dir. Philippe Garrel, 2012) @ IFC Center / 323 Sixth Ave (ACE/BDFM to W 4th St). Reasons to see this: 1) the latest searing drama from French auteur Garrel, 2) his brooding, oft-acting son Louis is the lead, 3) Monica Bellucci plays Louis' wife (what the hell?) and 4) John Cale scored the film. Summer just got a helluva lot hotter, kids. 

* "Greatest Hits" @ Tiny Park Gallery / 1101 Navasota St. Tiny Park inaugurates its new space with both a history of artists it has shown in the past and a preview of possibilities for the new larger space. Feat. works by locals Michael Sieben, PJ Raval, Leah Haney, David Culpepper, and Miguel Aragon, plus Sam Prekop (Chicago), Deborah Stratman (Chicago), Nick Brown (Los Angeles), Stephanie Serpick (NYC), and Rob Lomblad (NYC).

* Kaoru Hirano @ SCAI the Bathhouse / 6-1-23 Yanaka, Taito-ku (JR Yamanote to Nippori Station). Hirano works with wedding dresses here, unravelling them and then rejoining them to capture both hints of their former wearers and their respective histories and experiences while simultaneously transforming them into threaded webs of memory.

* LAGITAGIDA @ Shibuya O-West / 2F 2-3 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit), 7p/3000 yen. Local instrumental noise-rock quartet Lagitagida fried my braincells during SXSW, and you bet they bring that same intensity to the home crowd. w/ NINGEN OK

* Jason deCaires Taylor "Human Nature" + Fulvio di Piazza "Ashes to Ashes" @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery / 529 W 20th St 9th Fl. Taylor features large-scale photographs of some of his ambitious public projects, involving cast-cement figures within massive aquatic environments. In di Piazza's debut stateside solo exhibition, he echoes Taylor's eco awareness with new oil paintings of anthropomorphized landscapes.

* NYAFF 2012: "Oldboy" (dir. Park Chan-wook, 2003) at 1p. One of the greatest openers in contemporary cinema and THE film that put Korean auteur Park on the Western film map. Feat. a batshit side-scrolling-style action sequence involving a rangy Choi Min-sik and his trusty hammer vs. like 30 bad guys! Also feat. so many devastating plot twists, it's better I don't tell you any more. The less you know, the heavier this ultimate revenge drama hits. Even awesomer: Choi and Yoon Jin-seo attend the screening. Intense!

* NYAFF 2012: "Nameless Gangster" (dir. Yun Jong-bin, 2012) at 9p. For every awesome American gangster film like "Casino", we get some horrible, horrible knockoff remake like "Infernal Affairs", a mere splinter of its bigger, badder Chinese Triad original. Word of advice, America: do not even ATTEMPT to tackle this crazy-ass late '80s-stylin' Korean gangster film, w/ an addictingly clueless Choi Min-sik as the non-gangster mafioso. Plus: Choi attends this screening! ALSO TUES 1p

* Laurel Halo @ 285 Kent Ave, Williamsburg (L to Bedford, JM to Marcy), 8p/$12. I am sorta surprisingly WAY into Laurel Halo's debut LP "Quarantine", whose release party we celebrate tonight at assuredly sweaty 285 Kent. But that shouldn't be so surprising, right? She can totally sing, she blankets her compositions in jarring beats and distressing soundscapes, plus she used a deviant Makoto Aida painting as her album art. Yeah, I'm down. w/ Gatekeeper

* "Manscape: Male as Subject and Object", curated by Christopher Eamon @ Lora Reynolds Gallery / 360 Nueces. Eamon turns art's traditional male gaze on its ear, featuring cross-media works by three young women artists and the conceptualist John Massey. I'm a major fan of Michele Abeles' peculiar and thought-provoking photographic dioramas—she and darkroom experimenter Mariah Robertson are both MoMA PS1 "Greater NY" alums and are featured here. Meanwhile Adina Popescu's "Jeremiah" and Massey's "Studio Projections" add further insight and conversation.

* Leticia Bajuyo "Event Horizon" @ Women & Their Work / 1710 Lavaca St. The Visual Artists Network partner solidifies our technological detritus in a major site-specific installation of cable ties and reused CDs.

* Tomoo Gokita "Variety Show" @ Taka Ishii Gallery / 5F 1-3-2 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku (Hanzomon/Oedo Lines to Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station). Like black and white? Gokita condenses his paintings into formidable, hypnotic symbols, semaphores in a sea of abstraction.

* Shinnosuke Yoshida "Unknown Future and Forgettable Past"  @ Gallery MOMO Ryogoku / 1F 1-7-15 Kamezawa, Sumida-ku (Toei Oedo/JR Sobu Line to Ryogoku Station). The young Saitama-area artist (and recent graduate from the Graduate School of Tokyo University of the ARts) returns with his second solo at the gallery, oil paintings of varying scales featuring uneasy cohabitations between humans and the environment.

* nisennenmondai presents "souzousuru neji+" @ SOUP / B1F 3-9-10 Kami-Ochiai, Shinjuku-ku (JR Sobu Line to Higashi-Nakano Station), 7p/SOLD OUT. Japan's awesomest math-rockers nisennenmondai stage a super-intimate show for the hometown crowd. You lucky ticketholders get to experience these three fierce women ripping through their blistering early catalogue, throwing props to "This Heat" and "Sonic Youth" (plus the percussive, free-jazz blaster "Ikkyokume", i.e. "First Composition").

* CAUCUS @ 20000 Den-atsu / B1 1-7-23 Koenji-Minami, Suginami-ku (Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Higashi-Koenji, Exit 2), 6:45p/2300 yen. A local lineup of proper indie rock, helmed by darlings CAUCUS and pop-punk stalwart trio TACOBONDS sets up headliners Fragile, all the way from Nara. Show some love.

* Alighiero Boetti "Game Plan" @ MoMA / 11 W 53rd St (E/M to 53rd St/5th Ave). The Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid) and the Tate Modern (London) helped stage the largest presentation of works by Italian artist Alighiero Boetti outside Italy to date—and believe me, brother, it's major. This chronological retrospective follows the Arte Povera forerunner from his early sculptural "objects" at Galleria Christian Stein (Turin) in 1967 through his growing prowess with geography, mapping, and eventually embroideries of locations. An enriching look at a seminal conceptual master.

* NYAFF 2012: "Crying Fist" (dir. Ryoo Seung-wan, 2005) at 9p. Ryoo's early boxing drama sealed his capacity for ass-kicking action films, and in this one he pairs a burly Choi Min-sik and his own badass brother Seung-beom as underdog boxers yearning for another shot in the ring. w/ Choi Min-sik in attendance!

* Pablo Picasso "Picasso and Françoise Gilot, Paris-Vallauris 1943-1953" @ Gagosian / 980 Madison Ave. One more museum-worthy Picasso show for the art-adoring populace. Gagosian brings the action uptown in this fourth iteration, feat. a visual and conceptual dialogue b/w the modern master and his (then) 21-year-old muse, who was an artist herself when she met Picasso. Gilot's own paintings (imbued with Picasso contemporary Georges Braque) will be shown in concert w/ Picasso's postwar innovations. One word: mayjah.

* "4 Films: Adrian Paci, Luisa Rabbia, SUPERFLEX, Su-Mei Tse" @ Peter Blum Chelsea / 526 W 29th St. Feat. Paci's "Inside the Circle", Rabbia's "Travels With Isabella", SUPERFLEX's "Modern Times Forever" and Tse's "Vertingen de la Vida" (w/ Jean-Lou Majerus).

* Lucio Fontana "Ambienti Spaziali" @ Gagosian / 555 W 24th St. Hold everything: I know Frieze NY is about to go down, but THIS is the must-see show in NYC. The gallery reconstructs six of Fontana's innovative environments (from 1949 through 1968) in what sounds to be a truly transcendent exhibition. You may know him for his "Concetti spaziali", where Fontana cut into canvas, but his more elaborate installations, feat. illuminated papier-mâché, gouged forms, and lots of surfaces w/ holes in 'em, make for a much fuller appreciation of this modern master.

* Will Cotton @ Mary Boone Gallery / 745 Fifth Ave. Get yr sugar fix at Cotton's new array of unctuous candy paintings and cast-plaster cake sculpture, riffing off his artistic direction on Katy Perry's "California Gurls" video. Dig in.

* Ulrich Gebert "The Negotiated Order" @ Winkleman Gallery / 621 W 27th St. Mixed-media incorporating found images of people subjugating animals, in the Munich-based artist's continued exploration w/ human urges to rule everything. 

* Ellen Heck "Variations" @ Wally Workman Gallery / 1202 W 6th St. The young Cali-based artist uses her printmaking background at the Art Institute of Chicago to great and emotive effect, in this series of portraiture. 

* Waka Yoshida "Going to bed in the underwear of the Mammoth" @ Gallery MOMO / 2F 6-2-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku (Hibiya/Toei Oedo Lines to Roppongi Station). Somehow this young artist's mixed-media paintings and sculpture resemble both geological finds and delicate, melted ice-cream artwork, simultaneously – that's fine with me. (ENDS SAT)

* "My Place, Our Scenery" @ MA2 Gallery / 3-3-8 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku (Yamanote Line to Ebisu Station). Five Japanese artists lend very personal, individualized takes on the embodiment of landscapes. My immediate favorite is young mixed-media painter Aki Eimizu (who had a wonderful show at the gallery back in December 2011), but Yasutake Iwana's impastoed canvases intrigues as well. Plus: Maki Ohkojima, Yuki Hamamura, and Satoshi Uchiumi.

* Kyotaro Hakamata "Hotei and Grape" @ Aisho Miura Arts / B1F 2-17-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (JR etc to Shibuya Station). Objects stripped of their usual context, transformed into precarious surrogates by the Tokyo-based artist. (ENDS SUN)