Fuck October. November's all the rage.
While hoards of people are protesting in the cold and losing their jobs, we are perversely getting excited for the Performa Biennial and wondering whether Neo Rauch will pull off a good show at Zwirner. A dark cloud of French existentialists will descend over Metro Pictures, Paul McCarthy's dismembered Disney characters will deck the halls of Hauser & Wirth, and best of all, Klaus von Nichtsaggend Gallery just unleashed its online exhibition space klausgallery.net, which is booked with upcoming shows. Though we haven't posted anything yet, we know there will be more OWS art events coming soon.
Norte Maar: Concrete Sound. 83 Wyckoff Avenue, #1B, Brooklyn. Through November 20th. Reading: Thursday, November 17th, 7:30pm.
Based on anechoic chambers (those foam-walled soundproof rooms used for recording studios), Audra Woloweic has carpeted a floor in Nortre Maar with similarly-shaped cast concrete blocks. The concrete functions as a silent, heavy landscape, weighted to the floor. Also on view are new collages by AFC alum Man Bartlett and paintings by Lindsay Walt. – Whitney Kimball
Klaus von Nichtsaggend: Michelle Ceja: Wet Code. Through November 14th.
Klausgallery.net unveils its first online exhibition with “Wet Code,” a show of scintillating images that drift and rotate slowly across the screen to an echoing, space age-y soundtrack. Here the browser is treated like a window into a larger plane, rather than pages, as you click through different parts of each screen to be moved down, up, or side to side. Ceja's work is formally in keeping with Klaus's programming; it's almost as though the white background of klausgallery.com turned liquid, and the works drifted over to klausgallery.net. The show will be on view through November 14th. – Whitney Kimball
Claire Fontaine, a name lifted from a French notebook company, brandishes the collaborative works of a Paris-based collective. Speaking often to the unnamed fabricator of the artwork of the assumptions we bring to objects, Fontaine functions as a ready-made artist identity. For instance, in recent works, a neon sign reads “This neon sign was made by David Ablon for the renumeration of five thousand one hundred dollars.” Another is a keychain with no keys, only lock picks. Yet another, “Secret Painting,” depicts hands, one entering a code on a keypad while the other conceals it. From what we can tell of earlier pieces, they appear aesthetically minimalist, imperialistic, and despairing. “The aborted promises of the 1970s liberated nothing,” they say in a recent interview, link and in their wake have sprung all sorts of existential problems and a deluge of political refugees to art world. Well- that's true. The show could turn out to be nothing more than cold intellectual code, (there’s been plenty of debate from the twitosphere already), though fans of this collective would argue that impersonality of Claire Fontaine is the point. - Whitney Kimball
David Zwirner: Neo Rauch: HeilstÃ¤tten. 525 West 19th Street. Through December 17th.
Neo Rauch, of the prolific Leipzig school of painters, makes his New York rounds with another solo show at David Zwirner. Most would agree that there is good reason for his art stardom, earned fairly late in his career, atop a large body of consistent painting that is pointedly symbolic of East Germany and its cloistered history. Like most of the Leipzig school, Rauch was at first celebrated (perhaps too much, too fast) and then regarded as too much of an art world darling once his success surpassed most of the art world. He has been criticized as intentionally regressive, formulaic mime who lacks “personal style,” evident especially in his 2007 exhibition amongst centuries of art history and old masters at the Met. Some of this seems warranted; the history of painting has certainly set us up to like Rauch's large-scale figurative paintings, but we're equally primed to like large-scale abstract paintings. - Whitney Kimball
Ramiken Crucible: Lucas Blalock: xyz. 389 Grand Street. Opening November 6th, 6-9PM. Through December 23rd.
Photographer Lucas Blalock employs both optical illusion and digital manipulation to create his unusual still-lifes and portraits. Rather than conceal the role played by his tools in creating the images, however, Blalock allows all traces of his process to remain apparent. Striking, strange, and often beautiful, the resulting work challenges the fidelity of the photographic image, compelling a closer examination of how we produce and experience pictures. As such, it fits right in with the photography-about-photography discourse dominating things at the moment. – Christopher Schreck
Hauser & Wirth: Paul McCarthy: The Dwarves, The Forests. 32 East 69th Street. Opening November 7th, 6-8PM. Through December 17th.
Paul McCarthy's recent fucked-up, eyes-gouged-out bronze statues and wood carvings of pop kitsch characters will be festooning Hauser & Wirth this month. In keeping with his interest in pop kitsch, especially Disney, here he expands on a running Snow White theme with characters and fantastical landscape maquettes. This is certainly familiar territory for much of contemporary art, but McCarthy, at least, has been at it longer than most. – Whitney Kimball
For those of us keeping score, 319 Scholes is quickly becoming the go-to gallery for hip digital arts programming. While the list of artists participating in “Notes on a New Nature” already seems a little familiar to the space (Nicolas Sasson and Sara Ludy had an exhibition there this past July) the show promises to be something special thanks to the involvement of Chicago-based artist/writer/curator Nicholas O'Brien. O'Brien is a central voice in the emerging media arts field and maintains Hyperjunk, a column on net art widely read within the community. “Notes on a New Nature” will question how technology has challenged our notions of what can be considered “natural,” with a particular focus on how artists use digital tools to represent landscapes. – Christopher Schreck
Friedrich Petzel Gallery: Robert Heinecken, Copywork. 537 West 22nd Street. Opening Thursday, November 10th, 6-8PM. Through December 22nd.
Credited with expanding the rules of photography, Robert Heinecken was a major precursor to the Pictures Generation. He's most known for melding found photographs and abandoning the usual reverence for the original. In his most influential “Are You Rea” series, which will be on view at the Friedrick Petzel Gallery, Heinecken shone light through images to reveal both sides of the page, overlaying the same images in various ways, in arrangements that often mock their source and its target audience. Though by now this is old news, this may be up the alley of those who are interested in the history of art photography. - Whitney Kimball
The Kitchen: Lauren Kelley: FrouFrou Conclusions. 512 West 19th Street. Opening Friday, November 11th, 6-8PM. Through January 7th.
Barbies and (intentionally) crappy special effects make Lauren Kelley’s animations look and feel like low-budget claymation from the 70's and 80's. We’re not sure what exactly will be in the upcoming show, but in her works to date, the characters move jerkily, and the voices and dialogue are spot-on in exaggerating real-life social situations. The influence of experimental filmmaker Todd Haynes is apparent here; the awkward dolls throw the real-life dialogue and social tension into perspective. - Whitney Kimball