This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Gallery Armageddon

by Paddy Johnson Michael Anthony Farley Rea McNamara on January 4, 2016 Events

Still from Bruce Conner's Crossroads (1976). Credit: AGO

Still from Bruce Conner’s Crossroads (1976). Credit: AGO

Those who thought they’d ease into the work week after the holiday break will be sorely disappointed. Nearly every gallery in the city has an opening. Between the Abrons Art Center’s American Realness Festival opening this week and a rash of Chelsea and Lower East Side shows, your calendar will be full. And not just with the usual crap. Painter Jane Corrigan will debut fresh new figurative paintings at Feuer/Mesler—it’s her first solo show in two years. Grids, systems and minimalism take over The Kitchen, Cheim & Read and Lesley Heller, all in unrelated shows. And for those following all the climate change stories, Dana Sherwood’s exhibition at Denny Gallery focuses on our destruction of the earth. Assuming we survive long enough to see the show, it should be illuminating.

  1. M
  2. W
  3. T
  4. F
  5. S
  6. S


Duffy Square

Broadway Between 45th and 47th Streets
New York, NY
11:57 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.Website

Laurie Anderson: Heart of a Dog

In 2010, Laurie Anderson put on an opera for dogs in Sydney by emitting the music from speakers at a low, dog-friendly frequency. By the end of the concert, many dogs began barking.

That concert will be replayed at midnight tonight, as part of the “Midnight Moment” program, which takes over billboards in Times Square. For this iteration, Anderson will screen the three minute of her dream-like documentary “Heart of a Dog”, which includes scenes from this opera. (The movie itself tackles the subject of the journey from life to afterlife and has been shortlisted for an Oscar.) City residents are invited to bring their dogs to the outdoor screening.


James Fuentes

55 Delancey St.
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Lizzie Bougatsos: Work Habits

As expected from Gang Gang Dance’s front woman, the press release for Bougatsos’s second solo at LES’s James Fuentes mostly hinges on a free-verse poem that reads like a hippie van full of Deadhead and Bernie Sanders references. Shifting cosmic consciousnesses aside, the repeated riffs on YSL and Margiela hint at Bougatsos’s wearable art tendencies, but also her dips into the cult of celebrity: past works from her 2012 James Fuentes solo included a found Audrey Hepburn poster augmented with an ancient Greek unibrow and earrings and a hanging RIP Whitney Houston t-shirt. Since then, she’s been curated in group shows at Hauser & Wirth and PS1. Suggested dress code: anarchist blue denim overalls.  


Cheim & Read

547 W 25th St.
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Jonathan Lasker

Jonathan Lasker’s abstract paintings seem playful and impulsive at first glance. In reality, they’re meticulously planned and then “constructed” with successive layers of paint applied with varying consistencies. I’m not sure what the take-away from viewing these is, but it’s an undeniably pleasurable experience. One of his canvases might evoke a subconscious sketchbook squiggle, but it’s a work of obsessive craftsmanship rather than expressionism.

Bruce Silverstein Gallery

535 W 24th St
New York, New York
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Penelope Umbrico: Silvery Light

Penelope Umbrico is known for appropriating photographs from the seemingly bottomless well of online photo-sharing sites such as Flickr. In this new body of work, she approaches issues of licensing and attribution with an dry, absurdist wit through the (often also appropriated) text that accompanies her screenshots or downloads. One installation, for example, comprises hundreds of nearly-identical photographs of a full moon—each one copyrighted to a different author despite being virtually indistinguishable from its neighbors. More comically, Umbrico exposes the inaccuracy of image attributions through a sampling of different websites’ descriptions of the same poster prints. These are all variations of an iconic image of Grand Central [above] which has been edited, flipped, cropped, and mis-identified to the point of absurdity. The piece’s full title reads:

“Four photographs of Rays of Sunlight in Grand Central Station, Grand Central Terminal, 1903-1913, 1920, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1930-1940, 1935-1941, 1947, or 2010, by John Collier, Philip Gendreau Herbert, Edward Hulton, Kurt Hulton, Edward Lunch, Maxi,  Hal Morey, Henry Silberman, Warren and Wetmore Trowbridge, Underwood & Underwood, Unknown, or Anonymous (Courtesy: Associated Press, the author, Bettmann/Corbis, Hal Morey / Getty Images, Getty Images, Hulton Collection, Hulton-Getty, Hutton Collection, New York City Municipal Archives, New York Transit Museum, New York City Parks and Landmarks, Royal Geographical Society, SuperStock/Corbis, Underwood & Underwood, Warren and Wetmore, or Image in Public Domain), 2015”

bitforms gallery

131 Allen Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Sara Ludy: Subsurface Hell

Prepare to feel a bit uncomfortable. Sara Ludy’s new exhibition at Bitforms, “Subsurface Hell”, promises more of her trademark style: the digital uncanny paired with feng shui. Think unsettling domestic interiors, objects and virtual reality renderings.  The exhibition takes its name from a folder on her computer that she’s been using to collect digital images since 2012 and will include combination of sculpture, digital prints on aluminum, animation and installation work. We anticipate a good show.

Abrons Art Center

466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street)
New York, NY
Runs until January 17Website

American Realness

Last year the AFC staff attended 15 of the 21 performances slated at the Abrons Art Center “American Realness” festival.  That included a performance by Dynasty Handbag, a depressed artist that took us through a journey of her insides, a seven-part opera that draws inspiration from America’s biggest pop stars, and a play that imagines art administration run entirely on sexual favors. We intend to do the same this year. Why? Because there’s no reason to lament the dearth of shows that speak to the concerns of most artists we known in Chelsea in January when we can see more relevant work at the Abrons Art Center.

We’re not familiar with many of the artists in this year’s line-up, so our picks will likely be derived descriptions that line up with our interests.

The Kitchen

512 W 19th St.
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

From Minimalism Into Algorithm

Looks like this show exists to explore the relationship between the use of seriality by artists in the 60’s and 70’s and its use now. The big difference now being that our digital lives make seriality ubiquitous. We’ll see how all this plays out in the show, but it looks like the Kitchen is investing a lot of resources in the show—it’s a three part exhibition chock full of big name artists—so we hope it will be good!

Featured artists: Tony Conrad, Donald Judd, Charles Gaines, Jacob Kassay, Agnieszka Kurant, Zoe Leonard, Mary Lucier, Vera Molnar, Richard Serra, Paul Sietsema, Laurie Spiegel, Cheyney Thompson, and others

Morgan Lehman Gallery

535 W 22nd St.
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Brittany Nelson: The Year I Make Contact

We’ve been plugging Brittany Nelson’s work ever since this summer’s Creative Capital Conference. There, we were impressed by Nelson’s tales of insects decimated by the toxic chemicals she uses to create her photographs. Basically, she’s using chemicals that will react to the silver content of photographic paper to create abstract images. The results are insanely beautiful, but totally fragile. Thus Nelson scans the images to preserve them and prints them out as large chromogenic prints.

Cristin Tierney Gallery

540 West 28th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Janet Biggs: within touching distance

I’m slightly afraid to even witness this Janet Bigg’s video installation. In it, Janet Biggs explores her family’s history with Alzheimer’s, a debilitating disease that causes memory loss and eventually death.Biggs examines this history through the most extreme measures possible: she combines footage shot in the German Merkers salt mine with documentation of neurological research conducted in laboratories. As she becomes increasingly disoriented traveling through the mine, her state echoes that of those with dementia.

This kind of intense self-examination sounds terrifying. Glad she’s doing it. Glad it’s not me.


fuchs projects

56 Bogart St.
Bushwick, NY
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.Website

"The Bushwick 200" most influential people in 2016 project-First glimpse

For those who aren’t sick of year-end listicles, fuchs projects has a show for you. It’s a list of Bushwick’s most “influential” residents, as measured by innovation and community contribution. And no, they aren’t all artists. Woo hoo and all that, but what exactly will be in this show? The press release doesn’t say, so I guess you’ll have to go to the opening to find out.

303 Gallery

507 W 24th Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Sarah Meyohas

We picked Sarah Meyohas as one of our top unrepresented artists of 2015, and she’s kicking the new year off with a bang. In this exhibition, the finance-savvy artist will be using the gallery as an exhibition/performance/studio/”office” from which she’ll make investments on the stock exchange. The performance of her stocks will be recorded in oil stick on canvas, creating a unique series of paintings that document her profits or losses. The exhibition will also feature a limited edition artist book printed in a new gold pigment she worked with an MIT chemist to develop for the project. For the sake of the paintings’ visual dynamism, let’s hope for a turbulent month in the markets!

Lesley Heller Workspace

54 Orchard Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Tony Ingrisano

Tony Ingrisano makes large scale paintings inspired by infrastructure systems. These include man-made power circuits as well as natural references to river circuits. The paintings aren’t so much about the systems themselves but harvesting their inherent beauty. Given that the Kitchen’s season long survey show, “From Minimalism into Algorithm”, will be exploring similar territory—seriality in their case—this exhibition seems particularly timely.


Paula Cooper

534 West 21st Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Tauba Auerbach: Projective Instrument

In 1915, American architect and theosophist Claude Bragdon published Projective Ornament, a sacred geometry treatise on the construction of architectural ornamentation. Auerbach, who capped off 2015 as one of artnet’s Most Expensive Living Female Artists, uses projective geometry as a jump off point for a new series of acrylic works made with custom-made tools. Further on the divine geometric motif tip, the works will be shown alongside glass sculptures, a sculpture made with 3-D-printed parts, and a new group of Weave paintings.



319 Grand St.
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Jane Corrigan

The last paintings I saw by Jane Corrigan left me reeling. To quote my own review: “Not a mark on the canvas is without a descriptive purpose. The frenetic brushwork creates a self-contained, high-intensity energy consistent with that of her teenage subjects—and we’re told the paintings are equally young. Many were delivered just a few hours before the show opened.”

I can’t wait to see the new work, though I’m already missing its prior, more intimate setting at Kerry Schuss. This show will take place at Feuer/Mesler, a slightly larger space in a more traditional cube shape.



299 Grand Street
New York, NY
4:00 p.m.Website

Jong Oh

It’s been three years since Korean artist Jong Oh’s last New York solo, following last year’s solo shows at Vienna’s Krinziger Projekte and Leipzig’s Galerie Jochen Hempel. During that time, it seems as if he’s refined his minimal sculptures: spatial arrangements employing only hand-painted string, sheets of plexiglass, delicate chain and even fishing weights to create airy mobiles that throw back to Fred Sandback and Richard Tuttle. Expectedly, they’re difficult to document, but in-person, the barely visible materials create site-specific works that are truly “visual poems”. The sculptures will be shown alongside works from his new series Surface Water, where water inkjet prints on aluminum plates are framed by floating string lines.

Oh’s solo coincides with the opening of Paul Pretzer’s one-person show at STRAUS. The Berlin-based painter will be showing works created during a recent three-month residency in New York.


20 Clinton St.
New York, NY
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

Jacco Olivier

In the past, we’ve spilled a lot of positive ink on Jacco Olivier, an artist who makes animations that operate in similar terrain to William Kentridge—the animations reveal the art making process. Now, four solo shows out from our last review, I’m wondering if it’s time to take another look at the artist. Back in 2007 he was making pictures of whales that impressed me for their smooth pans and movement. Now, the imagery is gone, and the work is entirely contemplative. So, we’re curious. Will this work be too devoid of meaning for success, or will it exceed expectations? There’s only one way to know for sure.

Denny Gallery

261 Broome Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Dana Sherwood: Crossing the Wild Line

In 2013 Dana Sherwood produced an image essay for us that included items from her home such as her dog Hera, a silk velvet dress from the 40’s and taxidermied deer, rabbits, horses, birds, foxes, squirrels, bats and a hazelnut mouse. Definitely a unique list.

Needless to say, when we heard she was having a show at Denny Gallery we got excited. Through drawing, video, and sculptural installations Sherwood explores “Anthropocene”, a term that describes our current epoch—one that begins with the advent of significant man-made pollution. We expect this show will have all the qualities of her STUFF image essay—obsessive, smart, and socially-conscious.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: