Zhang Enli
The Broken Sofa, 2017
Oil on canvas
220 x 180 cm / 86 5/8 x 70 7/8 in
© Zhang Enli
Courtesy the Artist and Hauser & Wirth

The Garden
Opening Thursday, January 25 at Hauser & Wirth 22nd Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through April 7.

Some abstract art is indeed just blotches of color, shape, and brushstroke. But some art that looks abstract, such as the works of Zhang Enli, could in fact be a version of hyperrealism. The subjects of Enli’s paintings are often recognizable landscapes, such as the gardens peppered throughout Shanghai, zoomed in far enough to become unrecognizable and in doing so, take on a new type of beauty. However, there’s only the partial presence of hyperrealism in Enil’s works, as they’re modeled off of real imagery but imbued with his own personal interpretation. Is that swirl green because it was originally green, or does it look that way because the artist made it so? You can give your best guess, but not knowing is part of the fun.

(image via Center for Architecture / Facebook)

The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion: New York Edition
Opening Friday, January 26 at the Center for Architecture, 6 pm to 8 pm.

Big cities are filled with insidious components the average person may not even notice, as it doesn’t affect them. Those spikes on the windowsill may look like an aesthetic choice, but more often than not they’re far more than that. Perhaps they’re there to discourage birds from landing for too long, but maybe the truth is they’re there to keep a certain type of person away. Don’t worry, urban environments aren’t all filled with deterrents, at least not yet. If you want to get a peek into the brains of people with cities on their mind, come Friday you can see 156 actual “weapons” that work to either increase or restrict access to urban space, made or used by actual policymakers, developers, activists, architects, and other such people, all with different ideas about how urban space should function and who it should be for. If you aren’t in town or can’t make it, the exhibition is based on a book of the same name.

(image via Equity Gallery / Facebook)

Light/Weight
Opening Friday, January 26 at Equity Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 24.

Tombstones aren’t necessarily thought of as fine art, unless you’re talking about that Trump tombstone that mysteriously appeared in the park that one time. Artist Steve Pauley has worked as a maker of tombstones for over a decade, but he won’t be showing any of them at his latest solo exhibition. Instead, he’ll create his own artwork by using tactics like stone-carving, sandblasting, and engraving he picked up over the past 11 years making graves. Rather than a slew of memorials, there will be an assortment of carved images that mingle with light and shadow to create a multi-dimensional experience that varies depending on what you’re focusing on. His tactic of creating work, usually reserved for remembrance and reverence, is able to elevate more mundane or offbeat imagery into something more.

(image via Art In General / Facebook)

Contra-Internet
Opening Friday, January 26 at Art In General, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through April 21.

I’m bored by most discourse surrounding the internet today. It’s very binary-oriented; the internet is either destroying our ability to interact as humans or it is a beautiful wild west of freedom without flaws. That’s why I found the description for Zach Blas’s new solo exhibition so eye-catching, as he describes the wide world of Online as a formerly “neutral” place that “has fast become the principle instrument of accelerated capitalism, surveillance, and control.” I can’t say I disagree. To interrogate this current digital norm and imagine a more ethical and inclusive future, Blas has created works using sculpture, installation, writing, animation, film, and more that show the dangers of a deregulated, neoliberal internet and the power of queer resistance.