fish mystery in the shift horizon Opening Wednesday, May 22 at Rubber Factory, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through June 23.
The natural world is so vast and multifaceted it can seem like an impossible task to quantify it all. In fact, sometimes it is, and the scientific inability to identify a species’s baseline population size (known as “shifting baseline syndrome”) is one of the driving factors behind Catalina Ouyang’s latest show of sculptures and videos, which also draws from notions of diaspora and mistranslation. Huge, curious, jade-colored creatures populate the gallery space, looking simultaneously like cows, humans, fish, and some other fantastical creation entirely. They’re based off the Chinese paddlefish and baiji, creatures that are now extinct but once had a shifting baseline. The opening reception on Wednesday will not only feature Ouyang’s sculptures and videos, but also a durational performance among the aquatic creatures.
Smut Opening Wednesday, February 20 at Con Artist Collective, 7 pm to 11 pm. On view through February 22.
Many pieces of art are meant to be refined and cultured, prompting viewers to gaze at delicate brushstrokes and profound deeper meanings. But some art is just plain hot, and you sure can find a lot of that (plus some refined and cultured stuff, too) at the opening of Smut, a steamy group show curated by Liam Cotter and produced by Solas Studio featuring art ranging “from the erotic to the pornographic.” Of course, the line between those two descriptors is historically blurry, but it’s unfortunately common to see “fine art” insisting that porn doesn’t have a place in it, so the fact that that’s not the case here is refreshing to see. Over 40 artists working in all types of disciplines will be exhibiting as part of the show, so there’ll certainly be a lot to take in. Just make sure to keep it in your pants.More →
John Driscoll (image via Fridman Gallery / Facebook)
Slight Perturbations / The Weight of Things Opening Wednesday, January 16 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through February 13.
Fridman Gallery’s new space on Bowery has two levels, upper and lower. Fittingly, there will be two exhibitions opening there this Wednesday: a show of of interactive sound sculptures by John Driscoll in the upper space, and a two-channel video installation by Dana Levy centered around the Palace of Versailles in the lower space. Driscoll’s sculptures resemble hodgepodge collections of found objects or avant-garde furniture pieces crossed with a science fair, but they’re much more than something to puzzle over: they contain minuscule microphones and speakers, and a “reflective foil” that creates sound with help from whatever objects are nearby. And though it’s in the lower level, Levy’s video work deals with the upper crust of Versailles, depicting the palace’s contents steadily crumbling due to an earthquake.More →
Strange Beach Opening Tuesday, July 24 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through August 31.
Summertime is a time for going to the beach, but that’s not what this group exhibition at Fridman Gallery is about, despite the name. Rather, it’s a “metaphor for the body,” framing one’s physical form as a vessel of sorts that can advance, retreat, swallow up others, be intruded upon, amass debris and valuable items alike over time. Three artists comprise Strange Beach: Arghavan Khosravi, Nate Lewis, and Tajh Rust, who incorporate themes of race, social history, portraiture, and the marginalized retaking their own narratives, whether this be through drawing on photographs to create something celestial or painting portraits of people using their own skin tones to inform the color palette. More →
Edge of Eden Opening Wednesday, June 20 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through July 20.
Maybe all your friends have been to Dia:Beacon, that trendy hub of Minimalist art just a hop, skip, and a jump upstate, but you haven’t made it yet. Fret not—there’s a way to experience it without figuring out how to convince your friend’s roommate to let you use their car. The art and the scenery will be rendered in paint as part of German painter Alina Grasmann’s solo exhibition at Fridman Gallery, Edge of Eden. The show has two components: large paintings of Dia:Beacon’s scenery and art with components of other notable paintings added in, and 40 small oil paintings of Agloe, a fictional New York town dreamt up to prevent map copyright that became real for a spell and then dissipated once more. Combined, the two painting series conjure a New York that’s outside the city and maybe even our reality. More →
Image: Jenna Westra, Mariana Sits on “The Complete Photographer, An Encyclopedia of Photography” (1949), Volume 6, Pages 2178-79, ‘Best Fashion Study and Best Action Production Still Taken in a Studio’, 2018. Archival pigment print, 26 x 21.75 inches (image courtesy of Lubov)
Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits Opening Saturday, March 24 at Lubov, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through May 6.
The Tribeca gallery Lubov is small, tucked away on the second floor of an office building, but within it you’ll find none of the monotony typically associated with such work. Instead, you’ll be greeted with contemporary art of all sorts, including their newest exhibition Parts Of Some Quartet, Fruits. In addition to being a very good exhibition name in my opinion, it’s also an assortment of analog photography by Jenna Westra that focuses on what happens when you don’t shy away from the act of purposefully trying to create an engaging scene ripe for the snapping. The scenarios recall a kind of captured choreography, such as an amateur model (or maybe a dancer?) kneeling with their dirt-dusted feet squarely sitting on (what else?) a book of photography, simultaneously desecrating and establishing its position as subject.More →
Channels Opening Wednesday, January 3 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through January 24.
Channels seem like they’re becoming a bit of a relic, at least when they’re referring to the ones found on television. Several technological relics of sorts play a major role in sound artist and audio engineer Daniel Neumann’s new solo exhibition, aptly titled Channels. In it, large auditory objects appear simultaneously as sculptures and music-makers, including a custom-built vintage speaker and a 56-channel mixing board suspended in midair. The third “sculptural” component of the show is a bit more abstract: a 3D sound field made up of 56 sounds and their subsequent feedback. Whether you see it as a concert of objects or a visual display, there will be something to take in.
A Becoming Resemblance Opening Wednesday, August 2 at Fridman Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through September 5.
It’s hard to ignore Chelsea Manning lately. And rightfully so: Against all odds, her newly liberated presence, both on Twitter and IRL, remains one of the most fiercely optimistic in a pool of (justifiably) jaded folk. Ironic memes have no match for colorful emojis, it seems. But this Wednesday, Manning can be found in an art gallery, and her presence manifests in more ways than just the literal.
A Becoming Resemblance is a collaborative venture between Manning and interdisciplinary artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, using and exploring the technology of genomic identity construction. The show consists of 3D-printed portraits constructed in 2015 from pieces of DNA (hair, nail clippings) Chelsea sent her collaborator from prison. This gave the world a chance to once again put a human face to her identity, which had been shrouded by incarceration for years. The show will also include a graphic novel the duo made last year in collaboration with illustrator Shoili Kanungo depicting Chelsea’s sentence getting commuted by Obama and her being able to see her 3D portraits in person. What was initially drawn as hopeful fiction can now become reality.