With an ever-growing number of galleries scattered around New York, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Where to begin? Here at A.i.A., we are always on the hunt for thought-provoking, clever and memorable shows that stand out in a crowded field. Below is a selection of current shows our team of editors can't stop talking about.
Summer group show at Fredericks & Freiser
Long gone are the days when galleries mounted summer group shows that were simply roundups of the dealers' rosters. A high-concept entry to the annals of the more ambitious recent variety of summer group show is "Retrospective of S," in which 10 artists selected by co-curator Samuel Messer have created works of art supposedly by S, a fictional artist of the curators' creation. Wall labels are contributed by co-curator Jonathan Safran Foer.
"Beasts of Revelation" at DC Moore, through Aug. 3
Don't you just feel that the End Times are upon us? Indulge your wildest eschatological fantasies at DC Moore via works by some 30 artists: a spooky seven-headed beast by Roger Brown; riffs on the holy name by Dana Frankfort and Kay Rosen; visionary visual conundrums by James Esber and Alexi Worth; a giant encyclopedic Christological map by Joyce Kozloff, etc. For those curious about what can drive a zealot mad, on hand is an intact Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals, the print by Enrique Chagoya that was destroyed by a crowbar-wielding truck driver a few years back.
Jack Vickridge and Lizzie Wright at Nicelle Beauchene, through Aug. 3
Setting up a two-person show by pairing delicate, abstract woodblock prints with wall-mounted wooden sculptures seems like an obvious move, but Nicelle Beauchene's summer show comes off as subtly elegant. Vickridge's washy stained-glass-like prints are balanced out by Wright's monochromatic sculptural reliefs.
Bill Adams at Kerry Schuss, through June 30
Newly moved from Tribeca into Lisa Cooley's old space on Orchard Street, Kerry Schuss presents a tightly curated show of small-scale cat paintings, drawings and etchings, all on paper, by Bill Adams. These aren't your spinster aunt's cats, though; Adams's felines are mostly one-eyed and ominous-looking, with wild fur that spreads out over the page like unruly vegetation.
Lucio Fontana at Gagosian, through June 30
Last chance to see "Ambienti Spaziali," a ravishing, museum-quality Fontana survey curated by Germano Celant. On view are outstanding examples of Fontana's groundbreaking works in painting and sculpture, including prime examples of his Concetti spaziali series with slashed canvas and metal. At the heart of the show are six rarely exhibited "environments" that the Italian artist created beginning in the late 1940s. These darkened rooms, filled with black lights illuminating fluorescent-painted abstract forms, are both prescient and spectacular.
"The Lookout" is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.