"Dreaming Dreaming," Andro Wekua's third exhibition with Gladstone Gallery marks a departure from the artist's earlier figurative work. The paintings, sculptures, collages and video on view seem to take pains to abstract the figure—in the case of the paintings, burying portraits and collaged material under thick layers of monochromatic paint.
Yet familiar Wekua tropes slip into the exhibition. For Shoulder Grows As Sun Goes Down In My Belly (2012), a wax figurine stands on a palette, wearing blue sneakers, his stomach brutally pierced by a polyurethane bar. In Me With A Pink Wave Hunter (2012), a photograph of the artist and a friend, lying on a bed, is collaged on top of an abstract background of red and blue color-blocked geometric shapes, overlaid with haphazard scribbles.
In "Jean Michel Othoniel: My Way," a mid-career retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, the artist creates a singular world, where beauty and repulsion, poetry and politics, masculine and feminine are entwined. "It's been a long journey over the past twenty-five years," Othoniel told A.i.A. "I've always felt at the edge of the frame."
Neil Goldberg conveyed the elegiac beauty of New York in "Stories The City Tells Itself," a recent exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. The show featured photographs and videos from the past 20 years, beginning at the time Goldberg graduated from Brown and moved to the East Village.
There, he found himself amidst the AIDS crisis, an undercurrent theme in one of the earliest videos in the exhibition, She's a Talker (1993), which features a series of takes of gay men speaking the title while they stroke their cats. The humorous work is haunted by the fact that the vibrant community he depicts has disappeared. A similar feeling permeates Hallelujah Anyway Nos. 2 and 4 (1995–1996), a two-channel video installation that depicts, on one screen, shopkeepers opening the gates to their stores on a strip of 1st Avenue in the East Village that has since been gentrified beyond recognition. On the other screen, elderly passengers laboriously board an M15 bus. Less a documentary than a choreographed dance of strained exuberance, the work shows a city always moving forward, offering up quotidian wonders for those who take the time to slow down and see them.
"Andre Masson, The Mythology of Desire: Masterworks from 1925 to 1945," at Blain Di Donna on the second floor of the Carlyle Hotel [through June 15], comprises over 30 paintings and drawings spanning the artist's career, from his first Cubist landscapes to experiments with automatic drawing in the late 1920s, to his colorful paintings of Spanish landscapes of the '30s and his more abstract pastels from the '40s, the exhibition offers the first attempt at a comprehensive survey in New York since Masson's 1976 MoMA retrospective.
2012, aluminum, wood, sublimation print on polyester and concrete, 71 3/4 by 122 1/2 by 135 inches overall. Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New Yor