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 clever, memorable shows that stand out in a crowded field. Every Thursday, we'll post the 10 shows our team of editors can't stop talking about.
This week we check out a ceramics window-display at RH Gallery, Matthew Ronay's all-encompassing sea-land environment at Andrea Rosen and Peter Nadin's farm-to-gallery installation, complete with imported trees and honey, at Gavin Brown's enterprise. See all 10 picks below.
Matthew Ronay at Andrea Rosen, through Aug. 12
All you see when you enter the gallery is a heavy black curtain. But inside, Matthew Ronay's hybrid cave-forest-undersea environment feels like the set of Avatar if Michel Gondry were the art director. The dimly lit interior is filled with painted fabric, papier-mâché forms and carved-wood sculptures that quickly make you forget that you're standing inside a white cube.
"Twisted" at Ricco Maresca, through Aug. 19
The two artists in "Twisted"—Scott Ogden (also a documentary filmmaker and skateboard designer) and C.J. Pyle (also a musician)—make intricate, graphic ink drawings. Ogden's are abstract and mazelike, incorporating knotted, spider web shapes; Pyle's colorful drawings on the insides of book jackets and record sleeves look like the sinewy musculature of a Cubist bust.
"Lost" at Invisible-Exports, through July 30
Amy Smith-Stewart, whose "nomadic gallery" is currently setting up shop at Invisible-Exports, manages to fit a lot into this narrow space without it looking crammed. Some of the work—like Leah Beeferman's small, laser-etched aluminum panels with graphite and Marianne Vitale's Model for a Burning Bridge (1), made of reclaimed lumbar—fits well into the show's "end of the world" theme.
"Pure Clay" and "Contemporary Clay" at RH Gallery, through Aug. 20
Two big, ethereal "moon jars" by South Korean ceramist Young Soon Park beckon from the window of RH Gallery in Tribeca. Inside, in "Pure Clay," Park and Lee Ufan collaborate on vessels large and small. In the back gallery is a group show, "Contemporary Clay," with superbly selected works. Look for Kathy Butterly's sexy cups, Arlene Shechet's own funky take on moon jars and a sleeping fawn by John O'Reilly that looks almost grotesquely vulnerable.
Miriam Böhm, Rosy Keyser and Erin Shirreff at Lisa Cooley, through July 29
You can tell the work in this show is by three different artists, but it all "goes" together, as if the three teamed up, each taking a turn as project leader for a day. Böhm's "Unfinished" photographs are two-part close-ups of paintings in progress; Keyser's assemblage-heavy paintings incorporate everyday objects and house paint; and Shirreff's delicate collages made of photocopied book pages look like the 2D answer to her abstract gypsum-and-cement sculptures.
"Against the Way Things Go" at Gasser/Grunert, through July 29
This lively group show, curated by Andrea Hill, examines the sometimes irrational ways common objects can harmonize—or clash—with everyday human experience. Among the featured artists are David Adamo, Luke Stettner, Julia Weist and Joe Winter.
Willem de Kooning at Pace, through July 29
The first exhibition of the artist's work at the gallery since Pace announced its exclusive representation of de Kooning last fall, this show includes some 30 major paintings, drawings and sculptures. A striking installation that includes double-sided drawings and never-before exhibited paintings, the show offers a fine overview of the Ab-Ex maestro's exceptional achievement.
Hilary Lloyd at Artists Space, through Aug. 21
It's not immediately obvious that Hilary Lloyd's exhibition at Arists Space's airy loft is site-specific. But the British artist (a 2011 Turner Prize nominee) designs all of the installation accoutrements—monitors, stands, etc.—with an industrial-supply company to fit a particular space. Patient viewing is rewarded, as her latest videos, many filmed in or around her London studio, build slowly.
Peter Nadin at Gavin Brown's enterprise, through July 30
Thought absent from the New York art world for the past 20 years, Peter Nadin's been doing more than "unlearning how to make art," as he puts it. He's got a farm in the Catskills and has been raising bees and livestock and growing fruits and vegetables, much of which becomes the raw materials for his art. The show at Gavin Brown (a version of which toured Cuba and Ecuador in 2007) includes paintings, sculptures, hemlock trees and a vat made of hickory wood filled with 6,000 pounds of honey.
Gwenn Thomas at Art Projects International
The complicated process Gwenn Thomas employed to create the grayscale abstractions on view in this show of photo-emulsions from the ‘90s give the two-dimensional works a layered, textured look. Thomas photographs collages she's made of paper strips, corrugated plastic, board and packing tape, prints the images on photo-sensitive linen, which is then stretched onto canvas like a painting.