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.
This week we check out Holly Zausner's film and related photo-collages at Postmasters, Christian Jankowski's prank-filled but poignant show at Friedrich Petzel and Patrick Lundeen's large, masklike constructions at Mike Weiss.
Patrick Lundeen at Mike Weiss, through July 28
In his first New York solo, the 34-year-old Canadian artist presents colorful paintings and fabric-and-paper wall constructions resembling goony, oversized masks. A high-energy rock musician with a keen awareness of outsider art, Lundeen draws on pop sources ranging from Coney Island and Mad magazine to Carnival and tacky TV shows. Who could resist a summer show titled with a hokey line from an old insurance ad: "Good for You, Son?"
Christian Jankowski at Friedrich Petzel, through July 28
Art world jokester Christian Jankowski's latest show of new work lovingly mocks the overly serious art world in which he is a willing and popular participant. For the video Discourse News, the Berlin-based artist tapped NY1 business anchor Annika Pergament to relay Jankowski's definition of art; her authoritative tone and newsroom surroundings make it easy to think this is a "real" NY1 broadcast. Review, an installation on view in the gallery's main space, consists of variously sized bottles stuffed, message-in-a-bottle-style, with reviews sourced from approximately 100 art critics (including A.i.A.'s own Faye Hirsch and Cathy Lebowitz)—pre-show, Jankowski asked each to write a review about the art he would eventually make with said handwritten texts.
Carl Andre and John Wesley and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through July 14
This show's title, "Serial Forms," makes sense of an otherwise incongruous pairing of the Minimalist and a Pop-art veteran recently elevated to primo status. Near contemporaries, the artists each have a permanent exhibition at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa and share an interest in repetition, modularity and paring a work down to its essential form. The duo's interaction is at once jarring and unforgettable.
Holly Zausner at Postmasters, through Aug. 3
Holly Zausner is too little known in the U.S.; though American, she lives mainly in Berlin and shows extensively in Europe. On view is her 16-mm film Unseen (transferred to DVD) in which she lugs two rubbery figures around Berlin. Around the room are some really terrific photo-collages in which the individual frames of the film are assembled and sequenced. You have to peer really closely at the tiny frames to see what they represent; stand back and they cohere into larger abstract patterns.
Doug Argue and Bill Fontana at Haunch of Venison, through July 13
Two solo shows, organized by independent curator Lily Alexander, explore the relationship between the seen and the unseen. Minnesota artist Doug Argue (b. 1962) takes on the mysteries of language and the cosmos in huge, explosively bright abstract paintings that incorporate passages from the Bible, Melville and computer code. San Francisco-based Bill Fontana (b. 1947), aware that visual stimuli tend to override the aural, offers videos and ambient sound recordings of bridges, harbors and towers, each designed to shift our perceptual focus toward the invisible.
"Stand Still Like a Hummingbird" at David Zwirner, through Aug. 3
Named after a collection of stories and essays by Henry Miller, David Zwirner's summer group show makes use of the gallery's vast space and deep holdings of historical and contemporary art. Standouts include several dozen of On Kawara's I Got Up postcards (1958-76), Mason Williams's enormous 1967 silkscreen of a Greyhound bus (conveniently foldable into book form) and a trio of geometric weavings by Ruth Laskey (2012).