The Lookout: A Weekly Guide to Shows You Won't Want to Miss
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 Ahmed Alsoudani's new paintings that mine the after-effects of violence and corruption, at Haunch of Venison; three bodies of photo-based work by James Welling at David Zwirner; and Gerhard Richter's striated digital prints at Marian Goodman.
Gerhard Richter at Marian Goodman, through Oct. 13
"Painting 2012" is a stunning reminder of the central place photography holds in Gerhard Richter's oeuvre, even with regard to his abstract paintings. Here, he used a digital process to transpose a painting from 1990 into a series of unique photo images of thousands of narrow, variegated horizontal bands. A large plate-glass sculpture in the back gallery fractures the stripes as one circulates the space, enhancing the dizzying installation.
John Cage at the National Academy Museum, through Jan. 13
Of the numerous exhibitions and events marking the centenary of John Cage's birth, "The Sight of Silence" is the only New York exhibition devoted to his visual art. Some 60 works constitute a fine overview of an influential thinker, who was inspired by Zen mysticism and the laws of chance. Don't miss the archival material here featuring several videos of Cage at work—including a 1960 guest appearance on "I've Got a Secret"!
Ahmed Alsoudani at Haunch of Venison, through Nov. 3
This new series of paintings by Alsoudani, who fled Iraq during the first Gulf War, offers a mix of body parts, military insignia and sickly biomorphic shapes, together resembling a collision between Peter Saul and Cubism. Oddly, the works look more painterly in reproduction than they do in person, a reflection perhaps of the way violence today is channeled and filtered by commercial media.
Luisa Rabbia at Peter Blum, through Oct. 27
Luisa Rabbia's little blue heads follow you around her show "Coming and Going," always watching. The bald orbs pop up in her anthropomorphic mixed-medium sculptures and, in Toward, more than 200 tiny portraits glare out from their sideways perches in the gallery wall. By the time you get to Inside, a papier-maché sack hung on the wall, it's hard not to assume it's full of disembodied heads.
Teresita Fernandez at Lehmann Maupin, through Oct. 20
Suspended about halfway up Lehmann Maupin's double-height Chrystie Street gallery, parallel to the floor, is Teresita Fernandez's planar installation of translucent polycarbonate tubes, ranging in color from grays to pinks to blacks, filtering natural light to approximate the colors of the aurora borealis. Upstairs is a series of prints of the night sky, each perforated with its title hole punched in braille.
James Welling at David Zwirner, through Oct. 27
"Overflow" presents three distinct photo-based series, all part of Welling's ongoing exploration of photography's relationship with painting. Select photogram's from the 2010 book Frolic Architecture were created by painting and folding a sheet of clear Mylar and then contact-printing it on photographic paper; for "Fluid Dynamics," the artist exposed wet photographic paper to light, processed and scanned the results, and then digitally manipulated the hues; and "Wyeth" documents Welling's recent trips to Maine and Pennsylvania to study the subjects and places painted by Andrew Wyeth, one of his earliest artistic influences.