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 Rosemarie Trockel (and friends) at the New Museum, a half-dozen Abstract Expressionist gems at Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Roland Flexner's mesmerizing monochromatic ink drawings at D'Amelio.
Roland Flexner at D'Amelio, through Nov. 24
Though Roland Flexner has been living and working in New York for 30 years, the French-born artist's Japanese-inspired abstract landscape drawings didn't become well-known until they were included in the 2010 Whitney Biennale. Here, Flexner shows 100 new modestly-scaled works made by gently manipulating (via blowing through a straw or tilting the paper, for example) liquid graphite and violet or gold calligraphy ink.
Rosemarie Trockel at the New Museum, through Jan. 20
"Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos" is a very unusual and thoroughly engaging survey spanning some 40 years. Not only does it impress by demonstrating the range and scope of the German artist's own endeavors, but also by including work by artists who have influenced and inspired her over the years. Working in a wide variety of mediums, from film and installation to textiles and ceramics, Trockel is nothing if not obsessive, which explains her connection to outsiders like James Castle and Judith Scott, with whom she generously shares part of the exhibition space.
Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Frank Stella at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through Nov. 24
Don't miss this unusual opportunity to see a room full of Color Field paintings by four of the genre's most prominent artists. Here you can get up close and personal with the vibrantly stained canvases--no glass or line on the floor cautioning you to stay a foot or two away; Frankenthaler's two paintings, hung on adjacent walls towards the back of the gallery, are particularly rich and layered.
Stephen Mueller at Lennon, Weinberg, through Dec. 8
This, the first posthumous solo exhibition for painter and A.i.A. contributor Stephen Mueller, who died last fall, focuses on his output from the last four years. During this fertile period, Mueller refined a unique and personal type of ethereal abstraction featuring mandala-like shapes and brilliant colors, creating a cogent and luminous means for meditation.
Ruth Hardinger and Jon Bird at Sideshow, through Dec. 9
Ruth Hardinger—long known to New York viewers for her graphite abstractions, Mexican-influenced textiles and rope-hung installations—has here scattered small sculptural form across the gallery floors. Some, called "Envoys," are vaguely anthropomorphic, while others feature ephemeral containers (milk cartons, etc.) cast in raw concrete interlarded with cardboard: a mediation on sustainability and waste. That's the "Culture" half of this two-person show, in which "Nature" is represented by the muted, stylized landscapes of the veteran British painter Jon Bird.
Doug Rickard at Yossi Milo, through Nov. 24
Doug Rickard's low-res images-all photographs of Rickard's computer screen showing urban scenes immortalized with Google Street View-depict various down-and-out American cities. Anyone familiar with the Wire will immediately recognize Baltimore's red brick buildings and abandoned row houses. Most of the prints include the blurry figures of those who happened to crossing the street or sitting on a stoop when Google's camera's passed through.
"The Lookout" is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.