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 Darren Blackstone Foote's referential sculptures at Dodge, Trenton Doyle Hancock's new mixed-medium paintings at James Cohan and a group show at David Findlay Jr. contextualizing Steve Wheeler among his peers from the 1940s.
Darren Blackstone Foote at Dodge, through Dec. 22
"Flesh and Bone," an exhibition with wide-ranging symbolic references to Galvanism, Vatican frescoes and Gilles Deleuze, showcases Darren Blackstone Foote's deftness with his principal material, wood. For one wall-mounted work, Foote stretched dark brown cow hide over four wooden triangles, hung side by side to form a glossy parallelogram; close inspection reveals the hides to be etched with delicate lightning bolts. Source, a lighting fixture of sorts, is a glowing bulb encased in a spindly cage carved from a single root system.
Trevor Winkfield at Tibor de Nagy, through Jan. 12
Trevor Winkfield's rebus-like paintings seem to emphatically tell a story. No matter how long and intently you look at them, however, the tale remains elusive. In this new series of brightly hued, hard-edge compositions featuring images of butterflies, fish, orange slices and mushrooms, as well as wholly abstract shapes, the Leeds-born New, York-based artist is at his vibrant, thought-provoking best.
Trenton Doyle Hancock at James Cohan, through Dec. 22
Leaving some of his recurring characters behind (most notably the part plant, part Neanderthal Mounds, the colorblind Vegans, and a fallible superhero called Torpedo Boy), Trenton Doyle Hancock takes a more directly autobiographical approach with his latest collage-paintings. The large-scale works, many augmented with cut-out text, draw on the artist's dreams, campy horror films, religion and other influences present in Hancock's life since his childhood in East Texas.
Steve Wheeler at David Findlay, Jr., through Dec. 21
"Steve Wheeler: The Oracle Visiting the 21st Century" is a museum-quality show that places the work of this idiosyncratic American artist (1912-1992) in the context of his peers in the 1940s group of Indian Space Painters. The show also features a number of contemporary artists working in a similar vein today. Classic Wheelers such as Woman Easting a Hotdog (1950-75) and The Power of Memory (ca. 1949) are on view, as well some notable examples of pre-Columbian and Native American art that were the source of inspiration.
Paola Ferrario at Rick Wester Fine Art, through Jan. 12
Wandering the world with an eye for the obscure poetic detail, Paola Ferrario creates photographs that she groups in grids and sequences with an inherent formal logic. From a Greek high-rise replete with absurd repairs to a disintegrating tile floor in her Italian home town, Ferrario flags signs of material decline whilst finding within them the oddest sort of beauty. Especially lovely is a series showing her own hand displaying various finds, from a tiny toy gun to a large yellow mushroom, the self-portrait of an artist for whom attention is a sign of productive labor.
"The Lookout" is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.
Currently on view in the group show "Redux" at New York's Cristin Tierney Gallery (through Feb. 4) are two works by Joe Fig, both related to his 200