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 Henry Moore's sensuous late sculptures at Gagosian, El Anatsui's sparkly, fabric-like wall sculptures at Jack Shainman and Chris McCaw's impressively seared black-and-white photos at Yossi Milo.
Henry Moore at Gagosian, through Jan. 19
Henry Moore is one of those artists who enjoyed worldwide fame and a ubiquitous museum- and public-art presence in his lifetime but whose posthumous reputation has been rather less certain. Thanks to impressive shows like "Late Large Forms," however, the excitement of the English maestro's brand of classic modernism is spectacularly revived. Moore demonstrates here a facility with monumental forms that makes them seem strangely intimate and utterly relevant.
Chris McCaw at Yossi Milo, through Jan. 19
Despite their low-key, mostly black-and-white tones and austere subjects (land- and skyscapes), Chris McCaw's recent photos are knockouts. Each of the photos in "Marking Time" appears as a vintage print with a hole or a series of burn marks on the surface. In an elaborate process-involving time-lapse solarization and found photos—McCaw combines the methods and imagery of Fox Talbot, Sugimoto and Fontana to arrive at his own unique vision.
El Anatsui at Jack Shainman, through Jan. 19
Ghanaian artist El Anatsui continues to work with his trademark materials-found bottle caps and bits of copper wire-and his shimmering wall-hung tapestries are dazzling as ever. The longer you look at these abstract sculptural works, the more they start to resemble various objects-topographic maps, casting nets, animal skins and squashed insects. Don't miss Anatsui's Broken Bridge II, installed outdoors on a building between 21st and 22nd Street and visible from the High Line.
Nancy Spero at Galerie Lelong, through Feb. 16
From 1976 until her death in 2009, Nancy Spero's artwork exclusively depicted women. The scroll-like collages in "From Victimage to Liberation" are all from the 1980s or '90s, and feature a wide cast of (female) characters and political situations. Nicaragua, Argentina, El Salvador and South Africa each draw our attention to female victims of war.
Ok Hyun Ahn at Show Room, through Jan. 27
Large color photographs and two videos center on Asian men and women who weep stoically, and sometimes lip-synch to impassioned songs, in nondescript interiors. What causes their grief? Is it authentic, or as staged as the operas and pop dramas to which the music alludes? Coming from a culture in which emotions are routinely suppressed in public, the artist—who has earned advanced degrees in both her native Korea and the U.S.—has titled her show (ironically?) "Homo Sentimentalis," novelist Milan Kundera's term for the kind of person who "shows off" personal feelings.
Julie Allen at McKenzie Fine Art, through Feb. 3
Clothing's mnemonic function is the theme of this show featuring over 100 tiny colored-in rubber-stamp images of garments from key phases of Allen's life: shopping as a form of mother-daughter bonding, young-adult independence expressed in wardrobe choices. The pale diminutive pictures are now "stored" in wax paper. Presented on the wall without wrapping, however, are full-scale plastic replicas of the artist's underwear, a celebration of her recent marriage.
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