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 sculptures, videos and photos by Song Dong at two Pace locations, Keith Sonnier's neon and glass sculptures from 1968-70 at Mary Boone, and Robin Rhode's playful photo grids at Lehmann Maupin.
Keith Sonnier at Mary Boone, through Feb. 23
It's hard to believe that the seven large-scale abstract works in glass and neon featured in "Keith Sonnier: 68-70" were created over 40 years ago. They seem fresh and vibrant, and they bear a sense of up-to-the minute urgency. Large, clear plate-glass geometric shapes leaning against the wall, augmented with colorful neon tubing illuminate and enliven the room like monumental works of public sculpture. By contrast, the more calligraphic neon lines in the "Neon Wrapping Incandescent" series of wall reliefs are more intimate and sensuous.
"Drawing Surrealism" at the Morgan Library, through Apr. 21
Automatic writing and drawing, according to the founding fathers of Surrealism, provide conduits to the unconscious. Using quick execution to their advantage, artists such as Dalí, Toyen and Pollock would arrive at primary states of being, and some very startling and sexy imagery. This brilliant show of some 160 works helps clarify the Surrealist methodology.
Song Dong at Pace, at 510 West 25th Street through Feb. 16; at 534 West 25th Street through Feb. 23
This dual-venue show's title, "Song Dong Doing Nothing," captures its sly blend of everyday activities and Taoist-style spiritualism. At 534 West 25th Street, one encounters remnants and images of 18 projects (1992-2012) by the 47-year-old Beijing artist, ranging from the banal (e.g., the photo suite Eating Drinking Shitting Pissing Sleeping) to the transcendent (a shot from his 10-day performance silently facing a wall in imitation of Bodhidharma). Meanwhile, the 510 West 25th Street gallery features ceramic mounds sprouting windows and doorframes, a time-lapse video of his dOCUMENTA 13 project, and wall-hung neon text pieces.
Luc Tuymans at David Zwirner, through Feb. 9
Rescheduled from last November due to Storm Sandy, Luc Tuymans's show "The Summer is Over" presents seven of the Belgian painter's characteristic, seemingly faded or pre-Instagrammed images. All are inspired by snapshots of sights in the artist's everyday environment, rather than the Internet-sourced, political or historical images that have often been his focus.
Robin Rhode at Lehmann Maupin, through Feb. 23
In Robin Rhode's graffiti-inspired photo sets—installed here in grids of eight, nine and 15—the action unfolds left to right and tip to bottom, as if the prints came from a deconstructed flip book. In Twilight we see the artist, photographed in a bright purple hoodie, slowly sweeping an oversize feather across a stark white wall; the last photo has Rhode is on his back, "holding" the last feather above his face as if he were a peacock.
Sabine Hornig at Tanya Bonakdar, through Feb. 23
"Transparent Things," named for Nabokov's 1972 novel of the same title, includes large-scale photos and photo-based sculptures by Berlin-based Sabine Hornig. The shadowy images, showing a combination of reflections in shop windows, abandoned-looking interiors, miscellaneous objects and lush foliage are at once seductive and mysterious.
"The Lookout" is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.