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 Gianni Colombo's hanging kinetic sculpture and wall reliefs at Greene Naftali, Gert & Uwe Tobias's paintings, collages and sculptures at both Team galleries, and a plant-themed group show at RH Gallery.
Gianni Colombo at Greene Naftali, through Mar. 30
Greene Naftali's wonderful mini-retrospective of the distressingly under-known Italian artist Gianni Colombo (1937-1993), his first in the U.S., is not to be missed. Colombo's monochromatic and minimalistic wall reliefs-some of which are subtly kinetic (invisible motors churn, but the movements are almost indecipherable)-employ materials like geometric shapes outlined in elastic, bricks of foam crowded together into a grid, and sheaths of rubber stretched over wood panels. A trio of sloping, off-kilter staircases (one of Colombo's Ambienti installations) and a grouping of glazed ceramic sculptures are also included.
Gert & Uwe Tobias at Team, through Mar. 30
Occupying both Team locations, Gert & Uwe Tobias, the Romanian-born, Cologne-based twin brothers, show off their imaginative and personal mythology in a recent series of small collages, paintings, found-object sculptures and large-scale woodcuts on canvas. Outlandish interpretations of nature, sexuality and the human condition abound in these works, which are clearly inspired by Surrealism. Yet the brothers' deft painting skills and acerbic imagery manage to transcend the limitations of any school or genre.
"A Discourse on Plants" at RH Gallery, through May 31
A straightforward and engaging group show of artworks-among them photographs large (Richard Mosse) and small (Jon Robson), sculptures (Phoebe Washburn, Rona Pondick, Jason Middlebrook), drawings, installations and mixed-medium paintings-that comment on plant life domestic and untamed, at times verging on menacing. The vegetation-free streets of Tribeca and Chinatown surrounding the gallery look particularly bare after an immersion of landscapes real and imagined.
Justin Adian and Tristano di Robilant at the National Exemplar, through Apr. 20
This modest-scale show of abstract paintings and sculptures makes a sizable impact. Tristano di Robilant's tall pod shapes in clear and deep green Murano glass prove to be the ideal companions for Justin Adian's soaring monochrome relief paintings on canvas-covered foam. Both artists' works are deceptively simple, aiming to convey a sense of presence and dynamic force with the subtlest of means.
Andrew Masullo at Mary Boone, through Apr. 27
Andrew Masullo's tiny-to-midsize paintings start out sparsely installed in a line of eight minuscule canvases along one of the gallery's walls before populating a nearby corner salon-style. It's impossible not to be charmed by Masullo's bright, sunny colors-by my count only purple is missing-and decades-long dedication to crisp, nonobjective painting.
Anna K.E. at Simone Subal, through Mar. 17
Georgia-born artist Anna K.E. really puts herself out there in her first solo show with Simone Subal. A video shot in her studio and projected here may remind you of Bruce Nauman, but there's also a bit of Kafka's Metamorphosis: the artist, trained as a dancer, lumbers around her studio, bent over at the waist, with her pants pulled down, her ass visible to all. A gigantic mosaic sculpture, similarly, points its back end at the viewer entering the gallery, showing the wood supports holding it up, only revealing the mosaic designs as you walk to the far side.