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 Craigie Horsfield's huge circus-themed tapestries at Marvelli, Yi Zhou's fantastical sculptures and video at RH Gallery and Ellen Harvey's humorously sexy devotion to the naked body at Dodge Gallery.
Yi Zhou at RH Gallery, through Apr. 26
A video journey through a timeless underworld is the theme of this first New York solo by the cosmopolitan Yi Zhou, born and raised in China, educated in Rome, and now living in Paris and Shanghai. With ties to fashion (she hangs with the likes of Diane von Furstenberg) and commercial film (her shorts screen at Sundance), the 33-year-old artist also produces fantasy sculptural objects, some of which are on view here.
Ellen Harvey at Dodge Gallery, through Apr. 1
British-born Ellen Harvey is fixated on nudity, be it incorporated into kitschy decorative objects like penknives, mugs and salt and pepper shakers, displayed on museum postcards or represented in anatomical studies. Harvey's seemingly endless collection of painted nude images—some sexy, some clinical—quickly makes you realize how universal the feelings of desire and curiosity are, and how funny the naked body can be.
Yorgo Alexopoulos at Cristin Tierney, through Mar. 31
In his immersive 24-screen video installation, Yorgo Alexopoulos investigates folklore, nature, magic and the spiritual. Transmigrations combines original and found paintings, drawings, photographs and video with digital animation to produce a dreamlike, flowing 10-minute ride. Landscape, cityscape, abstraction and collage melt into one another in a reverent meditation.
Carlo Maria Mariani at Francis Naumann, through Apr. 20
In this, Mariani's first show of paintings in New York in 10 years, the Italian-born artist is in top form. The seven large canvases are supplemented by a pair of drawings and a recent documentary film, which helps explicate the haunting allegories that Mariani employs. The Neo-Classical-inspired head in each work seems to be from another era, though Mariani aims not for nostalgia but rather to push painting beyond conventional constraints of time and place.
Craigie Horsfield at Marvelli, through Mar. 22
Making their New York debut, Craigie Horsfield's recent mural-size tapestries are as astonishing technically as they are intellectually evocative. Playing with notions of the audience and how it views a work of art, these circus images are made of countless strands of wool fiber in a textile factory in Belgium under the artist's supervision. The lush black-and-white surfaces of these pieces correspond to the dense black surfaces Horsfield achieves in his large photos, a selection of which are on view in a side gallery.
"Borderless Map: Taiwanese Painting Now" at Rooster Gallery, through Apr. 15
Eight Taiwanese painters, all born in the late 1970s or the ‘80s, are featured in this selection by independent curator Nunu Hung. Ranging from strongly graphic black and white to cartoonish brightness, the works convey an embrace of private experience and digital globalism (plus, more surprisingly, resurgent painterly values) among artists who came of age in the aftermath of Taiwan's 1987 lifting of martial law and censorship.
Lucy Fradkin at Nancy Margolis, through Apr. 7
Flat, bright and anecdotal are the portraits and domestic scenes in "Home Is Where the Heart Is." At first glance these paintings look like the work of a charming outsider-a Lee Godi disciple or a Grandma Moses for the 21st century. But read the artist's statement—with its knowing references to frescoes, mosaics and Persian miniatures—and you quickly realize that Fradkin, who has been showing steadily for 30 years, is canny in more senses than the visual.
"The Lookout" is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.