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 Larry Poons's lyrical abstract paintings at Danese and Loretta Howard, Darren Almond's moonlit photos of dreamy landscapes the world over at Matthew Marks, and Shinique Smith's lively sculptures and collages at James Cohan.
Suzan Frecon at David Zwirner, through Mar. 23
Suzan Frecon's pared-down paintings feel a bit lost in Zwirner's expansive white-walled galleries, but the purely abstract watercolors and oils, mostly from the past five years, pull you in as soon as you start moving closer to them. They're not part of a unified series, yet relate to each other (and to Frecon's earlier work) via recurring spheres and orb shapes and a complementary palette of rich ochres, an Klein-esque blue and golden yellows.
Trevor Paglen at Metro Pictures, through Mar. 9
Last fall, Trevor Paglen, an artist with a PhD in geography, collaborated with MIT scientists to create a disc micro-etched with 100 photos and encased in a gold shell that was launched into space in a satellite designed to orbit the Earth for billions of years. His show at Metro Pictures includes some of these "Last Pictures," as well as photographs Paglen covertly took of surveillance drones zooming around deserts in the southwest United States.
Larry Poons at Danese and Loretta Howard, through Mar. 2
Larry Poons's first ambition was to be a musician and composer, and each of the works in this two-gallery show of 14 large new abstract paintings is filled with a sense of rhythmic pulse and symphonic crescendo. Poons is at his best here in works such as The Venetian (2012) and The Flying Blue Cat (2011), where his consummate union of color, texture and gesture suggest graceful movement plus a new and unfathomable spatial depth.
Darren Almond at Matthew Marks, through Apr. 20
A trip around the world is contained within "Hemispheres and Continents," a show of 16 large photographs executed over the past decade by London-based photographer Darren Almond. The images appear dreamlike because these Japanese meadows, African jungles, arctic ice shelves and other locations are nocturnal scenes illuminated solely by moonlight, using exposures lasting between 15 minutes and an hour.
Shinique Smith at James Cohan, through Mar. 16
"Bold as Love," Shinique Smith's first show at this gallery, includes both wall-mounted collages and 10 of the hanging fabric bundles the Hudson, N.Y.-based artist is known for. The colorful, exuberant shapes in many of Smith's collages mimic the bulbous forms of her sculptures, which are made up of her own discarded clothing wrapped tightly with strands of ribbon and ripe.