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 Phyllida Barlow's demanding yet playful sculptures at Hauser & Wirth, Trisha Baga's immersive installations at Greene Naftali and new Pop-y paintings by David Humphrey at Fredericks & Freiser.
Phyllida Barlow at Hauser & Wirth, through Dec. 22
When you enter the small gallery that initiates Phyllida Barlow's wonderful exhibition of new, multifaceted work, you must negotiate the space-filling untitled (upturned house), a construction of wood and varnished panels that resembles a scrambled house resting on teetering foundations. And so it goes. Pressed up close to each of her works in the two-floor show, similarly large-scale sculptures in small confines, you notice the artist's time-consuming transformation of lowly materials, one factor in maintaining an accessible feeling in imposing formats.
Trisha Baga at Greene Naftali, through Jan 12
In her first solo show at Greene Naftali, "The Biggest Circle," New York-based artist Trisha Baga fills the gallery with video and sculptural installations whose imagery ranges from art history to bucolic entertainment. The video installations are to be viewed with 3D glasses, and the effects are at times astonishing. Comically undermining the effect are objects that interfere with the projections; it's also inevitable that viewers obstruct the projected lights. But that's all part of the fun.
Suzanne Caporael at Ameringer McEnerny Yohe, through Dec. 22
The various ways we mediate our world have long been the concern of painter Suzanne Caporael, who can give the most esoteric taxonomies for processing nature, in particular, a lyrical twist. Her means are whatever it takes--be that abstraction or representation, leaving her "signature style" tricky to summarize. In her multifaceted show "Seeing Things," she considers the gap between perception and cognition in angular and gridded abstractions, delicate landscapes and veiled allusions to such masterpieces as Cezanne's portrait of his wife and Watteau's Pierrot.
Tal R at Cheim & Read, through Jan. 12
This is the last chance to see "The Shlomo," featuring 15 large-scale paintings and a number of studies by the Tel Aviv-born, Copenhagen-based artist Tal R. Each of these delicately wrought works, in bright colors and wispy brushstrokes, explore the artist's experience of being an outsider transplanted from the Mideast to Scandinavia. Despite the carnivalesque tones of Raoul Dufy and sumptuous surfaces of Matisse, Tal R's paintings convey a certain sense of melancholy and isolation.
David Humphrey at Fredericks & Freiser, through Jan. 19
David Humphrey's new paintings represent something of a breakthrough for the New York artist. His colorful, Pop-art-related figurative compositions are here tempered by an unexpected painterly aplomb that winks at gestural abstraction. Yet the best of his wacky compositions on view, such as Cement Truck and At the Door, maintain a delicate and impressive balance between abstract and figurative elements.
"The Lookout" is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.
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