The Lookout: A Weekly Guide to Shows You Won’t Want to Miss

Catherine Yass: Lighthouse, 2011, 35 mm film and HD transferred to HD video, 12 minutes 42 seconds. Courtesy Galerie Lelong.


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 Anna Molska’s mysteriously compelling videos at Broadway 1602, Kakyoung Lee’s ritualistic printmaking and animations at Mary Ryan, and the New Museum’s “Ungovernable” triennial exhibition.

Jesús Rafael Soto at the Grey Art Gallery, through Mar. 31
Focusing on Jesús Rafael Soto’s years in Paris, where he moved in 1950 from his native Venezuela, this exhibition highlights the influential Latin American artist’s interactive, kinetic sculptures and investigations in color theory. Especially illuminating are the sections dedicated to Soto’s relationship with fellow postwar avant-gardists like Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely and the Zero Group.

Anna Molska at Broadway 1602, through Feb. 28
Two mysterious videos by the young Polish artist Anna Molska center on the grim themes of evil and death. Both set in a greenhouse in a small Polish village, The Mourners features half a dozen women (professional mourners, we are told) singing funeral songs and telling personal stories, while in Hecatomb, the space is flooded with white foam while a man dives in and out, flagellating himself.

Milagros de la Torre at the Americas Society, through Apr. 14
“Observed” is the striking New York solo debut of Peruvian-born photo artist Milagros de la Torre. Organized by curator Edward J. Sullivan, the photos and installation pieces on view delve into a wide range of topics, including drug busts and political espionage. Along the way, de la Torre shares with viewers her sense of unexpected beauty that can be found even amidst the tumult of an extremely troubled society.  

Catherine Yass at Galerie Lelong, through Mar. 17
The star and only character in Catherine Yass’s mesmerizing, vertigo-inducing film is the Royal Sovereign lighthouse off the coast of East Sussex, England. This is not a quaint storybook lighthouse; Yass’s subject is located miles out to sea and looks more like an industrial helipad than a lighthouse. We’re left totally disoriented as the camera plunges and swirls, flipping the structure upside in dreamy slow-mo.

Kakyoung Lee at Mary Ryan, through Feb. 25
The title piece in Korean-born Kakyoung Lee’s first New York solo show is Dance, Dance, Dance, a set of 342 drypoints, based on a video Lee recorded of herself dancing alone, which were then reconstituted into a black-and-white animation of a shaggy-haired woman rhythmically flailing about. More charming is Brown Circle, a similarly low-fi video of a figure, drawn with leftover coffee on her studio wall and then photographed and animated.

“The Ungovernables” at the New Museum, through Apr. 22
Despite its title, “The Ungovernables,” this year’s New Museum triennial is quite cohesive and well-behaved. Curator Eungie Joo has done a commendable job in selecting works by 34 young and emerging artists and artists groups from around the world, many of whom came of age after the independence movements of the 1960s and ’70s.

The Lookout” is compiled by A.i.A. associate editor Leigh Anne Miller.