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

Mary Poppins Is A Junkie, installation view, main room.

Courtesy Show Room.


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 are seven fall shows our team of editors can’t stop talking about.

This week we check out Sarah Braman’s architectural sculptures made from a chopped-up camper at Mitchell Innes & Nash, Tommy Hartung’s eerie stop-motion film at On Stellar Rays and Paul McCarthy’s predictably creepy take on Snow White at Hauser & Wirth.

“Mary Poppins is a Junkie” at Show Room, through Dec. 18
Despite the wacky title, coined by a California disc jockey in the 1960s, this three-person exhibition at one of the newest Lower East Side galleries is rather cerebral and meditative. Anne Deleporte kicks off the show with a hypnotic video loop, projected onto a panel on the entryway floor; against one wall, Stephen Dean shows one of his familiar paperback book totems, plus some ethereal new chromatic glass sculptures; and Jeannie Weissglass presents large painterly floral tondos that appear more menacing than sweet.

Tommy Hartung at On Stella Rays, through Dec. 23
Tommy Hartung’s video Anna is loosely based on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, but it is more generally about power and parable in social realism. This is the story of a family of eerily fabricated mannequins animated by unseen forces, often in stop-motion. It’s also a study in alienation.

Mary Reid Kelley at Fredericks & Freiser, through Jan. 7
In her new video The Syphilis of Sisyphus, Mary Reid Kelley plays a 19th-century French prostitute who delivers a rhyming monologue, laden with cringe-worthy puns, in praise of artifice and against the natural world. In the back room, find the drawings that were the basis for the 3-D animated sets.

Edward Burtynsky at Bryce Wolkowitz and Howard Greenberg, through Dec. 10
Bryce Wolkowitz (Chelsea) and Howard Greenberg (Midtown) have teamed up to show a range of the Canadian photographer’s mostly large-format color prints. An overview of Burtynsky’s work is at Greenberg, while Wolkowitz features his latest series, “Monesgros,” aerial photos of dryland farming sites in Northern Spain.

Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth, through Dec. 17
Paul McCarthy has been busy: “The Dwarves, The Forests” is one of three concurrent Snow White-themed exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth’s New York and London galleries. Several large-scale bronze pieces plus two tabletop landscapes are summarily upstaged by McCarthy’s fragrant, 10-foot-tall sculpture carved from black walnut.

Sarah Braman at Mitchell Innes & Nash, through Dec. 3
Who knew a deconstructed mobile home could look so elegant? Here, Braman breaks an old camper down into discrete sections, adding panes, and in some cases whole cubes or adjacent structures, of colored Plexiglas.

Bianca Beck at Rachel Uffner, through Dec. 23
There’s an underlying thread of aggression in Bianca Beck’s intimately scaled paintings, some on canvas or linen and pockmarked with little holes or zigzag gashes, others imbedded into panels of wood.

“The Lookout” is compiled by A.i.A. Associate Editor Leigh Anne Miller