5 Gallery Shows Heating Up NYC - FAD Magazine

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5 Gallery Shows Heating Up NYC

Whoever said summer is an art world deadzone needs to see what’s on view in New York right now. Maybe we’re still striding through springtime in this hemisphere, but after weeks away from the gallery circuit, Brooklyn-based art writer Vittoria Benzine was gleefully surprised by lineups on view across the city. Some standouts just closed, like Fred Eversely’s Jolly Rancher monoliths at David Kordansky and Liu Xiaodong’s debut at Lisson, but even more remain on view. Read on to catch the season in full swing — each comes with a review to tell if it’s for you.

“Takako Yamaguchi: New Paintings” @ Ortuzar Projects

“Takako Yamaguchi: New Paintings” @ Ortuzar Projects

Nothing beats sitting and silence, but this Los Angeles-based painter’s TriBeCa debut offers a fast track to meditation. Evenly spaced around the sun-drenched gallery, these ten “abstractions in reverse” depict rolling seascapes in oil and bronze leaf. They transcend transcendental painting itself, pairing the purportedly universal tenets of abstraction with local motifs that span Japanese symbolism through Mexican muralism. Balanced hues foster calm throughout. Through June 17.

“I Want Everything Now” by Uman @ Nicola Vassell

Photo by Vittoria Benzine

Symbols of Somalian-born and New York-based metaphysical artist Uman’s rich life experience tessellate across her sprawling, “star-making” debut at Nicola Vassell, itself transformed into a maze of multi-colored facets for the occasion. Uman intuitively tells stories and obscures them, letting viewers savor finding what they need. It was crowded on a Saturday, rife for eavesdropping, as aficionados unfocused their eyes and communed with the spirit throughout. Through June 17

“Balancing Act” by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins @ Cristin Tierney Gallery

Photo by Vittoria Benzine

Play thrives on the Bowery, where artist duo Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins activate their latest geometric abstractions with a functional crane machine visitors can play — no quarters required! Inspired by the Industrial Revolution and the porous relationship between artist and audience, this game focuses moreso on collaboration than clamoring to claw up the best prizes. Deep seated fears might ensue, especially if you’ve got a Godzilla complex — mitigated mostly by the assurance that any sensation this kinetic sculpture sparks is surely part of its purpose. Through July 21

“Melancolia” by Alexis Rockman @ Sperone Westwater

Photo by Vittoria Benzine

Connecticut-based Rockman encapsulates the precarious balance of beauty and fear insinuated by “awe-inspiring” in his latest array of glacier paintings. The show’s title calls to mind Lars von Trier’s 2011 film of the same name, where the Earth faces certain destruction from an impending collision with the moon. Here, the icebergs instead are nigh — unavoidable, confronting, gleaming. Vivid watercolors on the second floor perpetuate that striking perspective on climate change, a carnival procession for the life Earth’s many cultures and species once knew. Historical narratives abound in each work’s delicate details — ask the gallerists at the front for their handy guide. Through July 28

“Hot Stuff” by Iiu Susiraja @ Nino Mier Gallery

Photo by Vittoria Benzine

Disturbed, rejoice — I think that when they say art should disturb the comfortable, this is what they mean. Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja’s second show at Nino Mier Gallery continues her “investigations of domesticity and consumption” through self portraiture and home videos in a setting that transports viewers to the very place they were taken. If anyone else were wearing just socks on their breast, they’d get called a sex symbol. Are you willing to admit a disconnect? Not only is Susiraja’s work daring and effective — she gets the last laugh at anyone who thought she might be the joke’s butt through irresistibly smart 3D printed sculptures, her first foray into the medium. Through June 17



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