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 Byron Kim’s monochromatic painting of the night sky at James Cohan, wonder how much oil paint Allison Schulnik’s used in her canvases at ZieherSmith, and travel back to a time when Peter Hujar, Paul Thek and David Wojnarowicz were still alive and making work with, about and inspired by one another.
Mathew Cerletty at Algus Greenspon, through Dec. 17
It’s been four years since Mathew Cerletty’s last solo show in New York. The sense of anticipation is even greater because he chooses content to paint with such gravitas. Cerletty’s palette is warmer and somehow looser in this go-round (the finishes are still impeccable), giving the paintings a feeling both eerie and funny.
Peter Hujar at Matthew Marks, through Dec. 23
The 30 black-and-white photos in Peter Hujar’s show “Three Lives” are intimate without being vulgar, and at the same time wistful and humorous. Hujar’s self-portraits, plus photos of his friends/lovers/collaborators Paul Thek and David Wojnarowicz, show the men smoking, dancing, posing on a beach, lying in bed, and, in two cases, vamping as Cindy Sherman.
Byron Kim at James Cohan, through Dec. 17
Byron Kim is looking up in a group of large quasi-monochrome paintings of New York’s night skies. Fields of ever so subtly modulated dark purples and grays are bounded at one or more of their edges by a single, darker stripe, creating a curious intimacy.
Howard Hodgkin at Gagosian, through Dec. 23
The 21 recent paintings in Howard Hodgkin’s latest show are ostensibly abstract, although they incorporate elements of landscape, figure and still life. Some, like the moody Dark Evening, are classic Hodgkin; And the Skies are not Cloudy All Day, on the other hand, is surprising in its sparseness and large size.
Allison Schulnik at ZieherSmith, through Dec. 17
Lots of artists pile on the paint, but Allison Schulnik’s thickly impastoed works are particularly gooey, with surfaces that look like they might still be pliant. This show, “Mound,” is filled out with several glazed ceramics and an animated film starring Schulnik’s handmade puppets.
Fluxus at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, through Dec. 3
Will a greater understanding of Fluxus help us answer “the essential questions of life” (to quote the show’s subtitle)? Well, it’s worth a shot. NYU’s Fluxus show, on tour from Dartmouth’s Hood Museum, includes a vast array of art work, ephemera and “fluxkits” by artists like George Maciunas, Ben Vautier, Nam June Paik and many others.
Janelle and Lisa Iglesias at Y Gallery, through Nov. 19
The sisters Iglesias grew up in New York City, but you might not pick up on that fact from their sylvan exhibition. “Fell from the Same Tree” includes Janelle’s installation made up of found driftwood, cement-filled buckets, lamps and other objects. It looks like a cheerfully blighted Dr. Seuss landscape, and Lisa’s drawings, paper constructions and a video animation of the sisters operating a two-person saw.