Chelsea Gallery Shows
It's been way too long since I've spent an afternoon hopping Chelsea galleries, so yesterday I did just that, spending three hours or so between 26th and 20th Streets, 10th and 11th Avenues. My favorite shows definitely tended toward the playful, which made me sorry that my smiley daughters weren't with me. Anyway, here's a quick look at some of what caught my eye. All of the below will be on view at least through next weekend. And, as always, click on any image to enlarge.
Aleksandra Mir: Newsroom 1986 - 2000
Aleksandra Mir and a crew of assistants are creating 200 drawings on site for this two-month-long show, all based on New York Post and News covers from 1986 to 2000 that, Mir explains, "were particularly poignant, or which formed an ongoing narrative, but most importantly, that made me smile with recognition." If you lived here during that period, you will, too. The theme on Saturday was, obviously, the champagne-popping ups and apocalyptic downs of the stock market, with said assistants busy creating the art as we looked on. Amazingly, the whole place did NOT smell like Sharpies.
At the Mary Boone Gallery, 540 West 24th Street. Through October 27.
Tom Otterness: The Public Unconscious
Otterness is up to his usual cute/politicized shenanigans in this show of seven recent monumental sculptures.
At the new Marlborough Chelsea Gallery, 545 West 25th Street. Through November 3.
Rock n' Roll Fantasy
This group show at the non-profit White Box looks at familiar issues of buying stardom vs. creating honest music, but there's some clever ideas and nice nostalgia here, including the wall of classic album covers—how many did you own?—and punk clothing in Kathe Burhart's piece, above. Not shown: Luis Gispert's utterly mesmerizing video installation Pony Show, in which random "regular folk" photos grabbed from the Internet flash on screen in time with a thumping loop of D.J. Jam Pony dance beats.
At White Box, 525 West 26th Street. Through October 27.
Ugo Rondinone: Big Mind Sky
One of my favorite things about gallery-going is when you open frosted-door number, say, 37 of your day, and inside is the unexpected delight of something like Rondinone's big, goofy, touching show. Here are twelve giant expressive heads (nearly nine-feet high), each more silly than the last, all modeled in clay then in cast in aluminum for an inviting, hand-made look. Ringing the gallery's walls are dozens of small, simple line sketches—a tree branch, a window, a table—and poignant "poem drawings" on love and heartbreak. Nice.
At the Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street. Through October 27.
Ragnar Kjartansson: Folksong
For ten days in a row... for six hours each day... Ragnar Kjartnsson stands toward the back of a vacant lot below the High Line and, surrounded by tree cutouts and accompanied by his trusty red guitar and amp, sings a short haunting song in an unknown language. Again and again and again. Seeing him there as I walked across 25th Street on Saturday gave me the satisfying sensation of stumbling upon some strange creature warbling in the woods.
At 508 West 25th Street, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Through October 20.
Paul Noble: dot to dot
My lame, surreptitiously snapped photos don't do Paul Noble's work justice. These are huge works (that second one above is perhaps 20 feet high) with an insane amount of detail hidden within (the entire lower half is covered with tiny faces and creatures, which you can kind of see in the bottom pic). The sculptures in the back room didn't really do it for me, but you could spend days discovering everything in the five massive drawings up front. Plus: an amusing "stick your head in a hole and see what's inside" piece.
At Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street. Through October 27.
Keith Tyson: Large Field Array
This is just spectacular. Made up of 220 separate "sculptural forms", all with a two-feet-squared footprint, all evenly spaced from each other, Keith Tyson's epic installation tells so many different stories (half the fun is trying to figure out how one piece relates to its neighbors), and sparks so much viewer serendipity, that you'll want to stay in there all day. But that would be rude, because they only let in 30 people at a time, and the line outside isn't getting any shorter....
At Pace Wildenstein, 534 West 25th Street. Through October 20.