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Ethan Ryman: Series: Still Lives and Dioramas

Ethan Ryman’s exploration of his idiosyncratic idiom that lies in-between the functions of photography and sculpture is distinctly unique in that he is neither a photographer nor a sculptor. Yet, in his particular and singular pursuit in both practices Ryman appears to be singularly particular.

Bruce Nauman: His Mark

Brown spots spread across the blue veins and red knuckles of the artist’s hands, telling their own story of age and effort. These hands are the hands of a creator; these hands have made artworks that have affected the lives of people the artist loves and the lives of people he will never know.

Madeleine Bialke: Long Summer

Long Summer, the title of Madeleine Bialke’s intriguing solo show at Huxley-Parlour Gallery in London, is both a promise and a threat. By now we’re all uncomfortably at home with the idea that the climate is changing for the worse, but what we actually experience from moment to moment is weather: climate is an accretion, the long view, while weather is what makes or breaks your day.

Michael Krebber: New Work

The show is dominated by two monumental diptychs that reprise the same cartoonish motif on a shared wall. In a coy move, the left two canvases are spaced closer together than the right ones, and, taken as a whole, the four panels can read as a procession of decorative elements interpreted through self-conscious painterly devices.

Donald Judd: Paintings 1959-1961

Say the name Donald Judd, and many people will picture an object that has taut lines, sleek metallic surfaces, and often is two-toned like a sedan from the 1950s. Squiggles don’t come to mind. That’s partly why it was such a surprise to find 15 paintings by the artist dating from 1959 into 1961 on view this autumn at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea that were so unlike the three-dimensional constructions the artist would soon fabricate.

Whitfield Lovell: Le Rouge et Le Noir

Whitfield Lovell returns to DC Moore for his second show, Le Rouge et Le Noir, which borrows its title as much from Nina Simone’s rendition of Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas” (“Do Not Leave Me”) as Stendahl’s novel. The title also refers to the two bodies of work in the gallery. One, titled “Reds”is a series of assemblages pairing vintage objects with black conte crayon drawings on red paper. The other, titled “Winterreise” (“Winter’s Journey”) after Schubert’s 24 song cycle, has silver conte crayon drawings, some paired with objects, some not, on black paper.

Noah Landfield's Ephemeral Cities

Billowing, flowing, and crumbling, the recent paintings of Noah Landfield, in Ephemeral Cities, chart vectors of movement, force, and energy as they play out in both natural and human-made manifestations. While the images depict what one would call the cycles of nature—decay and upheaval, the paintings consciously avoid notions of pattern and repetition, instead using chaos and difference as the means of creating form.

Jitish Kallat:Tmesis

What is the future of drawing? Jitish Kallat has built the answer into a riddle: it’s flat but one can walk around it; it’s permanent and yet the images change; it is hand drawn and yet also a photograph.

Dorothea Rockburne: Giotto’s Angels & Knots

Dorothea Rockburne was a mainstay of Postminialism, which was fine when people knew what Minimalism meant. The title of her new exhibition, of drawings, relief paintings and sculptures of the past two years, alludes partly to Giotto’s Arena Chapel frescoes, and partly to the knot as a modern thought motif; the latter interests her mathematically, and me art-theoretically.

Raqs Media Collective: HUNGRY FOR TIME

While some visitors deemed the exhibition “refreshing” or “exciting,” a majority also voiced anger, disappointment, and incomprehension in the visitor’s book of the Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, the paintings gallery of Vienna’s art academy, in the face of Hungry for Time, an exhibition curated by Raqs Media Collective from New Delhi.

Facts of Light

Gowanus Brooklyn can resemble an Art Deco frieze illustrating the word “transportation” with active canals, bumper-to-bumper overpasses, and descending aircraft. Cathouse Proper at 524 Projects is one flight up and a corridor leads into a purposeful room two stories high with six windows, engineered solely for a late artist's contemplation and appraisal of his art. The space, that ethereal ’70s term for gallery or art context, is an appropriate host for Facts of Light (“FoL”) curated by (and including) Robert(a) Ruisza Marshall whose press release leans into the poetic permitting the art to register differently than overly determined art writing meant to cover all the bases.

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror

Johns is like an Imagist poet; images don’t exhaust meaning, they just provide a vehicle for contemplation. The reason an image fixates us is that centering. Johns never provides ultimate answers, he just provides the opportunity for engagement.

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror

At the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror starts off with such a strong installation that it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite piece.

Alex Katz

Katz’s sense of color remains highly original and highly effective, as does his understanding of what takes place in the span of a composition. Now in his mid-’90s, the artist shows no sign of slowing down; the paintings are as energetic and as vibrant as ever.

Kara Walker: Prince McVeigh and the Turner Blasphemies & The Book of Hours

Installed in the first of the two back galleries of Sikkema Jenkins are several suites of modestly scaled drawings from the series “Book of Hours.” Referencing medieval Christian books of hours, the drawings on view reinforce the primacy of privacy. Viewers bear witness to the outpouring of stream-of-conscious thoughts, feelings, and reactions that Walker channels through line and liquid media onto paper.

Robert Gober: “Shut up.” “No. You shut up.”

An inspired paucity is the vehicle of the artist’s latest style. Perhaps he no longer needs much from the outside world. Maybe he gave too much already.

Catherine Murphy: Recent Work

Murphy’s profoundly precise, deadpan depictions of all quotidian matter, from rags to trees, hair, doors, gratings, and even a camouflage blanket—often excerpts from artifacts and scenes—focus our attention on the power of the part in relation to the whole, the underlying tension between the two. We are left to wonder whether the part builds or undermines our perception of the entire picture.

Tishan Hsu: skin-screen-grass

Tishan Hsu has been exploring the messy entanglement of bodies and technology for over three decades. Spanning painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and video, his work is characterized by a slippery lexicon of biological and technological motifs—lingering on the touch in touchscreen and the face in interface—that probes the more visceral, affective, and lived aspects of our relationships to machines.

Stephen Westfall: Persephone

In these latest paintings, Westfall breaks freer from the asymmetric diagonal grid that has lent previous bodies of his work a kind of cock-eyed consistency and, by doing so, he amps up their vectoral dynamism. The grid isn’t completely banished in these newest works, it’s just on a wild walkabout.

Jeff Wall

As has often been noted, the ability to make photographs as large as easel paintings allows them to compete visually with paintings. But of course that practical consideration merely identifies the necessary condition for the success of this novel artistic genre; it doesn’t tell us how to interpret these works.

Gerald Jackson

Gerald Jackson’s elusive persona—he is known by many yet notoriously difficult to track down—is reflected in his multidisciplinary art practice, which evades easy categorization. Jackson steps back to center stage with the exhibition currently on view at Gordon Robichaux, the first full-scale presentation of his work mounted since the gallery began to represent him not long ago.

Philip Pearlstein: I Love Mud

The accumulations of a sociable, cultivated, and well-traveled lifetime became the subjects of the watercolor paintings now on view in I Love Mud, Philip Pearlstein’s current exhibition at Betty Cuningham Gallery.

Larry Day

Body Language: The Art of Larry Day celebrates the centenary year of Larry Day (1921–98), a visual maestro and brooding intellectual figure in post-war American art. Curated by British art historian David Bindman, the show is at a trio of Philadelphia sites.

Domingo Guccione: Spiritual Geometry

This show makes it clear that Guccione was an artist of visionary imagination, creating geometric drawings, employing colored pencils and graphite, that usually document angular, futuristic buildings, seen from both the outside and from within.

Rakuko Naito & Sono Kuwayama

This exhibition is stripped down to its qualitative essentials, both in terms of form and of what Naito’s work is about. The lapidary selection on view here makes it very clear why in recent years Naito has begun to receive wider exposure.


The Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center is part of a vast, venerable, and somewhat unruly complex on the northeast shore of Staten Island. Melissa West, the director of the Newhouse, zoomed in on the site’s history to curate Roots/Anchors, an engrossing, multi-layered exhibition currently on view there.

Stanley Whitney: TwentyTwenty

Stanley Whitney’s recent exhibit of new paintings presents his lifelong exploration of an endless oasis of color.

Winfred Rembert: 1945–2021

The art and life of Winfred Rembert (1945–2021) offers a double reflection of two of the most glaring injustices in the US over the past century: the forceful imposition of Jim Crow laws of racial segregation in former slave states in the South, and the explosive growth of the prison industry as a tool of social control over individuals and groups whom the system finds troublesome or a threat.

Winfred Rembert: 1945–2021

Winfred Rembert’s series examines America’s shameful and not-too-distant history with heartbreaking honesty, bearing witness to the ferocious opposition waged against civil rights and the use of incarceration as a means of silencing individuals.


The artist has said that he has no interest in making animations, but creating new pictorial mythologies to complement his widely recognized cast of heroes is a new wrinkle, and a welcome one.

Roxy Paine: Normal Fault

The American West has long been important for Paine, personally and artistically, and its impact is pronounced in his impressive, exceptionally pertinent new exhibition Normal Fault, featuring 13 relief paintings and one wall-mounted diorama.

Roxy Paine: Normal Fault

The exhibition Normal Fault at Kasmin Gallery features thirteen relief paintings and one small diorama, all created in 2021, exploring ecological and geological systems.

Pablo Bronstein: Hell in its Heyday

Architectural fantasias run deeply through Pablo Bronstein’s veins. At the age of 16, the Argentinian-British (or British-Latinx) artist redecorated his bedroom in drabby Neasden, a West London suburb, transforming it into an iridescent Baroque palazzo.

Metabolic Rift

A small group of strangers and I were led down concrete stairs to a hallway. An industrial light in a metal cage illuminated a set of doors, and we stopped. The guide told us to “follow the lights” and “stay together, you can’t get lost if you stay together.” He opened the door to a dark hallway in the basement of Tresor / Kraftwerk Berlin, the former East Berlin power plant turned storied venue run by Dimitri Hegemann on the southern shore of the Spree, and motioned us to enter, “just head towards the light”. We entered carefully, in twos, stepping slowly into the dark.

Myron Stout and Cycladic Art

Craig Starr Gallery’s Myron Stout and Cycladic Art confronts the artist and the ancients, for the first time, face to face. The exhibition is quite literally museum-quality, including four of the iconic black-and-white paintings (that’s a lot—there are only 21 in total), three charcoal drawings in similar format, and a number of the later less-celebrated graphite drawings, startlingly small, in tones ranging from near-fleshy paper to smoky and smokier grays: no black, no white.

Sacred Spaces

Loretta Howard and her gallery have planned this amazing and ongoing celebration of the way in which art can enhance an entire life of religious ritual. This immediate burgeoning of new work, relating, in the case of the great Greek artist Antonakos, to Byzantium and the sacred gold background, responds to just what we might have been suffering lately, in view of the crises in the world beyond the building whose art we are celebrating.

William McKeown

William McKeown (1962–2011) was an artist who went beyond embracing the immediacy of being: he sought to capture moments of transcendental beauty by creating spaces brimming with light, framing them through a body of abstract paintings. The 22 works on display for the Irish artist’s first solo show in New York at Casey Kaplan Gallery represent this dedication to making experiential and predominantly monochromatic color fields.

Alex Griffin: Passages

Alex Griffin’s first solo exhibition, Passages, at Nancy Margolis Gallery, is a phantasmagoric daydream. The works are filled with quiet subtleties and dark histories that are left with a whimsical afterglow.

George Rickey: Monumental Sculpture on Park Avenue

A total of 12 sculptures soar some 30 feet over Park Avenue and the High Line on the Kasmin Gallery roof. They swoop in the garden medians between iconic modernist and delicate contemporary architecture. When they catch the light, they become silver linings: more ideas than objects.

Kandis Williams: A Line

Taking performance as form and content, Williams interjects Black bodies into the canon of live art, extending multitudinous lineages: classical ballet, modern dance, performance art, and theater. This tidy show of performance on video, Xerox collages, and sculpture (all 2021) plays out like an experiment in choreography...

Myeongsoo Kim and Cy Morgan: Classical Mechanics

Below Grand is a gallery in the Lower East Side with a twist. This space is a closet-sized gallery nested into the storefront of Fortune Line Trading Corporation, a Chinese owned restaurant supply store. We are charmed by the concept, which is quintessentially New York in its spirit and scarcity of space, but also by the pairing of six works by artists Myeongsoo Kim and Cy Morgan and curated by Wangui Maina and Mo Kong.

Dorothea Rockburne: Giotto’s Angels and Knots

Rockburne has created a chapel of her own in a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that draws from her experience in Padua. To sit in her dark blue chamber and gaze upon the artist’s dramatically lit paper collages is to take part in a reenactment of a certain kind, a doubling of experience, where the audience has an opportunity to be in two places simultaneously.

John Coplans: La Vie des Formes

Unfolding in three distinct acts, La Vie des Formes does careful justice to the patient, self-determined evolutions of Coplans’s one-themed oeuvre.

Ambrose Rhapsody Murray: Within Listening Distance of the Sea…

Ambrose Rhapsody Murray’s solo exhibition Within Listening Distance of the Sea… at Fridman Gallery features several of the artist’s sewn and painted textiles, as well as a short film made with Logan Lynette and Heather Lee, culminating in an unparalleled depth of experience.

Mother and Child

Mother and Child, curated by Micki Meng, gathers the works of 17 artists who square timeless iconography of motherhood with the immediacy of touch.

Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art

The curators, Tina Rivers Ryan and Paul Vanouse, focus their broad agenda through four themes: the use of digital technologies for passive (but not always effective) surveillance, how identities are shaped by technology, the erasure of marginalized communities, and the active reassertion of control.

Baseera Khan: I Am an Archive

One hears Baseera Khan’s I Am an Archive exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum before one can see it.

In Support

Combining painting, poetry, video, and sound in an immersive installation that invites attendees into the inner sanctum of his mind, Ceremonies is a powerful new work commissioned by The Kitchen as part of In Support, an exhibition that reflects on ways institutions offer and receive support.

Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi — Marvellous Entanglement

Julien’s love song to the Brazilian architect’s life and philosophy is his most recent film installation, Lina Bo Bardi — Marvellous Entanglement (2019), which is currently on view at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mike Shultis: Animal Crackers

You feel the parallels between the aesthetic endgame of painting and American decline itself when you walk into Mike Shultis’s Animal Crackers at ASHES/ASHES.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 21-JAN 22

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