What to See in N.Y.C. Galleries in February

What to See in N.Y.C. Galleries in February

This week in Newly Reviewed, Travis Diehl covers John Knight’s institutional critiques in Chelsea, Peggy Chiang’s set up within the Lower East Side and Robert Roest’s divine visions in Chinatown.


Through March 2. Greene Naftali, 508 West twenty sixth Street, Ground Floor, Manhattan; 212-463-7770,

The conceptual artist John Knight delights in a revelatory model of institutional critique. His pointed interventions in exhibition areas purpose to undermine the thriller of impartial art-viewing situations or deliver buried histories to the floor. Past work consists of asking a gallery to take away its doorways and portray a challenge area like the unique parking storage it was constructed to be.

At Greene Naftali, he has had the observe lighting in a single room moved from the ceiling to the ground. You’re requested to ponder a chunk of the gallery expertise that you simply’re sometimes meant to disregard.

Knight’s work echoes that of Michael Asher, a conceptual artist well-known for working daylong critiques with college students at California Institute of the Arts and for elegant analytical strikes, like having the Whitney Museum of American Art keep open for 72 hours straight. Where Asher was brainy and playful, Knight is puckish and punk.

In the Greene Naftali present, the spotlights shine in your face; the rails block your path. The lamps have been introduced right down to earth in your consideration, however your eyes discover the ceiling, up the only stout cable connecting the lights to their energy provide, to the tufts of uncovered wiring marking the observe’s previous path. Maybe, too, you’ll be primed to note how, within the entrance room, the observe stays in place, weaving below the air ducts and pushing by a wall. A gesture like Knight’s is less complicated stated than accomplished, and also you surprise what number of electricians and artwork handlers it took to unscrew and re-screw all these lightbulbs.

Lower East Side

Through Feb. 24. Laurel Gitlen, 465 Grand Street, Suite 4C, Manhattan; 212-837-2854,

Peggy Chiang’s present “Wasted” consists of a single set up titled “Toss within the Asphalt,” dedicated to a doting sculpture of the again of a New York City trash truck. Chiang normal the rearmost two toes of the car from welded metal, paint, auto lights and reflective tape, based mostly on pictures, not specs.

The end result, which rests on the bottom, with out wheels, just isn’t a duplicate a lot as a homage. The evident care put into this mannequin — its aura of rust and scrapes, the arcs seemingly worn within the paint by the compactor’s motion — invitations reverence.

Clumps of brown leaves collect across the gallery’s heaters and corners, a bit meekly; there aren’t any pigeon components, no putrid fluids, the leaves don’t even rustle. The solely movement is the twist of smoke rising from what appears like a lit cigarette, standing on its butt on a piece of pavement, however it’s really a cigarette paper full of incense.

Yes, it’s peaceable right here. Mellow, meditative. An unlooked-for likelihood to understand the cycle of waste and consumption, dying and life, the harmonious churn of the megalopolis. The low, distended drone rumbling from audio system tucked contained in the sculpture is made out of a recording of the classical music that Taiwanese rubbish vehicles play on their routes. The vaporous tones combine with the HVAC unit whining on a close-by roof. The normal tussle of the town outdoors presses in on this shrine, the place it’s honored.


Through Feb. 25. Europa, 125 Division Street, Manhattan; 347-232-4897,

Proof is a hazy idea in Robert Roest’s exhibition, duly titled “Eight Paintings Proving Angels Are Really Watching Over Us.” Each of the massive canvases depicts a shocking cloudscape, dynamically backlit by the solar, the place a central cottony cumulous occurs to resemble an angel, spreading enrobed arms, bent in prayer, delivering a message or counting sins.

“Lelahel” directs a fluffy blessing leftward, whereas “Galgaliel” ascends irrevocably. (The work bear names of angels.) Religious imagery, whether or not gothic or kitsch, is a minor development in downtown New York galleries. Here, the assertion {that a} cherubic clump of mist verifies the presence of demigods can solely be taken as sarcasm. Like Jesus on toast or Mary on a drainpipe, what these photos actually show is that individuals are likely to see what they wish to see.

The undeniable fact that these photos are painted additionally complicates the artist’s declare. Supposedly, the work are based mostly on images documenting these phenomena, however possibly they aren’t, and anyway, a portray is inadmissible as proof of something.

Some of the small print appear to be elaborations, just like the blazing eyeholes in “Barael.” The artist’s strangest flourish is encasing the amber sunsets and cerulean skies, compressing skinny strips of desert, fields and cities: trompe l’oeil renderings of the identical window body, repeated on every canvas, flaking and rusting in the identical spots, as if possibly these divine visions all handed improbably earlier than the identical vista. This surreal fixed transcends the angel gimmick. The present’s actual pleasure is within the doubt it sows.

TriBeCa and Union Square

Through Feb. 17. Ortuzar Projects, 9 White Street, Manhattan; 212-257-0033,

Gordon Robichaux, 41 Union Square West, Manhattan; 646-678-5532,

Brian Buczak moved to New York from Detroit in 1976. He had already been corresponding with Ray Johnson, the celebrated mail artist, and as soon as within the metropolis he discovered his strategy to a variety of different artists, most notably Geoffrey Hendricks, of Fluxus, who turned his accomplice for the remainder of his life. (Alice Neel painted them collectively.) Before dying of AIDS in 1987, simply shy of his thirty third birthday, Buczak additionally made an amazing variety of work. This two-site exhibition, “Man Looks on the World,” is his first solo present in additional than 30 years.

Buczak labored in a number of longstanding, typically obsessive sequence. At Ortuzar Projects, for instance, is one small portray of lush, melting American flags that he repeated dozens of occasions. To judge from the entire double exhibition, although, he was at his greatest setting up eerie diptychs and triptychs of discovered imagery. Two boiled eggs in water glasses sit above a boy stretching a rubber band throughout his lips; a hammer smashing a glass bottle looms over one other boy breaking the floor of a swimming pool.

The hyperlinks could also be conceptual, as within the buoyancy of eggs and rubber band, or visible, as when glass shards echo the quick blue and white brushstrokes of the pool. Sometimes, notably when the supply materials is pornographic, the connections are extra occult. But what makes all of them so attention-grabbing is the saturated, laborious, against-the-grain method Buczak painted — in addition to his alternative to color within the first place, fairly than assemble his closely image-driven work with Xerox copies or images. You can really feel him looking for one thing — which means, readability, peace, liberation — that by no means fairly arrives. WILL HEINRICH

Upper East Side

Through Feb. 17. Craig Starr Gallery, 5 East 73rd Street, Manhattan, 212-570-1739,

“Edward Hopper as Puritan” is a compact exhibition dedicated to a world-famous American painter that nonetheless appears remarkably contemporary. For one factor, its show of 9 works largely from the Twenties — etchings, watercolors, charcoal drawings and a single portray — in a tiny gallery encourages an exhilarating intimacy with the modifications in Hopper’s mark-making and surfaces throughout mediums.

The present concentrates on the extra austere facet of his sensibility, which is most evident in his nonurban scenes. Houses, sailboats and the ocean are the principle characters; people, if current, are dwarfed.

The etchings give early indicators of Hopper’s powers of commentary and contact: Their diverse textures verge on flamboyant. In “The Henry Ford,” a schooner’s towering sails evoke an immense white chook settling into its nest. In distinction, the watercolors of saltboxes or a Victorian home abstain from the dazzling results this medium encourages. The charcoals — one other Victorian and a ship on a wharf — are so strikingly stable and completed they is likely to be graphite.

“Two Puritans” (1945), the oil, depicts a pair of white homes whose awkward volumes flatten primly towards the image aircraft and exemplify Hopper’s cautious rhyming of colours. Everything is pristinely flat besides on 4 timber, which scramble a number of hues right into a bark-like roughness.

In the catalog’s distinctive essay, Louis Shadwick, a British artwork historian, explores the social and racial implications of phrases like Puritan and Anglo-Saxon, which early writers utilized admiringly to Hopper’s artwork. Combining a meticulous presentation of proof with one thing like psychoanalysis, he reveals much more layers of political which means than are normally achieved lately. ROBERTA SMITH


Through Feb. 24. Anna Zorina Gallery, 532 West 24 Street, Manhattan; 212-243-2100,

Perhaps it’s the colours — tones of a reddish brown virtually the shade of mud, the palette of decorations on historical Roman and Greek terra-cotta jars — that make the work immediately acquainted, historical, classical even. So it’s a shock to study that the artist, Hunter Amos, is simply 22. He can be new to New York and “Rough Hold,” his first solo present within the metropolis, is a form of introduction.

In 13 work, Amos situates his (normally male) figures in tight frames, with swirls of wavy paint crashing towards tough stony surfaces. The form of a few of his oil work on concrete are minimize with tough edges round and emulate the poses of the figures, creating an immense sense of confinement. It is as if the skins of his characters have been peeled off, revealing their internal workings, their veins and muscle tissues stretched taut. Although the vitality in these works is plain, it typically appears just like the figures are attempting to flee from their frames, or that their postures had been compelled upon them by the boundaries of the canvases.

Much of Amos’s work depict his personal struggles. The sensible battle of breaking out of Byron Bay in his native Australia two years in the past to make it in New York; the bounds of the image aircraft itself, and the philosophical battle between liberation and containment. Amos’s “Rough Hold” demonstrates a knowledge not typically related to learners. This is an artist who has lots to say and is aware of how he desires to say it. YINKA ELUJOBA


Through March 2. Silverlens, 505 West twenty fourth Street, Manhattan; 646-449-9400,

Even with its vibrant mishmash of visible cues edging towards a sensory overload, Wawi Navarroza’s “The Other Shore” is a surprisingly simple world to enter. These are self-portraits of an artist lush with cross-cultural objects signifying cities the place she has lived reminiscent of Madrid, Istanbul and Manila, the place she was born. Fruits, vegetation, flowers, and even desserts in works like “La Bruja (All the Places She’s Gone, Self-Portrait)” transfer the pictures from the eyes to the tongue, as if one may style the images.

Yet amid the multicolored material and brightly patterned wallpapers that create layers of grandeur, there’s a refined stress in her somber method. This sentiment might be most potent in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter/The Self-Portraitist (After Alcuáz, Self-Portrait).” It is a young {photograph}, and the white drapes fall round her, like damaged wings.

This is Navarroza’s first solo present within the United States, and options work revamped the previous 5 years. The exhibition marks a radical departure from her normally austere images, typically in monochrome, to an exploration of extra and colour. It can be an emergence of types after a sequence of setbacks through the years, together with a hearth that burned her studio in Manila in 2016. But these photographs depict an artist nonetheless capable of go at life and, extra essential, artwork, with a centered depth and an intact sense of self whereas producing work that helps us rethink what a celebration of polychrome and a number of cultures may seem like. YINKA ELUJOBA

East Village

Through March 2. Karma, 188 East Second Street, Manhattan; (212) 390-8290;

Nathaniel Oliver’s first solo exhibition at Karma Gallery, “My Journey Was Long So Yours Could Be Shorter,” is a fantastical world the place symbols function like pins on a map, serving to you discover your method. It is kind of an expansive map: water our bodies recalling the wharf of his childhood dwelling in Washington D.C. and the Middle Passage throughout the Atlantic; West African clothes and masks; and flora native to the Caribbean. There can be a crescent and a star, current within the flags of many Muslim international locations.

These typically disparate motifs are made stronger by the layers and textures current within the works. In “Would You Believe Me If I Told You,” a flat inexperienced plant offers strategy to a shiny orange door body, the place a person is wearing an intricately adorned blue shirt. He achieves the identical impact with blue hues in “At What Cost, Do I Stay or Go,” the place a stormy sea looms behind a curtain with white strips falling throughout it, like rain.

These representations, nonetheless, mix properly with the artist’s predominant follow of working with darker tones of colours, and even when he chooses brilliant ones they appear to be dim, as if the lights had been turned down. A palpable results of this can be a haze within the work, making the figures virtually dreamy, as in the event that they had been evoked from a delusion. But, because the title of the present suggests, a individuals’s connection to their forebears just isn’t merely the stuff of legends. For Black Americans it’s a matter they deal with in on a regular basis life, and the present rights they take pleasure in on this nation had been hard-earned by earlier generations. In this fashion, Oliver’s homage, even when laced with fantasy, is fully believable. YINKA ELUJOBA


Through Feb. 24. Marian Goodman Gallery, 24 West 57th Street, Manhattan; 212-977-7160,

In 2022, the 78-year-old artist Dara Birnbaum had her first retrospective within the United States on the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College. Visitors may see how groundbreaking her video artwork has been, notably her appropriation and enhancing of footage from TV, movie, and the web to boost questions on gender and politics; her most well-known work, from the Seventies, isolates and repeats clips of the actress Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman to create a wry critique.

If you missed that exhibition, Birnbaum’s present present, “Four Works: Accountability,” can function a mini-primer. It consists of one in every of her only items, “Transmission Tower: Sentinel” (1992), a slanted tv tower stacked with eight screens. They combine footage from the 1988 National Student Convention and George H.W. Bush’s speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination the identical 12 months. Bush’s face cascades down, counteracted by rising photographs of scholars and punctuated by Allen Ginsberg chanting his quasi-absurdist antiwar poem “Hum Bom!” There’s no decision, simply artwork, activism and politics locked in an countless tangle — a scenario with clarion resonances at present.

Two different works, the video “Canon: Taking to the Streets” (1990) and the print sequence “Antenna/Fist” (1992/2018), look at the visuals of protest. But “Quiet Disaster” (1999) has lingered foremost in my thoughts. The set up includes three round photographs of cropped and blown-up anime characters in moments of concern. The lady within the middle appears again over her shoulder, eyes large and face scratched; as I stared at her, I obtained the eerie sense that the catastrophe she was fleeing was us. JILLIAN STEINHAUER

East Village

Through Feb. 24. March, 62–64 Avenue A, Manhattan; 917-355-1398,

Artists exist in every single place, together with in locations that critics like me hardly ever cowl. It’s a present, then, when somebody brings a glimpse of one other artwork scene to city. That’s the case with an intergenerational exhibition that includes 12 artists based mostly in Atlanta, curated by Daniel Fuller. The title, “The sea swept the sandcastles away. (To get up in Atlanta!),” alludes to the fixed change and improvement of the town that these artists are working by and towards.

The most imposing piece, Antonio Darden’s “S Tenebris” (2023), barely matches within the gallery. A picket copy of a truck in Darden’s studio, it suggests each a spaciousness past New York and the confines of stereotypically macho Southern tradition. The sculpture is roofed in black fabric, which in a storage may look unassuming; right here it evokes a shroud.

A present of spirituality runs by the exhibition, from the ghostly profiles in Lonnie Holley’s work on quilts to the stained glasslike high quality of Hasani Sahlehe’s acrylic abstractions. It animates two of the present’s rightful centerpieces, bronze sculptures by the Atlanta elder statesman Curtis Patterson. Their curvaceous types interlock like rhythmic puzzle items.

Patterson’s titles, “Hymn to Freedom” (2019) and “Ancestral Dance” (2020), complement María Korol’s wickedly surreal work of animals taking part in music and dancing. Dianna Settles brings a welcome anarchic edge to the revelry, with a portray that freezes a efficiency staged by her buddies on the garden of the High Museum. The gamers had been in costume, the musicians reside, the viewers seated — all that was lacking was the establishment’s permission. JILLIAN STEINHAUER


Through March 16. Eric Firestone, 40 Great Jones Street and 4 Great Jones Street, 646-998-3727,

Odes to tea, kung fu and fortune cookies, in addition to sly responses to racism, sexism and destructive stereotypes swirl by the works in “Godzilla: Echoes From the Nineties Asian American Arts Network,” a two-venue present that includes 39 artists. The title refers back to the collective Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network, which was based in New York in 1990 to assist Asian American artists of various backgrounds.

The works listed here are from that period to the current. Martin Wong, maybe the best-known member of the group, is proven together with his “Bruce Lee Shrine” (1993), a crush of toy figures and spiritual curios, displayed in a small gilded shrine. Skowmon Hastanan’s “Victory of the Goddess” (2001) is a photograph collage that includes a well-known Thai mannequin who appeared in Playboy journal, whereas Emily Cheng’s more moderen canvases use stupas — Buddhist ceremonial mounds — as fashions for her summary canvases.

Many extra good works are right here, together with work by Barbara Takenaga, Charles Yuen, Kim Anno, Byron Kim, Betty Kano and Uday Dhar that borrow Asian patterns and strategies; Stefani Mar’s depraved “Black Leather Tea Set” (1993); and China Blue’s eerie 2019 sound set up, made with NASA, that captures the sound of Saturn’s rings. While the sooner works are usually extra biting and ironic — just like the group’s identify — current works present the enduring relevance of identity-based collectives, notably at a time when, as Dhar says on his web site, every part is known as into query, like “who will get to name themselves American.” MARTHA SCHWENDENER


Through March 1. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 thirty fifth Avenue, Astoria, Queens; 718-777-6800,

Every time the hole between homo sapiens and expertise narrows — like now, with A.I. — people panic. David Levine’s curious technological sculpture, “Dissolution” (2022), reminds us that we’re not alone, traditionally, in feeling this fashion. Inspired by Eighties tv reveals and flicks like “Tron” (1982), during which a hacker is sucked into the digital universe, and Max Headroom, a computer-generated TV persona who first appeared in 1985, Levine’s delirious, surrealistic work explores the overlap of people with expertise and ghosts within the machine.

To expertise “Dissolution,” you enter a darkened area and stand in entrance of a waist-high pedestal displaying a 20-minute-long movie within the type of a 3-D volumetric picture generated by the Voxon VX1 equipment. A jagged narrative unfolds, resembling modernist strategies of splicing collectively bits of writing, but additionally glitchy science fiction. Is it a dream? A online game? A lady’s voice recites “Full fathom 5 thy father lies” from “The Tempest”; there are references to museums and books as mazes and repositories for delusion and data and cryptocurrency as our new dematerialized type of worth.

Simultaneously enjoyable and chilling, the work can be old style in a single fundamental method: It depends on that oldest of human applied sciences, narrative. Levine’s script twists and turns, returning to Shakespeare and nodding to Greek myths. What higher strategy to describe our sophisticated relationship to emergent applied sciences and the way they rework us? MARTHA SCHWENDENER

Upper East Side

Through March 2. White Cube, 1002 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, 212-750-4231,

The greatest a part of Theaster Gates’s first exhibition on the new White Cube area on the Upper East Side just isn’t really within the present; it’s not even an art work. It’s a brief video on the artist’s Instagram account depicting a person cramming scorching, steaming supplies right into a piano and moaning “Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me,” which serves because the title for this present.

The ensuing art work — presumably, because it’s a part of the identical Instagram publish — is “Sweet Sanctuary, Your Embrace” (2023), an upright piano doused in enamel and bitumen. It’s one of many higher works on this assortment of fairly inert objects — bronze sculptures mimicking totems or large vessels; stacks of Jet magazines; work made with bitumen — that borrow closely from the vernaculars of set up, geometric abstraction and assemblage artwork.

Gates, who gained fame for his social follow initiatives involving city planning, his ceramics (which had been on view in his current, wonderful New Museum survey) and his lectures, which frequently flip into advert hoc performances, is displayed right here in a bland corporate-atrium method. The crackling, important vitality and sophisticated histories of race, music and America that underpin the present are largely neutralized. But something, as Gates has taught us earlier than, will be reimagined: I’ve watched the video a number of occasions and I can think about an exhibition with this video alone, projected in a white dice area. That could be sufficient. MARTHA SCHWENDENER

Upper East Side

Through March 9. Sprüth Magers, 22 East eightieth Street, Manhattan, 917-722-2370

This, unbelievably, is the primary New York gallery solo present of Astrid Klein, a conceptual artist whose work was a European complement to a bunch of American artists working in images, movie, video and efficiency that will develop into generally known as the Pictures Generation. Klein’s present at Sprüth Magers — which additionally represents feminist Pictures artists like Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Jenny Holzer — serves as a quick however potent introduction.

The entrance gallery consists of photomontages — Klein calls them “photoworks” — of feminine movie stars and snippets of poetic textual content and Dada-style phrases. Typical of the post-Pop Art ’70s, the work highlights the juxtaposition of phrases and picture — that’s, captions and the knowledge they convey (or disguise) — in addition to appropriating mass-media photographs. In the rear gallery are white work with silver rectangles that additionally embody bits of summary textual content. The work really feel very very like coy responses to austere ’60s minimalism, which, in fact, was as male-dominated because the world’s movie studios.

It’s a curious expertise to see Klein’s decades-old work now. On the one hand, the once-radical tactic of feminine artists highlighting ladies within the mass media doesn’t shock anymore: It’s been absorbed into the tradition, due to artists like Klein. At the identical time, in an advanced period of so-called Barbie feminism (one photowork reveals Brigitte Bardot raised on her tiptoes, Barbie-style!), and reversals in reproductive rights laws, these works really feel proper on time. MARTHA SCHWENDENER


Through March 9. Mrs. gallery, 60-40 56th Drive, Queens; 347-841-6149,

Many individuals spent the Covid-19 lockdown studying to domesticate sourdough starters. Nickola Pottinger was one in every of them, however in her case, the method produced extra than simply bread. Inspired by being within the kitchen, she began turning shredded items of paper into pulp. With her mom’s hand mixer, she reworked household paperwork into the fabric for her artwork.

Nine of Pottinger’s painted pulp sculptures are on view within the exhibition “like yuh neva lef’ yaad.” They seem like they’re made out of clay, however for those who get shut sufficient, you may see bits of paper exhibiting by. It’s an apt metaphor for the best way we feature the items of our lives — each lists and extra profound issues — with us.

The Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-raised Pottinger calls her creations “duppies,” a patois phrase for ghosts. (The title of the present is patois for, “Like I by no means left dwelling.”) The works do have a spectral presence, partly as a result of they’re too summary and surreal to outline: “Mumma” (2023) isn’t fairly an entire determine of a lady; “ol’hige” (2023) is likely to be a sphinx; “Alvernia prep faculty” (2023) is an element sculpture, half furnishings. Extra physique components abound: a second face or set of arms, casts of mouths and rows of enamel.

But the otherworldliness Pottinger is summoning isn’t about ghost tales or haunting a lot as spirituality. Her works really feel inhabited, whether or not by ancestors or legendary creatures. Arrayed fastidiously across the gallery, the duppies are guardians, retaining secure whomever they’re meant to guard. JILLIAN STEINHAUER

East Harlem

Through March 10. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan; 212-831-7272,

Piece for piece, El Museo del Barrio’s assortment is like no different on this nation. And as such, it’s a nationwide treasure. My first style of it was in 1994 in a triptych of exhibitions conceived by Susana Torruella Leval, then the museum’s visionary director. The reveals had been beautiful, although the financially strapped establishment’s holdings had been small at the moment. In the three a long time since, the gathering has expanded and diversified, which is the upfront message delivered by “Something Beautiful: Reframing La Colección.”

Most of the artists, and a few of the artwork — Nitza Tufiño’s 1972 portray “Taino Couple”; an ashen 1962 sculpture, “Children of Treblinka,” by Raphael Montañez Ortiz, the museum’s founder — are right here. But a lot of what’s within the present two-part survey has arrived since.

How to arrange such omnibus shows is all the time a query. Here, broad classes as soon as favored — “religious artwork,” “standard artwork” — have been sophisticated in ways in which replicate modifications in social and political considering, in redefinitions of Latino and Latin American as cultural identities, and within the museum’s growing view of itself, as an establishment grounded in its East Harlem origins however reaching far past.

A wall of photographs celebrating political heroes features a 1969 portrait of the Puerto Rican Independence chief Pedro Albizu Campos by the grasp printmaker Antonio Martorell, but additionally a 2012 video by Coco Fusco that casts a chilly eye on the revolutionaries of a special island, Cuba. “Craft” right here equally describes the artist Melba Carillo’s beaded tribute to the Yemaya, Afro-Cuban goddess of the ocean, and the Chicana artist Consuelo Jimenez Underwood’s “Undocumented Tortilla Basket” woven from barbed wire. “Contemporary” equally applies to a 2019 Afro-Brazilian ritual sculpture by José Adário dos Santos and movies from the Seventies by the Conceptualist Jaime Davidovich (1936-2016), an Argentine transplant to New York City; a cache of his work got here to the museum final 12 months.

Davidovich was a pioneer of video work within the Seventies with a public entry cable present, and his aim was to disrupt standard artwork hierarchies and convey artwork to new audiences. He as soon as described himself as one in every of a bunch of avant-garde artists “making an attempt to get across the gatekeepers of tradition by placing our work on the market for public consumption totally free.” The similar description would match most of the artists and far of the artwork in El Museo’s assortment, and the still-maverick museum itself. HOLLAND COTTER


Through Feb. 10. Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), 142 Franklin Street, Manhattan;

An exhibition and analysis area, the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) not too long ago moved from tight townhouse quarters on the Upper East Side to wide-open duplex digs in TriBeCa. And it’s inaugurating its new dwelling with two thematically linked however visually contrasting reveals.

The bigger, “Revisiting the Potosí Principle Archive: Histories of Art and Extraction,” on the bottom ground, is a think-piece, experimental in format, as a lot about studying as trying. The set up resembles a cavernous seminar room, with a big central desk set out with printed texts and surrounded by reproductions of historic work and several other up to date works. All of this illustrates a provocative thesis: that Western capitalism had roots within the land-destroying, life-destroying early Spanish colonial silver mining trade based mostly within the Bolivian metropolis of Potosí.

There’s a lot fibrous matter to chew on right here, although the typical gallerygoer will discover faster gratification in a smaller present downstairs. Titled “The Precious Life of a Liquid Heart,” and arranged by ISLAA’s chief curator, Bernardo Mosqueira, it’s additionally about terrestrial endangerment — to water, on this case — however makes its factors by suggesting the religious values that aspect carries in Latin America’s Indigenous and Afro-Atlantic cultures.

Hopefully, the artists on this quiet, tender present — Chonon Bensho, Nádia Taquary, Seba Calfuqueo, UÝRA and the collective Soi Noma — will likely be bringing these values our method once more quickly. And the work of 1 them, Carolina Caycedo, is with us now: Her ethereal cloth sculptures within the type of fishing nets are at the moment floating on excessive in MoMA’s atrium. HOLLAND COTTER


Through Feb. 10. Paula Cooper, 521 West twenty first Street, Manhattan; 212-255-1105,

A gaggle present with as literal a premise as this one is all the time a raffle as a result of it’s all too simple for the literal to slide into the superficial. What saves this one, even offers it an odd, fascinating vitality, is the knotty stress of a topic, “books,” that doesn’t precisely translate into visible artwork.

Some artists make their supplies match by shoving them apart or slicing them up: Seung-taek Lee makes use of dismembered typewriter keys to print a hazy, black, ink-on-canvas cloud round an emptied e book; Jane Benson fastidiously slices the letters “e” and “a” out of polyester pages; and Terry Adkins, constructing a memorial to John Brown, sticks an oversize Bible as a prop below a Crusader’s sword jammed right into a cage stuffed with wool.

The strongest items take the visible or conceptual qualities of books simply as they’re, like Sarah Charlesworth’s photograph of an open clean e book; Steve Wolfe’s meticulously painted replicas of “On the Road” and “120 Days of Sodom”; Theaster Gates’s “Nump,” a free-associative poem rendered as a sequence of gold-embossed e book titles; and particularly a 1994 Carl Andre piece, “The Birth of Knowledge,” which is a weathered Hebrew prayer e book screwed into an old style picket tennis racket body. It’s a crafty method of highlighting the truth that books and conceptual artworks are, the truth is, very related: They’re each units designed to bind collectively sheaves of disparate concepts. WILL HEINRICH



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