Buhmann on Art

Spring gallery offerings speak to Space Race, celebrity, machinery, weaponry

Image courtesy of the artist and apexart Beacon satellites on display in the US Pavilion at Expo67, Montreal. See “Exhibition Space.”

Image courtesy of the artist and apexart
Beacon satellites on display in the US Pavilion at Expo67, Montreal. See “Exhibition Space.”

EXHIBITION SPACE
Organized by Greg Allen, this exhibition features multiple images and objects from the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey and Project Echo. Both were prominent projects from the early days of the Space Race. Including one object and two seemingly unrelated series of photographs, the show reveals the sudden transition in mankind’s perception of outer space. As the launch of Sputnik heightened the Cold War’s contentious dynamic, the U.S.’s aggressive and highly visual response transformed space into a site of military, political and cultural activity.

Through May 8, at apexart (291 Church St., btw. Walker & White Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-431-5270 or visit  apexart.org.

Image courtesy of KANSAS, New York David J. Merritt’s “Instrument” (2013, single-channel video generated by a custom software algorithm, sound of artist breathing digitally and floor monitor speaker; an eight-hour timed sequence that auto-plays).

Image courtesy of KANSAS, New York
David J. Merritt’s “Instrument” (2013, single-channel video generated by a custom software algorithm, sound of artist breathing digitally and floor monitor speaker; an eight-hour timed sequence that auto-plays).

DAVID J. MERRITT
For his first solo exhibition with the gallery, Merritt presents new work from his “Templates for a Machine Made From Earth” series. In addition to the featured gypsum cement tablets and objects made of wax, aluminum and magnesium, Merritt also works with sound and video. One of his site-specific projects involved the collaboration with a city utility locator. Demarcating various lines of flow throughout the gallery space, the work reflects the Brooklyn-based artist’s thesis that, “We are abstractions swimming through a concrete haze; constantly excavating, constantly sifting.”

Through May 12, at KANSAS (59 Franklin St., btw. Lafayette & Broadway). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 646-559-1423 or visit kansasgallery.com.

ELIZABETH PEYTON
Since the mid-1990s, when Peyton reached critical acclaim, she has been one of the most influential figurative painters of our time. Her subjects range from close friends and boyfriends to European monarchy and celebrities. Many of her stylized portraits of rock stars such as David Bowie and Kurt Cobain have become well-known and frequently publicized images in the media landscape. Small-scale, these works are usually executed in oil paint, applied with washy glazes, watercolor, pencil, and etching. This show features new works by the artist, who splits her time between Long Island and Berlin.

Through May 13, at Gavin Brown’s enterprise (620 Greenwich St., at Morton St.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-627-5258 or visit gavinbrown.biz.

Image courtesy of artist and Gasser Grunert Gallery From “Engines of War,” Benjamin Lowy’s “Iraq | Perspectives I” (taken from 2003-2008; Digital C-Print; 20 x 24 in., edition of 10 + 2 AP).

Image courtesy of artist and Gasser Grunert Gallery
From “Engines of War,” Benjamin Lowy’s “Iraq | Perspectives I” (taken from 2003-2008; Digital C-Print; 20 x 24 in., edition of 10 + 2 AP).

ENGINES OF WAR
In this exhibition, curators Charles Dee Mitchell and Cynthia Mulcahy explore how the United States of America conducts war in the 21st century. Though images of drones and other material military equipment make up much of the content, Mitchell and Mulcahy’s show stresses that it is still the men and women who serve in the armed forces that remain the primary, highly trained yet fragile weapons of the United States military. Contributing artists to the exhibition employ a wide range of approaches.

Through May 4, at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. (524 W. 19th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 646-944-6197 or visit gassergrunert.net.

NABIL NAHAS
Nahas’ new paintings employ thick layers of acrylic paint and pumice to create colorful, spatially complex paintings with a distinctive tactile quality. Gestural motifs rendered in saturated colors and geometric shapes cover these three-dimensional surfaces. Nahas’ highly textured lines and curves seem to extend beyond the edges of the canvas, drawing a metaphor to the contrast between macrocosms and microcosms. However, according to the artist, his main concerns are the notions of process and perception as well as materiality in painting.

Through May 4, at Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery, btw. Houston & Stanton Sts). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-999-7337 or visit speronewestwater.com.

BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN

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