As the government shutdown over the border dispute drags on without hope for an amicable resolution, a timely group exhibition at James Cohan brings together a number of multi-generational artists that engage with the conceptual, historical and formal aspects of borders. Ranging from sculpture and photography to painting and embroidery, the works consider the socio-economic, psychological, historical and political consequences that barriers and walls pose for humans and nature alike. The imposing structure by Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake takes up almost the entire length of the front gallery on West 26thStreet and serves as the metaphorical Elephant in the Room. Titled “Amerika”, it draws obvious connections to the current situation at the Southern border of the US, and consists of a neatly arranged row of red bricks that are interrupted at its center by Kafka’s book “Amerika”. Elsewhere, the message is decidedly hopeful. A photograph of Byron Kim’s “Sky Blue Flag” erected at the border between North and South Korea, asserts not ground or control but instead signals peace and reconciliation via a placid color made from local seedlings. Yinka Shonibare’s American Library seeks to start a conversation about immigration with books and Jordan Nassar’s stunning cross-stich embroidery emphasises the shared devotion to craft in the bitter Israeli-Palestinian divide. But perhaps the most powerful statement comes in the form of a serene landscape by Lebanese-American artist Etel Adnan. Hung forlornly on a large wall at the gallery’s Grand Street location, the painting’s harmonious colors merge into a melancholic terrain where cultural identity and a strong sense of sense of heritage have no need for artificial borders. At James Cohan through February 23.