Before Facebook, there was Bernadette Mayer. In July 1971, the acclaimed poet, editor and conceptual artist took a roll of thirty-six color snapshots every day for the entire month, recording the minute going-ons of her life which she accompanied with 8 hours of spoken, unflinching commentary. “Memory”, one of the first rule-bound performative artworks was originally envisioned as a slide project piece which became a process performance piece that later morphed into a book. For her sole installation in 1972 at 98 Greene Street, an experimental art space run by Holly Solomon, Mayer arranged the 1116 individual photographs in a rectangular grid occasionally interrupted by handwritten cards of the day of the month. The no-nonsense grid-like arrangement of Mayer’s stream of consciousness, which the artist referred to as an “Emotional Science Project” can now be viewed at Canada Gallery through October 8.

A selection of not-so-typical holiday snaps are currently on view at Team Gallery. German painter Andreas Schulze’s beach revelers sport trim torsos in stylish, colorful stripes, some lounging on geometric towels. But the Facebook Holiday-Showboating is ruined when each bather’s midriff gets furnished with an exhaust pipe emitting noxious fumes. The title of the show “Vacanze 365” suggest a year-long Italian holiday but the reality is much more toxic than just blowing off steam. At Team through September 30.

Janet Fish’s resplendent still lifes are providing a well-deserved respite from the gloom and doom of the current news cycle. The renowned painter’s sparkling works, currently on view at DC Moore Gallery, are elevating ordinary table and kitchen scenes into an airy elegance. Fish is a master at capturing light and energy. Her vibrant colors, which recall her childhood in sunny Bermuda, bring a Joie de Vivre to a world in urgent need of cheering up.  At DC Moore through September 30.

When the ‘process of making’ is the principal focus, the outcome is usually sparse. For almost one year Brooklyn-based artist Jessica Dickinson has been obsessively clawing at, scraping down, and masking up a single 56 1/4 × 52 1/4 inch, plaster-like surface. The only evidence of her fixation are eighteen rubbings that the artist likes to call “remainders” which form a timeline of critical junctures along a journey fraught with personal set-backs, artistic doubts and political calamities. These works on paper are arranged orbit-like at James Fuentes Gallery, together with the lone remaining artwork at its genesis or finale – depending on your view. At James Fuentes though September 17.

Stormy weather is on everyone’s mind these days but Los Angeles-based painter Celeste Dupuy-Spencer is still focused on the deep societal riffs that hurricane Katrina laid bare during and after the devastation. Careful to avoid the minefield of identity politics, Dupuy-Spencer’s lens is trained instead on the humanity and idiosyncrasies of her subjects. At times ominous, and other times upbeat and affectionate, Dupuy-Spencer’s paintings are confident and proficient studies into the triumphs and tribulations of a nation under stress and prove that ultimately most of us are all in the same boat. At Marlborough Contemporary through October 7.

Slipping into the cool and glam world of Florine Stettheimer feels like a refreshing dip in the pool during the summer heat. The beautifully arranged show at the Jewish museum, brings together 71 works of the spirited Jazz age polymath, including set and costume designs for her fantastical ballet Orpheée des Quat’z’Arts. Nonetheless, the true gems of the exhibition are Stettheimer’s intricately rendered and colorful depictions of the wealthy New York avant-garde during the heady 1920s and 1930s. Often, Stettheimer’s energetic, richly symbolic, and vibrantly colored scenes of daily life of the rich and glamorous are thinly disguised attempts at satire; such as this brilliant painting of beach revelers at a segregated resort in New Jersey, where a vivacious mixed-race crowd parties without a care in the world. At the Jewish Museum through September 24.

In the olden days, that is in the time before circa 1990, dialogue between artists often had to involve a physical get-together. It may have taken place in a dive bar, like between Pollock and de Kooning, in a fancy restaurant where Freud and Bacon liked to meet, or it involved an old-fashioned studio visit as frenemies Manet and Degas preferred. The advent of the smart phone and the widening net of social media platforms made physical contact superfluous. All of a sudden, artists could share impressions and swap ideas instantaneously, often involving multiple parties – even over several continents. In an interesting experiment, the photography department of the Metropolitan Museum paired up twenty-four artists over the course of five months and asked them to record their visual dialogue on their phones. The participating artists were Cynthia Deignault and Daniel Heidkamp; Rob Pruitt and Jonathan Horowitz; Manjari Sharma and Irina Rozovsky; Nicole Eisenman and A. L. Steiner; Sanford Biggers and Shawn Peters; Cao Fei and Wu Zhang; Teju Cole and Laura Poitras; Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Nontsikelelo Mutiti; Nina Katchadourian and Lenka Clayton; Christoph Niemann and Nicholas Blechman; and Ahmet Ögüt and Alexandra Pirici. The result is an exhilarating glimpse into the minds of artists: a direct graphic response to everyday tedium, fascinating visuals, homelife, artistic output, and politics. Highlights include the conversation between Manjari Sharma and Irina Rozovsky, who discovered they were both pregnant and due around the same time and an exchange of photographs of paintings created especially for the project by Cynthia Daignault and Daniel Heidkamp. Here is a sample of the painterly exchange between the two artists. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art through December 17.

Often labeled as “The Greatest Artist You Have Never Heard Of”, Ray Johnson, American prankster, obsessive mailer of things and all-around enfant terrible of New York’s avant-garde, still has a cult-like following among youngish art hipsters that grapple with a contemporary art world that can’t seem to laugh at itself. Twenty-two years after his baffling suicide-cum-artwork, Matthew Marks Gallery is now showing some of the collages, objects and complex word plays that occupied the artist during the last years of his life. Increasingly isolated and grappling with crushing depression, Johnson’s savvy photomontages invite artist friends and idols onto the same page and often morph into bitingly sarcastic commentary such as this composition from 1972 “Untitled (Cage, Picasso, Magritte, Donald Tru) in which our current president is making an impromptu appearance. At Matthew Marks through August 18.

“Aspects of Abstraction”, a rewarding group show currently on view at Lisson Gallery brings together four superb but vexingly underrated colorists. Marina Adams’ masterly paintings and gouaches fuse uncomplicated, supple biomorphic forms with sophisticated color compositions of burnt orange, brilliant aqua blues and soothing olive greens. Paul Feeley’s alluring watercolors follow along the same lines with a less dramatic but equally refined effect. Crisp and energetic, Joanna Pousette-Dart’s imbricating lines morph into bulbous forms that expertly play with light in soft color compositions of vanilla, pale blues and earthy browns. Bold, Mondrian-like yellows, blues and reds define the geometric color compositions of the late minimalist Leon Polk Smith whose riveting shaped canvas “Constellation C” from 1969 is the undisputed showstopper of this exhibition. At Lisson through August 11.

Mercifully lacking a contrived theme, the summer group show at Petzel Gallery simply features a fine selection of deftly executed figurative sculptures by six gallery artists. Greeting the viewer at the door, Jon Pylypchuk’s sculpture “allright I guess I can’t be sincere to you anymore” is simply the sum of its parts: a figure on a pedestal made with tennis rackets and lightbulbs for eyes; Keith Edmier’s “Medea” is cast from pink dental stone and rises from the exploded kiln of the late artist Lowell Grant;  Sean Landers’ casts a beautifully menacing god Pan; Heimo Zobernig‘s take on the classical contrapposto is a 3D composition of three sculptures; bulky, elegant and graceful, Georg Herold’s “Brown Betelgeuze is a beautifully imagined bronze of the second-brightest star of Orion. Here is Nicola Tyson’s two graceful dancing figures made from pieces of hollowed out firewood. At Petzel through August 4.

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