In an interview with OCULA magazine from October 2014, Heinz Mack, recalls how in the 1950s he sought out the studio of Brâncusi in Paris: “When I got there, the door wasn’t really closed, and for me, it felt like discovering Tutankhamun’s tomb, standing absolutely alone in this huge studio as Brâncuşi had left it before he died. It was dusty and dirty, but everything was in its complete original state. I was so impressed. This is when I started making the move towards being more of a sculptor than a painter.” Although Mack never completely abandoned painting, the experience propelled the artist on a life-long path toward experimentation with color and light as it relates to space and movement. Within the context of the ZERO group, which Mack co-founded with Otto Piene, Mack became a sponge for new ideas. He soaked up kinetic theory from artists like Jean Tinguely and Lucio Fontana and evolved the concept of the immateriality of color pioneered by Yves Klein. A fine, museum-like show of Mack’s work from 1955 until today at Sperone Westwater shows the extraordinary range and complexity of his practice. Through March 25.

In 1951, American artist William Nelson Copely, threw his lot in with the rowdy artist bunch who liked to hang around the Impasse Ronsin and Longpont-Sur-Orge in Paris. He became intoxicated by the Surrealists and assorted Dadaists which influenced his unique blend of American Pop mixed in with a healthy dose of European Surrealism; all weighted by the color and pattern legacy of Matisse. A recurrent subject was the nude, painted innocently at first in pastel colors but morphing quickly into bawdy scenes of women and faceless men and culminating in the softporn “X-Rated series” during the 1970s. A fine selection of Copley’s fleshy nudes are currently on view at Paul Kasmin gallery. Tamed by time, Copley’s nudes have long lost their shock effect but still exude a nostalgic eroticism and are important for their superb background compositions, surefooted handling of the line to demarcate movement and stasis, and a deft understanding of color as an emotional circuit. Through March 25.

In a bittersweet farewell performance, Martha Friedman is closing the doors of the venerable Andrea Rosen Gallery. Going forward, the revered dealer will focus on dealing dead artists’ work instead. “Dancing around Things” feels like old-fashioned switchboard operators gone mad. Wearing paint splattered studio aprons, two artists on either side of a metal sheet in turn either ram dangerously sharp objects into perforated holes or force pre-greased rubber tubes into the cavities. The result is an erotic, violent but skilful demonstration of female force and impels a contemplation of the violations of the female body. At Andrea Rosen through March 11.

Tara Donovan has managed to corral her three-dimensional works within the confines of a frame. Famous for her obsessive analysis of a single object into the effects of accumulation and stratification, Donovan – in a mesmerizing new show at Pace gallery – glued stacked legions of styrene cards onto flat, wall-mounted surfaces.  The result is a series of hypnotizing three-dimensional works that disorient holographically and faintly suggest crop circles, camouflage, or radio frequency signals. Donovan’s work owes a debt to the minimalism of a Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt but her scientific analysis of simple, mass produced materials elevates her beyond them into a league all by herself. Through March 18.

Dispatch from the ADAA art fair. Clockwise from top left. Richard Tuttle at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Thomas Demand at Matthew Marks Gallery, Sarah Crowner at Casey Kaplan and Zlia Sanchez at Galerie Lelong.

Dispatch from the Independent Art Fair 2017. Clockwise from top left. Charlene von Heyl at Nagel Draxler, Tatiana Trouve at Galerie Perrotin, Peter Hujar at Maureen Paley, David Shrigley at Anton Kern.

Dispatch from the Armory Show 2017. Clockwise from upper left. Hans Op DeBeek at Krinzinger Gallery, Paul Mpagisepuya at Nancy Richardson, Caroline Achaintre at Arcade Gallery.

Who knew that discarded Christmas trees would make a perfect home for a beaver? That at least is the claim of Joanna Malinowska’s darkly humorous installation “Still Life” currently on view at Canada gallery. A decapitated Lego-like figure lies splayed on the floor – apparently felled by the now dried out branches. The beaver is nowhere to be seen. The accompanying press release informs us of Malinowska’s fondness for Hugo Ball whose nonsensical poetry makes perfect sense in the context of the scene. Perhaps Malinkowska realizes that a healthy dose of Dadaism is urgently needed in our bizarre political climate. jolifanto bambla o falli bambla/großiga m’pfa habla horem/egiga goramen/higo bloiko russula huju/hollaka hollala/anlogo bung/blago bung blago bung etc. etc. Through March 12.

Elliot Hundley’s dense three-dimensional works are a complicated challenge for the eyes and mind. Hundley uses thousands of newspaper clips, photographs, drawings, pieces of fabric and found objects and molds them into elaborate collages that are often suspended by metal pins. A new series of works is loosely based on the interpretations of Antonin Artaud’s unfinished play “There is no More Firmament”. Lacking a clear plot and held up only by the flimsiest of narratives, Artaud’s Surrealist play thrives on carefully constructed turmoil. Hundley works on the same premise. His pins hold up tiny cut-outs or gather in clusters to obfuscate the image behind it leaving it up to the viewer to make sense of the unfolding chaos. At Andrea Rosen through March 11. (Note: This marks the last exhibition of a living artist at Andrea Rosen. The venerable dealer is closing shop and will henceforth concentrate on a handful of artists’ estates.)

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare’s latest project is a timely commentary on the invaluable contributions that immigrants make to enrich other cultures. Thousands of beautifully bound books on dark library shelves feature the gold-embossed names of immigrants that made Great Britain into the enlightened multi-cultural society that it is today. They sit side-by-side with immigrant skeptics such as Nigel Farage or Jonathan Arnott who champion tighter restrictions on new comers and refugees. Their shared space questions attitudes of xenophobia and narrow-mindedness and asks where we would be without the brilliant minds and contributions of individuals such as T.S. Eliot, Henry James, Hans Holbein, Zaha Hadid, Mick Jagger, George Friedrich Handel, Amartya Sen and many more. At James Cohan through March 5.

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