More protest art. This time from LED light artist Jim Campbell. Campbell’s ten new works currently on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, are based on recordings from a recent political rally. The largest and most compelling work in the show is a matrix-like composition of blurry imagery of protesters which chillingly underscores state-sponsored surveillance and the ever-tightening snare of digital technologies. Campbell knows that these days someone’s always watching and privacy has mostly become an illusion. He expertly employs technology and light to frame larger questions of perception, high-tech dependency, and privacy in a world where the very idea of limits is slowly melting away. At Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery through June 17.

Ethiopian artist Elias Sime wants to remind us that when we upgrade to the newest model of iPhone, computer, or other electronic gadget, the old ones don’t just disappear. They often end up on enormous waste heaps somewhere in Africa where the fastest and cheapest way of insulating copper from insulated wires is to burn it. The smoke from these fires contain dangerous levels of dioxin, heavy metals and other pollutants that pose extreme dangers to human health. Every day, armies of young men, women, and children, deprived of any other job alternative, work in these toxic environments. Some of these small electronic parts have now found a new home. As part of his ongoing series, “Tightrope”, Sime painstakingly assembles thousands of small electronic components on rectangular panels to arrive at his large, beautifully lyrical abstract compositions. Vibrant colors morph into harmonious collages that remind of water, nocturnal cityscapes, or in a particularly fetching piece, the modernist landscape architecture of the Brazilian artist Roberto Burle Marx. Sime’s work is not only a reminder of our wasteful habits and callous disregard for the environment but also proves that beauty and refinement can be coaxed out of almost anything. At James Cohan through June 17.

Frank Stella continues on his extraordinarily successful artistic streak. Seven large scale sculptures, completed last year and currently on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery, indicate that there is still much more to expect from the ever-evolving abstract modernist. In his new works, Stella continues with his fascination of stars and arching forms and delves into explorations of materials as varied as Corian, aluminium, plywood and elasto plastic. The result is exuberant, joyous, and optimistic – a refreshingly buoyant sensibility of an artist who just celebrated his 81st birthday. At Marianne Boesky through June 17.

Colombian artist Iván Argote is inaugurating Galerie Perrotin’s new sprawling white-cube space on Orchard Street. The focal point of Argote’s exhibition, “La Venganza del Amor”, is presented in form of an immersive film installation and sculpture that seeks to link continents and cultures through personal connections and shared histories and investigates barriers to kinship and integration such as globalization and political ideologies. A son of a militant educator in his native Colombia, Argote’s practice is unapologetically political. He regards public architecture, language, consumerism, and artificial borders as harbingers of estrangement between people but eschews moral pontification and instead finds simple moral and cultural principles that connect us. At Perrotin through June 11.

Home is where the heart is. Becky Suss’ alluring debut at Jack Shainman examines the home as a physical as well as cognitive place. Suss, like Katz, is an unapologetic realist. Her interiors are defined by bold, flat colors; they hold simplified objects encased within clean lines that expertly define uncluttered three-dimensional space and are brilliant studies on geometry. Suss’ paintings have a child-like, amateurish quality to them that nevertheless ask important questions about memory and belonging. At Jack Shainman through June 3.

Gerhard Richter once remarked about the color grey: “It makes no statement whatever; it evokes neither feelings nor associations: it is really neither visible nor invisible. Its inconspicuousness gives it the capacity to mediate, to make visible, in a positively illusionistic way, like a photograph. It has the capacity that no other colour has, to make ‘nothing’ visible.” Enter Amy Feldman who employs the inconspicuous grey in a play with figure and ground on a series of new large square canvases. In “Goofy Gloom”, the artist plants large white bulbous shapes against a grey nothingness, demonstrating Richter’s “positively illusionistic way”. Other times she reverses figure and ground with thick, energetic brushstrokes. In one particularly fetching work, Feldman starts out one way and midway-through impulsively changes course.  Fluid, graceful, and highly seductive, Feldman’s forms are poetic musings on nothingness and the enchantment of illusion. At James Cohan through June 4.

This month Aquavella Gallery is offering a unique opportunity to experience the complete set of Joan Miró’s exquisitely poetic Constellation Paintings.  Delicate, elegant and decidedly joyous, the twenty-three works are perfectly balanced compositions of forms suggesting stars, birds, music and women and are beautiful explorations on the mystical wonders of the cosmos. Miró started the series during the harrowing period leading up to World War II; yet the works are anything but despondent. The dream-like state of the compositions, its vivid colors and poetic play with form suggest an escape from war and terror and provide a convincing argument for an optimistic celebration of life. At Aquavella Gallery though May 26.

An interesting collaboration between eye and ear is taking place at Bridget Donhahue Gallery this month. Chicago-based visual artist Lisa Alvarado has linked a series of large multi-colored banners to her performance as harmonicist in the experimental Afro-Jazz band “Natural Information Society”. Used as set backgrounds to the band’s concerts, the banners serve as important focal points to the music. Bold colors, a free-standing hanging method, and vibrant geometric patterns remind of Aztec tribal art – combine them with the enchanting, hypnotic music that is wafting through the gallery, and you have a whole new artform indeed. A live performance schedule is posted on the gallery’s website. At Bridget Donahue through May 21.

Rochelle Goldberg’s cave-like installations at Miguel Abreu is a topography of abstracted narratives that weave through the galley like an unsettling hallucination. Criss-crossing train-tracks are laid on ginger-root over poured chia seeds, LED eyes and ceramic heads are entombed in Francis Bacon-like steel frames, life size ceramic sculptures are half-covered with animal fur and human hair, papier mache vessels that hold poured chia seeds and ceramic excrement broken into pieces, Medusa snake heads emerge from a modernist daybed made from painted MDF tiles. Goldberg’s material vocabulary is exemplary – the duality of the exhibition gives a cue to its objective. The combination of organic and inorganic materials, the interplay between light and dark, the flipping between past and present, and the see-sawing between slippery and concrete suggest a perpetual cycle of transformation and renewal that proves the past always as a conduit for the present.  At Miguel Abreu through May 14.

Joan Jonas is the perfect introduction to Gavin Brown’s sprawling new gallery space in Harlem. With characteristic elegance and offhand subtlety, Jonas expertly animates three raw warehouse floors into transcendental investigations of time and space with the help of immersive multi-media installations, drawings, and performance objects. Jonas’ interdisciplinary practice explores the spiritual nature of movement, rhythm and sound vis a vis the fragility of our environment and the brittle quality of humanity. In “Stream or River, Flight or Pattern”, a video installation on three screens, fragments of trees, paper kites, performers and rivers meld into a pastoral, otherworldly realm – all held aloft by rhythmic sound waves of birds, quietude, women’s singsong, and interspersed with fragments of warm light. The experience is a wondrous and mind-bending journey into the depths of the human condition. At Gavin Brown through June 11.

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