[The genital organs] aren’t scandalous. Quite the opposite. I put them in my pictures because I want to be even more of a realist than I am. There’re still lifes. They’re like whispered suggestions I get from my mouth, but in my paintings I’ve often wanted to camouflage the mouth. The mouth, now that’s real desire. – Carol Rama.  At the New Museum through September 10.

Los Angeles-based painter and musician Llyn Foulkes’ diverse painting practice ranges from landscapes, mixed media assemblages to layering in relief. Bitingly sarcastic and gleefully anti-establishment, Foulkes likes to take on the grand pillars of corporate greed, the superficiality of the art world, and the wholesomeness of Disney. Foulkes’ macabre bloody head portraits barely contain his anger. Politicians, businessmen, Hollywood agents are shown with smashed-in faces, the gruesome bloody mess obliterating their identity. A carefully curated selection of Foulkes’ disparate oeuvre is currently on view at David Zwirner through June 24.

It’s a tricky thing when an artist involves his family in the art making process. Is it artistic nepotism? The cementing of a dynasty? For the late Swiss conceptual artist, Dieter Roth, having his family working alongside him seemed as natural as picking up a paint brush. Roth’s studio was not only a place of personal artistic expression and intense experimentation but also a sort of family business where Roth’s son, Björn, worked closely with his father and eventually his grandsons Oddur and Einar joined in as well. The output of this most unusual family collaboration is currently on view at Hauser & Wirth. There is a sprawling re-installation of Roth’s studio space complete with paintings by Björn; Roth’s seminal artist’s books, “Flacher Abfall/Flat Waste” a sprawling installation of over 600 binder’s that hold the family’s garbage and finally, for those viewers in need of some sustenance, there is the “Roth Bar” a recreation of a bar made by Roth of salvaged materials that serve such hipster food as Vegan sunchoke soup and cruelty free lattes. At Hauser & Wirth through July 29.

 ‘Fear and Loathing in American Suburbia’ has long been the topic of Eric Fischl’s figurative painting practice. Once considered the wellspring of the American Dream, the nation’s suburbs have provided Fischl with a stream of psychologically charged material of dysfunction and despair. Skarstedt is currently showing a series of new paintings by Fischl that painfully hold a mirror to what ails America. All set around a swimming pool, the quintessential gateway into middle class, Fischl claws at the veneer of decorum, respectability and success to expose a society saturated with consumer goods but devoid of humanity. In “Late America”, a boy draped in an American flag regards a despairing nude white male while immigrant gardeners dispassionately go about their business. A bleak analogy for the present and a decidedly pessimistic outlook for the next generation. At Skarstedt through June 24.

The nine paintings by Ellsworth Kelly, completed shortly before his death in 2015 and currently on view at Matthew Marks Gallery, are a posthumous gift to all fans of Minimalism. Rigorously controlled and flawlessly executed, the works are a tour de force that show the dynamic relationships between shape, form and color; depth and density, weight and balance. Hovering between sculpture and painting, they are exemplary studies of the malleability of color and perception. At Matthew Marks through June 24.

Count on Fergus McCaffrey Gallery to bring us the best and brightest stars of the Japanese avant-garde. The gallery is now representing the estate of the renowned Gutai artist Toshio Yoshida and is currently showing thirty works made between 1954 and 1983. A founding member of Gutai, Yoshida was often dramatically ahead of his Western peers, particularly regarding the interface between action and painting, and was a tireless innovator of new materials and form. The range of his practice is stunning. Early burn paintings, give way to monochrome minimalist canvases and morph into action paintings and experimentations with bubbles and foam. The word Gutai means “concreteness” and was meant as a counterpoint to abstract painting and a rallying cry to do what no one else had done before. The works on view reflect this mantra and seem as fresh today as they were when they were made some sixty years ago. At Fergus McCaffrey through June 24.

Nancy Spero’s “Maypole” is getting a timely airing. The artist’s installation, first shown as part of the 52nd Venice Biennale, and originally conceived as a protest against the senseless atrocities of the Iraq war, has since become a powerful symbol denouncing any armed conflict. Blood-red ribbons and black chains stream from the top of a maypole and hold cut out heads of anguished women floating body-less in a never-ending purgatory. The double-sided heads are printed on paper and mounted on cut aluminum – their delicacy adding to the symbolic weight. Then and now, Spero’s grotesque dance represents a convincing manifesto against political terror, abuse of power and the senselessness of war. At Galerie Lelong through June 17.

There is a melancholic forlornness about Whitfield Lovell’s works on paper currently on view at DC Moore Gallery. Executed between 1987 and 1998, and rendered attentively with oil stick and charcoal, the works employ seductive symbolism and allow glimpses into touching mementos of personal history. Amid a background of esoteric but elegant colors, Lovell’s drawings evoke a tender humanity and magnanimity of the human spirit that is often elusive in a loud and apathetic world. At DC Moore through June 17.

A sign warns visitors not to touch the artworks In Walead Beshty’s new exhibition “Open Source”. The artworks in question, assemblages of office equipment precariously attached to metal poles, are still barely working in their original technological métiers – a metaphor, perhaps, of the fleetingness of technology. Elsewhere in the gallery, TV screens are split in half and mounted on walls their innards still flickering as if on some heteromorphic life-support. In the main gallery, the artist’s large-format Contact Prints frame five large Copper L-Brackets sculptures reminiscent of hyper-minimalist sculpture. Beshty’s smaller copper works, standard industrial sheets mounted in grids on the wall, are collusively linked by either imprints of drug prescription labels or the fingerprints of their installers. The entire show feels strangely foreboding – as if Beshty wants us as a witness for both the physicality and the pathos of technology through its mangled history. At Petzel through June 17.

The twelve large-scale charcoal drawings by Robert Longo currently on view at Metro Pictures are brilliant but sober studies on political, cultural and sports events as seen through the lens of the American media. Longo’s technique emphasises the meaning of the original image: A snap-shot of beefy football players receives a shiny surface; a riff, perhaps, on the fetishization of the American sports culture. A drawing of the American flag is sumptuous but its majestic grandeur undermined by a split frame. A rendering of blind-folded CIA prisoners being led to a CIA black site is haunting in its blurriness. The star of the show is an imposing triptych of refugees cast adrift in the Mediterranean. The water takes up three-quarters of the drawing, the overcrowded raft just about touching the horizon. The work has the chilling effect of the viewer being pulled down into the depths of the ocean. The show is a masterful tour de force of an American artist at the pulse of American culture and politics, who is able to lift images from the relentless stream of mass media and imbues them with a heightened significance. At Metro Pictures through June 17.

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