In Carey Young’s 18-minute film “Palais de Justice” all judges are women. Secretly filmed in the vast halls of the Palais de Justice in Brussels, a neo-baroque monstrosity commissioned in boastful arrogance by the King Leopold II, Young trains her lens voyeur-like on female judges who go about their business disciplined and collected. The atmosphere is quietly professional and bordering on the boring: a legal system controlled by women. It’s a fictional world, of course, at once speculative and irrational. And yet… At Paula Cooper Gallery through October 14.

Relegated to the boneyards of history, Christian Marclay’s phoneyard at Paula Cooper Gallery is an all too obvious reference to the casualty of personal communication in the age of twitter feeds. Far more interesting and redolent of the artist’s preoccupation with process and time is Marclay’s seven-and-a-half-minute video collage “Telephones” from 1995 in the adjoining gallery. Composed of clips of 130 Hollywood movies of people on the phone, Marclay manages to splice together a storyline that combines screen greats such as Gary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Meg Ryan, and Whoopie Goldberg – all part of a conversation that bounces back and forth in time and cleverly uses emotion, image and sound to produce a John Cage-like visual poem. At Paula Cooper Gallery through October 7.

Aurel Schmidt’s exhibition title “I Rot Before I Ripen” may very well refer to the unfulfilled potential of Drawing in today’s fast-paced, vociferous art scene. In her new show at PPOW, the self-taught mixed-media artist presents a series of large-scale, incredibly detailed, mono-chrome drawings of plants, insects, and sexual body parts that permeate the pungent urgency of sexuality in a male-oriented, consumer-driven, and social media-saturated culture. By embracing the narrative qualities of drawing, Schmidt is able to place her subject matter into the historic context that they deserve and simultaneously move herself out of the downtown It-Girl Art World into a more grown-up realm. At PPOW through October 7.

In an interview with Brooklyn Rail from June 2015, Light and Space artist Mary Corse explained that her return to the brushstroke after an intense investigation into reduced, minimal sculpture has been the recognition that “subjectivity and perception is a part of reality, and that’s what sent me back to painting, back to the brushstroke, because you can’t get rid of subjectivity”. Corse’s fixation with light and perception earned her a membership in the exclusively male California Light and Space Movement of the 1960s led by minimalist masters such as John McCracken, Larry Bell and Robert Irwin. Her “Black Light Painting” from 1975 launched a new series of works that investigate the visceral possibilities of the color black and white as it relates to light. At Lehman Maupin Gallery through October 7.

An exquisite selection of works of the late French-born American Abstract Expressionist Yvonne Thomas is currently on view at Berry Campbell. Confident sweeps of wide brushstrokes, organize into vaguely geometric forms that seek to interrogate the psychological potential of color, and summon the ghosts of Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, William Baziotes, David Hare and Clyfford Still who, together with Thomas, formed the highly influential yet short-lived “Subjects of the Artist” school in 1948. At Berry Campbell through October 7.

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.

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