Robert Grosvenor’s two-prong sculpture “Untitled” (2016) is flawless in terms of spatial expression and material vivification. Two egg-shell colored plywood bases are grounded by a pair of long overlapping steel pipes. Each base occupies an outward facing tear-drop shaped sculpture fashioned from a translucent plexiglass held by slender angled aluminium pipes, providing additional visual direction. The smaller construction in front is a square aluminium frame anchoring a jaundiced sheet of sagging fiberglass. The combination is breath-taking. Grosvenor manages to corral materiality, color, form, and space into a wonderfully simplistic but endlessly challenging minimalist happening. The confinement of the square white cube is crucial to the sculpture’s existence – it wouldn’t work in free space. It requires the quiet contemplative spiritualism of an enclosed sanctuary; linking architecture, geometry, balance, and material strength. At Paula Cooper through March 17.

Robert Altman’s movie “The Long Goodbye”, after a novel by Raymond Chandler, is about the fragility of things that we are told to last: friendship, love, and loyalty. In a stellar exhibition under the same title, Brooklyn-based artist Dave McDermott variously uses imagery, color and texture to hint at Altman’s elusive pursuit for truthfulness. Broad swaths of gold leaf paint figures big in McDermott’s large-scale canvases. They serve both as a contrast to the melancholy of the subject matter and as allegorical sign-posts which often occupy subjects looking for something that they can no longer recall. “The Humanist” is shown in a multi-limbed contorting spin wheel made of dark yarn, as if the modern spirit of learning is as dizzying as the attempt to keep abreast of fake news. “The Talker” takes up all the space and seems to spew non-sensical art talk, whereas “Lost at Sea” makes expert use of lacquer to show two men floating adrift in a sea of blood-red. By and large, McDermott occupies a peculiar space of wistful melancholy. That he is able work confidently in such complicated emotive territory speaks entirely to his ingenuity as an artist. At Grimm through March 12

The seductive images of Danielle Orchard’s nudes are not necessary connected with sexuality. Just like Matisse, who once famously said that “My curves are not crazy”, Orchard’s fragmented shapes inhabit multi-angled viewpoints and employ a similarly joyful Fauve color palette. Her everyday tableaus are carefree snapshots of modern women rendered in bold color combinations who, like in real life, present different views in the same picture plane. The young Brooklyn-based artist expertly plays with light and shadow, brilliantly manipulates the spatial tension of subject and the picture plane and is able to construct her female subjects through the clever use of color. At Jack Hanley through March 11.

Martha Tuttle’s cerebral textile assemblages and wall hangings have a deep and committed foundation in the poetic and formal language of painting. Tuttle’s silk, wool, and pigment constructions are delicate plays between materiality and geometry and aim to blurr the synthesis between art and craft. Held within an organic color range, Tuttle manipulates the coarseness, transparency, and airiness of minimalist forms within the self-imposed restraints of plain stretcher frames. Freed from the architectural scaffolding, the artists’ wall hangings are flowing layers of fabric; their shape, color, and substance calling attention to the emotional and lyrical content of the work. At Tilton through March 10.

As a rare treat, twenty of Louise Nevelson’s imposing black and white painted wood sculptures are currently on view at Pace Gallery. Set amid a pitch-black background, Sky Cathedral from 1964 is a re-interation of its more famous counterpart at the Museum of Modern Art. It is magnificent in its cimmerian monumentality. The work, which comprises of 18 elements, is an ingenious assemblage of stacked boxes filled with wooden furniture, spools, and mechanical parts, held together by the artist’s signature monochromatic blackness. It evokes the spiritual transcendence and stillness of a place of worship and is nurturing our spiritual imagination in the age of an increasingly fracturous political climate. At Pace through March 3.

Amy Sillman’s polymorphous works on paper offer an innovative and sincere interrogation on the possibilities and technical complexities of drawing. Mostly sticking with a single format of 40 1/8 x 26 inches within simple white frames, Sillman offers a multitude of visual focal points. Dynamic, thick brushwork that veer from forceful to ambiguous are carefully laid over abstract color planes allowing occasional glimpses of delicate grids of silkscreen. Unconventional and challenging, Sillman’s formalist works display a brainy beauty and an enticing sense of color; as if by happy circumstance Sigmar Polke and Laura Owens decided to do a suite of drawings that they then called paintings. At Gladstone 64 through March 3.

A scintillating small exhibition in a tucked-away gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art brings together a group of stellar New York artists who, through a number of experimental processes found innovative ways to play with color, line, composition and texture and, along the way, often found a compelling story to tell. Among several other worthy artists, “Range: Experiments in New York, 1961-2007” takes the brilliant excuse to show some of the New-York-School artist and writer Joe Brainard’s wonderful works on paper. A small collection of simply framed gouaches, collages and cut-outs, provides a luminous depiction of ordinary things and dispenses a quiet, whimsical patina on the poetry of everyday life. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art through February 25.

The ghost of Jean Dubuffet echoes deeply in Ellen Gronemeyer’s sophisticated new oil paintings. Amid a beautifully melancholic color palette, Gronemeyer’s subject matter mainly relates to children and animals in various forms of play. The Berlin-based artist builds up her canvases with short but thick impasto strokes where clumps of paint still stick to the surface and where sometimes, like Dubuffet, scratches on black reveal a seductive build-up of colors. Whimsy and narrative collide into a psychologically charged surrealism where children and animals alike seem to ponder weightier issues than their age or inclination would suggest. At Anton Kern through February 24.

In a site-specific installation, currently on view at Metro Pictures, David Maljković is concerned with the perception of his art in the public view. The Croatian-born artist re-configures earlier works in a stage-like setting, complete with a microphone that disappears into the wall and floor-based glass vitrines, where the role of the performer is being shifted onto the viewer who crotch must down, crane his neck and sometimes even guess at the contents of rolled-up artworks. Perhaps the obsessive re-contextualization of his work stems from the disorienting fragmentation of Maljković’s native country. Be that as it may, Maljković need not question the autonomy of his work, nor does he need to hide it. His small oil paintings are delightful. Elegantly mounted on grey dibond, they inhabit graceful stains of seafoam, delicate pinks and washed out purples which are overlaid with faint laser etchings that spill out of their self-imposed frame. These quiet works hint at a larger purpose which no amount of re-orchestration can obscure. At Metro Pictures through February 24.

The birth of Johannesburg-based artist Serge Alain Nitegeka’s daughter was a stimulus to move away from a primarily black color palette and to introduce shreds of sky-blues, canary-yellows and berry-reds into his hard-edged geometric abstractions. In an immersive, site-specific installation at Marianne Boesky Gallery, Nitegeka plays with overlaying geometric forms on wood panels. Not content with the flatness of the picture plane, the artist strives for three-dimensionality. He achieves depth through expertly placed color and line configurations and by occasionally introducing additional wood panels. Other times he pivots the paintings off the wall entirely and finally culminates in a geometric obstacle course in the connecting hallway between the two galleries. Throughout, stark black arteries suggest strength, support and stability – a psychological anchor, perhaps, for the trauma of the artist’s forced migration from his native Burundi. At Marianne Boesky through February 24.

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