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Mar 04 2020

What’s Up in New York

by The Editors

Uptown, downtown, west side, east side—there are art fairs and exhibitions in every district around Manhattan, spilling over into Brooklyn, in the first week of March. The anchor tenant is the 26-year-old Armory Show (March 4–8), on Piers 90 and 94, with nearly 200 galleries from 30-plus countries. It has lots of competition for collectors’ attention. Independent (March 5–8), in Tribeca, was founded in 2009 as an alternative to the Armory Show and presents nearly 70 galleries in what feels like a curated exhibition rather than an art fair. Volta (March 4–8) is back, with more than 50 galleries, many of them international—from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Turkey. Spring / Break Art Show (March 3–9), despite being on Madison Avenue in Midtown, is the emerging-artist, hipster-crowd destination. The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) has jettisoned a fair altogether, instead organizing shows for its 60-plus members at galleries and other spaces around the city, including in Brooklyn and Queens. Between or before visiting fairs, here are nine exhibitions of artists from Asia to check out at New York galleries and nonprofits.

GUO HONGWEI, Remedies for Sorrow Diagram No. 3 – Cough Remedy, 2019, watercolor on paper, 50 × 65 cm. Courtesy the artist and Chambers Fine Art, New York / Beijing.

Guo Hongwei: Pareidolia

Mar 3–Apr 4

Chambers Fine Art

Beijing-based painter Guo Hongwei returns to watercolors in his new solo “Pareidolia” at Chambers Fine Art, featuring works that, as the title suggests, examine the visually meaningful patterns of natural objects, namely plants, animals, and minerals; translating their forms and colors into intuitive compositions on paper. Highlights include Remedies for Sorrow Diagram No. 1–Remedy for Depression, No.3–Cough Remedy, and No.4–Spirit Healing Tea (all 2019), in which he re-interprets herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat the respective illnesses. 

TUAN ANDREW NGUYEN, The Boat People, 2020, still from single-channel video, super 16mm transferred to digital, with color and 5.1 surround sound. Copyright the artist. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York.

Tuan Andrew Nguyen: A Lotus in a Sea of Fire

Feb 28–May 3

James Cohan

Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s “A Lotus in a Sea of Fire” at James Cohan gallery presents new sculptures and videos that transform inherited community stories into new narratives interwoven with fact and fiction. In his exhibition centerpiece, the video installation The Boat People (2020)—depicting children collecting forgotten objects in a post-apocalyptical world—the artist explores the memories of the coastal city Bataan. From refugee crisis to world wars, the objects found along those shores are remnants of the region’s struggles for freedom.

HIROKI TSUKUDA, Neon Demon, 2019, charcoal, ink and pencil on paper, wood panel, with acrylic frame, 240 × 360 cm. Courtesy the artist and Petzel Gallery, New York.

Hiroki Tsukuda: They Live

Mar 5–Apr 18

Petzel Gallery 

Petzel Gallery will showcase Hiroki Tsukuda’s solo exhibition “They Live,” inspired by John Carpenter’s titular 1988 thriller film about a dystopian world where extra-terrestrials rule over humanity via subliminal messages in the media. Featuring meticulously detailed black and white drawings and collages of new and found images, Tsukuda creates multi-dimensional like renderings of cybernetic and organic environments that combine science with cyberpunk fantasies. Exploring themes of apocalypticism and eschatology, the works offer a window into the artist’s wild imagination.

Installation view of LEE SEUNG JIO’s (left) Nucleus 77-10, 1977, oil on canvas, 161 × 130 cm; and (right) Nucleus, 1984, oil on canvas, 194 × 224 cm, at “Nucleus,” Tina Kim Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo by Dario Lasagni. Courtesy the artist and Tina Kim Gallery.

Lee Seung Jio: Nucleus

Feb 20–Apr 4

Tina Kim Gallery

Tina Kim Gallery’s retrospective survey of Korean painter Lee Seung Jio showcases 18 artworks spanning the 25-year-long career of the late artist since the 1960s, revealing his commitment to experimentation with form and materiality. His first solo exhibition in New York, the show features the Origin Group co-founder’s exploration with volume and flatness, as well as the development in his approach to geometric arrangements which saw him transition from illustrating simple color bands to solid pipe motifs that oscillate between two- and three-dimensionality. 

FARAH AL QASIMI, Playhouse Goat, 2020, archival inkjet print, 53.3 × 76.2 cm. Courtesy the artist and Helena Anrather, New York.

Farah Al Qasimi: Funhouse

Mar 5–TBC

Helena Anrather

Farah Al Qasimi’s solo show “Funhouse” at the Helena Anrather gallery envisions the world around her through a funhouse mirror, staging vivid and meticulously detailed photographs of everyday objects and people layered with her unique visual language that anthropologically captures daily life and its social customs. Intentionally opaque in meaning, the images of carved melons, rear windshields, and portraits of the beauty queen Miss Muslimah Iowa are entangled in a theatrical portrayal of reality, colliding between aspiration and real life.

Installation view of ARAYA RASDJARMREARNSOOK’s “A Novel in Necessity’s Rhythm,” at Tyler Rollins Fine Art, New York, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook: A Novel in Necessity’s Rhythm

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook’s “A Novel in Necessity’s Rhythm” at the Tyler Rollins gallery presents new works inspired by the artist’s published novel based on her own memories, A Flowery Cry of Birth (2018), portraying a female protagonist who lost her mother as a child. Featuring a variety of mediums ranging from printing on canvas, installation, to video, the artist-writer’s exhibition juxtaposes elements from her novel including excerpts along with dog sculptures which act as “audience” for the artworks.  

Installation view of BHARTI KHER’s “The Unexpected Freedom of Chaos,” at Perrotin, New York, 2020. Photo by Alex Austin. Courtesy the artist and Perrotin, New York / Paris / Hong Kong / Seoul / Tokyo / Shanghai. 

Bharti Kher: The Unexpected Freedom of Chaos

Feb 22–Apr 11

Perrotin Gallery

“The Unexpected Freedom of Chaos” at Perrotin Gallery exhibits New Delhi-based artist Bharti Kher’s vibrantly colored sculptures and panels of bindis—the geometric shape that has become a lexicon for the artist—on smashed mirrors. The show features both new and older works following the artist’s inquisition into manifestations of her mind as well as her exploration and re-appropriation of traditional motifs. Highlights include the very first bindi work of her Virus (2010–) series, portraying a monumental-sized vortex like white spiral.

TSENG KWONG CHI, New York (Empire State), 1979, silver gelatin print, 40.6 × 40.6 cm. Courtesy Grey Art Gallery, New York.

Guanyu Xu: Temporarily Censored Home | Tseng Kwong Chi: East Meets West

Yancey Richardson is holding exhibitions for two overseas Chinese artists, Guanyu Xu and Tseng Kwong Chi, who both explored issues of identity through their photographs. Xu’s “Temporarily Censored Home” presents his installation project at his childhood home in Beijing where he saturated his conservative parents’ space with found images of gay men in protest and reclamation. Tseng’s “East Meets West” presents self-portraits of the late artist between 1979 and 1989, with him dressed in a Mao suit in front of iconic American landmarks. Satirical and reflective, the black and white photos instigate questions of identity politics.

GUO FENGYI, Bagua Diagram of the Sun Seen from a Distance, 1989, colored ink on paper, 150 × 104 cm. Courtesy Long March Space, Beijing.

Guo Fengyi: To See From a Distance

Feb 20–May 10

The Drawing Center

Guo Fengyi’s first major show in the United States, “To See From a Distance,” at The Drawing Center features over thirty diagrammatic ink drawings executed on a variety of mediums ranging from calendars, books, cloth, to rice-paper scrolls. Illustrated during mediations to alleviate arthritis pain, these intricate sketches by the self-taught late artist intermix mythological elements with motifs from traditional Chinese philosophy and medicine.  

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