Recontextualizations of nature, or Nature, and various forms of mystery bind together several of these art picks from our 4/10 print issue.
PORTIA MUNSON: REFLECTING POOL
P.P.O.W., 535 West 22nd St., 3rd Floor, through May 4th
Portia Munson's richly colorful, ever-so-slightly irregularly patterned meta-photographs of sorts merge the greater and lesser delicacies of curio-cabinet intrigue with the black-backdropped haunt of snipped, snapped, scanned and reconfigured forms of flora and fauna. The results are boldly embellished, mandala-like works that praise Mother Nature while questioning if it is a red or white flag she might be wont to raise.
JONATHAN EHRENBERG: THE OUTSKIRTS
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, 327 Broome St., through May 5th
Taking visual and conceptual cues from Franz Kafka's The Castle, a simultaneously self-enveloping and self-banishing novel set in a seemingly placeless place, Jonathan Ehrenberg has created a peculiarly forestal realm called The Outskirts, a video-based installation work that relishes in darkness and mystery to spin a tale of obscure characters setting out on an umbrageous quest of self-discovery. Kafka, castles, arcana: a winning cocktail, to say the least.
JOHN DILG AND KARSTEN KREJCAREK
Regina Rex, 1717 Troutman St., #329, through May 5th
Dilg makes paintings. Krejcarek makes video pieces. Both artists, though, seek to recount and imply narratives placing human beings, human seeings and humankind's fleetings somewhere between the recognizably object-filled spheres of nature—via settings in actual natural places, or in fabrications and imaginings thereof—and the sensorially tangible, albeit intangible, site of the collective unconscious. Perfectly fitting, then—at the risk of sounding usefully redundant—that the two-person show will consist of objects called paintings and projections called videos.
JAMIE SHOVLIN: [SIC]
Horton Gallery, 55-59 Chrystie St., Suite #R106, through April 21st
Shovlin's somewhat meta-journalistic, meticulously hand-executed renderings of newspaper clips and microfiche in pencil and watercolors might readily stun you in their detail and deftness, but stay alert to what makes them much more merely masterful mimicry. Some of them, read within the context of "Pan and Scan," one of the video works in the show, expand the artist's commentary on the mixed intentions and reliabilities of international media outlets. Others, read within the context of another video, "... are you stowin' away the time?" attenuate the focus of the commentary to a level of self-reflection. The show in full, however, poses a uniform question: How faithful can our documents ever be to original events, or words, or things?
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