These picks from our 7/3 issue range from the extraordinary to the workaday. Really and truly.
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. at 59th St., through September 25th
Some accounts of this exhibition would lead you to believe that Turrell has revolutionized art making, art history, art viewing and the museum industry with one great installational coup. Others have simply described it as indescribable. In all such accounts might be only a bit of hyperbole. Known for an array of site-specific, sometimes landscape-altering, heavens-embracing grandiosities, Turrell is a very well seasoned investigator of light and space, and of how our perceptions of the same can astound us—and at times nearly lie to us—in marvelous ways. His deployment of such elements and curiosities at the Guggenheim has yielded one of the museum's most spatially transformative exhibitions in its history, and it does so via surprisingly few luminescent moves. Prepare your pupils and senses of physicality to be massaged and duped. Go with fresh breath, as your mouth might well be left agape. Should you leave with your Weltanschaaung changed yet nothing to say, perhaps Turrell will have had his way.
EXPO 1: NEW YORK
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, through September 2nd
As some of our leaders and legislators attempt to deal with environmental concerns such as climate change and threatened ecologies while others persist with their damagingly stalwart oppositions to such efforts, MoMA PS1 has elected to make these issues and the many manners and modes of addressing them—if not, indeed, dealing with them—the basis of a "festival-as-institution" exhibition, a massive initiative billed as EXPO 1. It features collaborative works, group shows, solo endeavors, and a great many opportunities to engage in educational workshops and presentations at various venues. Some of these works and interventions might provide fodder for optimism; others, perhaps, quite the opposite. Either way, eventual solutions, should they exist, will likely necessitate a lot of creativity, so it's possible that some great ones are on display in Queens.
Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, 54 Ludlow St., through July 28th
This intriguing version of a summertime group show merges, explores, morphs and exploits notions of process, collaboration, art workshop and fabrication at once, in one space, with the full exhibition produced over the course of two days. Two busily structured days, it seems, as the 14 participating artists were required to spend one day planning the collaborative crafting of one small painting, while the following day was reserved for the mass-production, Model-T-style, of the same. The toil behind Work is of course meant to raise various sorts of questions related to labor issues and the like, but it also sounds like a fair amount of fun. Or maybe unfair, but that's another discourse.
JOHN SINGER SARGENT WATERCOLORS
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, through July 28th
Levels of refinement, chromatic array, procedural underpinnings and—given the many different sorts of landscapes and outdoor settings—flora and geography offer plentiful points of visual intrigue and divergence among Sargent's watercolors, yet there is one point at which they all converge: the works are simply stunning. They are technically telling, however, as well, for the master's trademark richness of flair and light are on full display even in this most unforgiving medium. His consummate light touch in oil paintings, in other words, results from a truly light hand. In this show, to wit—and on various levels, exhibitional included—oil and water do readily mix.
You can follow Paul D'Agostino on Twitter @postuccio