From materially buried ledes to monumentally restratified schematics revivified. Art picks from our 9/11 issue.
BURYING THE LEDE
Momenta Art, 56 Bogart St., through October 27th
Per the official synopsis of this exhibition's genesis, it was not curated, rather 'initiated' by one artist, Adam Simon, interested in exploring the contemporary uses of printed newspapers in art. Not unlike a catalyst for the spreading of news, then, Simon got four more artists involved, who then got four others, who then got four more, and thus there are 13. Comprising painters and sculptors as well as collage and video artists, the strong group promises to explore manifold facets of the quaintly curious fact that although physical papers have waned in circulation, we are more surrounded by news and its outlets than ever. Here, at least, it's not exactly burying the lede to say we're buried in ledes. Check out this show to dig into and out of them at once.
Kate Werble Gallery, 83 Vandam St., through October 19th
Now refined, now crude, now lush, often pendant in partial states of devastation, Betbeze's generally expansive, meta-painterly abstractions with, in and on wool or terry cloth are ravishing material amalgams whose physical presence shifts readily between one that scares and one that soothes. For at times the artist's corrosive interventions and darkened palette leave works dangling from walls like hides scored in or scarred from battle; other times only slightly different choices with acids, dyes and ash yield chromatically brightened objects with dispositions that might nearly be described as friendly. They read like mural tapestries or garments culled, perhaps, from caves. And they're both ancient and contemporary, one might say, thanks to the same.
SOL LEWITT: WALL DRAWING #564
Paul Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st St., through October 10th
For this remounting, as it were, or better re-execution of LeWitt's spatially devouring work that was hasn't been exhibited since he first designed it for the Venice Biennale in 1988, a team of painters has followed the meticulous directives left behind by the artist dictating not merely how the angularly chunky, sprawling geometric forms should be redrawn to properly envelop the gallery, but also precisely how their somewhat ochre-tending ink fillings and accents should be mixed, applied, stratified. Apparently, LeWitt once credited several early Renaissance painters with inspiring such material and procedural interests. As such, one might say this extraordinary re-realization has been brought to us in part by the scuola fiorentina and bottega LeWitt.
Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. at 59th St., through September 25th
You have yet a couple weeks to see one of the most attended—in the sense of visited but also waited for—shows of the summer. While some accounts of it 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—and 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.
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