A decadently narrative painterly feast and a brightly chromatic ode to Floridian trees are among these art picks from our 10/9 issue.
Luhring Augustine Bushwick, 25 Knickerbocker Ave., through October 26th
Some might see frivolity and mirth in Smith's extensive suite of variably sun-setting paintings inspired by Floridian beaches. Others might find their foregrounded couples of silhouetted palm trees to seem a touch forlorn. Either way, not least thanks to the grand spatial band of their installation, there's a fair measure of joy to be found in this chromatic array. Indeed, viewers familiar with Luhring Augustine's Bushwick outpost might note that the show's mood and palette are by far the space's most colorful yet. On display, also, dispersed here and there on wall-bound shelves among the stretch of paintings, are invariably delightful, though sometimes subtly creepy sculptures. Airs of fun sadness, in a way, hover around all of Smith's works. Fitting testimony to the same can be seen, for instance, in his cast sculptures of mildly deflated basketballs. They're a little bit miserable, and thus all the more wonderful.
TIM KENT: THE GAMBIT
Slag Contemporary, 56 Bogart St., through November 4th
Bound together in a visually spectral narrative merging cross-referential complexities à la Borges with metaphorical vividness and chess references à la Nabokov, Tim Kent's new body of oil paintings tell an enigmatic tale of objects and interiors that subtly shimmer with time-tarnished illustriousness; of an heir who is at best indirectly apparent; of a steed that has long since shed its bridling; of a MacGuffin-like heirloom that sparkles and looms; of an anonymous knight whose portrait, pendent in the backdropped midst of the series' keystone work, is the lone human visage throughout so many rooms. Distributed over large chapter-scale horizontals and smaller, paragraphic square canvases, Kent's compositions point back and forth to one another via schematized precisions suspended in voids, or via chimeric presences softly defying their matrices, such that transfixed onlookers might well wonder forever what might be appearing, or disappearing, in those chambers. The Gambit is a lush pictorial legend in which viewers themselves become now protagonists, now pawns, now sleuths, now voyeurs.
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, through February 2nd
We recommended some time ago that you add this exhibition to your fall calendar, so perhaps you already know that its opening is now, as this goes to print, anon. Several hundred mixed media works by this broadly influential and—though he might not have readily agreed—deeply loved artist will take over all of PS1's exhibition spaces in a reassembling of his posthumous retrospective previously mounted at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Monumental, for sure, and for good reason. Some shows should be seen; this one must be. Quite likely more than once.
FROM MR. CHIPS TO SCARFACE: WALTER WHITE'S TRANSFORMATION IN BREAKING BAD
Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, through October 27th
The awards have been bagged, the series has ended, the spinoff is planned, the legendary status is sealed. But you don't need to go to Albuquerque to glimpse the trappings of this show born of drug-related riches, tribulations, narrative ironies and variably damaging addictions, which has itself spawned a broad culture of addicts. If you have a pulse—however chemically quickened—you might well rank among them. And if so, you'll not want to miss this spread of images, footage props and, likely, paraphernalia culled together to track key manners and moments in the morphing of Walter White into Heisenberg.
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