Thursday, April 10, 2014

4 Art Exhibits You Need to See

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM

One of Todd Hidos photographs at Bruce Silverstein Gallery. Image courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery.
  • One of Todd Hido's photographs at Bruce Silverstein Gallery. Image courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery.

Landscapes prepositional and townscapes protagonistic preface the mix in these new art picks.

Bruce Silverstein Gallery, 535 West 24th St., through April 26th
A lush gathering of images extracted from a project that is part autobiographical and part fiction, Hido's exhibition—whose eponym is a recently published volume from which excerpts here have been excerpted—is at turns eerie and bleak, numinous and lonely, intimate and voyeuristic and almost, perhaps almost warm. Taking as his muse, so to speak, his hometown in suburban Ohio, the photographer makes profound mystery of the blatantly quotidian, turning mundane houses and cars, trees and yards into protagonists that sometimes rival the expressivity of their rather more temporally malleable, far more fleeting inhabitants. Some of those dwellers are in there too, however. Whether you find them flying away from or gazing upon you, you'll not likely dash them with much ease from your mind. Instead, their ambient snows, garages, timbers and wainscotings might have you digging into memories for analogs of your own. If you can't afford to leave with a copy of the book, be sure to leaf through it while you're at the gallery.

Reverse, 28 Frost St., through May 11th
This group exhibition probes notions related to landscape representation employing an array of approaches, mediums, contexts and physical settings such that the show itself, a hybrid of veritable laboratory and installational construct, amounts to a conceptual as well as geographical exploration. Audra Wolowiec examines soundscapes aestheticized in concrete evoking zeniths and peaks; Nicolas Rupcich uses video to suggestively edit transformations in a Patagonian setting; Melissa F. Clarke and Genevieve Hoffman gather together physical data, specimen-like, from Greenland; Floating Point Collective endeavor to render landscape as ultimate, holistic fabrication. While the exhibition's title might conjure images of hills and valleys, grasses and crags, expect to find nothing quite so literal. Consider closely, rather, the expressive potential of the title's operative preposition.

Deperos extremely mixed bag of creative output includes his brand-defining designs for Campari.
  • Depero's extremely mixed bag of creative output includes his brand-defining designs for Campari.

Center for Italian Modern Art, 421 Broome St., 4th floor, through June 28th
Like many of his fellow artists associated with Italian Futurism, Depero was a polymath whose material and disciplinary curiosities had few if any bounds. Unlike some of his peers, however—most all of whom are currently featured in one way or another in a grandiose exhibit at The Guggenheim—Depero quite freely flirted with formal and expressive modalities lying well outside the standard purview of Futurism proper. Hence some of his paintings and drawings feature nary a machine; hence his adhesion to tradition, at times, rather than upheaval; hence his hardly anarchic yet certainly momentous entries into fields as ranging as dance, typography, furniture making and design. CIMA's show aims at once to introduce Depero to a broader audience, and to suggest that the aesthetic reach of Futurism itself might be far broader than one might think. On a similar note, to wit, Depero wrote the book.

The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Columbus Ave. at 60th St., through April 16th (extended)
Whether or not you have more or less religiously established plans to visit churches, attend masses or participate in any sort of faith-based services in the coming weeks, there is a particular house of worship through which you might want to pass. It is the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, where Michael Berube has curated a rather properly timed show of gracefully rendered, organically loose, at times elegantly conchological graphite drawings and photographs by Brian Wood. Nestled in the church's nave and gathered under the title Enceinte—a French term that most directly translates to 'pregnant,' but can also refer to a protective girding or enclosure—the works on show seem verged upon budding to life, effervescent in a way, or calmed into modes of repose. Fitting, to be sure, for a vernally timed show—burgeoning flora, reproductive forms, certain holidays. Fitting too, and quite touchingly, for an exhibit the artist has dedicated to his mother, who recently passed away. The show is a solemn celebration of life, of life cycles, of forms enlivened, of lives present and past.

You can follow Paul D'Agostino on Twitter @postuccio

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