One-Line Reviews: Our Staff's Pithy Takes on Gallery Shows by Tauba Auerbach, Shepard Fairey, and More

Installation view of Quayola's "Topologies" at bitforms gallery nyc
(Courtesy of bitforms gallery)

Once again, our intrepid staff fanned out from our Chelsea offices, tasked with reviewing a gallery show in just one sentence. The results, below (to see our one-line reviews in illustrated slide show format, click here):

“A Survey of Urban and Contemporary Art” at ArtNowNy, 528 w 28th St, 2nd floor

The term “urban jungle” takes on a new meaning in ArtNowNY's inaugural group show of street-themed pieces, as a maniacally smirking skull, a taxidermied deer head with machine gun antlers, and a gold-plated saber tooth tiger head with ruby-encrusted fangs light up the gallery space the way a desolate city street awakens with the sound of street performers. — Terri Ciccone

* Tauba Auerbach, “Float” at Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, May 5-June 9

The surprise at Auerbach’s first show at the esteemed gallery isn’t the selection of shimmering trompe l’oeil fabric paintings but the group of monochromatic works woven from strips of plain canvas whose semi-symmetrical stitching patterns ebb and flow in regularity. — Kyle Chayka  

* “Everyday Abstract — Abstract Everyday,” curated by Matthew Higgs, James Cohan Gallery, 533 West 26th Street, June 1-July 27

Though perhaps a little cluttered (which arguably gives it even more of an “everyday” quality), the selection of works on view here combine a child-like exuberance with a seasoned artist’s eye for texture and form in a way that tricks you into thinking you might be able to create something like this, with the stand-outs being Bill Jenkins’s “Bed with Rope and Fence” (2012), Judith Scott’s “Untitled” yarn sculpture (2004), and Nancy Shaver’s “Fanny” (2011). — Shane Ferro

* Shepard Fairey, “Harmony & Discord,” at Pace Prints, 521 West 26th Street, May 5-July 6

Having built a career out of doing the same thing over and over, the street-artist-turned-political-postermaker-turned-design-guru does the same thing here again, only more lavishly (courtesy of Pace Editions's amazing production facilities), and the results, no matter how full of Fairey's signature colors and loud, obvious political sentiment, are the aesthetic equivalent of grey noise. — Ben Davis

Addie Herder, Intimate Scale: The Art of Addie Herder at Pavel Zoubok, 533 West 23rd Street, May 24-June 23

Addie Herder (1920-2009) created small, finely crafted collages for over half a century until her death, and the roughly three dozen works presented span from her quasi-Cubist deconstructions of text-laden building façades to her busy assemblages incorporating bits and pieces of bottle caps, candy wrappers, and scrapped paintings, and finally to her more singular works made entirely with tinfoil or matchbooks, all of which bear testament to an incredibly refined and precise practice. — Ben Sutton

* Chantal Joffe at Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, May 4-June 23

Joffe's large-scale portraits of big-eyed women are at their darkest (and their best) in “Woman in a Red Flowered Dress,” an oblique successor to Picasso’s great “Gertrude Stein.” — Reid Singer

Quayola, Strata, at Bitforms, 529 W 20th Street, May 11-June 16

Italian artist Quayola uses a computer program to transform high-res photographs of Renaissance paintings into pixilated, pulsating polygons of color — and though they sometimes risk slipping into screensaver territory, the resulting videos use high-res imagery in a more inventive, lyrical manner than Google Art Project ever could. — Julia Halperin

* David Schorr’s Apothecary (storehouse) at Mary Ryan Gallery, 527 West 26th Street, April 26-June 16 

Schorr’s gouache and silverpoint paintings of apothecary bottles with poetic labels, meant to suggest vessels containing his own memories and dreams, are gracefully executed in radiant color on a range of Fabriano Roma paper, and through a careful process of layering the undulating surface beneath the images creates a fortunate illusion, as if the glittering jars are resting on pillows.  — Alanna Martinez

* “Screw You” at Susan Inglett Gallery, 522 West 24th Street, May 31-July 13

Taking its name from the '60s countercultural sex mag, “Screw: The Sex Review,” this historical exhibition catalogues a wild, fascinating moment in art publishing where categorically NSFW artworks by the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Carolee Schneemann, Peter Hujar, Andy Warhol, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono lay between the sheets with meat n' potatoes pornography. — Chloe Wyma