One-Line Reviews: Pithy Takes on Bernadette Corporation, Lin Tianmiao, More

Lin Tianmiao's "Badges," 2011-12, at Galerie Lelong
(© Lin Tianmiao, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York)

Once again, ARTINFO has sent its intrepid staff into the streets of New York, charged with reviewing the art they saw in a single (sometimes run-on) sentence. (To see our One-Line Reviews as an illustrated slideshow, click here).

* Willem Andersson, “Is the house still on fire,” Nancy Margolis, 523 West 25th Street, through November 24


The sharp detail and crisp colors in the oil-on-wood scenes of solemn destruction and portraits of mysteriously faceless generals by Swedish artist Willem Andersson make his first American solo show a strangely approachable shade of surreal. —Allison Meier

* Bernadette Corporation, “2000 Wasted Years,” Artists Space, 38 Greene Street, through December 16

A collection of Bernadette Corporation ephemera, books, videos, and designs is interspersed with giant placards (one for each year the collective has existed) in a sort of three-dimensional powerpoint presentation tracing the group's varied endeavors, from early-‘90s anti-fashion fashion shows through their book, “Reena Spaulings,” and their more recent endorsement of Occupy Wall Street, thereby offering loads of information and sensory stimulation but few definitive descriptions, encouraging visitors to reach their own understanding of this art group’s significance. —Sara Roffino

* Rackstraw Downes, Betty Cunningham, 541 West 25th Street, through November 24

Impending creepiness stirs beneath the surface of Downes’s realist landscapes — painted from below bridges, in deserts, and on roadside medians — taking wide-angle vistas and turning them into tiny pockets of secrecy. —Rachel Corbett

* Trenton Doyle Hancock, “...And Then It All Came Back to Me,” James Cohan, 533 West 26th Street, through December 22

Though the Houston-based Hancock abandons here the self-created mythological narrative that has served as the content of his work to date (good “Mounds” vs. evil “Vegans”) in favor of a new series of paintings that purport to be autobiographical, the feeling is less raw and confessional than a kind of free-standing version of the fertile mental and bodily discomfort that his more famous work ciphers through its twisted comic book universe. —Ben Davis

* Huang Yong Ping, “Circus” at Barbara Gladstone, 530 West 21st Street, through January 19, 2013

Huang Yong Ping's “Circus,” is not for the easily disturbed, for the headless taxidermied animals in a cage, apparently under the spell of a monkey puppeteer who controls a giant hand looming over them, elicits an eerie feeling of uncertainty about our relationship to an almighty authority, and makes the ambiguity of who or what guides us very apparent. —Terri Ciccone

* Leon Levinstein, Steven Kasher, 521 West 23rd Street, through December 22

For better or worse, this series of candid 1940s and 1950s New York street photography seems to ride on the coattails of last winter’s Weegee exhibition at the gallery, relying on no more than five types of beautiful normal people. —Reid Singer

* Ali Kazma, “In It,” C24, 514 West 24th Street, through December 22

The selection of two-channel video works for this Turkish artist’s first NYC solo show has been curated around the concept of “energy,” and aligned side-by-side, an older work which captures the pace of industrial machines adds an eerie, metronomic element to a newer work centering on a stamp-wielding desk clerk. —Lori Fredrickson

* Lin Tianmiao, "Badges," Galerie Lelong, 528 26th Street, through December 8

While the front gallery's meticulously wrapped thread wall pieces resist a singular reading — for this Westerner, they echo Odysseus's Penelope slyly stitching and unstitching her way through a tapestry — the back room installation, which features elegant hanging hoops embroidered with American and Chinese slang terms for women, is slightly less memorable for being so didactic.  —Julia Halperin

* Christina Mazzalupo, “Prognosis: Doom,” Mixed Greens, 531 West 26th Street, through January 5, 2013

With the now-disproved Mayan apocalypse of December 21, 2012, fast approaching, artist Christina Mazzalupo has grabbed her (possibly last) opportunity to explore every angle of doomsday phenomena, from meticulous portraits of cult extremists painted on scientific tags to a text-based video that literally spells out the Biblical plagues. —Alanna Martinez

* Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, “Twenty One Twelve," Postmasters, 459 West 19th Street, through December 15

Though ostensibly set a century in the future, the McCoys' ominous and dystopic miniature landscapes, embedded with glitchy video art and real-time camera loops, come seem at all preachy, and are maybe best framed as eerily prescient Hurricane Sandy art. —Benjamin Sutton

* Mickalene Thomas, “How to Organize a Room Around a Striking Piece of Art,” Lehman Maupin, 540 West 26th Street, through Jan 5 

Few gallery shows wear their hearts on their sleeve so bravely as Thomas's emotional tribute to her late mother and muse, which features an unflinchingly personal documentary, the artist's signature glamour portraits, and a reconstruction of her groovy studio environments, complete with animals prints and dueling paisleys.  —Chloe Wyma