10 Top NYC Gallery Shows That Open This Week

Installation view of Kevin Cooley's “Skyward” (2012)
(Courtesy Pierogi)

From major retrospectives of icons such as Nancy Spero and Giorgio Griffin to showcases on modernism’s lasting influence across mediums in today’s visual arts, here is your itinerary for the top 10 gallery openings to attend in New York this week. 



“Color Shift” Curated by Jordan Tate, at Mixed Greens, 531 West 26th Street, 1st Floor, 6–8 p.m.

This uncommonly well-timed group show allows viewers to examine the legacy of late modernism — its austerity, its fascination with bold, simple color, and its preoccupation with medium and material — on contemporary artists working today. Viewers who thought these themes could only be fully examined in painting might be surprised by the showings in photography, video, installation, and even digital art. (Through February 9, 2013)

David Shrigley: “Signs” at Anton Kern, 532 West 20th Street, 68 p.m.

Fortunately, anyone who saw the billboard designed by British artist David Shrigley above the High Line this past spring is now familiar with one of the most darkly comic artists ever to grace the walls of a contemporary art gallery. Having already applied his skills as a draftsman to T-shirts (his work is also a regular source of inspiration among tattoo artists), Shrigley is rarely flummoxed by choice of venue or medium. In this series of large wall texts, he looks right at home. (Through February 16, 2013)

Giorgio Griffa: “Fragments 1968 – 2012” at Casey Kaplan, 525 West 21st Street, 6–8 p.m.

After 40 years away from New York, Italian painter Giorgio Griffa returns to the city for a retrospective at Casey Kaplan. While lesser-known on this side of the Atlantic, Griffa’s large-scale Abstract paintings — with vibrant forms and colors masterfully painted onto un-stretched, creased canvases — have made him one of Italy’s foremost avant-garde painters for much of his career. (Through March 2, 2013)

Robin Rhode: “Take Your Mind Off The Street” at Lehmann Maupin, 540 West 26th Street & 201 Chrystie Street, 69 p.m.

South Africa-born, Berlin-based Robin Rhode joined Lehmann Maupin in early 2012, and in this first exhibition with the gallery he’s taking over both of their NYC locations with his kinetic creativity. Known for his use of spatial play with large-scale drawings in photographs and animations, here he will be presenting the latest of his street art interactions in Chelsea, including “shattering” a spray-painted wine glass with a crowbar via image adjustments in freeze-frame, and also showing “an educational wall drawing intervention” he created with Time In, an outreach art program for children, on the Lower East Side. (Through March 9, 2013)

Daniel Buren: “Electricity Paper Vinyl... Works in Situ & Situated Works From 1968 to 2013 (Dedicated to Michael Asher)” at Bortolami Gallery, 520 West 20th Street, and at Petzel Gallery, 456 West 18th Street, 6–8 p.m.

Prepare yourself for a Buren double-whammy. The abstract minimalist site-specific intervention practitioner has installed trippy fiber-optic enabled textiles in Bortolami, while Petzel Gallery shows a survey of his historical vertical stripe works. (Through February 16, 2013)

Nancy Spero “From Victimage to Liberation: Works from the 1980s & 1990s” at Galerie Lelong, 528 West 26th Street, 6–8 p.m.

The first New York show of Spero’s work since her death in 2009, “From Victimage to Liberation,” focuses on the artist’s narrative collages. Brimming with pagan ur-mothers, Fredericks of Hollywood models, acrobats, and Argentine dissidents, Spero’s works take inventory of a vast spectrum of female representation. (Through February 16, 2013)

“Narcissister Is You” at Envoy Enterprises, 87 Rivington Street, 6–8 p.m.

The spiritual lovechild of Paul McCarthy and Lady Gaga, Brooklyn-based, bemasked, and be-merkined artist (and onetime “America’s Got Talent” contestant) Narcissister’s raunchy and off-putting burlesque performances mine the artistic and political possibilities of unapologetic self-love and artificially-constructed otherness. (Through February 10, 2013)


Isabelle Hayeur: “Death in Abstentia” at Pierogi, 177 North 9th Street, Brooklyn, 7–9 p.m.

The Brooklyn/Montréal exchange begins its Brooklyn-based exhibitions this week, one of which is photographer and video artist Isabelle Hayeur’s visual inquiry into the increasingly polluted waters alongside her home in Southern Florida. The images, taken with a submersible camera, offer glimpses of two different worlds: the crumbling industrial infrastructure, amongst other forms of land-life, sitting above hazy, dirtied waters forced to absorb the impact of the terrestrial development far below the surface. (Through February 10, 2013)

Michelle Forsyth: "Letters to Kevin" at Auxiliary Projects, 2 Saint Nicholas Avenue, Brooklyn 7–9 p.m.

One hundred paintings of plaid in varying colors, textures, and forms will somehow be installed in Auxiliary Project's tiny space for their second show in the gallery. If this feat of installation is not enticing enough, Forsyth's intriguing works presented en masse ought to be. (Through February 10, 2013)

Kevin Cooley: “Skyward” at The Boiler (Pierogi), 191 North 14th Street, 7–10 p.m.

This promises to be a mesmerizing experience: recline in Pierogi’s towering Boiler space and watch the sky of Los Angeles scroll by on the ceiling. Kevin Cooley, whose other digital media projects include turning a building on the High Line into a flashing beacon of synced televisions in 2011, made the large-scale projection “Skyward” through merging film of the inhabitants of the California skies, both natural and manmade, where airplanes, blimps, and bees hover by the clouds. (Through February 17, 2013)

To see images of the works mentioned in this article, click on the slideshow.