“Constellation” by Melissa McGill on Bannerman IslandThis recently launched public-art project on view for the next two years is situated on a small island in the Hudson River, close to Beacon. It’s also the site of a ruined castle constructed by Francis Bannerman, a military-equipment dealer who built the edifice after being booted from Manhattan in the early 20th century for keeping way too much gunpowder in a highly populated area. The castle itself is now crumbling in a picturesque way, and McGill has installed 17 LED lights on tall, thin poles that mark out aspects of the building that no longer exist, as well as alluding to the Lenape Indians’ “belief that the stars of the Opi Temakan — ‘White Road’ or ‘Milky Way’ — connect our world to the next,” she explained. As for Francis Bannerman himself, his singular spirit animates the installation. A tour-guide to “Constellation” lovingly referred to him as a crackpot when I visited, but McGill is more generous. “I can only go by the fantastic lore that surrounds him, but at the very least Bannerman was eccentric,” she said, “first keeping munitions in the middle of New York City and then, when forced to move them, building a Scottish-style castle on an uninhabited island to house his family and the stockpile — a castle created with random scrap materials at hand, seemingly without the intent for it to last, and built to give the exaggerated appearance of a stage-set from land.” McGill’s intervention is subtle but striking: The tiny, solar-powered lights turn on at sunset, and are visible by boat — a nightly excursion can take you there — or from the comfort of the passing Metro North train back to the city.Roger Brown at Maccarone, through August 7 (630 Greenwich Street)Muddling abstraction and figuration, art and design, and earnestness and kitsch, this series of mixed media works from the mid-’90s pairs paintings with found ceramic objects. The full grouping, titled “Virtual Still Life,” numbers 27 works, and the gallery is showing a bit less than half of them. (In some strange way I kept thinking these pieces would resonate nicely with Sarah Charlesworth’s incredible “Objects of Desire” series, which Maccarone presented in its entirety last year.) Brown occasionally conjures landscapes — as in his depiction of a “desert,” all strips of vibrant, fantastical sand populated by easy-to-miss humanoid figurines — whereas in other works the focus is on pattern and color. “A Painting for a Sofa: A Sofa for a Painting” tackles the time-worn lament regarding collectors who purchase artwork with the superficial eye of interior decorators by pairing a tiny model couch with an abstract canvas. In Maccarone’s second space, a 1997 painting by Brown — “Bonsai #5, Literati (Bunjing)” — is used as a curatorial launch pad for a group show of works by Ken Price, Peter Halley, Diane Simpson, Alex da Corte, and Carol Bove. “What Nerve!” at Matthew Marks Gallery, through August 14 (502, 522, and 526 West 22nd Street)This Dan Nadel-curated extravaganza arrives in New York after a run at RISD Museum, spotlighting the legacy of the Hairy Who, Destroy All Monsters, Forcefield, and the Funk contingent. Nearly 70 works run the gamut from yarn-bombed mannequins to concert posters, cartoons, sculptures of horses and eggs, and paintings that often depict the body as a malleable thing: Porous, leaking, on the verge of rupture. The show isn’t light on recognizable names — Mike Kelley, Peter Saul, Jim Shaw, Karl Wirsum — but there are plenty of discoveries (like Art Green’s 1968 “Disclosing Enclosure,” in which a human face is unzipped to reveal an ice cream cone). Other highlights in a show of highlights: Robert Arneson’s absurd “Miss Liberty Coin (1942 Dame),” 1965, an oversized glazed ceramic coin in which the titular Miss becomes, well... titular in other ways; a pair of ornamented chairs by Jim Nutt and Wirsum; silkscreen-and-linoleum abstracts by Jim Falconer, made in 1968 but as fresh as yesterday; and an array of brightly costumed figures scattered throughout the space, courtesy of Providence, Rhode Island-based Forcefield, which start to resemble campy security guards overseeing the proceedings.“No Vacancy” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, through August 7 (509 West 24th Street)Summer in Chelsea is home to the broadly defined group show. This one purports to be about “the viewer’s experience of form, density, depth, and perceptual access,” which at first glance would technically seem to apply to anything created in three dimensions. Regardless, this survey of work by Miyoko Ito, Phillip King, Robert Morris, and Lisa Williamson has some excellent moments, primarily in the juxtaposition of work by the latter two artists. A pairing of a tall, undulating column by Williamson — recalling a phallic pillar of conjoined bowling pins — stands proudly before a wall-mounted, densely layered heap of felt by Morris, the combo having something of a sophomoric joke about it (or maybe I’m just a pervert in this heat). Nearby, two tall, pared-down Williamson sculptures resembling large matchsticks have a totemic presence in proximity to a 1960s drawing of a maze-like structure by Morris and a sculpture by King that’s like a chalky, oversized grave marker. Grace Weaver at Thierry Goldberg Gallery, through August 7 (103 Norfolk Street)Let me first say that I’d love to curate a show of works by Weaver alongside works by Jonathan Gardner that would be about the eroticization of tennis in the afterglow of both “Lolita” and “Infinite Jest.” (In Weaver’s “Match Point,” the simple act of tying one’s shoe on the court pretty much sets the whole world topsy-turvy.) Press materials note that the exhibition title, “Teenage Dream,” is taken from Katy Perry — don’t judge — and that the artist thinks of each painting as a discrete pop song. To me, a work like “Love Song,” 2015, is more like a film still, edging on the Hitchcockian: A preppy girl in a purple sweater, perky and cupid-lipped, waves while a strange man’s silhouette is doubled in her sunglasses, his shadow falling, quasi-sinister, across her face. In other Weaver paintings, couples are contorted and made pleasantly strange: A girl mounts her lover, his head cropped by the frame’s edge, and her attention taken up by the book she’s reading rather than his body; in “Detente,” 2014, limbs liquify as a man in bed peruses his laptop and his girlfriend checks herself out in a hand mirror. Weaver’s style plucks from Picasso as liberally as more contemporary influences — Sanya Kantarovsky, Dana Schutz, Dasha Shiskin — but the end result is all her own.ALSO WORTH SEEING: The strange narratives conjured by Nobuyoshi Araka’s photographs at Anton Kern gallery — sex toys! plastic dinosaurs! S&M! — which my colleague Noelle Bodick covered in depth; and “A Room of One’s Own,” a suite of studio-focused photography from the likes of Anne Collier and Paul Mpagi Sepuya, at Yancey Richardson Gallery through August 21.