1. Zimoun: [KE]³ is open at the Knockdown Center until March 8, 2015.
Using simple and functional components, Zimoun builds architectually-minded platforms of sound. Exploring mechanical rhythm and flow in prepared systems, his installations incorporate commonplace industrial objects. In an obsessive display of simple and functional materials, these works articulate a tension between the orderly patterns of Modernism and the chaotic forces of life. For Knockdown Center, Zimoun will present an immersive environment of 250 motorized wood beams and ropes. Each unit will cyclically strike the floor, producing a sonic experience reverberating within a 10,000 square foot atrium – Zimoun’s largest site-specific project in the US to date. In conjunction with this monumental work Zimoun will also present new projects at Bitforms and Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University.
2. Jack Pierson: Paintings is open at Maccarone until March 7, 2015.
To understand the milieu out of which photographer and artist Jack Pierson’s paintings emerged, one can compare the works to those of his contemporary Jeff Koons who, eight years earlier, also transferred photographic images onto canvas. Though taken from photographs, Koons’s soft-core Made in Heaven pieces are conceived of as oil paintings and therefore explicitly placed within a hetero paradigm of painting – as opposed to a homo paradigm of photo. While Pierson acknowledged the reality of such a dichotomy, his project determined to question and confuse such boundaries. Imagining his erotic portraits of onetime It Boy Ed O’Toole as the elements of his own metaphorical Rothko chapel, Pierson elevates giant, abstracted images of the masturbating, ecstatic male body to the sanctified heights of mainstream hetero-abstraction. At once, the work integrates the sacred and profane; photography and painting; dominant culture and subculture. Pierson once stated that “photography is nostalgia” and all of the works on view tap into this interest in memory and loss. Whether close-ups of skin, snippets of wildlife, or reflective aquatic surfaces, the paintings memorialize a certain melancholic moodiness. Pierson is a master of using ordinary scenes to stir up loneliness and desire.
3. Charles Atlas: The Waning of Justice is open at Luhring Augustine until March 14, 2015.
Atlas is a pioneering figure in film and video; for over four decades he has stretched the limits of his medium, forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches, and techniques. Throughout his production, Atlas has consistently been deeply involved in fostering collaborative relationships, working intimately with such significant artists and performers as Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima/ New Humans, Antony and the Johnsons, and most notably Merce Cunningham, with whom he worked closely from the early 1970s until the choreographer’s death in 2009. The Waning of Justice will include all new work made by the artist for this exhibition. Several autonomous video works will all be synchronized by imagery, duration, and soundtrack to create one dynamic visual experience. The videos in the exhibition feature sunsets shot by Atlas in Florida while at the Rauschenberg Residency; in varying pieces, the sunsets are interwoven with found footage, graphic effects, and other elements.
4. Sudbodh Gupta: Seven Billion Light Years is open at Hauser & Wirth until April 25, 2015.
Spanning the New Delhi-based artist’s career to the present day, the exhibition emphasizes Subodh Gupta’s distinctive use of found, commonplace objects in his ongoing campaign to map the effects of cultural dislocation in our era of shifting powers. In particular, Gupta captures the everyday realities of life in India – its nearly surreal collisions between the inescapably earthy and the ineffably divine, between the current of masses and the path of private days – through works of art that address dichotomies between traditional values and the impact of globalization. The exhibition title ‘Seven Billion Light Years’ makes reference to the earth’s current population of seven billion human beings – and its cosmic inverse, the unfathomable distance between our mortal lives and a mysterious cosmos. Gupta’s art asks what it would mean to address the world’s people not as an anonymous mob but as individuals who each possesses a piece of infinity. A centerpiece of the show is a series of new paintings called Seven Billion Light Years, which returns to Gupta’s signature subject of basic kitchen utensils familiar to every Indian. Utilizing three-dimensional objects affixed to canvas with resin, these paintings continue his investigation into the sustaining and even transformational power of the everyday.
5. Francesca Woodman: I’m Trying My Hand at Fashion Photography is open at Marian Goodman until March 13, 2015.
The group of pictures exhibited at Marian Goodman is dedicated to Francesca Woodman’s fashion photographs which she pursued and developed in the later years of her life, between 1978 and 1980 primarily while living and working in New York City. Most are shown here for the first time. The works form a finite chapter within Woodman’s oeuvre when she was continuing to explore the female subject both through self- representation and the positioning of models within the image, but with an eye toward the commercial realm. Francesca Woodman’s fashion photographs had many precursors during her formative years in Colorado, Italy, Providence, and New York City and antecedents can be found not only in her images, but also in her working notebooks, drawings, and artist’s books. As Alison Gingeras writes, “fashion had become a vital tool for both Woodman’s emerging artistic practice as well as for her self-definition. More than just providing props, fashion was a creative catalyst in her life and in her image making.” From an early age, she had a “conceptual understanding of fashion as a powerful signifier and performative tool.”