1. On Kawara: Silence is open at Guggenheim until May 3, 2015.
More than 150 of On Kawara’s date paintings are hanging on the walls of the Guggenheim museum. Silence, as the exhibition is named, is the first comprehensive museum retrospective of the late Japanese artist, who’s known for his Today series. “What you’re encountering, what you’re experiencing when you walk through that sequence of work is a level of intensity that Kawara brought to his practice,” says Jeffrey Weiss, senior curator at Guggenheim, about the artist’s meditation series in which Kawara completed a painting every day from January 1, 1970 to March 31, 1970. Long fascinated with the subject of time, New York–based Kawara created his first date painting on January 4, 1966. Each canvas is covered with a solid color and then painted with the month, day, and year in white, in a crisp, graphic style. The date’s format follows that of the country where Kawara happened to paint it; he’s known for his interest in the time-place connection and his wandering existence over the years.
2. Giulio Paolini is open at Marian Goodman gallery until March 13, 2015.
Often linked to the Arte Povera movement, Giulio Paolini is best known for an artistic practice that is inscribed in a more strictly conceptual sphere. From the outset of his career, 74-year-old Paolini has developed a complex research centred as much on the artist’s tools as on the figure of the artist as an operator of language and accomplice of the viewer. The main characteristics of his artistic expression include citation, duplication and fragmentation, which are used as expedients for staging the distance between a finished model for making the work a “theatre of evocation.” The new pieces exhibited at Marian Goodman Gallery explores Paolini’s interest in the canon of art history, the notion of authenticity, and the interchangeable roles of artist and spectator as accomplices in the construction of meaning. Rooted firmly between picture space and object space, they offer musings on the creative act, the private space of the studio, and the coming into being and exhibiting of the artwork itself, as well as a personal vision of the non-authorial nature of the artist which has become increasingly central to Paolini’s work.
3. Ernst Fischer: 18% is open at CUE until March 14, 2015.
“In my experience, things tend to happen just when you’re looking away. Our ideas tend to slip from our grasp, ruling over us by hiding in the images and things that surround us,” says Ernst Fischer. He studied art in Zürich and filmmaking in London, where he then worked as a photographer and cinematographer. Attracted to the prospect of events straying from our mental projections, much of his current work consists of misappropriating media technology and forcing vision-machine errors. In his research-based practice, he ferrets out visual mutants that strike us as symbols of something we are about to understand, but never quite do. “In the vain but sustained hope of delegating my art practice to a machine, I have spent the last year building an automated camera that expands the possibilities of microscopic deep-focus photography. I am more interested in my robot’s limitations than its capabilities. In an attempt to turn the tables on the information age cliché, I overwhelm the machine with information, and harvest the results,” explains Fischer.
4. Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook is open at the SculptureCenter until March 30, 2015
After early experiments with intaglio printmaking and sculptural installation, Thai-artist Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook began, in the late 1990s, to concentrate on film and video. Working with psychologically rich materials, Rasdjarmrearnsook considers a wide range of subjects that have existed in marginal spaces, including women, the deceased, the insane, and animals. She creates complex narratives that confront societal structures of power and pedagogy. Rasdjarmrearnsook’s new exhibition at the SculptureCenter includes video, sculpture, photography, and some of her better-known works, as well as those that have rarely been viewed, especially in the United States. Pieces like The Class and Conversation series, where Rasdjarmrearnsook conducts discussions with corpses. Also included is Village and Elsewhere: Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes, Jeff Koons’ Untitled, and Thai Villagers (2011), a video in which a Buddhist monk leads a comical conversation about these two Western paintings in a temple.
5. Gerard & Kelly: P.O.L.E. (People, Objects, Language, Exchange) is open at the New Museum until February 15, 2015.
As the culminating event in a six-month Research and Development residency at the New Museum, Gerard & Kelly (Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly)’s two-week exhibition P.O.L.E. (People, Objects, Language, Exchange) explores fleeting encounters and processes of history and memory via sculpture, video, and live performance. And as the name might suggest, the entire exhibition evolves around two poles installed on the first floor of the New Museum. The two artists have chosen an eclectic team to carry out the actual performance piece: a mix of professional dancers and train performers, they all bring something special to the performance, which considers different kinds of kinship, from blood ties to platonic love to political allegiance. The installation also includes plywood sculptures constructed using materials reclaimed from the artists’ previous installation on the Museum’s Fifth Floor. These objects are presented alongside a video piece made in the aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as Gran Fury’s iconic SILENCE = DEATH (1987) sign, first shown at the New Museum in 1987 by curator William Olander, a member of ACT UP.