Want to see the latest art in your city? Visit Joan Brown, Giorgio de Chirico, and the Making of Art-Rite Magazine in Chelsea and on the Lower East Side.
Roberta Smith and Will Heinrich
Through June 17. Matthew Marks Gallery 522 West 22nd Street in Manhattan, 212-243-0200; matthewmarks.com.
Joan Brown's mature style, which often depicted her figures in full frontal or profile, could be called extra-late Egyptian. The formality of her paintings, along with the expanses in solid colors that are startlingly different, contribute to their hypnotic stillness. Her interests, besides painting, included her family and Hinduism. She also enjoyed ballroom dancing, serious swimming, Egyptian art, and Egyptian art. Brown's seriousness, which is evident in all six of these paintings, is not always obvious.
It's therefore not surprising that 'The Visitor (1977)' is included in this exhibition of 12 paintings, most from the 1970s. The artist is seated at a table with an Egyptian Pharaoh in a restaurant. The wall behind the pharaoh, incised with hieroglyphs, is deep turquoise - the color of Egyptian Faience. Brown's imagination seems to be causing two worlds to collide. The show's title is 'Facts & Fantasies'.
In "Self-Portrait At Age 42" (1980), we see the artist staring forward with her arms folded. She is wearing a blue pullover that has been lightly smeared in paint, and a clear glove. Does she have to deal with an unwanted interruption in her office? It dawns on me: her hard stare is the kind of stare that artists reserve for works in progress. Don't miss the copper and wood sculpture 'Donald,' (1986) of an extra large tabby cat. Brown also loved cats, just as she did the Egyptians. ROBERTA SMITH
Lower East Side
From June 10 to 15. Through June 10.
The timing of's Perrotin show is perfect: Her world-building style using everyday materials is in vogue. The current museum exhibitions dedicated to Wangechi Mutu and Daniel Lind-Ramos, as well as Sarah Sze, provide a rich context for Banerjee. She has had a successful career for decades, but she's not shown a solo show in the last eight years.
Banerjee, like these other artists creates evocative animals and large yet intricate installations using unusual materials. Her work is both more precarious and omnivorous. Her arrangements -- such as small porcelain and wooden figurines on top of a tangle netting, string and horns, which then give way to clusters with glass and horns -- are both compelling and improbable. The pieces coalesce and yet they do not. Banerjee was born in Calcutta but raised primarily in New York. She is interested in how things can shift and come apart, as well as the possibilities of hybridity.
Banerjee’s loose paintings depicting mythical female figures transport you. The centerpiece of the show, Black Noodles (2023), is a powerful piece that commands the gallery. It looks like ruins under water. "Contagious Migrations" (1999--2023) is a work featuring a two-headed creature, set against an eerie sketch of a ventilation system. The edges of the plan are cut in tentacle shapes from which medical tubes extend, some of them covered with black net. This piece is reminiscent of Covid-19, but it's too abstract to be a commentary. It's beautiful, mysterious and ominous. It captures the mesmerizing and unsettling aspects of Banerjee’s art. J ILLIAN STEINHAUER
Giorgio de Chirico
Through July 29. Vito Schnabel Gallery, 455 West 19th Street, Manhattan; 646-216-3932; vitoschnabel.com.
The 16 Giorgio de Chirico works in "Horses: the Death of a Ride" could be exhibited by themselves. Two paintings from the 1920s, however, are a bit less polished. Similarly, 'Two Horses on a Seashore', 1970 could be considered a little glib. The paintings are lush, unique and delightful. They show the Greek-born Italian artist at his best for more than five decades.
The exhibition's title implies that each canvas contains one or more horses. They are often accompanied by the mysterious landscapes for which he is known. The horse, which is both carnal and loaded with symbolism as it is a living link back to antiquity makes the perfect subject matter for an artist who cares about history like de Chirico. De Chirico also uses bulging joints and fleshy ridges to create a chimera.
The white horse in the title work, "Death of A Rider," rears up and lets its rider fall off behind it like Icarus. Two gods or voyagers are watching from a rowboat as a city is visible in the distance. The horse is in fact a statue with its foreleg bent and its head in an angular profile that does not match its body. On one side, it is a crouching power, but on the other, a confident, arrogant persona. It captures the entire drama of the scene. WILL HEINRICH
From the Margins, The Making of Art-Rite at Printed Matter feels a bit inaccurate in today's global-art perspective. Art-Rite, founded in 1973 by Edit DeAk Walter Robinson and Joshua Cohn published 19 issues, and featured many of the most prominent artists of the 1970s. Many of these artists have become household names today. This show is a meticulously crafted exhibition that tells the story of its era through documentary photos, letters, paste-ups, and insider gossip.
The brilliant artist and editor Brian O'Doherty taught the seminar on art criticism at Columbia University. The magazine, whose name was a deliberate homage to ShopRite supermarkets and their advertising circulars, was printed on newspaper and avoided jargon, artspeak, and theory-jargon. The first issue featured contributions from the Pop Art scholar Lawrence Alloway (at one time a New York Times Critic), the feminist critic Lucy Lippard and the art historians Irving Sandler, Leo Steinberg, and Lucy Lippard.
Art-Rite was launched in an era where a "crisis in critics" - sparked in part by the burgeoning of the art market - was continually sounded. The power of critics was suddenly shifted to curators, artists and collectors. Critics also had fewer venues for their criticism. As glossy art magazines become 'brands' and criticism becomes more homogenized, it is urgent to have a publication that is smart and scrappy, like Art-Rite, and still looks good after 50 years. MARTHA SCHWENDENER
Upper East Side
From June 2 to June 2. Di Donna, 744 Madison Avenue, Manhattan; 212-259-0444, didonna.com.
Man Ray captured the writers and artists of Paris during the 1920s and 1930s in the same way that Nadar had done their predecessors from the 19th century. Man Ray's photograph of Marcel Proust on his deathbed is a perfect bookend for Nadar's Victor Hugo. Nadar was a Parisian institution when he immortalized France's literary giant in 1885. Man Ray was an American living in Paris who had only been there for a little more than a year.
Man Ray's Paris Portraits 1921-1939 is a marvel because of his artistic ability and his accessibility. Man Ray was befriended before relocating by Marcel Duchamp, a vanguard artist, and Tristan Tzara. These two artists helped him to settle in Paris and they are the subject of this 72-print exhibition, mainly drawn from Timothy Baum's collection, a private dealer who was Man Ray's friend in his last years and worked with this show.
Man Ray flatters his subjects. He would often use a long-lens from afar to soften wrinkles or other imperfections. He also slightly overexposed his film. His portraits are revealing. The knowing eyes of Anna de Noailles; the glazed gaze of Sinclair Lewis who is always pickled. And the muscular forcefulness of young Alexander Calder. Then there's his mid-30s self-portrait -- his tie deliberately askew, his eyes penetrating and his mouth set into a line of unstoppable resolve. ARTHUR LUBOW
Sylvia Plimack Mangold
Through June 3. 125 Newbury, 395 Broadway, Manhattan, 212-371-5242, 125newbury.com.
Khalil Gibran, a poet and painter of Lebanese descent, wrote: "I discovered the secrets of the sea while meditating on a dewdrop." Sylvia Plimack Mangold paints in the same manner. The fifteen works displayed at 125 Newbury depict the same maple tree that Mangold has painted for decades outside her Washingtonville studio.
Many of the works here, titled 'Leaves in the Wind,' capture a summer filled with greenery rendered in close-up in brushstrokes that are lush and no-nonsense, reminiscent of Fairfield Porter, Edouard Monet, and Claude Monet's sharply framed compositions containing waterlilies. Some of the works, such as 'Winter Maple', are dusty blue skyscapes with brown-gray branches.
The tree's'secret' is that it changes constantly and produces infinite variations. If, in fact it is the same. Mangold is the only one we can trust on this. Magritte's 1929 painting 'The Treachery Of Images', also known as 'Ceci n'est Pas Une Pipe' or 'This Is Not a Pipe', provided a stark lesson in how truth works in art.
Mangold transforms parts into wholes, and his exhibition is a masterclass in synecdoche. The tree becomes the forest, the painter the human representative who negotiates with nature. In an era of constant movement and information overload, painting a tree becomes a radical, yet profound act of mindfulness and meditation. MARTHA SCHWENDENER
Through June 3. Through June 3.
Beverly Fishman, an artist from New York City, has spent the last forty years thinking about how to cure what ails people. Her brightly colored constructions are somewhere between painting, sculpting and bad trips: uppers, downers, and pulsating colors in happy, fluorescent shades -- a medicine cupboard stocked with remedies to be human.
Her new works, which continue her series of faceted wood forms protruding from the wall, are a clever way to avoid figuration. They use geometric abstraction to discuss contemporary culture and how we cope with it. The lustrous surfaces have an electric hum, and a smooth cast. They look like Everlasting Gobstoppers painted in car paint. Each pill is rendered with concentric bands to resemble restless polychromatic irises or Wayne Thiebaud’s glowing confections if Thiebaud had painted sherbert-ringed symbols of existential suffering.
Their titles, which double as diagnoses reveal their evilness. For example, "Untitled (Osteoporosis), Abortion Depression Anxiety Birth Control, 2023": Healing as dictated to us by the medical-industrial system, the promise of an instant fix, and the drug addiction that this promise has encouraged.
Mick Jagger sings in 'Mother's Little Helper', the Stones' buoyant song about a housewife who develops a Valium addiction. Since then, the pharmacological range has become even more varied. Fishman has an endless supply of pills, with dosages that are calibrated for symptoms that never stop. MAX LAKIN
From June 17 to the end of June. Through June 17. 212-463-5160; nicolavassell.com.
Uman, a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Somalia, but now lives near Albany (Albany), has taken over the Nicola Vassell gallery with her debut solo exhibition. She has mounted 15 huge, vibrant square paintings in deep green, gold or purple on gallery walls. Each painting is framed with a shadow box made in her studio. There are also many small drawings. The show is called 'I want everything now' for a reason. The colors of the paintings are vibrant and saturated. Their textures vary from wet, slick brushwork to the skittering oil stick. The forms are mostly circles, squares and scribbles. There is also a scattering of flowers, suns and pointy teeth, as well as ambiguous references to intestines or chairs. These references are cross-cultural as well as art-historical. However, the overall effect is a bit more ambiguous.