Etel Adnan: Light’s New Measure
Until 10 January 2022 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
This is the final weekend to catch curators Katherine Brinson and Lauren Hinkson’s superb survey of Lebanon-born poet, author, journalist and artist Etel Adnan’s intimately scaled, chromatically expansive paintings and works on paper. Adnan, who died in November at age 96, often took inspiration from the landscape, most notably Mount Tamalpais near her home of many years in California’s Bay Area, where she was living and teaching philosophy in the late 1950s when she first started painting. Over the next half-century she proved an endlessly adaptive artist. In addition to charting her paintings’ subtle modulations of geometry and palette—from thick impasto to smooth surfaces and muted pastels to vibrant primaries, across paintings that evoke seaside sunsets, parched hills and everything in between with an incredible economy of forms—the exhibition showcases her engrossing compositions melding paint and text across accordion-style notebooks. Those who do not make it to the Guggenheim (and those who did, of course) have another opportunity to commune with Adnan in Galerie Lelong’s newly opened show of her most recent works, Discovery of Immediacy (until 19 February).
Ann Toebbe: Cooler by the Lake
Until 27 January 2022 at Tibor de Nagy, 11 Rivington Street, Manhattan
The weather forecast in Ann Toebbe’s Chicago neighbourhood regularly predicts that it will be cooler by the lake, but it took time for her to be cool with calling the lakeside area home. “Hyde Park isn’t considered a happening neighbourhood,” the artist says about the quiet Chicago district she moved to in 2005, from a more happening Brooklyn. Her second solo show at Tibor de Nagy illustrates acceptance of her adopted address rendered in nine detailed paintings that combine collage, drawing and gouache. This is the first time that Toebbe—known for dollhouse-like compositions portraying homes of family and friends—has made a series about Hyde Park. It includes figures, rare in her work, like the old men having coffee at Bonjour Bakery (all works 2021) alongside its curmudgeonly French owner. Other paintings reference famous past residents, as in Obama’s House which comically shows overgrown evergreens guarding the former president’s home. Toebbe’s own condo complex, depicted in East View Park, housed the Obamas for over a decade.
Until 8 January at Nicola Vassell, 138 10th Avenue, Manhattan
The group exhibition, which includes artists like Marlene Dumas, Charles White, Benny Andrews and others, displays works that explore the idea of rest and the effects of exhaustion, and aims to consider how the pandemic has impacted our collective consciousness. White’s phenomenal Untitled (Seated Man) (1936)—a painting the artist made when he was 18-years-old, during the post-Depression years, an important era of his career—portrays a man smoking a cigarette, while Kayode Ojo’s sculptural installation Take a Minute Girl Come Sit Down and Tell Us What’s Been Happening (2021) evokes two specters in conversation on salon chairs. The show “acts as a meditation on the slowing of our physical occupations since the global pandemic and the implications for individual and collective motion”, according to the dealer. “By exploring ways in which humans assert themselves within time and space, these works present a sense of bodies lain dormant.”