Our editors and writers scour the city each week for the most thoughtful, relevant and exciting new exhibitions and artworks on view at galleries, museums and public venues across all five boroughs of New York. This week we recommend:
Albers and Morandi: Never Finished
Until 3 April at David Zwirner, 537 West 20th Street, Manhattan
With a two-person show of works by Giorgio Morandi and Josef Albers, David Zwirner has unloaded an unlikely exhibition of a pair of art historical heavy-hitters whose work, when seen side by side, dances and duels in surprising albeit logical ways. Born just two years apart (Albers in 1888 and Morandi in 1890) the two have singular visions. Albers’s motif of nested geometry from his Homage to the Square series, which the artist worked on from 1950 until his death, created a vehicle to explore what would become modern colour theory, while from the early 1920s onwards, Morandi dedicated himself to deceptively simple still lifes of bottles and other ephemera that became the vehicle for endless exploration. Juxtaposing the two artists teases out what can happen when a question is probed for so long that it creates a microcosmic universe, birthing worlds of infinite possibility.
Amir H. Fallah: Better a Cruel Truth Than a Comfortable Delusion
Until 20 February at Denny Dimin Gallery, 39 Lispenard Street, Manhattan
As the conversation around xenophobia and racism reached a fever pitch in the US last year, the Iranian-American artist Amir H. Fallah produced a series of striking large-scale paintings that reflect on his experience of being what he calls a “hyphenated American”. The Los Angeles-based artist, who came to the US as a child in the wake of the Iranian revolution, says the works explore value systems and his cultural identity and were inspired by images and moral teachings in the children’s books he reads to his son at bedtime. The centrepiece of the exhibition, a painting from which the show draws its title, contains “a reference to a symbol that entered into my life just a few blocks away from the Capitol building—a bittersweet coincidence”, the artist says. “What is going to happen to America? I’ve never been more depressed about the future of my home.”
Angel Otero: the Fortune of Having Been There
Until 27 March at Lehmann Maupin, 501 West 24th Street, Manhattan
The Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican artist Angel Otero presents a series of works with abstract and figurative elements drawn from art history and childhood memories, from the furniture in his grandmother’s home to references to Pierre Bonnard’s still lifes of domestic spaces. Works like Lucky Mirror (2020) appear to depart from—but remain informed by—previous bodies of purely abstract works in which Otero collaged oil and other elements to produce vibrant tapestry-like compositions on unstretched canvas. In a previous interview with The Art Newspaper, the artist, who has dramatically evolved and experimented with his style since his first presentation with Lehmann Maupin in 2011, said he was “mostly drawn to traditional methods of painting—despite my work being completely untraditional—and rethinking traditional practices”.
- Click here to see our previous picks of shows to see in New York this month.