Philippe Parreno, Installation view, 2015
Philippe Parreno, Crowd view, 2015
Philippe Parreno, Installation view, 2015
Philippe Parreno, Danny La Rue, 2013
Sarah Anne Johnson, Nose, 2015
Sarah Anne Johnson, Monster, 2015
Sarah Anne Johnson, Sparkles, 2015
Sarah Anne Johnson, Arms, 2015
Kim Gordon, Bauhaus Inspired Living.com, 2014
Kim Gordon, Ladies of Paradise #2, 2015
Kim Gordon, Ladies of Paradise #8, 2015
Kim Gordon, Installation view, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015

VISIONAIRE RECOMMENDS

1. Philippe Parreno: H {N)Y P N(Y} OSIS is open at the Park Avenue Armory until August 2, 2015.

In the past two decades, Philippe Parreno has almost single-handedly reshaped the very notion of what it means to experience art by turning the dynamics of a show into an evolving, situational process, exploring its possibilities as a singular, coherent object rather than as a collection of individual works. In his largest installation in the U.S. to date, Parreno continues his interrogations into the radical redefinition of the exhibition ritual at the Armory, in one of the few spaces in the world in which such an epic experience could occur. Within the monumental interior of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, he will construct a scripted space where a series of events fold and unfold onto the space itself, creating an architecture of attention on a scale of operatic proportions. This dramatic composition fuses the spectral presence of sound—both recorded and performed live by Mikhail Rudy— with film, light, collaborations, apparitions, and memory to guide and manipulate the viewer’s experience and perception. This sensory journey through both remastered existing works and new projects reveals strata that while present, were previously invisible, and metamorphoses the building into a quasi-living, perpetually evolving organism.

2. Sarah Anne Johnson: Wonderlust: New Sculpture is open at Julie Saul Gallery until August 21, 2015.

Sarah Anne Johnson’s career survey entitled Wonderland recently closed at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC. For that show, Johnson created a series of five sculptures that translate her photographs from her Wonderlust series (shown here in 2013) into three-dimensional miniatures. Their anatomical form and tiny scale recall ancient votive figures, with bodies covered in materials like gold leaf and glitter. We will be exhibiting them in our project gallery alongside Johnson’s two-dimensional work from Wonderlust. The same qualities that are expressed in the photographs are communicated here; tenderness, vulnerability, and also a little wildness and quirkiness. The difference in aesthetic with Nikolay Bakharev’s work in the main gallery is apparent, but the spirit is shared. The sculptures were conceived in a reverse process to her earlier figurines in that they are made after the photographic work, rather than as an antecedent to be used as a model in the photographs.

3. Kim Gordon: Design Office: the City Is a Garden is open at 303 Gallery until July 24, 2015.

In this new body of work, Gordon’s primary concern is the radical change in the landscape of New York City over the past several years. For the past 20 years Chelsea has been a center of urban renovation, including the opening of the highline in 2009. Small parks appear randomly in the middle of a street. Outdoor sculptures often accompany the arrangements. The new lushness of New York would seem to reimagine NYC as a city for the people, as well as a more attractive landscape for new consumers. Gordon’s work upends this notion of beauty, exploiting its inherent artifice. New condo developments are named with boardroom idealism – The Rushmore, Fortress of Glassitude, Greenwich Lane – bestowed to evoke a desirable and ineffable lifestyle. The exhibition’s floor paintings repurpose these hollow slogans onto crumpled canvases, makeshift eponyms inscribed with black paint. The painting of the show’s title “The City is a Garden” hearkens back to an East Village aesthetic found in the neighborhood’s funky community gardens. Here, at the entrance, it appears as an overturned emblem, the refuse of misappropriated ideas. The garden is now controlled, a rendered design element in the slick blending of technology and luxury. Fake hedges installed in the gallery are the same ones used to form walls at public events and openings. Meant to create a sense of instant status, they promise a comfort zone of landscaping, an event, an evening of transformation. A series of more crinkly canvases hang on the wall, smeared with shiny paint and glitter, here to distract and bedazzle.

4. Lucas Samaras: Album 2 is open at Pace Gallery until August 28, 2015.

Samaras continues his exploration of manipulated images and identity with 700 digitally altered images that will sit on a shelf lining the longest lengths of the gallery. Comprised mostly of self-portraits, the photographs reflect the artist’s unrelenting self-inquiry. Among the recent self-portraits, Samaras has interspersed personal family photographs with childhood images of himself, transforming the project into a personal archive and a biographical inquiry. The manipulations of the photographs refer back to the rainbow-tinged Auto-Polaroids Samaras began in the 1960s and his Photo-Transformations of the 1970s. Using a range of techniques from filters to mirroring and doubling, Samaras’s manipulations form visual metaphors for the psychological probing and self-investigation that appears throughout the artist’s oeuvre. The filters and changes that characterize this massive body of images also refer to his proto-Photoshop works of the 1980s and digital videos in the 2000s, constituting something of an archive of previous techniques. Previously shown in Samaras’s exhibition at the Greek pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale, Doorway is a mirrored room conceived in 1966 and not realized until 2007. Samaras executed and exhibited his first Mirrored Room installation in 1966 at Pace, which is now included in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Doorway is a cube with two open sides and a solid cube protruding from the floor at its center. The facing reflective surface initiates a chain of reflections, where the unmarked space of the cube becomes a site for viewers to experience their own visage ad infinitum. The seemingly interminable self-reflections resonate with the overwhelming body of small images that line the gallery.

Philippe Parreno, Installation view, 2015
Philippe Parreno, Crowd view, 2015
Philippe Parreno, Installation view, 2015
Philippe Parreno, Danny La Rue, 2013
Sarah Anne Johnson, Nose, 2015
Sarah Anne Johnson, Monster, 2015
Sarah Anne Johnson, Sparkles, 2015
Sarah Anne Johnson, Arms, 2015
Kim Gordon, Bauhaus Inspired Living.com, 2014
Kim Gordon, Ladies of Paradise #2, 2015
Kim Gordon, Ladies of Paradise #8, 2015
Kim Gordon, Installation view, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
Lucas Samaras, Installation View, 2015
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