1. Gordon Douglas: Tears Become… Streams Become… is on at the Park Avenue Armory until December 21.
Art, music, and architecture converge in the latest work by Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon and acclaimed pianist Hélène Grimaud. This site-specific installation features an immense field of water that harnesses light, reflection, music, and sound to amplify and transform the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, encouraging viewers to acknowledge their surroundings and reexamine one of the most historic spaces in New York. For ten nights only, Grimaud will perform a program of water-themed works by Debussy, Ravel, Liszt, and others within the space, creating a confluence of live music and visual art that allows audiences to experience this celebrated music in a refreshingly new way. The large-scale installation will also be open to the public during the day, offering viewers a more meditative and reflective experience, with a player piano animating the environment as both an evocation of the previous night’s recital and a premonition of performances to come.
2. Juan Munoz is on view at Marian Goodman Gallery until January 31, 2015.
Three key works by Muñoz are featured in the exhibition at Marian Goodman Gallery: the sculptural installations Thirteen Laughing at Each Other, 2001, Many Times, 1999 and a Figure Hanging from One Foot, 2001. These are accompanied by works on paper and early wall sculptures. Including works such as empty or occupied balconies, isolated figures, and those laughing and in conversation, this group of works often puts viewers in an ambiguous position, looking but also seemingly being looked at. The work suggests, as curator Russell Ferguson writes, “the tension between the comfort of the group and the desire for individual autonomy.” Regarded as one of the most important sculptors of his generation, Juan Muñoz was known for his return to the human form in art and for his emphasis on the relationship of sculpture, architecture and the viewer.
3. Wang Jianwei: Time Temple is on view at the Guggenheim until February 16, 2015.
Recognized throughout Asia and Europe for his bold experiments in new media, performance, and installation art, Beijing-based artist Wang Jianwei presents Wang Jianwei: Time Temple, the first of three commissions of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative at the Guggenheim Museum. Wang Jianwei’s work examines the contact between art and social reality. His highly innovative artworks consider space and time in elaborate ways: working from the notion that the production of artwork can be a continuous rehearsal, connecting theater, visual art, and film. Wang Jianwei: Time Temple is the artist’s first solo exhibition in North America. This exhibition comprises installation, painting, film, and a live theater production.
4. Will Barnet: A Tribute is open at Alexandre Gallery until January 10, 2015.
Surveying Barnet’s long and productive career, the show will include nine paintings and related works on paper – prints, drawings and watercolors – spanning dates from 1937 to 2010 and marks the first exhibition of Barnet’s work since his death at the age of 101 in 2012. Will Barnet arrived in New York from Boston at the age of twenty in 1931 to enroll at the Art Students League and pursue a life as an artist. There he studied with Stuart Davis, Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock, among others. During this formative period Barnet supported himself as a master printmaker and teacher, enabling his early, lasting connection to the New York scene. Barnet continued making his own prints until the last year of his life and remained active as a teacher through the 1980s. These early, strong and varying influences set the stage for Barnet’s long career and established his equal interest in and exploration of both representation and abstraction, each of which were dominant in different periods of Barnet’s work.
5. Kara Walker: Afterwork is open at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. until January 17, 2015.
Afterword elaborates on the creation and aftermath of Kara Walker’s monumental installation at the Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this past summer. Commissioned and presented by Creative Time and entitled A Subtlety, or the marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes form the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, the exhibition was inspired by and embedded with the history of sugar and the sugar trade, the focus of which was a colossal, sugar-coated sphinx-like figure that presided over the cavernous, 30,000- square foot space. The current gallery exhibition unfolds in three sections. In the first room, notes and sketches produced in the lead-up to A Subtlety are accompanied by drawings made during the run of the installation, as Walker contemplated the personal impact of this large and popular work, which drew in over 130,000 spectators and elicited diverse reactions and interactions.