3 Art Gallery Shows to Watch Now


through June 20. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, (212) 708-9400, moma.org.

Set in the large atrium of the Museum of Modern Art, Amanda Williams’embodied feelings“A richly reversible installation piece. You can take it as a form of sculpture, institutional criticism and social commentary on public space and its unequal access – and this is only the beginning. Like a stone thrown into calm waters, this piece Sends waves in all directions.

Williams, a visual artist from Chicago, participated in MoMA’s recent “Rebuilding: Architecture and Blackness in America,” contributing a focus on freedom and freedom of movement inspired by Kinloch, Missouri’s first all-black town (founded in 1890). gave. Her strategy in the atrium was simple. Due to social distancing rules, the museum had cleared the lobby of its nearly all-black modernist furniture – by MoMA-approved designers such as Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Harry Bertoia. Williams saw these chairs, sofas, and benches stacked in two rectangular stacks in the atrium of the museum. The furniture store reflects the mass of art owned by the museum, of which only a small portion is used. Like the MoMA’s archived art, the piles make the seating useless. Its social purpose – leisure, entertainment, study, food – is limited.

The second part of the atrium presentation is a series of slides projected onto the wall that constrict in the social arena. We see pages of executive orders regarding COVID-19, Georgia’s recent voting rights bill, a court case about Louisiana state literacy tests and illegal voting. Also included are sketches of the show’s figures, a floor plan of the lobby, and instructions for mini-performances for visitors drawn by Williams and choreographer Anna Martin Whitehead. For example, try walking backwards while humming your favorite song or appreciating something or someone for 60 seconds. In other words, make the most of MoMA’s space, make it more of a part of life, which is also what Williams’ ambitious task is doing.

Other pages interrogate visitors, in one case asking what they do when “their presence in a public place is questioned.” She published the types of blackness always acceptable at the MoMA – in modern design and art. The blackness of the cast and audience? Until recently, at least not so much.

Roberta Smith


through September 11. Chaim & Reed, 547 West 25th Street, Manhattan. 212-242-7727, chimerid.com.

Matthew Wong began creating the colourful, compulsive paintings around 2016, and they quickly garnered attention – they were gorgeous. until 2019, when He killed himself at the age of 35, he was already making his plan Second New York Solo Show. (He struggled with depression and other conditions since childhood.) Before coloring, Wong had been making a big inkling before breakfast most mornings. And apart from the one piece, briefly exhibited in Hong Kong, the now-hanging images on Chem & Reed are the first to be featured.

Growing up between Toronto and Hong Kong, Wong was as much interested in classical Chinese painting as in the modern Western style. He also put some of his paintings on silk. But while in a classical Chinese landscape ink is always seduced with translucency, Wong is more like oil paint—dense, reflective, resistant. The illustrations are like the later paintings in other ways as well. The same marble-like little sun is often visible, shining on strange landscapes in which solitary figures may be hidden. In many of the drawings you’ll also see Wong’s need to fill in every available space, although working in ink forced him to leave at least a little room around his brush marks.

But sometimes black and white achieve a breathtaking balance. Half a dozen narrow birch trunks lean against a wall of black leaves in one piece. Above them a sun peeks down from a narrow strip of sky; Below is a winding path under heavy snow. Some pointed black leaves, like footprints scattered in the snow, are the only evidence of life. (both this piece and the show)footprints in the air.”) Throughout the show, Wong shows you how many vowels can be made out with black ink, but here he pulls off a similar trick with white paper. As sky, it’s foggy and wispy; as snow Shiny and rich.

Will Heinrich


until 19 June Maxwell Graham/Essex Street, 55 Hester Street; 917-553-8139, essexstreet.biz.

Cameron Rowland He is the rare artist who has garnered much attention for his conceptually difficult work. Your 2016. In breakout show In Artist’s Space, he presented seemingly effortless objects created by people in prisons in New York State and purchased by non-profit galleries; with him booklet Traced a line from slavery to contemporary prison labor. This is Rowland’s model: an added aesthetic focused on everyday objects, with research into their roots in racial capitalism and, at times, interventions in the system that perpetuates whiteness.

His new showRepresentative,” continues in that order, explaining in the 16-page booklet How the protection of white people’s property served as the foundation of the American policing system. The objects occupying the gallery, all arranged on its perimeter, tell a story that is clear even without the booklet: a custom-built emergency-call tower mounted and stacked is an echo of the scanner and recording device that Rowland told the police. is programmed to capture radio communications, many of which relate to obscure suspects. Details echo throughout the space, and over the centuries, on one framed page 1803 newspaper with an advertisement offering $10 for the return of a “negro man”, while two sophisticated cotton scales hang on the side wall, reminiscent of shotguns.

The artist has secretly installed five benches in nearby Seward Park to honor unmarked black burial grounds throughout the city.

Roland’s work can be intimidating because it is simultaneously enigmatic, didactic and demanding. If you spend time with it, though, his argument comes out clearly: The infrastructure that many believe was made of slavery and racism. It won’t be news to everyone, but there’s still something worthwhile about sitting on an unauthorized park bench and contemplating how it shapes the world around you.

Jillian Steinhauer



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