These artists will have you looking out this month, so beware the ides of March!
Pioneer Works, New York
February 23—April 8
Japanese artist and composer Shuta Hasunuma's practice seeks to answer one question: How can something intangible like sound be transferred between human beings in physical, material form? Surely there are many ways to address this, be they Nick Cave's politically potent Soundsuits, or Yoko Ono's Tape Piece I, whose score simply reads, "Stone Piece. Take the sound of the stone aging." In Hasunuma's Compositions, on view at Brooklyn's Pioneer Works, sound becomes manifested in environment and audience participation. Focusing on the banal, and typically ignored frequencies of the everyday, Hasunuma asks his audience to experience these interactions with a renewed attention—how does it sound walking past someone you love versus someone you think posts on Instagram too much?While Compositions is Hasunuma's first solo exhibition in the United States, his work as both an artist and composer has been widely recognized in Asia, with recent solo exhibitions at the Beijing Culture and Arts Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. His current exhibition at Pioneer Works showcases new works produced during Hasunuma's residency at the multidisciplinary cultural center this past winter.
Without knowing London-based artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz, one might assume that the painted patterns on marble slabs leaning informally against the gallery walls, the spinning, glowing orbs on the gallery floor, the fountain, or the fish tank might be the work of some new millennial Bushwick artist, with a likely degree from the School of Arts Institute in Chicago. Chaimowicz, however, is none of these things. Emerging in the London arts scene in the 1970s, Chaimowicz's radical approach to installation put him on the map as a rising star. Fusing performance and installation, his works offered immersive experiences that were sweet and sensual, but all the while critical of the physical affects of private life and domesticity. His groundbreaking work engaged conversations on the intersection of queer theory and feminism, fusing everyday life with art and politics, gently affirming the Second-wave Feminist motto that "the personal is political." Despite the fact that Chaimowicz has been making and exhibiting work internationally for the past fifty years, and is collected by the MoMA, the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Victoria Art Foundation (Zürich), his upcoming show at the Jewish Museum in New York will be the artist's first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Cleverly titled, "Your Place or Mine...", the show is a tongue-in-cheek window into Chaimowicz's own interior reality that asks, "Is this view so different from your own? And how?"
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
March 3—March 31
There is a lot to be said for the power of implication and suggestion in Brazilian artist Erika Verzutti's work. Broaching the space between familiar comfort and alien fascination, Verzutti's sensuous pieces have been described by the Guggenheim as "the denizens of alternative worlds located somewhere between the real and the fantastic." For "Ex Gurus", Verzutti's first exhibition with Andrew Kreps Gallery, the artist showcases the most recent occupants of this alternative world. The show presents each of Verzutti's works as the representative for some former thought or belief system within the artist's own psyche, laying down a powerful thesis that asserts that the act of creation is "in itself a belief system—one with the freedom to endlessly discover new ideas and results." Verzutti's work is collected by the Centre Pompidou, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, to name a few. Her current show at Andrew Kreps Gallery celebrates the artist's recent inclusion into the gallery's representative roster, alongside artists like Hito Steyerl, Frank Benson (creator of the famed, iridescent sculpture of Juliana Huxtable, and a 2015 artist to watch), Andrea Bowers, and the aforementioned Marc Camille Chaimowicz.
Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York
March 4—April 22
In 2017, Interview Magazine praised emerging New York-based artist Avery Singer for her impressive body of complex, large-scale paintings which serve to "updat(e) impressionism for the 21st century." Working primarily in grayscale, Singer's paintings mimic the style of digital rendering software such as of Google's SketchUp. The press release from the artist's 2015 exhibition at the Hammer Museum quotes Singer in saying that she strives to explore “new possibilities for portraying naturalism.” She redefines the role of painting in the age of mechanical reproduction by blurring genres, pulling from modes as disparate as a post-digital lexicon and the pre-photographic. Having grown up in the midst of New York City's art scene, Singer is interested in the practice of making, displaying, and viewing art as concepts in themselves; her more figurative works often depicting artists in daily life. Since the artist's premier of large-scale, complex paintings at the New Museum's Triennial Show in 2015, Singer has taken a turn towards abstraction. Judging by her track record, the artist's upcoming show at Gavin Brown's Enterprise in New York City is one that should not be missed.
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Driven by her love of fabric and texture and her fascination with the relationship between natural and synthetic materials, the German-born artist creates delicate, intricately woven sculptures using techniques she learned while studying fashion design at Central St. Martins College in London. Writes art critic Roberta Smith, Bircken’s work appears as a “belated challenge to Post-Minimalist sculptors.” Bircken describes her works as “units,” within which dialogues between materials like human hair, wax, and tampons occur. Bircken’s works are webs of narrative that harken to predecessors Eva Hesse and Joseph Beuys. Her upcoming show at Studio Voltaire in London marks a distinct shift in material choice for the artist: moving away from the soft, warped dreamcatcher aesthetic she is known for, towards harder, metallic woven objects.
Serpentine Gallery, London
March 6—May 28
New York-based artist Ian Cheng has received a great deal of acclaim in recent years for his digitally simulated works. In the past we've seen him do things like create a mindfulness app that allows users to take control of a demonic corgi puppy, so obviously we're pretty stoked to see what's next on the agenda for this young emerging artist. Cheng has been one to watch since his first solo museum exhibition at New York's MoMA PS1 in 2017, which featured live simulations that sought to explore the evolution of consciousness and cognition. If that sounds like a whole lot of nothing to you, picture a video game with no clear narrative or foreseeable outcome. Cheng's work is invested in replicating a consciousness and history that exists apart from the anthropomorphic body. With his newest exhibition, opening at London's Serpentine Gallery on March 6, Cheng is set to break some serious ground by creating first ever sentient artwork, which he's nicknamed BOB (or Bag of Beliefs). The show will turn the tables on the audience: by making you into the living exhibition for BOB, who continues to grow and evolve by the minute. (Scared yet?) Cheng will also display his work Emissaries as part of the exhibition, which he describes as the "video game that plays itself." The artist's work will appear alongside the digital artist Sondra Perry, who appeared in last month’s Artists to Watch feature. As far as we can tell, the pairing of the two artist’s work is a match made in art heaven, and we're excited to see how their works play off of each other.
SculptureCenter, New York
January 29—April 2
After an extended hiatus from exhibiting her work (having worked primarily as an art dealer since from the mid-90s into the early 2000s), New York-based artist Carissa Rodriguez re-emerged on the map at the Whitney Biennial in 2014, collaborating on a work with performance artist on-the-rise Ei Arakawa. Arakawa and Rodriguez's Biennial piece appeared as a subversion of the notion of paradise, and a meditation on marginality and mainstream American culture. Maybe you remember those "portable islands" that could be worn as hats by multiple people at once? Now 47, Rodriguez has her first solo exhibition, titled The Maid, in her native New York City, at the SculptureCenter in Long Island City. In the show, Rodriquez explores the social conditions under which art is created, and examines the role of the artist as an end in itself. In addition to installation works, the exhibit features a number of new video and photographic works. Inspired by a 1913 short story by Robert Walser in which a maid searches endlessly for a lost child until she eventually dies (how awful!), Rodriguez highlights the cycle that essentially "timeless" physical art objects undergo as time passes, and explores theories subjecthood. Rodriguez finds a particular interest in time: specifically that which is "suspended, potential, and actualized."
Lyles and King Gallery, New York
February 18—March 18
Since childhood, Romanian artist Mi Kafchin vowed to only draw self-portraits from memory. Consequentially, the works of the emerging painter rely almost entirely on interior vision and imagination (with a particularly evident interest in cartoonish sci-fi aesthetics). Kafchin is fascinated with the visual language of dreams, populating her paintings with an abundance of symbols to be pieced together like a puzzle. She situates herself as a player in her own constructed worlds, donning a variety of disguises and personas ranging from a sexless robot to a surgical patient. At her last solo show at Berlin’s Galerie Judin, Self Fulfilling Prophecy, back in 2016, the artist wrestled with notions of transformation. At the time, she was transitioning into a woman, and has described that the hormonal changes she was experiencing changed the way that she saw art and construction. Once primarily interested in the dynamics of a work, Kafchin found herself deeply interested in and excited by color. This shift is evident in the artist's show “Between Nights,” currently on view at Lyles and King Gallery in New York. The show, featuring 10 playful and colorful oil paintings on cardboard, canvas, and wood, marks the artist’s first solo show in New York. But you'd better hurry, because the show closes on March 18!