By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Many exhibitions in the city this fall, chief among them the Guggenheim mothership's big survey, "Brazil: Body and Soul," should add to Brazil's mystique as a land of sensuality, excess, physicality, and carnivalesque extremes. Ranging across four centuries of this country's complex multiculture, it has a showstopping opener: an enormous (and enormously elaborate) baroque altarpiece, from a monastery in the Amazonian northeast, that should give Frank Lloyd Wright's rotunda a run for the money. Larger than most Manhattan apartments, the structure measures a humongous 40 by 30 by 15 feet.
Ranging from feather capes by indigenous artists to Ernesto Neto's spicy amorphous panty-hose installation work, and from Afro-Brazilian slave jewelry and ritual objects to the tropical modernist works of the 1920s (such as that of Tarsila do Amaral, whose 1929 painting, Anthropophagy, tweaks Picasso and Rousseau) as well as the radical experimental oeuvres of the 1960s, "Brazil: Body and Soul" promises to be a vast and unwieldy blockbuster. But presenting grand, preposterous, and sometimes compromised visions is the Guggenheim's forte. This omnivorous exhibition could be an enlightening initiation into the constants, variables, and parameters of the Brazilian sensibility, orwho knowsa revelation that there is no single such thing.
"O Fio da Trama/The Thread Unraveled: Contemporary Brazilian Art" at El Museo del Barrio (October 12- January 31, 1230 Fifth Avenue, 831-7272) picks up where the Gugg's exhibition leaves off. With nearly 50 drawings, sculptures, photographs, and installations done during the past decade by some 20 younger and newer Brazilian artistssome showing in New York for the first timeEl Museo del Barrio brings the Guggenheim survey up to date and counters its grandiose, scattershot approach by concentrating on a single connective theme. Focusing on pieces that use thread or fabric, this exhibition makes the point that in the work of many Brazilian artists, sewing, weaving, and embroidery are more than crafty techniques: They're flexible metaphors for society.
If that isn't enough, a few Chelsea galleries get into the spirit by showing Brazilian artists this fall. Miguel Rio Branco, whose photographs are at the Gugg, shows an installation with slide projections and sound, titled "Between the Eyes, the Desert," at D'Amelio Terras (October 13-November 10, 525 West 22nd Street, 352-9460). São Paulo native Jac Leirner, whose elegantly minimal calling-card works have to do not only with identity but with her globe-hopping, equator-crossing, peripatetic life, alights at Brent Sikkema (October 20-November 17, 530 West 22nd Street, 929-2262). And Valeska Soares does an installation about borders and infinite space at Liebman Magnan (November 6-December 29, 552 West 24th Street, 255-3225).
And just in case you haven't guessed the ulterior motives behind this Brazilian extravaganza, here's a clue: The multinational McGugg hopes to open one or more branches in Brazil.
September 5-October 13
Alexander and Bonin Gallery, 132 Tenth Avenue, 367-7474
Out of the mists of history comes this legendary free spirit's celebratory "Drawings, Signs,and Beaux 1974-1976."
Best-known here for his glorious floor stripings of colored tape, the Glasgow artist should have a field day in this gallery's new space.
September 6-October 6
Postmasters Gallery, 459 West 19th Street, 727-3323
The online pioneer and founder of the Thing has his first non-virtual New York show in 10 years, with live Web transmissions.
September 6-October 13
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 1018 Madison Avenue, fifth floor, 744-7400
Griffin, whose teddy-bear paintings were in the Whitney Biennial 2000 and in "Freestyle," shows new work.
An artist whose paintings plug into the composite megastructures of virtual space and shopping malls has his first solo, titled "Convergence."
September 8-October 13
Brent Sikkema Gallery, 530 West 22nd Street, 929-2262
A light projection and wall installation, titled "American Primitive," is her latest dark allegory of gender and race. Works on paper are also in the show.
September 8-October 27
Exit Art, 548 Broadway, 966-7745
The latest incarnation of Exit Art's annual show of fresh talent features 25 artists.
September 11-October 9
Leo Koenig Gallery, 359 Broadway, 334-9255
This gallery kicks off the season with a slippery environment by the renegade group that calls itself Gelatin.
Is it really possible that it's this Londoner's first New York solo? Her installation here promises a life-size bronze tree with real apples.
A smart Swedish artist whose subtle work has to do with landscape as a cruising site, art history as coercion, and gay identity, as shown here.
Draeger, who has a taste for catastrophe and chaos, shows a four-channel video and sculpture installation titled "Inferno."
This show offers 37 new paintingsboth abstract and representationalby the East German-born art star who back in the early '60s rejected socialist realism, dreamed up "capitalist realism," and (influenced by American pop art) decided to "paint a photo." The rest is history.
September 15-October 20
Metro Pictures, 519 West 24th Street, 206-7100
"Wishful Drinking," with a whiskey-still sculpture, an eraser wall-drawing, and a series of works on vellum.
September 15-October 20
Liebman Magnan, 552 West 24th Street, 255-3225
Her fermenting sugarcane tunnel installation was the hit of the Havana Bienal, even though it only lasted one day. Here the Cuban artist performs eight gestures that have to do with being silenced in a sound and video installation.
September 23-October 28
Sculpture Center, 44-19 Purves Street, Long Island City, Queens, 718-361-1750
Donna Nield creates an indoor tornado, Lisa Hein wraps an upside-down drainage system around the building, and 20 others respond in various ways to the raw industrial space near P.S.1 that will become the Sculpture Center's new home.
Hammond's zany paintings, based on a lexicon of found images, inaugurate Lelong's new ground-floor Chelsea space. "From Avatar to Zed" consists of the final dozen paintings based on titles provided by John Ashbery.
September 20-November 28
Location One, 26 Greene Street, 334-3347
"O2 = 03: Fractured Oxygen = Ozone" is the title of this show of Sonnier's selected work from 1990 to 1997. Inspired by Tesla's experiments with electricity, The Tesla Wall and other pieces electrify the exhibition space with sparkling light and crackling sound.
'FROM GODDESS TO PIN-UP: ICONS OF FEMININITY IN INDIAN CALENDAR ART'
October 4-January 19
Indo Center of Art & Culture, 530 West 25th Street, 462-4221
Exploring representations of women in India's calendar art, this exhibition could be an intriguing investigation of cultural issues at the intersection of the sacred and secular. Or it could just be a fine display of high kitsch.
The internationally known Polish artist has his second show here.
'ART IN GENERAL ON CANAL (PART 1)'
October 9-February 28
Canal Street between Chinatown and the West Side Pier, 219-0473
If you're alert next time you shop for supplies, you might spot work by Matthew Bakkom, Gustavo Artigas, Gelatin, Godzilla Asian American Art Network, and Sontext on manholes or street signs or in a bank, shop window, or at other sites across Canal Street.
Brainard, a proto-pop maverick who rarely showed in public after 1979, has a retrospective at P.S.1 (opens September 30). More of his smart, witty, contrarian assemblages, paintings, drawings, and collages are here.
Finally, a substantial museum show of this witty para-conceptualist's irresistibly insubstantial work, made of anything from sugar cubes or spaghetti to elaborately cut paper, a single aspirin, or a bit of dust.
October 12-November 10
Postmasters Gallery, 459 West 19th Street, 727-3323
His cartoon paintings may be an acquired taste, but once acquired, his dark take on modernist geometry (and absurdity) resonates every which way.
An artist who works as a stylist in a South Central L.A. beauty salon and showed in "Freestyle" has his first solo of elegantly minimalist paintings made with hair dye, perm paper, and hair.
A new installation.
October 14-February TBA
Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, 718-448-2500
Specially commissioned works by 18 artists celebrate the demise of the world's biggest garbage dump, one of the largest manmade structures in the world. Mark Dion, Rackstraw Downes, Jussi Heikkilä, and, of course, Mierle Ukeles are among them.
October 16-November 17
Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, 242-7727
Her first New York show in seven years, a site-specific LED installation, inaugurates this gallery's new space.
Two enormous new canvases and studies for them by a painter who looks less klutzy and more canny by the minute. His small works are at the Whitney (September 21-December 2) and the Philip Morris Whitney (December 5-January 4). The complete woodcuts and linocuts are at Peter Blum, 99 Wooster Street, 343-0441 (September 20-November 3).
MICHAEL ELMGREEN/INGAR DRAGSET
October 20-November 24
Tanya Bonakdar, 521 West 21st Street, 414-4144
The work of this Scandinavian duo is smart, spare, grounded in queer theory, and to the point. Their dispossessed structures, which alter the architecture of emotion, get better and better.
New paintings by the master of debased figuration.
Galerie Lelong, 526 West 26th Street, 315-0470
"White Rain," Coyne's latest work.
November 15-December 22
P.P.O.W. Gallery, 476 Broome Street, 941-8642
Yamamoto has the main show; Judy Fox's sculpture is in gallery two.
New works by a German maverick who has made art out of everything from camping cars to live pigs.
November 17-December 22
D'Amelio Terras, 525 West 22nd Street, 352-9460
More of his understated, site-specific, strategically formal new works made with common discarded objects such as bottles, cans, Styrofoam packaging, and straws.
Three "Soliloquies" pair scenes from Hollywood films with videos in which ordinary people re-perform Clint's, Jack's, and Sharon's starring roles.
December 13-February 4
Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street, 570-3600
A new video installation by Pfeiffer, who taps into the psychological possibilities of pop culture images.
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, 2225 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, 718-784-2084
The Canadian audio, video, and installation wizard who's a star in the current Venice Biennale gets her first survey show of manipulative, immersive, and perceptually confounding hypertheatrical work.