At the moment, edgy travelers probably aren't too concerned with the view from the window seat, but what first-time flyer hasn't been fascinated with the landscape 30,000 feet below? Glasgow artist Carol Rhodes's small oil paintings are composites of various photographic sources, but their perspective is unmistakably aerial: Man-made infrastructure imposes its geometry on fractal coastlines and tessellating patches of land, all of which threaten to dissolve into abstract patterns.
Carol Rhodes + Amy Sillman Brent Sikkema
530 West 22nd Street
Through February 2
With spare compositions rendered in feathery but deft strokes, Rhodes's topography manages to avoid both the sublime and the precious. In Runway, a bleak island of tarmac anchors the background's dreamy horizon, while in Car Park (Night)a study in understatementshadowy industrial structures set off a ground of muddy, purplish brown. There are shades of Luc Tuymans in Rhodes's hazy, low-contrast palette, but the sense of disorientation is entirely her own.
While Rhodes captures the view from the formerly friendly skies, Amy Sillman takes us on a Great American Road Trip. Her Long Drawing, in the gallery's project room, is a 16-part improvisation along the horizontal axis. Working from left to right, Sillman unravels a bizarre thread of imagery that combines New England flora and fauna with giddy decoration: squirrels, moose, and pine trees pop up next to linear doodles and washes of high-octane color.
Sillman's work references "exquisite corpse" and other surrealist drawing games with an intimation of purpose, but the Long Drawing's final destination is unclear: Is she probing the depths of her unconscious, showing off her considerable imagination, or just having fun? Still, Sillman's earthbound spontaneity is a worthy counterpoint to Rhodes's hovering omniscience, and we're happy to go along for the ride.