Crossover Alley

Krazy Kat and Vegetable Sex to greet the fall season

Giorgio Morandi
Sept 12–Oct 28

Any chance to see the small, dusky works by this painter's painter is cause for celebration. Born in 1890, Morandi made still lifes of cups, bowls, vases, and misshapen boxes that appear makeshift, almost lackadaisical, but the colors and shapes are perfectly, inwardly tuned; the shadow across a blue-and-white-striped cup strikes as many subtle changes as a John Cage composition. Just as scientists can't see atoms but can infer their existence through their interactions with each other, Morandi captured ineffable changes in light not just on surfaces but in the very air surrounding his humble, contemplative subjects. Paul Thiebaud, 42 E 76th, 212-737-9759

Jeff Ono
Sept 30–Nov 4

Detail of Harvey Kurtsman's cover of Two-Fisted Tales
Reproduced with permission of William M. Gaines, Agent, Inc.
Detail of Harvey Kurtsman's cover of Two-Fisted Tales

Details

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    During the past decade, Ono has made sculptures from plastic drinking straws (two-foot square-gridded cubes) and paper towels, construction paper, and tape (geodesic-type spheres roughly the size of beach balls). An untitled work from his upcoming show is approximately four feet high, and sits atop a squat pedestal of uneven arches; it looks as if flat noodles have been twisted around each other, coming to rest after forming an uneven, attenuated cage. Ono says his work is about the intersection of differing systems and disruptions that are "often violent and sudden in nature (hiccup, sneeze, orgasm, coronary failure), or occasionally slow and deliberate (tumor, virus)." This young sculptor's work treads a contradictory path between the delicate and prosaic. Feature, 530 W 25th, 212-675-7772

    Walton Ford
    Nov 3–Jan 28, 2007

    Ford's huge watercolors of wild beasts pull off a neat trick—he anthropomorphizes his subjects while retaining their animal otherness. In Der Panterausbruch (2001), a black panther strides through the snow pursued by torch-wielding, elk-horn-blowing villagers looking for all the world like extras from an old Frankenstein flick. The Gothic text spelling out the title and "1934" across this five-foot-wide painting furthers the strange, campy vibe. Yet the steamy breath coming from the big cat's mouth and its swaying, powerful paws stop any burlesque metaphor in its tracks—this is no cuddly mascot but a natural-born hunter. This schism between the melodramatic settings and the naturalistic animals promises to make this retrospective even more surreal than an actual zoo. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, 718-638-5000

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