By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Miriam Felton-Dansky
By Tom Sellar
By Tom Sellar
By Jessica Dawson
By Tom Sellar
By R. C. Baker
By Tom Sellar
Philippines-born Ganapin has mastered the use of scissors and a hole punch to transformno, transmutecolor prints of other artists' work into eye-poppingly bold mandalas. She carefully paints the edges of the tiny circles so that no obtrusive white lines appear, then painstakingly places thousands of them into each immaculate design. In 2006's Untitled (John James Audubon's Great Egret), Ganapin cut up hundreds of announcement cards for an exhibit of the great naturalist's work; the obsessively repeated patterns of yellow beaks and dark eyes form a hypnotic, flowerlike circle. Another joy of this show is how the varying source materialsreproductions of a Lichtenstein painting, say, or an Egyptian statuechange the mood from whimsical to mystically somber. McKenzie, 511 W 25th, 212-989-5467. Through April 21.
Yet more obsession here: These early typewriter works (195866) oscillate between pattern and content as you move close enough to discern the words. A grainy rectangle from five feet away is actually a list of the periodic elementsa critical mass typed with no intervening spaces except before a "cium" that hangs forlornly near the bottom of the page, cast off from "Lawrencium" by the stern logic of text justification. Some pieces create saw-tooth and diamond shapes from words of varying lengths, while others feature repetitions of simple words ("time," "bell") in irregular striations that gather like sediment, leaving found poems to serendipitously pop into view like fossils. Andrea Rosen, 525 W 24th, 212-627-6000. Through April 21.
Nancy Brooks Brody
We have a hat-trick of meticulousness this week. For the two-foot-square Hard to Soft (2006), Brody has channeled the exacting approach of Agnes Martin into lyrical grids of pencil strokes in Venetian plaster, delicately etching the soft surface with pencil leads of varying densities to create undulations that flow from light to dark. In other pieces, she stitches shiny white thread through buff paper; the contrasting sheens form arcs of light that move across the surface like weather. The interiors of rocks she has cracked open have been painted stark white before being rejoined, leaving bright fault lines to record a violent action. Virgil de Voldére, 526 W 26th, 212-343-9694. Through April 28.
One more for the obsession crowd. As with Andre, part of the fascination of Green's work, which is made from those thin plastic labeling strips embossed with letters, is how the images begin as geometric cascades of pure form before coalescing into such phrases as "IMeMyMine." & (2005) is constructed from strips of thousands of ampersands, some of them angling out in radiating waves. With hard-edged stripes that recall Barnett Newman's colorful "zips" and a reflective tondo that recounts a deadpan mathematical riddle, Green's work is loaded with allusions, but its beguiling visual resonance comes from dense, painterly compositions. Outrageous Look, 103 Broadway, Brooklyn, 718-218-7656. Through April 22.
"Venice and the Islamic World, 8281797"
Although civilization is always tenuousviz the 2003 looting of the Iraqi National Museum while American forces stood idly bythis exhibit chronicling a millennium of cultural interchange between the West and Islam bears witness to the humanizing power of art. These often gorgeous examples of Renaissance paintingcheck out the clouds in the scene of Saint Stephen being stoned by an Ottoman mobare enlivened by interwoven abstractions borrowed from Islamic design; elsewhere in the show, sumptuous textiles, ceramics, and metalwork reveal sources and influences traveling both ways across the Mediterranean. (You may get a sense that some Italian painters loved turbans simply because they were beautiful objects to model in space.) The power of much of this work comes from its capacity to transcend the religious and political tensions it sometimes depicts. Metropolitan Museum, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 212-535-7710. Through July 8.