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
'Night Shift II: Hidden Hands'
With "Best in Show's" long lead time, it's difficult to cover exhibitions of short duration. But in the interest of worker solidarity, we'll take a gamble on the DVD press release for a two-week gig featuring a wide range of work from 30 artists' assistants, gallery staffers, and art handlersthe blue-collar toilers of the international art mall. David Gilbert's conga line of broken egg shells has a luscious vibe: The ragged little bowl shapes snuggle into each other and climb up a corner, one end of this ivory worm jagged, the other roundly smooth. Stephanie Prussin's photo of a white lampshade against a livid red wall achieves a painterly aplomb through painstaking gradations of light, while Roberta Bennett's "Nano Movies" are constructed from the cinematic minimum: two frames. Set in lenticular boxes and mounted on a teetering laser disk, the images flash back and forth whenever a breeze (or the viewer's touch) moves them. White Box, 525 W 26th, 212-714-2347. Through August 26.
'The Evolution of the Digital Portrait'
What if you ran a Barbie doll's face through the FBI program used to age yearbook photos of kids who have mysteriously disappeared? Nancy Burson helped develop the software, and her image of Barbie's ravaged visage conjures a Parisian streetwalker past her prime. Jake Rowland's Victor/Victoria-esque photos blending portraits of himself and his wife get weirder in each variationshirtless and flat-chested with a femme face; pearls and pink shoulder straps beneath a masculine glare; Mickey Mouse tee and a pair of plump red lips pouting beneath a three-day-old mustache. E-J Major's dozen mug shots recreate an anti-drug campaign from Marie Claire magazine: The artist has cast herself as the unnamed woman progressively (and fatally) ravaged by heroin addictionfrom toothsome promise through bruised emaciation to feral hopelessness. Clamp Art, 521-531 W 25th, 646-230-0020. Through August 17.
Amid a show of elegantly resuscitated detritus (such as Ian Pedigo's conglomeration of yellowed newsprint and ratty straw mats), Larry Bamburg's abject constellation of fishing line strung with masking tape, paper scraps, and Band-Aids rates special notice. Suspended from two ceiling fans, one with shorter blades centered beneath a larger fixture, these skittering networks spin in opposite directions, forming nested, ephemeral cylinders. Dull lead weights and a red plastic bead dance with scintillating grace; a snarl of plastic line flashes in and out of skylight sunbeams like a stuttering angel. It's a celestial carousel for one of Italo Calvino's diffident galaxy trippers. Peter Blum, 526 W 29th, 212-244-6055. Through August 25.
Ahhh, a summer salon show with a vengeancenigh on 200 artists presenting sculpture, painting, photography, video, and comix, the famous and not-so hung six high up the walls. Speaking of hung, there's a dude in horn-rims sporting a major erection, his stiff posture against a stucco wall more evocative of dissolute '70s hedonism than even his Supertramp T-shirt. This 2007 photo is complemented by a life-size painting of Nancy Sinatra in those high white boots, surrounded by fab, Vegas-scale lettering. Among the numerous treats are a feverish abstract painting of salmon-colored circles; a touchingly humble sculpture of a water bottle, dowel rod, and red drips; and the startling image of a burning car done in silk-screened chocolateplus a flamboyant pyramid of pipe cleaners and feathers, its drag vibe tempered by a poignant photo of a pink arcade crane (the type where you maneuver a claw to pluck up a stuffed animal) rusted and listing on the street, awaiting its date with the garbage truck. The juxtapositions are keen, the manifesto is heartfelt"Commodity is not the reason to produce or appreciate art"and the joint's air-conditioned. If you need more, go back to wherever it is you came from. Derek Eller, 615 W 27th, 212-206-6411. Through August 24.