Summer Guide: On Stellar Rays' Candace Madey Talks Lower East Side Art

The Bowery gallery scene. Plus summer art picks

Lee Ufan: ‘Marking Infinity’
June 24–September 28
A rotunda-filling exhibition of works on paper, paintings, sculptures, and installations of the “less is more” variety, Lee’s exhibition is the first U.S. retrospective of a longtime advocate of the de-Westernization and de-modernization of contemporary art. Featuring 90 works by this Korean-born, Japanese master of “absence,” the show constitutes a tailor-made Buddhist tutorial for narcissistic New York artists, championing “a realm of infinity where one can continuously bring one’s self back to nothingness.” Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, guggenheim.org

‘Under Destruction, Chapter III’
June 29–August 7
The final chapter in a three-part exhibition that examines the role of destruction in contemporary art, this group exhibition takes as its north star Swiss artist Jean Tinguely’s spectacularly self-annihilating Homage to New York (1960). Made up of a series of cataclysmic updates as articulated by artists Alexander Gutke, Kris Martin, Jonathan Schipper, Ariel Schlessinger, and Roman Signer, the works on view connect to much recent natural and man-made violence—Martin’s piece 100 Years, for example, consists of a bomb set to detonate in the year 2014. Swiss Institute, 495 Broadway, swissinstitute.net

‘Ostalgia’
July 14–September 25
This survey devoted to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Socialist Republics may—together with the recent Gustav Metzger show—regain the New Museum much of the goodwill squandered previously on youthennials and trophy art. Titled after the German word ostalgie, a Mitteleuropean term that describes nostalgia for the certainties of the Communist Bloc, the exhibition examines contemporary art’s unfolding relationship with human history. Including works by artists Tacita Dean, Miroslaw Balka, Roman Ondák, and 50 others, it should easily be the smartest show of the summer. The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 235 Bowery, newmuseum.org

Lyonel Feininger: ‘At the Edge of the World’
June 30–October 16
This is the first full-fledged, U.S.-based retrospective of a native New York artist who was also a European Johnny-on-the-spot. From his early days in Germany, where he moved when he was 16, to his forced wartime repatriation, Feininger remained a polyvalent creator intimately connected to the dynamism that defined modern art. Marching through his involvement with Cubism, German Expressionism, the Bauhaus, and Black Mountain College, the show also examines Feininger’s relationship to comics, photography, sculpture, and music. The Whitney Museum, 945 Madison Avenue, whitney.org

‘Talk to Me’
July 24–November 7
“I am a good listener, just ask my TV”—this and other uncomfortable punch lines may pop up as you peruse this show of technology and design that literally addresses the convenient marriage between our gadgets and ourselves. Featuring computer and machine interfaces, video games, websites, installations, immersive environments, and sundry tools and products, this exhibition relates what our “gateways and interpreters”—read: cell phones and computers—tell us, even when we’re busy ignoring them. Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, moma.org

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