When the artist Elad Lassry was asked to design an image for the billboard that overlooks the High Line park, he had to put aside some of his usual working methods. “I don’t normally do commissions,” he told The Observer over the phone from his Los Angeles studio, “or make work for a specific occasion.” But the invitation also presented an issue of scale. Normally, Mr. Lassry’s photographs are roughly 11 x 14 inches, proportions derived from a conventional headshot. Even when he presents his short films, as he did for his solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 2009, he projects them at roughly the same headshot size. The High Line billboard, on the other hand, is 75 x 25 feet, wider than the average IMAX screen.
The New York branch of the heavy hitting international gallery Hauser & Wirth is not, right now, very large. It occupies two floors in a bright, narrow townhouse on East 69th Street, the former home of the Martha Jackson Gallery and, after that, the offices of boxing promoter Don King.
Last Wednesday, the 33-year-old artist Rashid Johnson, a rising star in the New York art world, arrived at the crowded opening of his debut show with the gallery in a white shirt and with his dreads tied in a neat bow down his back, his 4-month-old son on his shoulder.
A quick glance over Israeli artist Elad Lassry’s work of the past few years suggests that dance has become more than a passing fascination for him. In a short film included in the Museum of Modern Art’s 2010 “New Photography” show, Mr. Lassry cast actor Eric Stoltz as a choreographer, and his contribution to the Venice Biennale this summer was a mysterious, haunting film of dancers, including a translucent woman, silently, steadfastly performing.