On View

Stephen Lichty at Foxy Production

'Untitled' (2014) by Lichty. (Courtesy the artist and Foxy Production)

Stephen Lichty’s knockout solo gallery debut centers on an untitled monolith of columnar basalt sourced from Grand Coulee in Washington State. Six and a half feet tall and pale gray, it has a footprint naturally shaped like the trapezoidal pentagon on Superman’s breast. It is speckled with maroon dots and a few white patches, with a blackish water line whipping down its left edge like lightning; viewed from the gallery door, it looks simple and rectangular. Another facet is more liberally water stained, and a third is the purplish-black color of a bruise up to the top fifth or so, where it narrows slightly and then offsets, like the point of a stone axe, and is dappled with orange oxidation. Unweathered, the stone itself would be the color of a prehistoric night, as you can see in the brief, restrained curve that Mr. Lichty has polished onto the tip, just visible to either side of the taxidermied tomcat draped over it. A gray tabby with black spots, black rings on its legs, blond highlights and gently closed eyes, the cat stretches out in a curiously human position, its hind legs and tail hanging straight, its back relaxed, its forelegs extended to embrace what is at once its tombstone and its foundation, and its muzzle resting to one side of the corner like a napping child on its father’s shoulder. One tiny fang pokes out. Read More

On View

‘Sara Cwynar: Flat Death’ at Foxy Production

'Contemporary Floral Arrangement 5 (A Compact Mass),' 2014. (Courtesy the artist and Foxy Production)

Sara Cwynar attacks photographic flatness, the digital manipulation of images, appropriation, accretion, our present-day cargo-cult apocalypse of worthless tchotchkes, and all the other instruments she’s young enough to take for granted instead of belaboring with a virtuosic ad-hoc analog gusto. Contemporary Floral Arrangement 5 (A Compact Mass), for example, began with a card deaccessioned from the New York Public Library Picture Collection that showed a flower arrangement in an alabaster urn. Ms. Cwynar scanned, enlarged and reprinted this image in sections on 30 new cards, which she then taped together on the floor. Then, before reshooting this reconstituted picture from above, she doubled the flowers with an adroitly colorful arrangement of hotel keys and soaps; matchbooks from the Ritz-Carlton, Betty and Harry’s wedding and a restaurant that’s been serving lunch and dinner since 1936; Scrabble tiles, pencils, a camera flash, dice, birthday candles, padlocks, yardsticks, power cords, shoelaces, price stickers, knitting needles, paperbacks, Pantone cards, a snapshot, a baseball card and a bilingual Canadian pillbox—every object casting its own centripetal shadow. Read More

On View

‘Minty’ at Foxy Production

'Say It With Flowers' by Buffon. (Courtesy the artist)

Imagine yourself in an anxiety dream. Bald allusions to sex and carnality are everywhere, with an obsessive focus on the violence latent in any intimate crossing of borders or shifting of roles. But nothing feels solid or real. And then, like an afterimage, you wake up to cool and refreshing sublimation, immaculate in its artifice but no less sincere: “Minty,” once the name of performance artist Leigh Bowery’s band, now the name of a drag character performed by artist Matt Savitsky as well as of this group show curated by Ebony L. Haynes. “You have to see everything,” Mr. Savitsky’s “drag mother” (his mentor in drag) tells him while correcting his makeup in the artist’s short video Screen Test #1. “You have to see everything.” To practice his makeup application, Mr. Savitsky also cast his own face in plaster: Untitled (Part of Room Face Realness) consists of the artist’s face, doubled and upside down, made up to and beyond lifelike with foundation and purple lipstick, lips pursed around short pieces of white PVC pipe—like the pipe the artist breathed through while casting—and swinging from a thick black rope. “You have to see everything,” Mr. Savitsky mouths uncertainly to himself as the video ends. Read More

On View

‘HMV’ at Foxy Production

5 Photos

Installation view

There’s a thin line between suggestive paradox and resignation, but “HMV” manages to walk it. Organized by independent curator Alexander Shulan, the exhibition is named after the 1968 Stanislaw Lem novel His Master’s Voice, which follows a group of scientists who fail to interpret a signal from outer space because they can’t keep from projecting themselves onto it. Read More

Review

Sea Spume, Magic Hands and Miniature Worlds: Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher at Derek Eller, Michael Bell-Smith at Foxy Production, Louise Fishman at Cheim & Read

6 Photos

Installation view of Louise Fishman's show at Cheim & Read

FOR THE TEXAN collaborative team of Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher, the camera obscura has been displaced as a metaphor by a surveillance-state Moebius strip. Everything is exposed for peering at, but there is no outside from which to peer in. Their new installation Trailer, currently biding its time in Derek Eller Gallery, consists of five ceiling-mounted projectors throwing five blank, digitally pixelated rectangles, each tinted a different color, onto or beside five groups of 17 wall-mounted plywood boxes, six power strips, and innumerable wires, caps, circuits and LED lights. The wires, whose elegant parallels and polite crossings bring to mind a schematic subway map, lead up the walls and across the ceiling to a secret control room in the back. Read More