A bit of exciting news this Monday morning: two very fine shows have received extensions to their runs. Ragnar Kjartansson’s nine-screen video piece at Luhring Augustine, “The Visitors,” now runs through this Saturday, March 23 (it had been scheduled to close March 16), and Artists Space’s rich and captivating “Pictures” update, “Frozen Lakes,” will now close Sunday, March 31.
The wily Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson spends most of his time on screen in his new film, The Visitors (2012), naked in a bathtub, holding an acoustic guitar. Sometimes he strums and sings. “Stars explode all around you / but there’s nothing you can do,” he croons, over and over. On eight more screens arrayed around the gallery, musicians—a drummer, a pianist, a guitarist and more—located in other rooms of a sprawling old house in upstate New York, join him. A large chorus is perched on a porch outside.
The artist Philip Taaffe will now be represented by Luhring Augustine gallery, the gallery said Tuesday, and will debut there with a show of new work in May 2013.
Look at This!
If you’re slow on the uptake, this is your last chance to see the Charles Atlas show at Bushwick’s Luhring Augustine, which opened in February and has remained open after several extensions.
In a summer of sprawling group shows that range from the gutsy to the foreboding, it’s a fine change of pace to come across “Painting in Space” at Luhring Augustine, which contains a relatively succinct collection of (predominantly strong) works in a variety of mediums by 25 firmly established artist.
“I’m speechless,” said Ryan Estep, a visitor at the opening of “The Illusion of Democracy,” Charles Atlas’s show at Luhring Augustine Friday night. Mr. Estep was standing in front of Plato’s Alley, a 2008 video work by Mr. Atlas, comprised of a black and white projection of a grid of rapidly flashing numbers. The video was cast across several walls of a nook in the gallery the size of a small bedroom. An artist and art handler who works at a Chelsea gallery and lives in Bushwick, Mr. Estep was one of the first visitors to the show. He seemed mesmerized. “Things are coming toward me and receding. I’m blown away.”
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.
“Should I give the benediction?” gallerist Roland Augustine asked the nine of us who had gathered on Saturday morning, Nov. 12, outside Luhring Augustine, the Chelsea gallery he runs with Lawrence Luhring. He laughed. “On your mark. Get set. Go!” We bounded east on 23rd Street, carrying a thin bouquet of chamomile flowers in our hands, high-fiving Mr. Luhring down the block, and then, following Dutch artist Guido van der Werve, turned left on Sixth Avenue, toward Central Park.
Mr. van der Werve, 34, outfitted in a black shirt, shorts and knee-high compression socks, was leading us to the grave of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, in Valhalla, New York, a 30-mile trek, for his Performa 11 work. (Chamomiles are Russia’s native flower.) The last time we ran more than 10 miles was about a year ago, and as we ran we realized that trying to participate was a very poor decision.
Last year, Dutch artist Guido van der Werve rather impressively completed a roughly 30-mile run from MoMA P.S.1 in Queens all the way up to the gravesite of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff in Valhalla, New York, in just over four hours, as part of the museum’s “Greater New York” exhibition.
Now Mr. van der Werve’s gallery, Luhring Augustine, has announced that he will attempt the feat again, on Nov. 12, as part of Performa, this time departing from the gallery, on West 24th Street, and he is inviting along a handful of runners for the experience.
Besides the glory of completing such a formidable run and the glamour of being involved in a performance piece by one of today’s interesting young artists, participants will get to take home a limited-edition T-shirt designed by the artist.