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Top five shows: Nov 14–20, 2013

The best of the week in art.

 (Photograph: Andrew Smart)
Photograph: Andrew Smart

Martin Creed
Hauser & Wirth New York + Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, through Dec 21
Creed, a Glaswegian who divides his time between London and Alicudi, Italy, is known for creating Conceptual installations out of mundane items and activities. His best-known work, which won him the 2001 Turner Prize, consisted of an empty room in which a light switched on and off every few minutes. This double show moves from uptown to down, filling Hauser & Wirth’s East 69th Street location and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in the Village.  Works include portraits made by hanging card stock high on a wall, then jumping, paintbrush in hand, to create a mark—repeating the action until the image is complete.

 (Photograph: Couresy the artist and Canada)
Photograph: Couresy the artist and Canada

Michael Williams
Canada, through Dec 8
Williams’s latest paintings continue his irrepressible combination of imagery and abstraction, airbrushed doodlings and washes of color, suggesting a head-on collision of Cy Twombly and Carroll Dunham, with Amy Sillman cheering from the side of the highway.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash)
Photograph: Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash

Leon Kossoff, “London Landscapes”
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, through Dec 21
Some 90 drawings created over six decades are on view in this survey of a lion of the School of London.

 (Photograph: Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery)
Photograph: Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery

Liz Magic Laser, Absolute Event
Paula Cooper Gallery, Thu 14–Nov 30
Cyrano de Bergerac meets the U.S.’s dysfunctional political system in this video installation, which combines elements of a TV control room and a disco. The centerpiece is a public performance at the gallery, recorded live over two evenings (Thu 14 and Fri 15, starting at 7pm). Two actors, who are also former congressional aides, will assume respective roles as a political strategist and a candidate he’s advising, working from a script that combines passages from Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play with material the artist culled from interviews with campaign specialists in Washington, D.C.

 (Photograph: Michael Werner New York/London)
Photograph: Michael Werner New York/London

Peter Doig, “early Works”
Michael Werner; though Jan 4
Peter Doig first made a splash in the U.K. with a 1991 show at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, followed several years later by his New York gallery debut. But he had been producing work for much of the 1980s, and this show looks at this lesser-known phase of the artist’s career, presenting paintings and drawings that, in some cases, have never been exhibited before.