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Five essential exhibitions in January

Howard Halle

It’s January, which brings with it good news and bad. The bad news, of course, is that it's winter and the city is freezing over. The good news? A slate of new events to welcome the second have of the cultural season. The art world offers no less with exciting exhibitions at the Whitney and the Met Breuer, as well as at various galleries in Chelsea and on the Lower East Side. Herein, we preview five shows you must not miss.

Anne Doran, Tank Path
Courtesy Invisible-Exports

Anne Doran, “Analogs” Invisible-Exports, Fri 6–Feb 12 
Time Out New York contributor Anne Doran based these new photo-object reliefs on collages originally created between 1988 and 1999. While the results have a definite predigital vibe, they speak to our present age of information overload.  

Sergei Eisenstein, Untitled
Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York and Matthew Stephenson, London

Sergei Eisenstein: Drawings 1931–1948”
Alexander Gray Associates, Sat 7–Feb 11
Did you know that the director of Battleship Potemkin drew pornographic pictures in his downtime? Us neither, but as this roundup of his explicit exertions on paper clearly demonstrate, it’s true. The show spans the period from 1931 until his death in 1948.

Katharina Grosse, Untitled
Jens Ziehe, © Katharina Grosse und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016, courtesy Gagosian

Katharina Grosse
Gagosian Gallery, Jan 19–Mar 11
If you went to Rockaway Beach this past summer, you probably caught the German artist’s public art project in which she transformed Fort Tilden’s abandoned aquatics building into a kind of 3-D painting. She’s also no slouch when it comes to big, bold gestures on regular canvas.

Marisa Merz, Untitled
Renato Ghiazza, courtesy of the artist and Fondazione Merz

“Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space”
The Met Breuer, Jan 24–May 7
A painter, sculptor and installation artist, Marisa Merz was the sole female member of that otherwise all-boy’s club known as Italian Arte Povera. The late-’60s movement took a somewhat nihilistic approach to form and material, with works that often looked like they’d been made out of refuse. Merz followed suit but added some definite feminist flavor to the recipe. This show covering her 50-year career represents her first major retrospective in the United States. 

Robert Colescott, The Three Graces: Art, Sex and Death
Whitney Museum of American Art

“Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s” Whitney Museum of American Art, Jan 27–May 14
Thanks to Donald Trump, the decade of greed is back, so naturally there’s renewed interest in art from the Ronald Reagan era. The Whitney dusts off some prime examples from its collection, including works by Jean-Michel Basquiat.



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