A highly recommended solo show, and some interesting individual works.
Through August 15
Ohad Meromi: Worker! Smoker! Actor!
Nathalie Karg Gallery
41 Great Jones Street, NYC
Familiarity doesn’t diminish my enthusiasm for Ohad’s work—I’ve been a huge fan of it since 2010 and assisted him last summer—and I was super impressed with his 23-minute video on view at Karg. The beautifully-photographed video includes footage of ridiculously labor-intensive, moving machinery made of plywood, movement/dance/actor/performers, and hand-painted signs in Futura bearing texts on Socialism. Its blend of child-friendly aesthetics and adult detachment is affecting. It’s in a really cool, raw space, the kind you’re afraid NYC might have lost. Go see it.
Through August 1
The Bigger Picture: Work from the 1990s
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
521 West 21st Street, NYC
There two works in this show that made my day:
In Olafur Eliasson’s Convex/concave, a simple Mylar tondo looks basically like a mirror. However, an air tube connects it with a vitrine-encased pump, which is audibly emitting “breathing” noises. By sucking or pumping the air from the tondo, the Mylar becomes concave or convex in quick bursts. When you encounter the mirror and see your reflection, it’s hard to notice what’s going on. But if you shift your gaze to the reflection of the background, you’ll see the effect is like a dolly zoom shot—it looks like your environment is closing in on you. Like Eliasson’s best work, it’s simple, subtle and super cool.
Haim Steinbach’s work—multiples of mass manufactured goods arranged on storage shelves—can be puzzling. But if you give it a few minutes, Backyard Story, on view upstairs, is a great little poem that unfolds in a satisfying way.