Heading to see the new Whitney? From precarious chairs to an interactive mirrored display, there's more to
see in Meatpacking. Hop a train to 14th Street, and check out our five favorite showings in the neighborhood.
By Harry Feldman
Installation view of Wendell Castle
Gathering Momentum at Friedman Benda.
Courtesy of Friedman Benda and Wendell Castle
515 W. 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
At 82 years old, prolific designer and furniture-maker Wendell Castle has no intention on slowing down. Anticipating an upcoming show at the Museum of Arts and Design, Castle’s new works at Friedman Benda embrace evolutions in both technology and craft. Between precarious balancing acts and forms that seemingly defy physics, Castle's chairs prove much more than mere places to sit.
Black steel, grow lights, plants, wood, shea utter, books
138 1/4 x 120 1/4 x 60 in
Photo: Alex Delfanne
© Rashid Johnson
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Inspired by Lawrence Weiner’s book Something to Put Something On, Rashid Johnson’s sculptural practice has been about building different frameworks for displaying autobiographical objects: history books, record albums, and even moisturizing Shea butter. In his upcoming installation on the High Line at Little West 12th Street, Johnson is constructing Blocks, a large grid of open cubes that will hold his iconic found objects while allowing the vegetation of the High Line to take over the sculpture throughout the year. A must see — now, or later.
Oil on canvas
63 7/8 x 51 3/4 inches
© Estate of Kazuo Shiraga, Courtesy Fergus McCaffrey
514 W. 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
Kazuo Shiraga and the entirety of the 1950’s Japanese art group Gutai are absolutely having a moment. Gaining momentum since his death in 2008, Shiraga’s iconic process of painting with his feet yields bold sweeping gestures reminiscent of painter Franz Kline, with reverberations of Jackson Pollack or the contemporary Gerhard Richter. After a series of gallery shows and a heavy presence at this year’s art fairs, Fergus McCaffrey will for the first time showcase the works of Shiraga alongside pieces by his wife, fellow Gutai member Fujiko Shiraga.
Ballet God (Zeus), 2015
Fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, lightning, gun, globe,
pointe shoes and steel baseplate
92 7/8 x 61 x 55 1/16 in.
Courtesy James Cohan Gallery
533 W. 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
A self-proclaimed “post-colonial” hybrid, London-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare clads regal mannequins that channel British prosperity remixed in vibrant African-inspired textiles. In his newest work at James Cohan Gallery, Shonibare references climate change — a worldwide crisis blind to a country’s first or third world status. An important showing for the mid-career artist, it is not one to miss.
Sine Curve I
high polished stainless steel, aluminium
87 1/2 x 126 x 52 3/4 inches
507 W. 24th Street, New York, NY 10001
Jeppe Hein has a busy summer ahead of him. Between a solo gallery show and a large installation at Brooklyn Bridge Park, it is no wonder the young Danish artist is the focus of the upcoming book titled The Happiness of Burnout. In his mirrored works at 303 Gallery, Hein elicits an elevated sense of spectatorship, proving a playfully affective experience as one browses the gallery. After a full day of gallery going, the interactive work is sure to please.