17 Must-See Spring Art Shows
By Gary Pini
Beginning March 21st, you can go online here and bid on works by over fifty artists to support MTV's Staying Alive Foundation and raise money to fight HIV and AIDS. The third annual RE:DEFINE benefit gala (and the final chance to place bids) takes place on April 4 at the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum. The artist Richard Phillips is the events "music curator" and the Brooklyn-based band Starred is performing, plus Jennifer Herrema from Royal Trux will DJ.
Also online is Architizer's public voting in the Popular Choice categories for their second annual A+ Awards in global architecture. Their awards gala is here in New York City during Design Week on May 15th.
Back in the real world, a new LES gallery called Two Rams (215 Bowery) opened this week with a solo show called "Carceri" by Lia Chavez. The artist created the works "in a meditative state while blindfolded without sound."
LA artist Jeffery Vallance opens a show of new works at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (521 West 21st Street) tomorrow, March 20th, from 6 to 8 p.m. Not sure what to expect here, but the guy has done everything from hosting an MTV show to teaching Regis Philbin how to make art, to burying a store-bought chicken in a pet cemetery, so you've been warned.
Susan Graham has been busy this week constructing sculptures out of sugar that she will combine with several of her porcelain works in a giant site-specific installation at Mixed Greens (531 West 26th Street). It opens March 20th from 6 to 8 p.m. and is up until April 19th.
Judith Charles Gallery (196 Bowery) opens a group show called "Visions" featuring four artists -- Henry Mandell, Cassandra C. Jones, Vahap Avsar and Garrett Pruter -- on March 20th, 6 to 8 p.m.
Over at the Derek Eller Gallery (615 West 27th Street) Brooklyn-based artist Rob Fischer built a colorful house/sculpture out of glass, steel and wood that opens Friday, March 21st, 6 to 8 p.m.
Also on Friday, 6 to 8 p.m., there's an opening for a group show called "Food Show 2" at 3A Gallery (179 Canal Street) with works by Marc Joseph Berg, Isabel Schneider, Dan Graham, George Skelcher and Mieko Meguro.
On April 3, the Venus Over Manhattan gallery (980 Madison Avenue) opens the first exhibition to focus exclusively on LA-based artist Raymond Pettibon's "surfer paintings." Over 40 works will be on view until May 17th.
Fans of "photorealism" (and its sub-genres) should check out the current shows at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery (37 West 57th Street) featuring works by Gus Heinze and Florian Thomas, up until March 29th; and also the new urban landscapes by Enrique Romero Santana called "Approach To Manhattan" on view at George Billis Gallery (521 West 26th Street) until April 12.
Storefront Ten Eyck (304 Ten Eyck Street, Bushwick) -- a short pause here to explain that "Ten Eyck" is an old Dutch family name -- opens a show called "Nude Dudes" by Rene Smith on April 18th.
The annual RECESS benefit will be held at Pioneer Works on April 23rd. Get your tickets here.
The New Museum has a great show by the Polish artist Pawel Althamer called "The Neighbors" that is up until April 13. Be sure to check out the museum's fourth floor where the artist encourages viewers to write, draw, paint or do whatever to the blank walls. Since the exhibit has already been open since the beginning of February, the walls are no longer "blank," but that just makes for more to see.
The last Whitney Biennale to be held uptown -- before the opening of their new High Line space -- is up until May 25th. They've given three curators their own floor to display works by over 100 artists, so there's lots to see this year. The museum's new building, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, is scheduled to open next year.
Another "last" group show is the fifth and final edition of the art-collective Bruce High Quality Foundation's Brucennial. It's still on view until April 4 at 837 Washington Street and, yes, that's right next door to the Whitney's future home.
Austrian artist Erwin Wurm has a cool show called "Synthesa" featuring new works at Lehmann Maupin (540 West 26th Street). It's up until April 19.
Last chance to check out the group show called "Far Out!" down at Marlborough Chelsea (545 West 25th Street). It ends on March 22nd.