Maya Lin at Pace Gallery

As the Zambezi River spills out across the landscape on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia at Victoria Falls, so spreads a glass-marble replica by Maya Lin across the walls, floor and ceiling of Pace Gallery. Reflections of light through the glass give the ‘water’ a sparkling quality that argues for the preciousness of one of earth’s most value resources. (On view on 25th Street in Chelsea through Oct 7th).

Maya Lin, From One into Many and Back Into One, glass marbles and adhesive, 13’ x 28’ x 1,” 2017.

Polly Apfelbaum at Alexander Gray Associates

Best known for ‘paintings’ composed of hundreds of cut pieces of colorful cloth arranged on the floor, Polly Apfelbaum has expanded to the walls with colorful, abstract ceramic panels that complement carpets bearing a graphic from a 1963 book titled ‘The Potential of Woman.’ Though the female heads on the floor have no mouth (having been spoken for in the book), the riotously colorful wall-mounted ceramic sculptures – which Apfelbaum explains are like portraits – have plenty to say. (At Alexander Gray Associates in Chelsea through Oct 21st).

Polly Apfelbaum, installation view of ‘The Potential of Women,’ at Alexander Gray Associates, Sept 2017.

Nathalie Boutte at Yossi Milo Gallery

French artist Nathalie Boutte captures the allure of the unknown past in her collage recreations of 19th century daguerreotypes and historical photos. Here, Boutte remakes Seydou Keita’s well-known 1958 portrait of a hip young Malian man using strips of paper covered with varying amounts of text. The effect (seen here in detail) is to blur Keita’s sharply clear image, suggesting that the passage of time diminishes the potential to see the subject clearly. (At Yossi Milo Gallery in Chelsea through Oct 21st).

Nathalie Boutte, (detail of) Jeune homme a la fleur rouge, collage of Japanese paper, ink, 29 3/8 x 18 inches, unique, 2016.

Leslie Wayne at Jack Shainman Gallery

“Looking at art is a free experience,” says painter Leslie Wayne, meaning that it doesn’t have to cost a thing, but also questioning how freely we look at something new. The title piece for the show, ‘Free Experience,’ relies on the associations we bring to its colorful, patterned drapery of oil-skins that recalls flags, modernist textiles and more. (At Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea through Oct 21st).

Leslie Wayne, Free Experience, oil on wood, 28 ½ x 26 x 7 inches, 2015.

Joyce McDonald in ‘AIDS at Home: Art & Everyday Activism’ at the Museum of the City of New York

Brooklyn artist and AIDS activist Joyce McDonald conveys a powerful sense of peace and acceptance in small, terra cotta sculptures currently on view in the Museum of the City of New York’s ‘AIDS at Home: Art & Everyday Activism.’ (On view through Oct 22nd on the Upper East Side).

Joyce McDonald, (at center) Trusting, terra cotta, cloth and paint, 1999.