The heart of Anselm Kiefer’s latest exhibition at Gagosian Gallery is a series of large-scale handmade books crafted from cardboard covered in plaster and painted with watercolor. Titled ‘Walpurgia,’ after an 8th century English nun, this lush, flesh-colored rendering of flowers echoes the erotic nature of the new paintings. Though the subject matter seems like a departure for Kiefer, it continues work begun in the 70s for which he merged the landscape and female bodies. (At Gagosian Gallery’s 21st Street location through July 14th).
From the depths of Katharina Grosse’s huge abstractions, shapes materialize and invite interpretation. The Berlin-based artist describes her new works as “portals to a small room, where all the color has been crammed into a tiny space.” Peering into these openings is an intense optical experience. (At Gagosian Gallery’s 24th Street Chelsea location through March 11th).
The biggest show in town – literally – starts with a fifty-foot long walk between two thirteen foot high steel plates. Then it’s into a slightly disorienting and unexpected labyrinth of open and constricted spaces that challenge viewers to take the measure of Richard Serra’s NJ-1 with our own bodies. (At Gagosian Gallery’s 522 West 21st Street location through July 29th).
Innocuous floral arrangements in archival photos of historically important business and political meetings inspired New York artist Tayrn Simon’s latest project, ‘Paperwork and the Will of Capital.’ With a botanist’s help, she recreated bouquets present at shady dealings – when Mozambique agreed with South African not to support the ANC in the 80s, or when business owners purchased citizenship in St Kitts in return for supporting economic development there. She then entombed photos, texts and specimens in a concrete press, which acts here as a pedestal. (At Gagosian Gallery, through March 26th).
The color and lighting of Gregory Crewdson’s new photos can be traced to his interest in how painters of the 19th century and prior drew viewers into their paintings with detail and tones that could be appreciated from both near and far. The photos’ suspenseful and melancholy mood might be attributable to major life changes, which have included a new gallery, a divorce and a move out of New York. (At Gagosian Gallery’s 21st Street location through March 5th).