Jason Martin at Lisson Gallery

Nearly twenty years after his last New York solo show, British artist Jason Martin is back with limited palette paintings in swathes of oil paint as lush and thick as frosting. (On view at Lisson Gallery’s 24th Street location through Feb 24th).

Jason Martin, Untitled (Olive Green Deep/Graphite Grey), oil on aluminum, 220 x 178 cm, 2017.

Robin Rhode at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

In a sequence of six photos by South African artist Robin Rhode, an acrobatic mathematician contorts his body to project a ‘Lute of Pythagoras,’ a series of pentagrams locked together in pleasing mathematical proportion. At the gallery entrance, Rhode quotes Swiss architect and urban planner Le Corbusier’s assertion that humanity attempts to save itself from chaos through geometry. Rhode’s efforts to better humanity by joining art and geometry feel poignantly quixotic. (On view at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Chelsea through Feb 24th).

Robin Rhode, one of six panels in Meditation on the Lute of Pythagoras, 6 parts, each 21.5 x 28.58 x 1.5 inches, c-print, 2017.

Eddie Martinez at Mitchell-Innes and Nash

A practical mentality dominates Eddie Martinez’s current two gallery solo show at Mitchell-Innes and Nash. Not finding a studio last summer, he painted in his yard. Finding inspiration in his daily drawings on family stationery, he scaled them up as eight-foot tall paintings. Titled ‘Love Letter,’ the second body of work would seem to refer to his wife’s name at the top of each painting though given the significance of drawing to his evocative abstract forms, he may have another muse in mind. (On view in Chelsea through Feb 24th).

Eddie Martinez, Love Letter #13, silkscreen ink, oil, spray paint and enamel on canvas, 96 x 75 inches, 2017.

Clive Smith at Marc Straus Gallery

Once so abundant in the U.S. that their flocks sounded like thunder as they darkened the sky, passenger pigeons were hunted to extinction by the early 20th century. The final survivor, Martha, died in the Cincinnati Zoo over one hundred years ago, but inspired New York-based British realist painter Clive Smith’s painting of a commemorative plate, now on view at Marc Straus Gallery on the Lower East Side. Titled ‘Beak, Claw, Hand, Brush,’ this and other works in Smith’s series equate the labor of beak and hand, soberly suggesting that our own future may go the way of the passenger pigeon. (On view through Feb 9th).

Clive Smith, Beak, Claw, Hand, Brush, (1.9.1914), oil on linen, 54 x 71 inches, 2017.

Katherine Bernhardt at Canada New York

There’s trouble in the tropics in Katherine Bernhardt’s latest solo show of pattern paintings at Canada New York. Watermelons appear alongside toilet paper, birds in flight next to cigarettes as nature contrasts man-made products in paintings with ominous titles like ‘Climate Change.’ Here, in ‘Dole + Darth Vader,’ the Sith lord is surrounded by Dole bananas, linking a fictional face of evil to a company criticized for damaging the environment and harming workers. (On view on the Lower East Side through Feb 11th).

Katherine Bernhardt, Dole + Darth Vader, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 72 x 60 inches, 2017.