Bayne Peterson at Kristen Lorello

Bayne Peterson’s dyed plywood sculpture brings to mind an abacus, cairns, written script or a kid’s bead and wire toy. Now more complex in their patterning and overall shape, Peterson’s new sculptures at Kristen Lorello Gallery on the Lower East Side also owe their inspiration to still life painting and historical vessels. (On view through Oct 14th).

Bayne Peterson, Untitled, dyed plywood, dyed epoxy, 15 1/8 x 21 ½ x 5 ¼ inches, 2017.

Christian Faur at Kim Foster Gallery

This knock-out image of peonies assembled from hand-cast crayons opens Ohio-based artist Christian Faur’s latest solo show at Kim Foster Gallery. Also including an unmissable umbrella covered in human hair and a surprisingly robust U.S. flag crafted from currency, this exhibition has a high ‘wow’ factor. (On view in Chelsea through Oct 7th).

Christian Faur, Peonies, hand cast encaustic crayons, 55 x 69 inches, 20 panels.

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.

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.

Katja Novitskova’s EARTH POTENTIAL at City Hall Park

Amsterdam and Berlin-based artist Katja Novitskova juxtaposes the celestial and terrestrial realms with large aluminum sculptures featuring images of the earth (created with compiling satellite data) paired with shots of worms, lizards, bacteria and more. With their scale altered, the earthly creatures look otherworldly; Novitskova uses this disorientation as a reminder that though easily overlooked, the smallest organisms can make a big impact. (Presented by the Public Art Fund. On view at City Hall Park through Nov 9th).

Installation view of Katja Novitskova’s EARTH POTENTIAL at City Hall Park, Sept 2017.