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Cement Greenberg #12: Good Groups

Cement Greenberg #12: Good Groups

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Marin Majić James Cohan
Marin Majić. “Ride at Dawn,” 2023. Color pencil, marble dust, and oil color on linen. 22 x 19 in. 55.9 x 48.3 cm. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan.
Larissa Lockshin James Cohan
Larissa Lockshin. “Untitled (Diamond Eye),” 2023, Oil and soft pastel on dyed satin with carved wood frame. 60 1/2 x 48 1/2 in. 153.7 x 123.2 cm. Courtesy the artist and James Cohan.

Arcadia and Elsewhere at James Cohan

Landscape painting and its relaxing vibe has< not been a sizeable part of the art world since the impressionists left the scene. Those who miss this genre can revel in James Cohan’s massive group show that takes place in all three gallery spaces in downtown New York and presenting landscape paintings made after the turn of the millennia. The show is heavily overhung, making the viewing experience fairly stressful. Yet, some works stand out in this visual chaos. Campers by Merten Larsen is funny and smart, like so many of this great painter’s works. There are several pastel paintings on satin by Larissa Lockshin, with carvings on the frame. These are redeeming pieces, energetic in their lightness and softness, playful in their game between smooth and sharp. The satin is highly seductive. There are also actual landscape paintings, like Ride at Dawn by Marin Majić that work like a window into a dreamy, ghostly world. This show has an off-putting energy, but the gallery’s wealth allows it to bring together works by artists who know how to evoke wild imagination.

Christopher Williams Maxwell Graham
Christopher Williams. “Adapted For Use: Untitled Focal length: 180mm Aperture: f/5.6 Image ratio: 2:1 Distance lens to focal plane: 27cm Distance film layer to focal plane: 81cm Bellows extension: 36cm Depth of field: 1.932mm Studio Rhein Verlag, Düsseldorf August 13, 2016,” 2019. Gelatin silver print. Print: 19 7⁄8 × 15 7⁄8 inches (50.48 × 40.32 cm) Framed: 33 3⁄4 × 28 3⁄4 × 1 1⁄4 inches (85.73 × 73.03 × 3.18 cm). Edition 3 of 10 plus IV AP. Courtesy the artist and Maxwell Graham.
Tiffany Sia Maxwell Graham
Tiffany Sia. “Antipodes II,” 2024. Rewired rearview mirror with recorded live-stream video of the port Okinawa for a duration of 24 hours. 10 1⁄4 x 2 7⁄8 x 3 1⁄2 inches (26 × 7.5 × 9 cm) Edition 1 of 3 + 2AP. Courtesy of the artist and Maxwell Graham.

Cameron Rowland, Tiffany Sia, and Christopher Williams at Maxwell Graham

Maxwell Graham is hung up on Christopher Williams. Right after closing his solo show, the gallery opened a three-person show featuring three main works, one of which is by Williams. By all means, he is worth the obsession. His beautiful photograph of a sawn-to-half lens in black and white works as a mental guide for decoding this cold and clever show. This is a space of conceptual tranquility, a type of art we do not see too often in New York’s painting-heavy scene. Opposite to the photograph is a remarkable piece by young artist Tiffany Sia. This low-resolution video of a beach on Okinawa is a 24-hour cycle, streaming on a monitor designed like a rear mirror. Hanging on the bottom of a long pole coming from the ceiling, the object also resembles a periscope. All one can see in the video is the slight movement of the leaves and the clouds, yet the violent history of war in those waters and the severe form of the piece bring complexity which transcends the visual information. How would it feel to see war from within a submarine, unable to take action? Do waters and land forget the impact of armed battle? Sadly, these questions are critical not only in regard to the past but to the here and now as well.

Helena Anrather Y. Malik Jala
Y. Malik Jala. “BROAD DAY NO.1 & NO.2,” 2023. Automotive floor, found family photography, stainless steel, and hardware. Each part is 32.5 x 23 x 1.5 in (82.6 x 58.4 x 3.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Helena Anrather.
Yuji Agematsu. Helena Anrather
Yuji Agematsu. “zip: 06.01.13 . . . 06.30.13,” 2013. Mixed media in cigarette cellophane wrappers (30 units) on wood-backed acrylic shelves, latex paint, and wrappers. Each approx.: 2 1/2 x 2 1/8 x 1 inch (6.3 x 5.3 x 2.5 cm). Shelving unit: 31 3/4 x 34 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches (80.6 x 87 x 13.3 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Helena Anrather.

The Apple Stretching at Helena Anrather

Last in this collection of worthwhile group shows is The Apple Stretching. Gathering work by some of the most prominent artists currently working in New York, this show is doing a fair job of allowing us to spend time with eloquent art. Like in every group show, there are, of course, gaps in quality. Vijay Masharani’s erratic video piece Give me that fucking content, Universe is installed on the floor, and an LED screen on the floor rarely looks good or like something that should be taken seriously. But then there is the ever-stunning Yuji Agematsu piece, a calendar of debris so delicately arranged in cigarette pack wrappers. Also stands out the work of Y. Malik Jalal, a master of Black storytelling and metalwork. A beautiful series of wallworks by Carlos Reyes shows squares of velvet marked with jewelry that used to be displayed on them, a body of work so tightly associated with the Diamond District of Chinatown where the gallery is located.

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