This list barely scratches the surface of the city’s artistic offerings this year, from overdue retrospectives to surprising sides of artists we know well.
The Drawing Center
The Ecstasy of Drawing
Cecily Brown is genuinely interested in all the ways a body experiencing pleasure can occupy space. In her drawings she records the results of her curiosity, her looking.
Conjuring the Specters of Black Silent Film Actors
In Gary Simmons’ newest work, he uses the names of silent screen actors of color and renders them in white paint, bleeding down against a black background like stigmata that suddenly appeared by divine intervention on the gallery’s walls.
The Abstract Patterns of Sound on Dusty Speaker Covers
There are no drawings on the walls for the Drawing Center’s current exhibition — at least, none you may define in the conventional sense of the medium.
Making Art from the Remnants of Everyday Activities
MEXICO CITY — Architect-turned-conceptual artist Gabriel de la Mora’s work is cold and formal to the point of appearing scientific, yet it is layered with history.
Drawing the Invisible Shapes of Energy
It’s difficult to find spaces of tranquility in downtown Manhattan, much less in Soho, but Louise Despont has created an immersive and meditative space in the Drawing Center that invites you to slow down and shut out the noise of the city.
Natalie Frank Delivers the News from Never-Never Land
Many fairy tales are about young girls and boys whose lives are controlled by the capricious impulses of evil stepmothers, vain queens and repressive fathers.
Drawing the Face of the War Machine
The Drawing Center has mounted a strange and surreal show of drawings by Xanti Schawinsky, an underrated artist whose 50-plus-year career spanned the 1920s to the late ’70s.
Story Lines: “The Intuitionists” at the Drawing Center
Simultaneously confounding and illuminating, The Intuitionists at the Drawing Center is a puzzle within a puzzle, a conceptual stunt that raises sticky questions about curatorial responsibility and the structuring of aesthetic experience.
The Radical and Contagious Ideas of Lebbeus Woods
The long-awaited exhibition Lebbeus Woods, Architect at the Drawing Center presents works spanning over 35 years of Lebbeus Woods’s radical architecture.
Deborah Grant’s Archive of Real and Imagined Encounters
There is a lot to say about Deborah Grant’s installation at the Drawing Center, Christ You Know it Ain’t Easy!!, which was curated by Claire Gilman. What is so delicious about it is that at some point you will not be sure whether any of narratives you’ve applied to the work makes sense.
An Architecture of Poetry and Sound
To experience “Frolic Architecture” is to enter into a world that feels both familiar and bizarre. The piece, a collaboration between composer David Grubbs and poet Susan Howe is a delicate sound collage, rich with layers, solemn, and mildly, comfortably disjointed.