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Looking at the month ahead, Something Curated highlights six of the most exciting art exhibitions taking place in New York this February.

 

Mariana Castillo Deball: Finding Oneself Outside, at New Museum || Mariana Castillo Deball (Until 14 April 2019)

Working in sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation, Mariana Castillo Deball examines how knowledge and cultural heritage are produced, organised, measured, and authenticated. The title of Castillo Deball’s New Museum exhibition, Finding Oneself Outside, offers a possible description of a sensation that is central to both the study of history and the experience of encountering an unfamiliar culture. The exhibition’s centrepiece, a specially commissioned inlaid wood floor installation, draws from an early colonial map of San Pedro Teozacoalco, Mexico, which bears a unique stylistic blend of European maps and Mixtec codices of the sixteenth century.

 

Ian Cheng: BOB, at Gladstone Gallery || Ian Cheng (Until 23 March 2019)

Previously exhibited at London’s Serpentine, BOB advances Ian Cheng’s use of simulation to focus on an individual agent’s capacity to deal with surprise: the subjective difference between expectations and perception. Over the course of its lifetime, BOB‘s body, mind, and personality evolve to better confront the continuous stream of life’s surprises, and metabolise them into familiar routines. Crucially, BOB incorporates the tutoring influence of the viewer to help offset BOB‘s temptation to only satisfy its immediate impulses and childhood biases.

  

Ulrike Ottinger, at Bridget Donahue || Ulrike Ottinger (Until 3 March 2019)

German artist and filmmaker, Ulrike Ottinger’s complex and transgressive practice defies boundaries and hierarchies. This exhibition marks Ottinger’s first in New York in nearly 20 years and includes a selection of photographs taken over the span of her career, many of which were shot on set of her most iconic films. These photos give a kaleidoscopic and idiosyncratic lens into the themes and characters that inhabit Ottinger’s highly stylised universe where power, history, culture, gender and normative storytelling is collapsed and put back into burlesque disorder.

 

Rodney Graham, at 303 Gallery || Rodney Graham (Until 23 February 2019)

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Join us tonight, Friday January 11th from 6-8pm, for the reception of Rodney Graham’s ninth solo exhibition at 303 Gallery! ✨ We will have signed posters to take away; pictured is an installation view. For “Vacuuming The Gallery, 1949,” (2018), Graham's monumental piece takes as its inspiration a photograph of New York gallerist Samuel Kootz smoking a pipe in his own gallery during a Picasso exhibition in 1949. On the walls in this image are a series of Graham's own abstract paintings, part of a series of variations based on a single watercolor by Alexander Rodchenko (“Abstract Composition,” 1941). Graham inhabits a role based on the image of Kootz, vacuuming the floors of his apartment-cum-gallery in a quaint-seeming gesture of domesticity. His taciturn, smug expression seems to translate not only the uptown art dealer persona, but the upending of that persona in performing a menial, unusually gendered task. Graham's Rodchenko-inspired paintings hang in the current exhibition as well, their anachronistic expressionist tendencies magnified by the contextual disconnect between the tableau the lightbox portrays and the contemporary tendency to view art in a sleek white cube. More at our website- link in bio. ✨#RodneyGraham #303Gallery #VacuumingTheGallery #SamuelKootz #Rodchencko #LightboxPhotography #ADAAGalleries #OculaGalleries

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In a suite of new lightbox works at 303 Gallery, Rodney Graham continues to probe the semi-conscious creation of cultural archetypes. Begun in 2007, Graham’s lightboxes synthesize and expand upon his practices in painting, photography, sculpture and film, using highly detailed set design and arcane conceptual inspirations to point to the paradigmatic functioning of stock characters from the realms of art, Hollywood film, music, history and the social world.

 

The World According to, at PACE Gallery || Andria Hickey (12 February – 23 March 2019)

A special group exhibition curated by Andria Hickey, The World According to brings together works from a diverse selection of artists, including both historical and contemporary figures, united around the notion of the artist as an interpreter or translator. Inspired by Susan Sontag’s notion of “cosmophagy” and the idea of “devouring of the world by consciousness,” the exhibition points to a rich and poetic territory that exists between memories, images, and dreams. The show features works by influential artists Rita Ackermann, Forrest Bess, David Hockney, and Alex Katz, among others.

 

Pictures of ‘M.’ and Other Pictures, at Almine Rech || Michael Hilsman (Until 23 February 2019)

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Michael Hilsman ‘Pictures of M. and Other Pictures’ at Almine Rech New York January 16 — February 23, 2019 • Almine Rech is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, ‘Pictures of M. and Other Pictures’, Michael Hilsman’s first solo show with the gallery. • A recurring figure in Hilsman’s large-scale paintings shows a marked sense of vulnerability: With graying beard and balding head, the man hides himself from the viewer, lurking behind oversize foliage or covering his face with a gingham napkin. Only pieces of his body are visible, sometimes surrounded by other human parts—a buried bone lies below the man’s supine figure in ‘M.’ with Laundry; an extracted molar floats next to his head in ‘M.’ with Idioms (Tooth and Nail). Like Bolaño’s fictional painter who enshrines his own amputated hand in a self-portrait, the fragmented figure of “M.,” a painted character in close proximity to Hilsman himself, underscores the body’s frailty, its awkwardness and mortality, and the disarming imperatives of being an artist—the discomforts of public exposure, the frequent mortification of self-expression. • #MichaelHilsman @michaelhilsman #alminerechgallery #alminerech #newyork

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A recurring figure in Hilsman’s large-scale paintings shows a marked sense of vulnerability: with greying beard and balding head, the man hides himself from the viewer, lurking behind oversize foliage or covering his face with a gingham napkin. Like Bolaño’s fictional painter who enshrines his own amputated hand in a self-portrait, the fragmented figure of “M.,” a painted character in close proximity to Hilsman himself, underscores the body’s frailty, its awkwardness and mortality, and the disarming imperatives of being an artist—the discomforts of public exposure, the frequent mortification of self-expression.

 

Feature image: Still from Under Snow by Ulrike Ottinger (via Pinterest)

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