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

Absolutes and Intermediates at The Shed || Agnes Denes (Until 22 Mar 2020)

Agnes Denes rose to international attention in the 1960s and 1970s as a leading figure in conceptual, environmental, and ecological art. A pioneer of several art movements, she creates work in a broad range of media, utilising various disciplines to analyse, document, and ultimately aid humanity. Denes turns her analysis into beautiful, sensual visual forms, poetry, and a philosophy that she has developed over the course of her career. Culminating this month, this comprehensive survey exhibition, Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates, brings together over 150 works spanning her 50-year career.

LEFT IS RIGHT, DOWN IS UP at Postmasters Gallery || Joseph Beuys & Serkan Özkaya (14 Mar 2020 – 25 Apr 2020)

This show revisits two intriguing works from the second half of the twentieth century. The first one is Joseph Beuys’ mantra-like performance Ja ja ja ja ja, nee nee nee nee nee (Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, nah nah nah nah nah) from 1968. The audio piece consists of three performers, the artist and two colleagues, repeating the words Yeah and Nay ad absurdum until the audience accedes to catharsis. The second work is Serkan Özkaya’s controversial Proletarier Aller Länder (Workers of the World), 1999, in which thousands of minuscule, red plastic foam figures are affixed to the floor, a sprawling army of little protesters, to be stepped on by gallery-goers.

Good Morning, China! (早上好,中国!) at CUE Art Foundation || Yang Mai (Until 25 Mar 2020)

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Yang Mai's solo exhibition, Good Morning, China! (早上好,中国!), curated by David Humphrey, is on view through March 25. Save the date for 4pm on Saturday, March 7 when Mai and Humphrey will lead a public walk-through of the exhibition! Mai's large-scale sculptures, such as Where’s Happiness 1 (幸福在哪里 1), interrupt the gallery space with jackets bound together at their openings, stretched into horizontal barricades, and smeared with monotone washes of fluorescent paint. The sculpture, stuffed with spray foam and coated with spray paint in shades of bright yellow, orange, green, and blue, recalls masses of bodies stiffened by rigor mortis or linked together to form a human barrier. Meanwhile, sculptures such as UpRise 7 (站起来 7) stand in vertical opposition, constructed from carefully piled polo shirts which have been violently punctured with a metal school chair. Image: Installation view of Yang Mai: Good Morning, China! (早上好,中国!). Photo by Adam Reich. [Image description: Six stacks of multi-colored polo shirts are arranged in the front of the gallery. Two have folding chairs balanced between their layers, and another is impaled with fluorescent light tubes. In the background, jackets from Chinese school uniforms are stuffed and sewn together at their orifices and coated in monochromatic swathes of bright yellow, orange, green, and blue paint. The stiff limbs create chain-like shapes which are threaded through one another.] . #CUEart #YangMai #DavidHumphrey

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CUE Art Foundation presents Good Morning, China! (早上好,中国!), a solo exhibition by Yang Mai, curated by David Humphrey. Mai recycles deadstock business suits, athletic wear, and school uniforms, garments selected by the artist to signify societal roles and systems of control. Drawing upon his experience growing up in Guangzhou, China, where he studied fashion and continues to source his materials from a shuttered clothing factory, Mai reimagines these materials as chains of balloon-like forms or precarious stacks of neatly folded garments impaled with fluorescent tube lights and folding chairs.

Towards No Earthly Pole at Sean Kelly Gallery || Julian Charrière (Until 21 Mar 2020)

Julian Charrière is renowned for a complex discipline that links artistic and scientific inquiry, coalescing ecology, geology, archaeology, physics, historical inquiry, and nomadic exploration. Centred on the US premiere of Charrière’s video work, Towards No Earthly Pole, the exhibition continues the artist’s exploration into how human civilization and the natural landscape are inextricably linked. Charrière conceived the film while aboard a Russian research ship for the first Antarctic Biennale. The powerful impression made on him by the landscape and his readings of accounts of early 20th-century exploration led him to focus on Iceland, Greenland, the Rhône and Aletsch glaciers and Mont Blanc in France.

Richard Rezac at Luhring Augustine || Richard Rezac (14 Mar 2020 – 25 Apr 2020)

Luhring Augustine hosts a solo exhibition of new and recent work by sculptor Richard Rezac. Recalling familiar forms, the works engage our memory and inspire material associations, while eluding easy recognition. Rezac’s abstract sculptures are rooted in a studious consideration of the history of art, architecture, and design. Originally trained as a painter, Rezac has said that his work “behaves like a painting”, the sculptures hovering in a place between representation and direct presentation, existing simultaneously as both images and objects. His background in painting is also apparent in his masterful use of colour, which is a touchstone of his oeuvre.

Feature image: Agnes Denes, Wheatfield–A Confrontation, 1982. Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan. Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.

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