The Lars Fisk: Mr. Softee exhibit at Marlborough Gallery is absolutely fantastic and worth a visit. His work takes everyday objects and locations and compresses them into spheres. Some items include a Mr. Softee truck, a tree, a garbage can, parking lot or subway stations (seen above). They're whimsical, inventive and put a huge smile on the faces of everyone in the room. Lars lives in 4 connected shipping containers at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.
Aspects of the Lynda Benglis exhibit at Cheim and Read are appealing. Others less so. Her bronze installations in two spaces of the gallery show calculation, thought, creativity and put the viewer at varying vantage points to the works. The one above looks like segments of car tires, or curled ceramics (which I think was the initial form before being cast). The chicken wire, paper and sparkles were over-installed and look hastily done. I want to see her make her own chicken wire with some differences in the sizes of the openings...something to show she put serious time and thought into the forms, the materials and the pieces themselves.
The Xu Zhen exhibit at James Cohan Gallery is also really compelling. It's nicely installed, giving each piece the space it deserves, and the pieces themselves look like they took time, thought and a lot of enjoyment to create. The detail above is only a small section of a large piece in oil on canvas. The paint appears to have been applied using a cake decorator and is entirely done in subtle, warm tones of beige, mauve, coral. One might wonder what the visual impact would be if the entire piece were black instead. People in the gallery kept commenting that the works looked like they were made of seashells and they really do, until you get close to them.