Nick Cave, Recent Soundsuits
Artist Nick Cave (not the musician Nick Cave -- another one) has become known for these wild, wearable suits of hair, fabric, flowers, sequins, beads, brass and buttons. They’re named for the sounds they made when worn. The soundsuits stand, human-like but amorphous around the gallery, faceless -- so that they could be worn to transcend identity.
Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 W. 20th St., (212) 645-1701. January 8–February 7.

Nancy Spero, Un Coup de Dent
American artist and activist Nancy Spero’s “Black Paintings” -- a body of early, expressionistic shadowy works she created between 1954 and 1965, mostly in France and often at night -- haven’t been comprehensively exhibited in the U.S. since 1985. At a time when pop art and minimalism were it, these somber, sensual works preceded her actively feminist works for which she is known but uses images of lovers and mothers and children to emphasize the female protagonist.
Galerie Lelong, 528 W. 26th St., (212) 315-0470. Jan. 8-Feb. 21.

The 11th Annual Postcards from the Edge Benefit
More than 1,500 postcard-size works of art by artists both time-honored and hot from the oven adorn the walls of this benefit sale for Visual AIDS, which supports HIV-positive artists. You’ll get a (very long) list of participating artists, but the works are unmarked and signed on the back so you’ll be buying anonymously -- maybe you’ll discover someone new for your walls. One day only.
Metro Pictures, 519 W. 24th St., (212) 206-7100. Preview Party January 9, 6–8 p.m. Benefit sale January 10, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.