This Week in Art Openings: "After Nature," "CIRCA 2012" and “Landscapes for Frankenstein”

Mary Logan Barmeyer

Man, is it just us, or does it seem like the earth is going to hell? Here are a few treats opening in the art world that will get the wheels turning in your head if they aren’t already.

“After Nature”

We’re screwed. That’s probably what you’ll be thinking when you leave this New Museum exhibition of works by 26 artists that show -- what else? -- impending environmental disasters and prophecies of an apocalyptic fantasy future that may become a reality. But many of the works, which include a documentary by Werner Herzog, are eerily beautiful and certainly soulful. The museum is open late tonight and there’ll be a performance in the theater by Lizzie Bougatsos from Gang Gang Dance. So, oh well, might as well join the party -- no sense wasting time!

New Museum, 235 Bowery, (212) 219-1222. July 17–September 21.

Kim Holleman, “CIRCA 2012: Ruminations on a Changing World”
As a part of White Box’s “Six Feet Under” summer festival, Holleman is throwing a big street party, complete with music, drinks and artwork showing us how the world as we know it is slipping through our fingers. The largest piece in the exhibition is TRASHNAMI!, a giant tidal wave made of discarded colorful plastic bags that looms over the visitor. This bright wave looks sanguine enough, but we can’t help but think there’s something ominous about it.

White Box, 525 W. 25th St., (212) 714-2347. Opening reception July 17, 6–8 p.m. Through July 22.

“Landscapes for Frankenstein”
For Frankenstein?? Good grief, this is a serious issue. This multi-media group exhibition is a combination of the wonder of the world’s natural beauty and the dastardly way humans have manipulated it, both physically and in perception. Some of the pieces are pleasant throwbacks to the Hudson River School, some contrived versions of landscape through the use of technology, and others are a little more menacing, like pieces with visions of the invasion of industry on nature -- or blazing infernos that threaten to kill us all. Oh, a little melodramatic, maybe -- but so is Frankenstein.

Sara Meltzer Gallery, 525–531 W. 26th St., (212) 727-9330. Opening reception June 19, 6–8 p.m. Through August 1.

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