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Gallerina

This Week: Must See Arts in the City

The graphic paintings of a punk artist, pulp-fiction inspired collage, geometric street art, Nigerian popular videos and a very dirty rendering of Plato at an art book fair in Queens. Here's your guide to the best of New York's artsy goodness for the coming week.

Raymond Pettibon, Hard in the Paint, at David Zwirner Gallery The artist who rose to fame doing album covers for the California punk band Black Flag opens his latest solo exhibit this weekend in Chelsea. Inspired by comic art and graphic novels, Pettibon’s text-and-image illustrations have grown increasingly painterly over the years—with roiling swirls of stark blues and browns stirred into a palette that was once all black and white. He may have added color, but the mood remains strictly noir. Pettibon always manages to give the most innocent of scenarios a somewhat sinister sheen. (While you’re at Zwirner, be sure to pop into the gallery’s adjacent space for a peek at Belgian painter Luc Tuymans’ latest—a series of ghostly works that explore the roots of corporate life. He will also be signing his new book, Luc Tuymans: Is It Safe?, at Phaidon in SoHo on Friday evening at 6:30pm—a good opportunity to meet this most influential of contemporary painters.) Both gallery shows open Saturday, in Manhattan.

FAILE, Bedtime Stories, at Perry Rubenstein Gallery This Brooklyn graphic design-inspired duo has long been obsessed with comic books, manga and pulp fiction imagery, assembling and disassembling these into lavish collages rife with melodrama and excess. Earlier this year, the pair produced a massive, three-dimensional “temple” with these motifs in Lisbon, as part of a Portuguese arts festival. (You can see the pictures here.) For this, their latest show at Perry Rubinstein, the two have created oversized pieces that jam together these familiar themes in ways that resemble a totally wacked-out quilt. Opens on Thursday, in Manhattan.

Aakash Nihalani, Overlap, at Bose Pacia, in Dumbo Three years ago, Nihalani caught the attention of street art gazers in New York with his illicitly-installed geometric abstractions constructed entirely out of brightly-colored tape. Since then, he has steadily moved toward gallery work, where he produces sculptures made of metal, cardboard and tape that recreate his isometric and polygonal shapes in three dimensions—one of which pays (inexpensive) tribute to Jeff Koons’ famous balloon dog. Opens on Thursday, in Brooklyn.

Sharon Stone in Abuja, at Location One, in SoHo For more than a decade, Nigeria’s film industry—known in the biz as “Nollywood”—has been cranking out thousands of straight-to-video films that feature everything from vampires to car crashes to highly improbable love stories. This vibrant form of popular culture (Nigeria is said to be one of the top three producers of feature films in the world) serves as the inspirational springboard for the latest group show at Location One, an endeavor organized by British curator James Lindon and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa (daughter of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa). Among the artists featured are Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas and Pieter Hugo, whose photographic chronicle of the industry, published last year, is a must-read for fans of filmmaking and contemporary photography. Opens Thursday at 6 P.M., in Manhattan.

The NY Art Book Fair, at PS1, in Long Island City Japanese ‘zines. Vintage first editions. Special installations. Artist limited runs. The reading set can lose themselves in this sprawling fair devoted to the art of the book and books on art—which, best of all, is free and open to the public. Keep an eye peeled for the Goteblüd booth, which will feature an exhibition of more than 600 Riot Grrrls ‘zines (complete with working copy station). Also worthwhile: A reading by Paul Chan, a contemporary artist who has used his own specially-designed fonts to rework Plato’s Phaedrus in some extraordinarily naughty ways. Opens Friday at 11 A.M., through Sunday, until 5 P.M., in Queens. Chan's event takes place on Sunday at 3 P.M.

At Location One, in SoHo: An exhibit that pays tribute to the art of Nigerian popular video. In this frame, a still from Zina Saro-Wiwa's 'The Deliverance of Comfort.'
At Location One, in SoHo: An exhibit that pays tribute to the art of Nigerian popular video. In this frame, a still from Zina Saro-Wiwa's 'The Deliverance of Comfort.' ( Location One )
Nigerian videos are cheaply made and often improvised. Above, another still from Zina Saro-Wiwa's 'The Deliverance of Comfort.'
Nigerian videos are cheaply made and often improvised. Above, another still from Zina Saro-Wiwa's 'The Deliverance of Comfort.' ( Location One )
'Our Romance,' a work from 2010 by the Brooklyn artists known as FAILE, a pair that rose to prominence for their elaborate, graphic design-infused street art stencils.
'Our Romance,' a work from 2010 by the Brooklyn artists known as FAILE, a pair that rose to prominence for their elaborate, graphic design-infused street art stencils. ( Courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York. )
Dedicated Followers: FAILE's 'Fashion's Last Stand,' 2010, a four foot-wide collage of silkscreened images on wood.
Dedicated Followers: FAILE's 'Fashion's Last Stand,' 2010, a four foot-wide collage of silkscreened images on wood. ( Courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York. )
Geometric street artist Aakash Nihalani, on a piece inspired by Jeff Koons' shiny balloon dog sculptures — at Bose Pacia Gallery in Brooklyn.
Geometric street artist Aakash Nihalani, on a piece inspired by Jeff Koons' shiny balloon dog sculptures — at Bose Pacia Gallery in Brooklyn. ( Courtesy the artist and Bose Pacia )
Nihalani's street work derives a lot of energy from the urban architecture. It'll be interesting to see how his abstract pieces work in a gallery. Above, 'Over Under' an aluminum sculpture from 2010.
Nihalani's street work derives a lot of energy from the urban architecture. It'll be interesting to see how his abstract pieces work in a gallery. Above, 'Over Under' an aluminum sculpture from 2010. ( Courtesy the artist and Bose Pacia )
Japanese 'zines line the walls of the New York Art Book Fair in 2009. This year promises fresh 'zines from Japan and countless countries around the globe.
Japanese 'zines line the walls of the New York Art Book Fair in 2009. This year promises fresh 'zines from Japan and countless countries around the globe. ( Photo by Boru O'Brien O'Connell; Courtesy of Printed Matter, Inc. )
Art and books coming together at the Art Book Fair, held at PS1 in Queens, this weekend.
Art and books coming together at the Art Book Fair, held at PS1 in Queens, this weekend. ( Photo by Boru O'Brien O'Connell; Courtesy of Printed Matter, Inc. )
Pettibon's pieces often feature text that is elusive, such as 'No Title (For getting a...),' from 2010.
Pettibon's pieces often feature text that is elusive, such as 'No Title (For getting a...),' from 2010. ( Courtesy David Zwirner, New York and Regen Projects, Los Angeles )
'No Title (A look. A...)' shows Pettibon moving away from his black-and-white graphic novel style, into more painterly realms.
'No Title (A look. A...)' shows Pettibon moving away from his black-and-white graphic novel style, into more painterly realms. ( Courtesy David Zwirner, New York and Regen Projects, Los Angeles )
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