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June 07, 2012

New York Gallery Shows “The Big Picture” and “Pothole” Open This Week

By Maud Doyle | Art

Robert Bordo, At Bay
Robert Bordo, At Bay, 2010. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches

Much of contemporary art today seeks to overwhelm with size, making it easy to forget the potency that lies within small objects. There is humanity in the jewel-sized painting. We can conceive of these gestures, and they require no shift of the eye or turn of the head—just a look. “The Big Picture,” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., focuses on the work of eight contemporary artists who work primarily on a more intimate scale. (Expect pieces from Robert Bordo, John Dilg, Jeronimo Elespe, Josephine Halvorson, Merlin James, Ryan McLaughlin, Ann Pibal and David Schutter.) This is an exhibit of encounters. Opens June 8 (6–8 p.m.) and continues through July 27; 530 W. 22nd St.; 212-929-2262; sikkemajenkinsco.com.

Where “The Big Picture” considers the conversation between the painter and his or her work, “Pothole” is more interested in the friendships between artists. Grounded in a modern-art history peppered by artists’ circles, -isms and manifestos, the show—which opened June 6 at Salon 94’s Bowery gallery—presents the work of ten artists and friends (including David Altmejd, Huma Bhabha, Sarah Lucas and Sterling Ruby) who have maintained virtual relationships over the years. Though rarely shown together, their practices share an expressive sensibility and an irreverent love affair with “low” materials and ideas. Here’s to the future. Through July 6; 243 Bowery; 212-979-0001; salon94.com.