Summer group shows are in full swing, and it’s often difficult to find the superstars among all the maelstrom. But there are a number of Lower East Side galleries offering up diamonds in the rough. If you’re looking for bigger names, it’s hard to beat Lehmann Maupin (201 Chrystie St., through August 19) right now. At the entrance, you’ll be greeted by Tracey Emin’s twenty-minute looped animation “Those who suffer Love,” which invites you into a woman’s nether regions. In the main gallery, Gilbert & George’s “Urethra Postcard Pictures,” which debuted at the 2011 Armory Show, is joined by four photographs by Juergen Teller, including “Paradis XVIII, 2009,” in which Raquel Zimmerman and Charlotte Rampling pose nude in the Louvre. There are also a few more works by Emin, highlighted by the controversial pink neon “Your Name Try CUNT INTERNATIONAL.” Be sure to go to the upstairs viewing room, where you’ll find multimedia collages by Tony Oursler and the miniature sculptural projection “Interstitial.”
Next door at the Hendershot Gallery (195 Chrystie St., August 18), “Of Memory and Time . . .” examines the two concepts through a series of diverse works that evoke the past, from the dangling wax figures of Julie Tremblay’s “From Memory (Collective Unconscious Unlimited)” to the framed jeans in Marie Vic’s “Les amants R.,” from Richard Bosman’s painting of “Duchamp’s Door” and “Pollock’s Door” to Arman’s violin, “Hommage á Boccioni.” In fact, music plays a central role in the exhibit, as cellist Christopher Lancaster has composed special mesmerizing interludes for a number of the works, while Nick Hooker’s swirling multiscreen video of Grace Jones’s “Corporate Cannibal” keeps thumping in the basement.
Salon 94 Bowery (243 Bowery, July 30) harkens back to the Paul Klee quote “Nothing has to take grand scale, if it can be expressed in a diminutive, delicate and yet no less sophisticated way” in its latest show, the cleverly titled “Paul Clay,” comprising six dozen sculptures squeezed into two floors, in addition to 120 small household items on sale in a small storeroom, ranging from Takuro Kuwata’s $80 porcelain teacups and Lisa Sitko’s $80 ceramic apples to Rob Wynne’s $1,500 “Dirty Plates” and Betty Woodman’s $17,000 “Tray with Two Cups.” Among the other artists represented are Liz Larner, Sterling Ruby, Marilyn Minter, Daniel Buren, and Ken Price. Try not to throw any garbage into Matthias Merkel Hess’s “Brute” trashcan, and be careful where you walk; you break it, you bought it.
Cutting-edge provocateurs Vice magazine, which covers music, fashion, art, and more in their own rather unique wild style, is celebrating the release of its tenth annual photo issue with the 2011 Vice Photo Show (298 Elizabeth St., July 26), consisting of pictures by Jim Mangan, Mick Rock, Terry Richardson, Richard Kern, Martin Parr, Ben Ritter, Jennifer Osborne, Peter Sutherland, Max Merz, and others. We’re particularly taken with Estelle Hanania’s “Happy Purim” series, documenting Hasidic holiday partying in North East London’s Stamford Hill; Vincent Fournier’s “The End of the Future” exploration of the Kennedy Space Center; Chris Nieratko’s “Lost Submissions,” naked Polaroids from his days as the editor of a skateboarding magazine owned by Larry Flynt; Julian Burgin’s “One Flash Bastard” portraits of reformed British gangster Dave Courtney; and Asger Carlsen’s “Hester” series of deformed bodies. RSVP now to tonight’s booze-laden opening party.
As we said earlier, group shows can reveal a diamond in the rough, and we found a shining gem at DODGEGallery’s (15 Rivington St., July 30), “Shakedown,” a fitting way to end the space’s first year in business. Amid works by Dave Cole, Ellen Harvey, Darren Foote, Laurel Sparks, Jason Middlebrook, and others is a series of paintings by the immensely talented Ted Gahl. Still in his late twenties, Gahl, who graduated from Pratt in 2006 and got his MFA from RISD last year, has already developed his own visual language involving doorways, hard-to-decipher human and animal figures, waterborne vessels, and insomnia in tantalizing abstract works that demand extra attention, especially the double-sided “Night Painter,” which sticks out from the wall and gives insight into his creative process.