Take off your shoes, put on white booties and step into a milky void at David Zwirner gallery.
The immersive light installation by Los Angeles and Santa Fe-based artist Doug Wheeler is the most unusual experience of New York’s gallery scene at the moment.
Walking in, it’s impossible to tell the dimensions or the depth of the space. It feels infinite and appears to be filled with fog, but as you look around, there’s no mist obscuring a handful of other visitors. The light is so intense that strange little shapes start floating in front of your eyes.
Within about 30 minutes, Wheeler shifts the light ever so slightly from dawn to dusk. When your eyes adjust a bit, try stepping back to discern the concave walls and ceiling line. The sense of disorientation returns each time you move inside again.
As the shadows grew long and the light got tinted with gray and purple, it felt like the end.
The exhibition runs through Feb. 25 at 519 W. 19th St.; +1-212-727-2070; http://www.davidzwirner.com
In John Miller’s “Suburban Past Time” exhibition at Metro Pictures gallery, five blocks north, mundane objects are turned into art.
The first thing you see is a small, life-size maple tree and a huge rock. Both are artificial, made with materials including foam board, plywood and concrete.
Black-and-white prints, depicting generic, graffiti-sprayed housing complexes, line the walls like wallpaper. In the second room, filing cabinets are scattered around, one painted glittery magenta. On the floor, the carpets spell out “NO.”
The pointlessness and emptiness of this constructed environment is heightened by the continuous presence of two young women, whose job it is to sit around, read and draw as the time ticks away.
Prices range from $2,500 to $70,000. The show runs through March 10 at 519 W. 24th St.; +1-212-206-7100; http://www.metropicturesgallery.com
Jean Dubuffet’s late paintings at the Pace Gallery, one block uptown, pulsate with manic energy, squiggles, colors.
The artist (1901-1985) leaves no empty space and the movement of his hand feels relentless as he piles on the marks.
The works were made in the last two years of the French painter’s life.
The rawness and intensity of these abstract compositions recall Dubuffet’s earlier primitivism. Some pieces look as if they were fragments of larger works.
Prices range from $250,000 to $400,000. “Jean Dubuffet: The Last Two Years” runs through March 10 at 510 W. 25th St.; +1-212-255-4044; http://www.thepacegallery.com