The opening of Mark Grotjahn’s latest show attracted collectors such as hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen and Donald B. Marron of Lightyear Capital LLC.
What they saw at Gagosian Gallery’s Madison Avenue headquarters resembles cardboard boxes, crudely cut up and splattered with paint to look like masks with protruding, Pinocchio-like noses.
The low-end appearance is deceiving. Displayed on pedestals, the pieces are actually cast in bronze. The daubs turn them into a hybrid of sculpture and painting, a direction the Los Angeles-based artist explored in his 2011 “Face” series.
Some of those semi-abstract paintings were so densely layered with oil paint, the viscous material actually projected about an inch off the canvas.
Humorous and just a tad menacing, the bronzes remain true to the rough physicality of the original cardboards, down to the smallest dents, tears and creases.
The works are unique. Prices range from about $100,000 to $250,000. “Mark Grotjahn” runs through Oct. 27 at 980 Madison Ave.; +1-212-744-2313; http://www.gagosian.com/.
Before leaving the building, stop by the third floor, where gallerist and writer Adam Lindemann operates Venus Over Manhattan.
The gallery’s current exhibition, by New York conceptual artist Peter Coffin, includes drawing, video and an aluminum rack filled with rolls of colorful ribbons.
Prepare to be startled. The stark space -- empty of other visitors or even a gallerina during a recent visit -- is dominated by a giant replica of a black Great Dane, reclining but alert, with head up and ears pricked. The Hound of the Baskervilles has nothing on this creature.
Almost 7 feet tall and 15.6 feet long, the work is an obvious artifact. Oddly, that doesn’t make it less intimidating. It looks ready to pounce, making the visitor feel like an intruder.
Prices range from $15,000 to $200,000. “Peter Coffin A, E, I, O, U” runs through Nov. 2 at 980 Madison Ave.; +1-212-980-0700; http://venusovermanhattan.com/.
A huge silver-and-black beaded necklace hangs from the ceiling of Manhattan’s L&M Arts, descending 50 feet through the gallery’s five floors and spiraling staircase before ending in the lobby.
“Gigantic Necklace” by Jean-Michel Othoniel is on view alongside eight other works by the French contemporary artist and costs $400,000.
The same way Othoniel transformed Place Colette in Paris with the installation of his “Kiosque des Noctambules,” a pavilion with vaults made of beads and pearls, he has now turned Dominique Levy and Robert Mnuchin’s classical art space into something that evokes a giant’s toy land.
“Untitled (Grey Knot)” and “Untitled (Black Knot),” both glass-bead necklaces curved into knots, float in the air next to “Untitled (Blue Knot)” and “Untitled (Black and Purple Knot),” resting on flat silver pedestals.
With its vertical figure, “Garland Necklace,” made of silver and purple beads, looks like a fairy skateboard ramp.
Prices range from $37,500 to $400,000. “Othoniel” runs through Oct. 6 at 45 E. 78th St.; +1-212-861-0020; http://www.lmgallery.com/.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash have mounted an elegant exhibition of 1950s paintings and sculptures by Alexander Liberman (1912-1999), a Russian emigre who became an influential Vogue art director.
As an artist, Liberman developed a hard-edged, geometric style. He experimented with materials such as industrial enamel and stainless steel, placing lollypop-sized disk sculptures on tiny marble pedestals.
His paintings feature circles, fluid lines and combinations of red, white, yellow, blue and black. They allude to Malevich, point to minimalism and create a link to contemporary artists Ellsworth Kelly and Brice Marden.
Prices range from $30,000 to $150,000. “After Image: Paintings and Sculpture from the 1950s” runs through Oct. 26 at 1018 Madison Ave.; +1-212-744-7400; http://www.miandn.com/.
In the postwar atmosphere of ruin and desolation, a group of about 20 Japanese artists led by Jiro Yoshihara turned away from the past and formed the Gutai Art Association in 1954 to “Engage in the Newness!” as one of its slogans said.
Freedom, improvisation and new materials were some of the defining characteristics of the group’s work.
Today, in the same townhouse that held Gutai’s first U.S. exhibition more than 50 years ago, Hauser & Wirth presents more than 30 works by 12 of its members.
Two circles from Yoshihara’s celebrated series, one black on white and another blue on red, are on view with Kazuo Shiraga’s beautiful 1965 “Red Fan,” an imposing sculpture in lacquered tissue paper and wood.
Shiraga’s oil-on-canvas “Green Fan,” made with strong circling brushstrokes, gives a sense of spin and movement. “I want to paint as though rushing around a battlefield,” the artist wrote.
Most of the works are not for sale; prices for available pieces range from $50,000 to about $1.5 million. “A Visual Essay on Gutai at 32 East 69th Street” runs through Oct. 27; +1-212-794-4970; http://www.hauserwirth.com/.
(Lili Rosboch and Katya Kazakina write for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on dining.