Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, whose last New York exhibition depicted the corporate world, returns to Chelsea with new work rooted in personal references.
His 10th show at David Zwirner gallery opens with a rare self-portrait, followed by paintings of his leg, his jacket, his garden.
Initially photographed with an iPhone, the images are then painted on a blown-up scale, distorting and abstracting the original until it becomes barely recognizable in the torrent of wispy brushstrokes and washed-out colors.
Tuymans is an expert in revealing while concealing. In his self-portrait, he wears glasses painted with light reflections that hide the eyes’ expression.
“Nothing is to be penetrated,” Tuymans said during a recent walk-through of the show. “Everything is a shield.”
The works, priced from $1.4 million to $1.8 million, have all been sold. “The Summer Is Over” runs through Feb. 9 at 519 W. 19th St.; +1-212-727-2070; http://www.davidzwirner.com/.
French artist Daniel Buren has built a career out of stripes. They have appeared on bridges, escalators, subway platforms and public squares as well as inside palaces, galleries and museums. They are at once minimal, decorative and playful -- and always 8.7 centimeters (3.4 inches) wide.
Last week, Buren’s stripes appeared in two Chelsea exhibitions. At Petzel gallery’s new space, they highlight the architecture, rising to the 19-foot ceiling in vibrant colors alternating with white. The gallery’s arched skylight is lined with multicolored acrylic panels, which create kaleidoscopic shadows on the walls during sunny mornings.
Take time to absorb different color relationships, intriguing sidelines and interplay between negative and positive space. Then you start noticing tiny seams that appear throughout each installation. It turns out, each piece is made of hundreds of small, striped posters glued to the walls and perfectly lined up.
Each 125,000-euro ($166,000) installation is unique and dimensions can be adjusted to individual settings. The show runs through Feb. 16 at 456 W. 18th St.; +1-212-680-9467; http://www.petzel.com/.
Two blocks north, the Buren exhibition continues at Bortolami gallery.
In one room, triangles of silver and blue stripes glow in the dark as fiber-optic technology is applied to textiles with luminous effect. If you unplug the work, it turns into a milky monochrome.
The rest of the show features striped, rectangular canvases in various colors under Plexiglas panels painted with white stripes. The white lines block some of the color underneath to create various geometric shapes and the illusion of negative space.
Prices range from $130,000 to $260,000. The show runs through Feb. 16 at 520 W.20th St.; +1-212-727-2050; http://www.bortolamigallery.com/.
Across the street, at Jack Shainman Gallery, Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui shows glittering tapestries in his exhibition “Pot of Wisdom.”
Hung on the walls, they appear as amorphous, sprawling and undulating shapes.
Some works suggest maps of imaginary countries or continents. Others glow like Byzantine icons or recall medieval armor. In fact, each work is made with thousands of metal caps and foil from liquor bottles.
Prices range from $750,000 to $1.5 million. The show runs through Jan. 19 at 513 W.20th St.; +1-212-645-1701; http://www.jackshainman.com/.
Muse highlights include: Jeremy Gerard on theater, Ryan Sutton on dining.