Miles of Mojave, Tiny Pots, Hermit Hungarian: Chelsea Art

Before the summer season of group shows takes over Chelsea, catch some memorable solo exhibitions in New York’s contemporary-art hub.

Austere theatricality permeates Jannis Kounellis’s show at Cheim & Read gallery. His sculptures and installations marry industrial materials and domestic objects.

Delicate vases, champagne flutes and other glassware are displayed on multiple shelves attached to hefty vertical slabs of steel. Shapeless, black overcoats hang off I-beams. In the largest sculpture, “All or Nothing at All,” piles of stones and old sewing machines are contained by a steel wall.

Prices range from $80,000 to $500,000. The show runs through June 22 at 547 W. 25th St., +1-212-242-7727;

Young Brits

Two British artists, David Birkin and Jeremy Hutchison, display the results of their experiment in long-distance communication at Art Amalgamated gallery.

Two identical bulky television monitors show the footage of each man walking for 25 miles toward the other -- one in the Mojave Desert, the other in East London.

While they fail to meet, what they wear, see and pick up along the way (beat-up boots, rusty beer cans, haunting landscapes) is paired up in sculpture, video and photo collages that make up the exhibition, “Some Fifty Miles of Concrete Pavement.”

Prices range from $3,200 to $8,000. The show runs through July 6 at 317 Tenth Ave., +1-212- 334-0403;

Simon Hantai

At Paul Kasmin, large-scale abstract paintings by the reclusive Hungarian-born French artist Simon Hantai (1922-2008) seem to float in a volume of light. Hantai liked folding or tying the canvas, applying the paint and then unfolding the cloth.

His “Etude” is an allover vortex of irregular black and white repetitions on a canvas that is almost 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. A smaller, quieter vertical painting, “Tabula,” stars a central red mass pierced by white patches that recalls a Matisse cutout.

Prices range from $350,000 to $1.6 million. The show runs through June 22 at 515 W. 27th St. +1-212-563-4474;

Shio Kusaka

Shio Kusaka ceramic pots at Anton Kern Gallery are quietly charming and painterly. The Los Angeles-based artist’s second solo show includes 127 porcelain and stoneware vessels, each featuring a unique combination of shape, texture, color and pattern. At once simple and exquisite, some bring to mind early paintings of Yayoi Kusama, others evoke Picasso’s pottery and ancient Japanese earthenware. The smallest is just 4 inches high.

Prices range from $1,500 to $5,500. The show runs through June 22 at 532 W. 20th St., +1-212-367-9663;

Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on dining, Philip Boroff on theater.