Each Friday, our writers review a few choice (New York) gallery openings from the night before. 

Michael Kidner, Untitled No. 33, 1959, Oil on paper, © Michael Kidner, Courtesy Flowers Gallery

by Elinor Case-Pethica, Staff writer

Michael Kidner’s show at Flowers Gallery is essentially a retrospective, examining the artist’s drawings and paintings on paper alone. The show covers a span of Kidner’s work from the late 1950’s on through to his final works from 2009. One of the earliest Op-Art painters in Britain, Kidner’s work clearly reflects the influence of Bauhaus and minimalism; he enters into a space reserved for artists who are valued not for their work’s aesthetic or conceptual merit alone, but also on art historical contribution. In many ways, Works on Paper is the perfect show for a young collector. Kidner’s paintings are in many major collections including the Tate and MoMA, and his work can be viewed as a succinct and pithy summation of the various movements of his time. A common way to include work by major artists such as Kidner in a budding collection is via editioned prints. These drawings serve the same function and at a similar price point, but have a compelling and intimate feel—in some instances, close examination of the work reveals strands of the artist’s hair caught in the paint. Kidner’s works on paper will be available at Flowers Gallery until August 27th.

Michael Kidner, Untitled, 1963, Oil on paper, © Michael Kidner, Courtesy Flowers Gallery

Michael Kidner, Untitled, 1965, Oil on paper, © Michael Kidner, Courtesy Flowers Gallery

2016 MFA National Competition at First Street Gallery

This juried show is made up of work by the MFA Graudates of various institutions from the past three years. Like all MFA work, it’s equal parts tentative and brash, self-conscious and excited. The contest actually displays a lot of young talent: Lynette McCarthy’s “December Baby” shows a frustrated woman dragging a heavy suitcase through a field of snow—one of the best photographs I’ve seen all summer. Greg Burak’s painting “Botched Levitation” is also a compelling entry, combining humor and an obvious interest in the faults of depicted space. An entertaining exhibition displaying an abundance of potential.

Car Crash, 1978–1979, Unique screen print on paper, 30.5″ x 42″

Summer Group Show at Leila Heller Gallery

Leila Heller Gallery shows an ecclectic mix of big names at their summer group show across a wide range of different media. The highlight: a witty pairing of a John Chamberlain sculpture of twisted metal next to a set of Andy Warhol car drawings, Untitled (Imperial Car Detail) & Avante 1962 and a Car Crash screenprint.