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

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by Elinor Case-Pethica, Staff writer

“Two Forces” by Sandra Cinto at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

“Two Forces” (pictured above) is Brazilian artist Sandra Cinto’s seventh exhibition with Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. This new body of work presents a series of minimal paintings using ink-wash and fine-tipped pen, and a single alabaster sculpture of the artist’s own arm outstretched with a hand full of water. The formal elements reference both the melting of ice, and the earth as viewed from outer space—a subtle and poignant allusion to our current environmental situation. The chance-based process of allowing pigment to flow naturally, combined with the purposeful and meticulously tiny marks made with the pen satisfies the eye and creates a conceptually appealing juxtaposition. “Two Forces” causes us to step back from ourselves and assume a new scope of vision to view Cinto’s work—one where geological processes provide the pace for our perception of time, and everyday endeavors appear both minuscule in scale and fleetingly ephemeral. “Two Forces” will be on view until July 15th.

“Minerva” including work by Andrea Belag, Sally Saul, Kurt Kauper, and Lucy Mink-Covello at Cuevas Tilleard Projects

Many exciting elements converge in Cuevas Tilleard’s new show. Located at 142 Henry Street, the relatively young gallery was one of the first to open in Chinatown; an area now being hailed by many as the new Chelsea. “Minerva” features the work of Andrea Belag, Sally Saul, Kurt Kauper, and Lucy Mink-Covello. This eclectic group was selected in an unusual and refreshing way: the four hosts of art talkshow Know Wave Radio requested their interviewees to suggest underrepresented emerging artists to be featured in a group show. The resulting exhibition is undeniably strong. Although the work ranges from rough and energetic pottery to delicate graphite figure drawings, “Minerva” has a discerning, cohesive curatorial voice. The show is charged with a powerful and unencumbered sense of newness—new artists, new location, new approach—surely a recipe for success. “Minerva” will be up at Cuevas Tilleard until July 10th.

Know Wave Radio is available at http://www.know-wave.com/

“Mike Kelley: Shaped Paintings” by Mike Kelley at Skarstedt Gallery

Skarstedt’s gallery in Chelsea is currently showing a group of works painted by Mike Kelley in the 1990s. The shapes of the paintings range from conglomerations of connected squares to amoeba-like forms; the paint handling is youthful and exuberant, depicting a jumble of cartoonish portraits scattered through abstract expressionist marks and deliberately crude trompe l’oeil elements. More than a touch of snideness is present in the pairings of images. In this series Kelley ruminates on his own history and the inevitable conflict felt revisiting memories of youth, as well as on the history of painting itself. This show tackles the philosophical and visual angst that occurs when different schools of painting converge in one piece—or as in the case of Kelley himself, one artist’s coming-of-age. Kelley appears to be asking the viewer, “Was I always this cynical?”

This show will be on view at Starskedt until June 25th.