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Nov. 3, 2006 

A selection of things that looked good, made news or otherwise caught our eye this week.

Andrew Wyeth’s beautiful blonde earth mother is back, via drawings and watercolors that have a remarkable precision -- and an uncanny familiarity. "Andrew Wyeth: Helga on Paper," Nov. 3-Dec. 22, 2006, an exhibition of 60 drawings and watercolors from the legendary series (which are now beginning at last to pass into the hands of individual collectors), inaugurates the new home of Adelson Galleries, a Beaux Arts townhouse at 19 East 82nd Street, down the way from the Metropolitan Museum. A must for lovers of watercolor.

Is anything more boring than video art? New York video veteran Burt Barr (husband to dancer Trisha Brown) puts it to the test out at P.S.1 with a pair of bluntly nihilistic videos, Watching Paint Dry: Red (2005) and Watching Paint Dry: Blue (2005).

Buried deep within the tunnel-like space of the Terminal Warehouse at 11th Avenue and 27th Street (former home of the Tunnel nightclub, in fact), is the hottest show of contemporary prints and artist’s editions -- the Editions/Artists’ Books Fair 2006, Nov. 2-5, 2006, featuring new editions from more than 50 contemporary dealers and other exhibitors.

Everyone’s favorite megadealer, Larry Gagosian, has inaugurated his new space at 522 West 21st Street with "Cast a Cold Eye: The Late Works of Andy Warhol," Oct. 25-Dec. 22, 2006. Outside it looks something like a Con Ed substation, with all that glazed orange tile. Inside is a giant, columnless space, filled with some of the largest Warhol paintings anywhere, including the Metropolitan Museum’s ca. 15 x 11 ft. Mao (1973) and Bruno Bischofberger’s ca. 7 x 35 ft. Big Electric Chair (1980).

The photographer who defined 1960s Swinging London (and who was the model for the David Hemmings character in Blow-Up) -- David Bailey -- is back in New York with "Jean Shrimpton NY 62," Oct. 31-Dec. 16, 2006, at Faggionato Fine Art at 42 East 76th Street. The show features new prints ($12,000 a piece) of photos of the glamorous model taken for British Vogue during an Alice in Wonderland romp through Manhattan (thus the signature teddy bear in every shot). 

The venerable avant-garde tradition of the empty gallery gets another entry with John Bock’s Mit Schisslaveng (Off-handed), Oct. 20-Nov. 25, 2006, which fills the main space of the Anton Kern Gallery on West 20th Street in Chelsea with nothing more than a spiral staircase that takes the viewers up through the skylight and out onto the roof -- where the exhibition is installed. For details, you have to go see the show yourselves (we're no spoilers!).

The French answer to Abstract Expressionism, Art Informel has been little seen in the U.S. -- could there be some kind of embargo? In any case, Art Informel paintings by the French abstract painter Jean Miotte, known for his explosively spontaneous compositions in both brilliant color and somber black-and-white (and who recently celebrated his 80th birthday in New York), can be seen in "Jean Miotte: Spirit of Defiance," Sept. 7-Nov. 18, 2006. The retrospective exhibition is on view at the Chelsea Art Museum, home of his eponymous foundation, which he runs with his wife, Dr. Dorothea Keeser. 

Legendary 1980s graffiti master and "burner classed writer" Rammellzee, who also doubles as a "riphop" rapper, returns to the New York gallery scene with several new works, including a self-portrait sculpture titled The Ramm.ell.zee, in "Music Is a Better Noise," Oct. 29, 2006-Jan. 8, 2007, at P.S.1. Welcome back.