"Tazeen Qayyum," Aicon Gallery, New York, NY. Through Jan. 11. Karen Rosenberg: "Insects also figure in small paintings by Tazeen Qayyum, who renders cockroaches and other household pests with extraordinary delicacy. (Like the well-known contemporary artist Shahzia Sikander, Ms. Qayyum studied miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore.) The pins and small labels attached to several works mimic the conventions of entomology, but they also exude a minimalist vibe."
"John Wesley: Question of Women," Fredericks & Freiser, New York, NY. Through Feb 7. Ken Johnson: "For more than five decades John Wesley has been creating poetically resonant paintings in a formally acute cartoon style. Most of the paintings in this lovely show date from the mid-1990s and depict young women who look like fashion models....The beauty of Mr. Wesley’s paintings is as much in the abstraction as in the imagery. The reduced palette of pinks, coral reds, black and sky blue; the sensuous flux of curvy contour lines; and the perfect fitting of large shapes into the rectangle of the canvas — combine all that with the tantalizing imagery and you have paintings that are nearly impossible to look away from."
"Alexi Worth: Eye to Eye," D C Moore Gallery, New York, NY. Through Jan. 3. Ken Johnson: Painted with sensuous neatness in a nicely simplifying representational style, Alexi Worth’s pictures present curious visual puzzles slyly charged with sexual undercurrents....Looking, seeing and comprehending is a complicated process, driven at its most urgent, Freud and Marcel Duchamp would say, by sexual curiosity. It’s hard to think of another painter these days who has such infectious fun with the philosophical analysis of modern painting."
"Keltie Ferris: Dear Sir or Madam," Sunday, New York, NY. Through Jan. 18. Karen Rosenberg: "Ms. Ferris’s five large-scale paintings, made with oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, synthesize Mudd Club-era tendencies toward graffiti and neo-expressionism. At the same time they recall the more esoteric styles of Philip Taaffe and especially Ross Bleckner. A prime example is 'Ragnarok,' with its scattering of airbrushed dots over a rough-textured, woodlike surface....The overall impression is of the art of an earlier generation filtered through a young painter’s own nostalgia for the era of her childhood."
"Trenton Doyle Hancock: Fear," James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY. Through Jan. 10. Roberta Smith: "For his latest solo show at this gallery he has trimmed his epic, racially charged battles between comical color-loving meat-eating blobs and knobby white vegan villains to a single, topical subject: fear. He has also curtailed the eccentric buildup of materials usual to his collage paintings, although he continues to implicate the gallery walls to eye-popping effect....At once tragic and comic, this work makes good on Mr. Hancock’s debts to artists like R. Crumb and Philip Guston with a finesse all its own. As much a drawing as a painting, it is an altogether astounding sight."
Read the entire NY Times Art in Review column.