Soho: Davis Rhodes, Stephen Sprouse, Ben Jones

Davis Rhodes Untitled 2008 enamel on foamboard 96" x 44" x 8" (each) [installation view of two separate works, each described identically]

a detail of the Stephen Sprouse show [installation view including "Iggy On the Cross"]

Ben Jones [detail of entrance to installation, "The New Dark Age"]

I didn't want to lose another race with time, so I've decided that before they close I'd do a few posts pointing to shows I think worth a detour. I'll be grouping them more or less by neighborhood, but including only the most abbreviated description. I hope not to make a habit of this, but lately I've seen so much I liked that I'd never have time to talk about it all.

The first stop is Soho.

I felt almost physically provoked by the painting/sculptures of Davis Rhodes in a three-person show at Team Gallery which also includes work by Gardar Eide Einarsson and Stanley Whitney. Rhodes's medium is enamel on foamboard, in various thicknesses. Except for one diptych propped against a wall, painted on a thicker board than the others, they stand by themselves, with the help of the artist's horizontal arches.

Stephen Sprouse is making another comeback. This one is being launched from Deitch Projects Wooster Street, but Sprouse isn't here to enjoy it. Because of his early death in 2004 we have no idea what he would think about this look backward. "Rock on Mars" is a retrospective of the body of work created by the designer and artist during an erratic rocket of a career which both fired up and was fired on by a mix of and pop and punk culture which never totally disappeared; I think it just moved to Brooklyn. And now hard times are back: If he were still with us, Sprouse might feel more at home today than he had since he started out.

Ben Jones really is at home in 2009. His show at Deitch on Grand, "The New Dark Age", is both totally of and way beyond whatever we mean by "today" - both the culture and its systems. Jones, who is part of the collective Paper Rad, is enjoying (I hope as much as we are) his first solo run at the gallery, where the work, described in the press release as "between-media video sculpture, light painting, and 'drawing in the digital age'", is also a mesmerizing amalgram of comedy and terror. Pay attention to that show title.