22 East 17th Street
For more than two decades, the art dealer Kerry Schuss has been running one of the most exciting, idiosyncratic galleries in town, and like many of his most venturesome peers (Gavin Brown and Mitchell Algus, say), he was an artist before opening up shop. This show reveals that Schuss was something of a mad scientist in his earlier role, making abstract black-and-white images via the process known as Kirlian photography, which involves using high-voltage electricity. Working in a dark room with—you can’t make this up—a Tesla coil in the late 1970s, he produced small drawings by placing objects and even his own fingers onto film. The results, enlarged in fresh prints last year, suggest celestial eclipses on distant solar systems or exceedingly detailed x-rays of microscopic creatures, with countless minuscule capillaries glowing from hovering squares. Digital reproductions do the quicksilver changes of light in these pieces zero justice; go see them in person. —Andrew Russeth
Installation view of “Kerry Schuss: Electrograms 1978–2020” at Gordon Robichaux. Courtesy Gordon Robichaux.