Danziger Projects; through 2/25; 527 W. 23th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-629-6778
Five talented artists make their New York debuts in Danziger Gallery’s “New Photographers” show, every one worth seeing, with at least one of them—Chris Levine’s 2004 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, shot to be printed on lenticular—tacitly demanding that you be there in person. One perfect frame from that session will appear on the £100 note next year, but the real prize was almost an accident: In the course of the day, Levine offered the monarch a moment’s pause, producing an astonishing closed-eye portrait (see above).
Joe Sheftel; through 2/19; 24A Orchard St., nr. Hester St.; 212-226-4900
The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, a group show focused on perception, visual reality, and environment, features Alex Da Corte’s sculptures made of objects salvaged from his postindustrial neighborhood, Adam Henry’s space-distorting paintings, and Rory Mulligan’s atmospheric black-and-white photos.
Luxembourg & Dayan; through 1/28, 64 E. 77th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-452-4646
It’s your last chance to see this show, cozily installed in a narrow townhouse and impeccably curated by Alison Gingeras. It features art rendered in infinite versions of the color gray or in close-toned monochrome palettes. Also, be ready for the walk-in sex shop in the form of Betty Tompkins’s 1972 close-up depiction of intercourse, hanging across from Robert Morris’s 1967 Über-labial falling-felt sculpture in an all-pink room.
Whitney Museum of American Art; through 4/30; 945 Madison Ave., at 75th St.; 800-944-8639
After two years, it's back up. The miniature circus, fashioned from cork, wire, wood, and various household objects, represents pure unbridled kinetic joy—and its many charms and idiosyncrasies may be the perfect antidote to a day spent staring at Levine’s bronzed two-headed calf skeletons and Smith’s enormous steel cubes.
Bureau; through 2/12; 127 Henry St., nr. Pike St., 212-227-2783
Small handmade objects that defy categorization. Hoyt was one of the standouts in MoMA P.S. 1’s 2010 “Greater New York” exhibition, where his tiny and seriously strange carved-clay pieces—which resembled sculptural-biological forms and dead rodents—hinted at the innate connection between creating form and creating life.