15 Artists in NY Summer Group Shows Who Deserve Solo Shows

Alexxa Gotthardt
Jul 25, 2016 10:06AM

The July group show has become an art-world standby, but it remains a nimble platform for galleries eager to introduce new artists during the summer slowdown. This season, Artsy traversed group exhibitions across New York, on the lookout for exciting work made by young artists who haven’t yet had their big breaks.

Below, we highlight 15 creatives whose work spans mediums and interests—from a photographer challenging racial profiling, the issue at the crux of the Black Lives Matter movement, to a painter who channels a passion for the magical worlds of Super Mario 64 into dreamy canvases. While some of the artists have mounted smaller solo presentations in the past, we expect their standout displays in this summer’s group shows to launch their careers to new heights.

Andrea Joyce Heimer

B. 1981, MT. Lives and works in Ferndale, WA, and Manchester, NH.

On view at:
Over the Hills,” Hometown, 1002 Metropolitan Avenue, #21, Brooklyn, Jun. 26–Aug. 7

Montana Hot Springs with Danger Surrounding, 2016
Once Or Twice A Month My Parents Would Treat Us To Fast Food And We Ate It In The Cool Basement And I Still Remember Being Asked If I Needed That Second Hamburger., 2016

Nude figures resembling the characters that border medieval manuscripts cavort, fight, canoodle, and pee across Heimer’s paintings. For the self-taught artist, who was adopted as an infant, the narratives they enact represent personal origin myths: imagined moments from a past obscured by sealed records. Fluid body contours, intricate wallpaper patterns, and playful details (a man who, mid-coital embrace, wears only basketball socks) might offer the initial gateway into Heimer’s work. But it’s the recurrent themes of escapism, loneliness, and longing that furnish her paintings with a vulnerability that holds your gaze.

Olivia Erlanger

b. 1990, New York. Lives and works in New York.  

On view at:

“Daydream from 2013,” CANADA, 333 Broome Street, Jul. 22–Aug. 26

Left: Olivia Erlanger, Raft of Burnt Ruby Copal, 2016; Right: Olivia Erlanger, Raft for Lotophagi, 2016. Images courtesy of the artist.

Riding the momentum of her excellent and unnerving March solo presentation at Detroit’s What Pipeline, Erlanger shows two of her “rafts” at CANADA. Within the bounds of heavy steel frames, she’s loaded resin, bee pollen, a honey-drenched opera glove, and bits of cardboard embalmed in shea butter. These motley materials reference the millennial artist’s preoccupation with seemingly insurmountable crises, like global warming. By gathering and carefully arranging signifiers such as bees (an organism essential to our ecosystem and in danger of extinction), Erlanger attempts to navigate these urgent, perplexing issues.

Benjamin Reiss

b. 1985, Los Angeles. Lives and works in Los Angeles.

On view at:

“No Free Tax Art Month,” 247365, 57 Stanton Street, Jul. 1–31

Benjamin Reiss, Worm and Magnifier, 2014. Images courtesy of the artist and 247365, New York.


Reiss’s Worm and Magnifier (2014) is the spellbinding standout of 247365’s “No Free Tax Art Month,” which marks the L.A.-based artist’s first inclusion in a New York show. The sculpture, as with most of Reiss’s work, resembles a cross between an Erector Set, a messy carnival, and a human body—complete with orifices and a tendency to ooze. Here, a happy sun powers the dissection of a form that’s part baguette, part worm, part Nickelodeon slime factory. Despite the primary-colored blobs and emoji references, it’s hard not to draw comparisons between Reiss’s creation and the activity of an operating table. It’s this dichotomy—pop meets corporeal—that renders his practice so compelling.

Anna Glantz

b. 1989. Lives and works in Queens, NY.

On view at:

Intimisms,” James Cohan, 533 West 26th Street, Jun. 23–Jul. 29

I Am Silver,” Foxy Production, 2 East Broadway, 200, Jun. 26–Jul. 29

“Daydream from 2013,” CANADA, 333 Broome Street, Jul. 22–Aug. 26 

Portrait of Anna Glantz in her Long Island City, NY studio by Kyle Knodell for Artsy.

A doe-eyed man named Jack reappears in three different shows across New York this summer. He is the subject of many of Glantz’s paintings, which gather an alluring hodgepodge of references to American history and contemporary culture—from Paul Revere to bundle-carrying wanderers to androgynous lovers. It’s Jack who, like the viewer, bears witness to the eerie, fictitious visions that Glantz constructs, breaks down, and reimagines across her body of work—a process that highlights the fragility of the historical narratives and daily news we are fed. Look out for the refreshingly idiosyncratic painter’s first major solo show this December, at 11R.

Sarah Wright

b. 1984, Glasgow. Lives and works in Glasgow and New York.

On view at:

“Sexting” at Kate Werble, 83 Vandam Street, Jul. 21–Aug. 19

Left: Sarah Wright, Fresh Start, 2016; Right: Sarah Wright, both ways, 2016. Images courtesy of the artist and Kate Werble Gallery.

Three small, captivating works, hung on the walls of Kate Werble’s show “Sexting,” mark Wright’s overdue U.S. debut. In the back room, a duo of archival plastic bags, both titled Fresh Start, bulge with materials used to beautify women: a blush palette, underwire, sky blue zippers. The zipper reappears in both ways (2016) as a red, flattened image superimposed onto a fashion photo. Its snake-like form arcs across a black-and-white female torso, distracting from—rather that calling attention to—the subject’s curves or keyhole turtleneck. Wright excels at these visual games, which cleverly tease the subjectivity and sway of the images that surround us.


John Edmonds

b. 1989, MD. Lives and works in New Haven, CT, and New York.

Previously on view at:

Reviver: Yale MFA Photo 2016,” Danziger Gallery, 95 Rivington Street, Jun. 17–29

“James Baldwin/Jim Brown & The Children,” Curated by Hilton Als, The Artist’s Institute, 132 East 65th Street, May 2–Jun. 18

All Eyes on Me
Danziger Gallery

For his May Yale MFA graduation show, Edmonds presented 11 nearly identical photographs of a black man wearing a ski mask and cap bearing the logo “MPL” (an acronym that might either refer to a music licensing company or a submachine gun). Titled “All Eyes on Me,” the project is one of many by Edmonds which confronts deep-seated biases around race and gender. In another series, called “Hoods,” the photographer creates a taxonomy of faceless, hooded figures that challenge racial profiling, the motivating agent of the Black Lives Matter movement. Will viewers immediately assume that the people behind the hoods are young and black? Edmonds’s practice elegantly probes these tough questions.


Christina Leung

b. 1983, Lexington, KY. Lives and works in New York.

On view at:

“No Free Tax Art Month,” 247365, 57 Stanton Street, Jul. 1–31

Left: Christina Leung, Sculpture, 2015; Right: Christina Leung, Hand, 2015. Images courtesy of the artist and 247365.

Whiffs of game-changing artworks—those that shifted the course of art history—emanate from Leung’s mischievous, sometimes melancholy sculptures. Shelves or Pillows, for instance, presents steel shelves, resembling Donald Judd’s stacked plexiglass boxes, that tilt comically under the weight of pillows. At 247365, a work judiciously titled Sculpture tangentially recalls Marcel Duchamp’s Bottle Rack (1914). The four-sided structure is forged from powder-coated steel bars that bend into stylized outlines of everyday objects: a palm tree, an Oscar statuette, a venus fly trap. Other works similarly fuse multiple symbols into single, nonsensical guideposts. In Hand (2015), a zigzag dead-ends into a hand that points nowhere. Like all of Leung’s works, it re-codes familiar signs to highlight the absurdity of human habits and the objects we cherish.


Jibade-Khalil Huffman

b. 1981, Detroit. Lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.

On view at:

“Tenses,” The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, Jul. 14–Oct. 30 

Installation view of “Tenses: Artists in Residence 2015–16: Jordan Casteel, EJ Hill, Jibade-Khalil Huffman” at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo by Adam Reich, courtesy of The Studio Museum in Harlem.

The first work that Huffman made for “Tenses” was inspired by a meme hatched after Drake and Future released their 2015 album What a Time to Be Alive. The source image shows Future’s head superimposed onto the body of a preacher, who is saying “Congregation, turn to your neighbor, say ‘Neighbor, what a time to be alive.’” Huffman’s silkscreen Call and Response (2016) responds to this charged language, and questions the black community’s reliance on religion over therapy during trying times. Across his body of work, the artist and poet deftly remixes text, images, and found objects to respond to language and lived experiences, especially those of black men. At the Studio Museum, this results in a foreboding environment in which videos are projected onto silkscreens, walls, and through car windshields. “This work is meant to be dark. There’s a lot of rage,” explained Huffman. More of the artist’s recent work is currently on view at LACE in Los Angeles.

Veronika Pausova

b. 1987, Prague. Lives and works in Toronto.

On view at:
“Gesture Play,” Simone Subal, 131 Bowery, 2nd floor, Jun. 23–Jul. 29
“Seek Professional Help,” Bureau, 178 Norfolk Street, Jun. 26–Aug. 5 

Left: Veronika Pausova, Foot in the Coliseum, 2016. Courtesy the artist and Simone Subal Gallery. Center: Veronika Pausova, pushing flowers, 2016. Courtesy the artist, Bureau, New York, and Motel, New York. Right: Veronika Pausova, Elope by Mere Thread I, 2016. Courtesy the artist and Simone Subal Gallery.

Pausova’s favorite game is Super Mario 64, an influence that emerges—albeit subtly—in the young artist’s enticingly peculiar paintings. At both Simone Subal and Bureau, her canvases double as portals into otherworldly, virtual realms where floating feet, swan-diving spiders, and anthropomorphic plants are the protagonists. For Pausova, these recurring symbols, which crop up in different scenarios across her body of work, represent the subjective nature of reality and perception. pushing flowers (2016), for instance, begs the question: Are we looking at flowers, figures, or an allegory for death?

Oren Pinhassi

b. 1985, Tel Aviv. Lives and works in New York.

On view at:

Record Lines this Summer,” Magenta Plains, 94 Allen Street, Jun. 15–Jul. 27

Untitled, 2016
Magenta Plains

This summer at Magenta Plains, Pinhassi hints at what’s in store for his two biggest solos yet, at Tempo Rubato’s Harlem space and Chicago’s New Capital Projects this fall. While some of the artist’s works resemble future relics excavated from the ashes of war (or a global warming-induced apocalypse), Untitled (2016) seems to offer seeds for a new civilization. In it, five plant bulbs—which are watered and grow over the course of the show—emerge from divots in a bumpy accumulation of cement. One indentation, though, is left ominously empty. Is this an omen of decay to come, or a petri dish for new life? Time will tell.


Saige Rowe

b. 1993, Conyers, GA. Lives and works in Conyers.

On view at:

“Peachtree Industrial,” Bodega, 167 Rivington Street, Jun. 24–Aug. 7 

In Rowe’s whimsical video three short physical movements followed by a general lull (2016), we never see the face of the body who moves through a backyard, interacting awkwardly with various objects: a shoe made from duct tape and painted sage green, a blue sheet that matches the subject’s tights, a neon squishy ball that resembles a sea urchin. The piece offers a concise, earnest window into Rowe’s burgeoning practice, which assembles an inventory of both surreal and mundane scenarios. Woven together across Rowe’s work, they unlock connections between sundry human emotions (curiosity, frustration) and the surroundings that trigger them.


Carmen Winant

B. 1983, San Francisco. Lives and works in Columbus, OH.

On view at:
“Sexting,” Kate Werble, 83 Vandam Street, Jul. 21–Aug. 19
“Summer Reading,” Fortnight Institute, 60 East 4th Street, Jun. 23–Aug. 11

Carmen Winant, Looking Forward To Being Attacked, 2016. Image courtesy of Kate Werble Gallery and the artist.

Following fledgling gallery Fortnight Institute’s small but mighty spring presentation of Winant’s work—collages showing women as recipients of both affectionate and unnerving touch—two summer shows confirm the momentum and visceral pull of her practice. In both, Winant’s contributions stand out amongst bigger, flashier works for their ability to bring the complexities of body politics into compilations of disembodied heads and limbs. Looking Forward To Being Attacked (2016), on view at Kate Werble, corrals a swarm of hands and feet clipped from both self-defense and reflexology how-to books. With this work, Winant expertly unearths the fragile line between aggression and intimacy. The year ahead will be a busy one for Winant, who will mount solo shows in Los Angeles, Columbus, and Detroit. Their charged titles—“Red Parts,” “The Woman Problem”—signal more stirring projects on the horizon.

Lucia Elena Prusa  

b.1985, Germany. Lives and works in Vienna and Mexico City.

On view at:

“Dead Letter Office,” JTT, 170a Suffolk Street, Jun. 19–Jul. 30

Lucia Elena Prusa, Window 1, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist and JTT.

For her first appearance in a U.S. show, Prusa dots the walls, window, and floor of JTT with small works that resemble windows and gravestones. Made from everyday materials that reference the urban landscape of Mexico City, where she now lives and works, the objects give form to fleeting impressions inspired by the artist’s surroundings. Window 1 (2016), for instance, is crafted from an industrial window frame, then embedded with a whimsical drawing of planets and a piece of cardboard perforated with two eye-sized holes. Set in the window of JTT, the work acts like a gateway between different worlds: the space of the gallery, the streets of Manhattan and Mexico City, and the metaphysical space where dreams of cosmic exploration and escapism live.

Rachel Libeskind

b. 1989, Milan. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

On view at:

“Summer Reading” at Fortnight Institute, 60 East 4th Street, Jun. 23–Aug. 11

“MINERVA,” Cuevas Tilleard Projects, 142 Henry Street, Jun. 8–Jul. 10. 

Portrait of Rachel Libeskind in her studio, July 2016. Photo by Vera Comploj.

For Libeskind’s July 6th performance at Cuevas Tilleard Projects, the artist assumed the role of a sprightly art historian specializing in paintings that feature Christ’s foreskin (“the holy prepuce”). Reproductions of the masterpieces being discussed, printed on tapestries at Walmart, surrounded her as she questioned why the Catholic church has attempted to hide these works—and underplay their savior’s circumcision. The answer, she reveals: to cover up Christ’s Jewish beginnings. Across her multimedia practice, Libeskind excels at this sort of cheeky social criticism, drawing provocative lines between historical and contemporary pain points surrounding religion, identity, and gender.


Yannic Joray

b. 1986, Zürich. Lives and works in Zürich.

On view at:

“The Discovery of a Leak in the Roof of Marcel Breuer’s Wellfleet Summer Cottage on the Morning of September 16, 1984,” Off Vendome, 254 West 23rd St. #2, Jun. 5–Jul. 23

Yannic Joray, Untitled, 2016. Image courtesy of the artist and Off Vendome.

Joray has kept a low international profile, despite standout appearances in group shows across his native Switzerland and Europe over the past several years. At Kunsthalle Bern last summer, his installation II: Hallo aus dem Hinterhalt (translated to Hello from the Ambush) was especially memorable. In it, towering tin birds-cum-velociraptors were suspended from the ceiling, ready to pounce on toy-sized figures rendered messily in clay—crumbling, but still poised to fight back. This summer, Off Vendome brings another rousing sculpture, Untitled (2016), to New York. Two small, roughly hewn mud huts sit on the gallery floor, topping out at seven inches high. They emit smoke and light made from tiny interior fires, inspiring uncomfortable but compelling thoughts about the comforts and excesses of contemporary life.

Alexxa Gotthardt