15 New York Gallery Shows Where You’ll Find Exciting Young Artists This June

Casey Lesser
Jun 2, 2016 11:01PM

A new crop of fresh talent kicks off the summer months at galleries across New York, spanning solo debuts and smart group shows to complement your social media addiction or upturn perceptions of the female form. 

Devan Shimoyama at Lesley Heller Workspace

May 25–July 9, 54 Orchard Street

Left: Devan Shimoyama, CryBaby (2016); Right: Devan Shimoyama, Daphnes Prayer (2016). Images courtesy of Lesley Heller Workspace.

For his first New York solo show, the young Pittsburgh-based Shimoyama weaves together personal narratives, as a black queer male, with classical mythology to develop allegorical paintings of desire and self-exploration. Black glitter, stencils, thick swipes of paint, and electric shocks of color coalesce in enticing, pulsating scenes that blend realities of sexuality and cultural identity with fantasy.

Temporary Highs” at bitforms

June 2–July 31, 131 Allen Street

Ry David Bradley, Petra Cortright, Katherine Frazer, Aiala Hernando, Anouk Kruithof, Jonas Lund, Hannah Perry, Pascual Sisto, Addie Wagenknecht, Britta Walsworth, Wendy White


“I feel like I’m living inside of a video game, in which every life event represents a gold coin that can be used as a way to obtain likes, faves, and retweets,” writes independent curator Lindsay Howard in the exhibition’s press release. In the show, Howard gathers 11 artists who each consider the insatiable, gratification-seeing, multitasking behavior that the internet promotes (namely via social media) in their work. Highlights include Lund’s artificial intelligence-aided work and Wagenknecht’s upside-down wedding cake, inspired by an image found on Pinterest.

On Painting” at Kent Fine Art

June 3–July 29, 210 Eleventh Avenue, 2nd Floor

Eve Ackroyd, Jon Campbell, Heidi Hahn, Janice Nowinski, Stefan Pehl, Kyle Staver

Face with Falling Eyes, 2016
Kent Fine Art
The Point is Here, 2015
Kent Fine Art

In line with the recent trend of figurative painting, this show, curated by Katrina Neumann, brings together a multigenerational group of artists who create paintings that consider the human form within real and imagined environments. Look out for luminous female figures that melt into their surroundings by Hahn and somber studies of faces and hands in muted colors by Ackroyd.

“Mal Maison” at Maccarone

June 7–August 12, 98 Morton Street

Keltie Ferris, Harmony Hammond, Rosy Keyser, Becky Kolsrud, Simone Leigh, Alice Mackler, Brie Ruais, Tschabalala Self, Shinique Smith

Left: Keltie Ferris, To be titled, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. Right: Becky Kolsrud, Group Portrait with Security Gate, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and JTT.

These nine powerful female artists (born between 1931 and 1990) create paintings and sculptures that span figuration and abstraction, though here they share an impulse to reconsider and thus reconfigure the image of the female body in their art. The breadth and variety of works on view, from Kolsrud’s paintings of women behind grates to Ferris’s oil and pigment self-portraits, reflects on the complexity of the female experience, which defies any single representation.

Raul de Nieves at Company Gallery

June 8–July 24, 88 Eldridge Street, 5th Floor

Works by Raul de Nieves. Images courtesy of Company Gallery.

In his new show “El Rio,” Nieves considers death, from the fear and rejection of it in contemporary Western society, to the honor and celebration of human sacrifice among the Aztecs and tribal cultures of New Guinea. The show spans paintings and vibrant sculptures—including his beaded figures and shoes, intricate technicolored objects that appear to be crystallized.

Elysian Redux” at Asya Geisberg Gallery

May 19–June 25, 537B West 23rd Street

Leah Guadagnoli, Rachel Higgins, Ad Minoliti, Dominique Pétrin, Ben Sanders, Shane Walsh

Installation view of “Elysian Redux” at Asya Geisberg Gallery. Photo by Etienne Frossard. Courtesy of Asya Geisberg Gallery.

This show was inspired by the resurgence of the aesthetics, design, and popular imagery of the 1980s—particularly from the iconic British poster company of the era, Athena—among the work of contemporary artists. Works range from Sanders’s enameled planters covered in cheerful motifs to Guadagnoli’s foamy upholstered wall hangings to Rachel Higgins’s faux stone plinths.

Justine Hill at Denny Gallery

May 19–June 30, 261 Broome Street

Sidekick 5, 2015
Denny Gallery
Colorform 1, 2016
Denny Gallery
Colorform 3, 2016
Denny Gallery

The young Brooklyn-based artist presents a new group of paintings made from sheets of plywood that she cuts into organic shapes and covers in canvas, from an ongoing series she’s dubbed “cut outs.” Hill’s approach to painting—layering lines, shapes, and swathes of color—is informed by traditions of collage as well as digital artmaking tools. Her works, which playfully dot the gallery walls, strike a balance between levity and precision.

Héctor Arce-Espasas at Taymour Grahne

May 18–June 22, 157 Hudson Street

Installation view of Héctor Arces Esparsas at Taymour Grahne. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

A cluster of white porcelain vessels overflowing with fruit are at the center of the San Juan-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s current show, but rather than vases or bowls, the ceramics are shaped like blue-jean-wearing torsos with bare midriffs. Lining the walls are acrylic and ink paintings of palm fronds in fiery reds, blacks, and greens. As a whole, the show comments on colonialism and cultural identity, countering common conceptions of paradisiacal tropics and allegories of wealth. 

Lenz Geerk, Jordan Kasey, Anthony Miler at Thierry Goldberg

June 4–July 1, 103 Norfolk Street

Left: Jordan Kasey, woman with plants, 2015; Center: Lenz Geerk, CLOSER II, 2015 Lenz Geerk; Right: Anthony Miler, Untitled, 2016. Images courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery.

The Swiss, Düsseldorf-based Geerk presents mysterious collage paintings of people in action—tying a shoe, playing tennis—often pictured from above, with their faces covered. He’s joined by Brooklyn artists Miler—who shows his signature animated figures wound up in furious networks of graphite—and Kasey, who shows surreal paintings of soft figures caught in moments of contemplation.

Alexandra Noel at Bodega

May 15–June 19, 167 Rivington Street

Left: Alexandra Noel, Devil Dog I, 2016; Right: Alexandra Noel, Ponytail Palm, Sleep Tight, 2016. Images courtesy of Bodega.

The L.A.-based artist’s tiny, nearly miniature paintings are filled with enigmatic narratives—the gaping red mouth of what might be a small dog; a girl in an opulent bedroom lined with lush jungle-like wallpaper; seven small horses that gradually rise on their hind legs, the last one jumping onto a form resembling a fleshy nose. Each work, like the show’s press release, reads like a (very) short story, a nod to the artist’s work as a writer.

Marela Zacarias at Praxis

May 26–July 2, 541 West 25th Street #2 

Marmoucha, 2016
Oulad Bou Sbaa, 2016

Zacarias’s undulating three-dimensional paintings continue her studies into her DNA, which she has traced back to Arabia and Asia Minor through genome sequencing. The artist is particularly interested in the textiles of her ancestors; made from wood, window screens, and acrylic, works in the show take ancient textiles from around the Mediterranean as inspirations.

Emily Wissemann at 99¢ Plus

June 3–July 3, 238 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn

Emily Wissemann, Sultan (2016), Blanking (2016), and If You Lived Here (Doppleganner I). Images courtesy of 99¢ Plus.

Brooklyn-based artist Wissemann mines utilitarian objects (like feather dusters, bristle brushes, and wheels from a filing cabinet) to develop playful sculptures that confound distinctions between art, design, and decor. The show’s installation similarly draws from everyday life—its organization takes cues from malls, playgrounds, and convention centers.

Jordan Kasey at Signal

May 27–June 26, 260 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn

Left: Jordan Kasey, Person with Mirrors; Right: Jordan Kasey, Roller Coaster. Images courtesy of Signal.

Following a strong showing with Nicelle Beauchene at NADA New York last month, Kasey makes her New York solo show debut with “Free Time.” New oil paintings on view are filled with dynamic figures that span reality (an upside down figure on a roller coaster) and a sense of surrealism (a figure lounging on the beach in red flips flops, atop clouds, with some body parts replaced by shapes).

“Cubit” at New Release

May 23–June 26, 60 Mulberry Street

Michael Childress, Megan Cotts, Devin Farrand, Kai Franz, Dean Levin, Greg Allen-Muller, Lauren Seiden, Phillip David Stearns, Matthew J. Stone, Chris Succo

Left: Greg Allen-Muller, hyper realistic straight lines/w blue fade and kickstand release valve, 2016; Right: Chris Succo, ABLE TO SMILE VERY NATURALLY, 2016. Images courtesy of New Release.

Taking the use of the age-old measurement unit the cubit (the length of a forearm) in ancient art forms as a point of departure, this show features artists who have developed their own systematic approaches to artmaking. Building upon mediums and methods like time release, cellular automaton, and computer data, works on view encapsulate art of the present moment. Highlights include Levin’s installation, in which a beaker of water drips onto a hot plate every few seconds, producing a ball of steam, and Seiden’s silk and polyester threads that cascade down a wall from a drawn graphite frame.

“Space Oddity” at Sardine

June 4–June 26, 286 Stanhope Street, Brooklyn

Christopher Dunlap, MaryKate Maher, Alina Tenser

Installation view of “Space Oddity” at Sardine, Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Sardine.

This Brooklyn show, curated by artist Matthew Mahler, focuses on a trio of artists who each consider space conceptually, and push viewers to reconsider spatial relationships. Maher creates dynamic sculptures from concrete, aluminum, and resin; in his vibrant paintings, Dunlap divides the picture plane into interlocking geometries of shape and color; in video and sculptural works, Tenser considers autonomy and dependence.

Casey Lesser
Casey Lesser is Artsy’s Director of Content.