15 New York Gallery Shows You Need to See This November

Casey Lesser
Nov 1, 2016 1:10AM

At New York galleries this November we find a strong, eclectic mix of shows—from solos of young artists, to historic two-person surveys, to blockbusters of leading contemporary artists that are too big for a single gallery space. Below, find 15 gallery shows that should not be missed.

Joel Shapiro at Dominique Lévy

Oct. 28, 2016–Jan. 7, 2017 • 909 Madison Avenue

Installation view of work by Joel Shapiro at Dominique Lévy. Photo courtesy of Dominique Lévy.

Shapiro’s facility with color and space shines in this pairing of his early works and a new installation. In addition to a series of intimate, candy-colored wall relief sculptures from the ’70s, a full floor is dedicated to a new commission: a grouping of vibrant structures that appear to elegantly float across the space.

Jesse Mockrin at Nathalie Karg Gallery

Nov. 2–Dec. 18 • 291 Grand Street

Left: Jesse Mockrin, The Honest Model, 2016. Right: Jesse Mockrin, The Dark-Haired Odalisque, 2016. Images courtesy of Nathalie Karg Gallery.


In March, Mockrin’s canvases, which blend elements of Rococo and men’s fashion spreads, turned heads at Night Gallery in L.A. Now, the artist shows a new series of slick, romantic figurative paintings in New York. They will be filled with her signature protagonists: androgynous figures swathed in layers of dramatic dress and drapery.

Ernesto Neto at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Oct. 29–Dec. 17 • 521 West 21st Street

Installation view of Ernesto Neto’s The Serpent’s Energy Ga e Birth to Humanity. Image courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.

Known for his finger-crocheted environments that grace gallery spaces and architectural interiors, Neto presents new sculptures and wall-mounted works in an expansive installation that will veil the gallery’s two-floor space. Titled “The Serpent’s Energy Gave Birth To Humanity,” the show draws on ideas of interactivity and spirituality and is inspired in part by the artist’s collaborations with the indigenous Huni Kuin community of the Brazilian Amazon.


Nan Goldin at Matthew Marks

Nov. 5–Dec. 23 • 523 W 24th Street

Best known for emotive photographs of friends and loved ones, Goldin presents two new bodies of works in this exhibition, titled “Blood on My Hands,” including a series of drawings, which are shown publicly for the first time. In addition to the drawings, which are inspired by a diary she kept since childhood, the show includes photographic grids that bring together images that span decades and countries, each one dedicated to a different color.

Sissel Blystad at Hester

Oct. 14–Nov. 13 • 55–59 Chrystie Street, Suite 203

Installation view of work by Sissel Blystad at Hester. Photo courtesy of Hester.

The acclaimed Oslo-born artist Blystad has been a leading figure in Scandinavian textiles arts for more than four decades, but only now does she receive her first solo show in the U.S. The exhibition includes small, mesmerizing textiles filled with color gradients and intricate patterns. The centerpiece is a large tapestry that hangs across the gallery, allowing viewers to get a close-up of her painstaking process.


Joan Mitchell at Cheim & Read

Oct. 27–Dec. 23 • 547 West 25th Street

Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1960. © Estate of Joan Mitchell, courtesy of the Joan Mitchell foundation and Cheim & Read, New York.

Mitchell’s drawing and painting practices were at once independent and interrelated. With this new show, “Drawing into Painting,” the AbEx master’s paintings and works on paper spanning over three decades offer a glimpse into her mastery of color and gesture, which transcends medium.

Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso at Almine Rech

Oct. 28–Dec. 17 • 39 East 78th Street

Left: Alexander Calder, Constellation with Diabolo. 1943.  © 2016 Calder Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Pablo Picasso, Woman, 1946. © 2016 Succession Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Right: Alexander Calder, Dancer, 1944. © 2016 Calder Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Pablo Picasso, Standing Woman, 1946. © 2016 Succession Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Images courtesy of Almine Rech.

Despite the fact that Picasso and Calder had little contact during their lifetimes, their grandsons Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Alexander S. C. Rower have curated a show of works from their families’ private collections and foundations that highlights the similarities between the two artists’ creative and conceptual impulses. Across the show, the first at Almine Rech’s New York space, Calder mobiles and Picasso portraits, among other rare and never-before-seen paintings and sculptures, reveal visual and emotional resonances between the two famous artists, while reminding us why their work was so revolutionary in the process.

William Eggleston at David Zwirner

Oct. 27–Dec. 17 • 537 West 20th Street

William Eggleston, Untitled. Image courtesy of David Zwirner.

The first Eggleston presentation at Zwirner since the gallery gained exclusive representation of the artist’s estate in June, this show features over 40 works from “The Democratic Forest,” a project the artist undertook in the mid-1980s. Capturing images of the U.S. and Europe, Eggleston challenged fine art photography and photojournalism traditions at the time. A manifestation of the artist’s “democratic” view of the camera, the series offers prime examples of his timeless aesthetic and mastery of color photography, through visions of unsuspecting architecture and infrastructure.

John Chamberlain and Willem de Kooning at Mnuchin Gallery

Nov. 2–Dec. 22 • 45 East 78th Street

Left: Willem de Kooning, Untitled XXII, 1977. Image courtesy Mnuchin Gallery, © The Willem de Kooning Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS). Right: John Chamberlain, Silver Heels, 1963. Photo by Tom Powel Imaging. © Fairweather & Fairweather LTD, Artists Rights Society (ARS). 

It’s well known that Chamberlain was deeply inspired by the works of the Abstract Expressionists. However, the sculptor had a special affinity for the rhythm and gesture found in the paintings of de Kooning—he first encountered de Kooning’s works in 1950, and met him later that decade. This unprecedented show brings the two artists’ iconic works together, including a dozen Chamberlain sculptures and seven de Kooning paintings, which, shown together, present a harmonious visual dialogue.

Mike Kelley at Hauser & Wirth

Nov. 3–Dec. 23 • 32 East 69th Street

Mike Kelley, Aerodynamic Vertical to Horizontal Shift, 1999. © Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All Rights Reserved / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Courtesy of the Foundation and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Genevieve Hanson

Since his premature death in 2012 and MoMA PS1’s triumphal retrospective in 2013–14, Kelley has been the subject of endless fascination. This show focuses on his “Memory Wares”—panels and sculptures covered with kaleidoscopic compositions of buttons, beads, trinkets, shells, and jewelry, among other objects—which were inspired by a tradition of black communities in the American South and Victorian Britain, and reflect the artist’s aversion to nostalgia and rejection of objects having inherent value.

Pamela Rosenkranz at Miguel Abreu Gallery

Oct. 30–Dec. 22 • 88 Eldridge Street & 36 Orchard Street

Installation view of “Pamela Rosenkranz: Anemine” at Miguel Abreu Gallery. Photo courtesy of Miguel Abreu Gallery.

Lauded for her presentation at the Swiss Pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale, Rosenkranz fills both of Miguel Abreu’s Lower East Side spaces with an ambiance inspired by the Amazon rainforest. Drawing on the chlorocruorin, the green-colored blood of annelids (a species of worms) found in the rainforest, she’s developed a green substance called “Anemine” (that also serves as the show’s title), which is combined with acrylic on aluminum panels and trickled across the floor of the gallery space. Adding to the effect, Rosenkranz has also flooded the gallery with blue and green light accompanied by a soundtrack of Amazon wildlife.

Casey Jane Ellison and Claire Tabouret at Lyles & King

Nov. 6–Dec. 11 • 106 Forsyth Street

Left: Claire Tabouret and Casey Jane Ellison, Voyeur vs. Viewer, 2016. Right: Claire Tabouret, Makeup (blue brows), 2016. Images courtesy of Lyles & King.

Since recently moving from Paris to L.A., the French figurative painter Tabouret befriended artist-comedian Ellison. Now, the pair collaborate on a new show, “Voyeur vs. Viewer,” the first major exhibition for both artists in New York. It will unveil seven new paintings by Tabouret—dreamy portraits filled with swift, energetic brushstrokes—and a new music video and video sculpture by Ellison, which promise to be entertaining.


Carrie Mae Weems at Jack Shainman Gallery

Oct. 29–Dec. 10 • 513 West 20th Street & 524 West 24th Street

Installation view of Carrie Mae Weems, “Expectations,” 2012, at Jack Shainman Gallery. Photo courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

In her first New York showing since a mid-career retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2014, Weems takes over both Jack Shainman spaces with recent photographic works and films. On 24th Street, All the Boys (2016) is a powerful response to recent police brutality and the deaths of black men and women; while on 20th Street, viewers find the ghostly video installation Lincoln, Lonnie, and Me (2012), and Scenes & Take (2016), a series of photographs picturing the artist before the sets of TV shows like Scandal and Empire—both shows feature black leads—shedding light on the current state of the entertainment industry.

Ragnar Kjartansson at Luhring Augustine

Nov. 5–Dec. 23 • 531 West 24th Street & 25 Knickerbocker Avenue

Ragnar Kjartansson, World Light - The Life and Death of an Artist, 2015. Image courtesy of Luhring Augustine.

Just after his major traveling museum exhibition arrived at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C., the Icelandic artist’s video works take over Luhring Augustine’s spaces in Chelsea and Bushwick. Scenes from Western Culture (2015), comprised of nine “cinematic paintings” depicting idyllic visions of Western civilization, plus a series of new paintings made en plein air in the West Bank, are on view in the Chelsea space, while in Bushwick, he presents the four-channel video installation World Light - The Life and Death of an Artist (2015), the artist’s interpretation of Icelandic writer Halldór Laxness’s novel World Light (1937–40).

Ai Weiwei at Mary Boone, Lisson Gallery, and Deitch Projects

Nov. 5–Dec. 23 • 541 West 24th Street & 745 5th Avenue; 504 West 24th Street; 76 Grand Street

Left: Ai Weiwei, Tree, 2015. Right: Ai Weiwei, Treasure Box, 2014. Images courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery.

Not since his Brooklyn Museum show in 2014 has Ai had such a strong presence in New York. But unlike back then, when his passport had been confiscated by the Chinese government, he’s here to experience it. This month, four gallery shows filled with Ai’s new and recent works open simultaneously. At Lisson and Mary Boone, he shows monumental tree trunks, both real and cast-iron; at Deitch Projects, an engulfing new installation of photographs and laundered clothing that had been left behind by refugees at the Idomeni camp on the border of Greece and Macedonia covers the sprawling gallery.

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