15 New York Group Shows You Need to See This July

Casey Lesser
Jun 28, 2016 12:58AM

While the summer months may signal a slowdown for much of the New York art world, it’s the prime time to find thoughtfully curated group exhibitions in galleries across the city. This summer is no exception, with a strong, varied sampling—from exhibitions for finding fresh, lesser-known names, to an ambitious all-female show, to one blue-chip gallery’s ode to its artist-employees. Find our 15 picks below.

False Narratives” at Pierogi

Jun. 24–Jul. 31, 155 Suffolk Street

Nadja Bournonville, Brian Conley, Roxy Paine, Tavares Strachan

This show features four artists who each create enigmatic works that call on viewers to decipher unexplained narratives and fill in the blanks. Highlights include Nadja Bournonville’s photography series inspired by the origins of hysteria in France in the 19th century and Roxy Paine’s complex diorama, a miniature, highly detailed depiction of a vacant office meeting room.

Installation view of “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men” at Cheim & Read, New York. Photo courtesy of Cheim & Read.


Challenging the canon of male artists’ depictions of the female body, this show of 32 powerful female artists, curated by John Cheim, is meant to prompt the question “Would we react differently to these works if they were made by a man?” Iconic pieces on view, spanning sculpture, photography, and painting, include phallic sculptures by Sarah Lucas and Lynda Benglis, photographic portraits by Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin, and plucky paintings of male genitalia by Celia Hempton.


“Boys and Girls Can Still Draw” at Nathalie Karg

Jul. 6–Aug. 26, 291 Grand Street, fourth floor

Marina Adams, Joe Andoe, Peter Barrickman, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, Steve DiBenedetto, Andrej Dubravsky, Andreas Fischer, Joe Fyfe, Margrit Lewczuk, Erica Mahinay, Amir Nikravan, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Kristen Schiele

Desktop III, 2015
Nathalie Karg Gallery
Winter Promise (the significance of measures that could extend focus on incremental progress and increase chances of meaningful alteration), 2016
Nathalie Karg Gallery

Spanning acrylic and oil paintings, gouache and paper collages, patchworks made from fabrics and paint, silkscreens, and colored pencil drawings, this show brings together an expansive group of two-dimensional works to explore the relationship between painting and drawing. The 13 featured artists were each asked to contribute new paintings and drawings; for some artists, the pieces they’ve contributed are interrelated (works on paper are predecessors to paintings on canvas), while for others the two mediums represent distinct practices.

Installation view of “Intimisms” at James Cohan, New York. Photo courtesy of James Cohan.

Resurfacing the ideas of the Intimists—the late 19th- and early 20th-century circle of artists that included Pierre Bonnard and Jean-Edouard Vuillard—this show brings together historic and contemporary artists (emerging and established alike) whose figurative paintings feature intimate subjects, like a passionate embrace between young lovers or a mother’s aging hand. Highlights include a large painting of 15 women employed by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs by the show’s co-organizer, Aliza Nisenbaum, along with a quiet front room featuring John McCallister’s folding screen and a portrait by Hope Gangloff.

Girl with Eel, 2016
Hauser & Wirth
Meathead, 2016
Hauser & Wirth

This show draws its tone and its title from Jonathan Swift’s 1729 satirical essay, which proposes that impoverished families in Ireland lessen their loads by selling their children as food. Works by these five esteemed young artists explore the human body with a darkly humorous twist. Standouts include a video animation by Tala Madani, large-scale watercolors by Sanya Kantarovsky, and 16 drippy bronze casts resembling branches tipped with gnarled fingers by Naotaka Hiro.

“I Am Silver” at Foxy Production

JUN. 26–JUL. 29, 2 EAST BROADWAY, 200

Justin Vivian Bond, Chelsea CulpritAnna GlantzKiki KogelnikBecky KolsrudSojourner Truth Parsons

Installation view of “I Am Silver” at Foxy Production, New York. Courtesy of Foxy Production.

Taking its title from Sylvia Plath’s poem “From Mirror” (1961), this show spotlights six artists who create representational works that are subject to the viewer’s interpretation. The dynamic group ranges from young Los Angeles-based figurative painter Becky Kolsrud to New York-based performance artist Justin Vivian Bond to the late Austrian painter and sculptor Kiki Kogelnik.


“Dead Letter Office” at JTT

Jun. 19–Jul. 30, 170a Suffolk Street

Christophe Charon, Feminist Land Art Retreat, Matthew Linde, Lucia Elena Prusa, Min Yoon, Anna-Sophie Berger

Installation view of “Dead Letter Office” at JTT. Courtesy of JTT.

The young Austrian artist Anna-Sophie Berger brings together five artists she met in Vienna, who share similar existential concerns. The cycle of life and presence (or absence) of the human body are recurring themes across the show.


“Chicago Invites Chicago” at Galerie Lelong

Jun. 30–Jul. 29, 528 West 26th Street

McArthur Binion, Samuel Levi Jones, Tony Lewis, John Phillips, Bethany Collins, Nate Young

Bound, 1982
Galerie Lelong
dna: white painting: test for seasons: VII, 2016
Galerie Lelong

Paying tribute to the midwestern city as a hotbed for boundary-pushing art, the gallery hosts six Chicago-based artists. McArthur Binion, Samuel Levi Jones, and Tony Lewis, all active members of their creative communities, were invited by Lelong to show their work and also invite a fellow Chicago artist they admire.

“I Talk with The Spirits” at Marianne Boesky Gallery

Jun. 23–Aug. 12, 507 & 509 West 24th Street

Thornton Dial, Jay Heikes, Lee Mullican

Left: Jay Heikes, Zs (2016). Photo by Jason Wyche. © Jay Heikes; Right: Lee Mullican, Orbit (1957). Photo by Brian Forest. © Lee Mullican. Images courtesy of the artists and Marianne Boesky Gallery. 

Inspired by the indigenous cultures of North and South America as well as Zen Buddhism and Surrealism, Lee Mullican’s work is the jumping-off point for this show of three artists who explore spirituality. Curated by writer and artist Chris Wiley and organized by Kristen Becker, the installation brings together paintings and sculptures embedded with symbols, mythologies, skepticism, and belief systems suggestive of art’s meditative and transcendental effects.

“Repossession” at Lehmann Maupin

Jun. 24–Aug. 12, 201 Chrystie Street

Kader Attia, Tim Rollins and K.O.S.Mickalene Thomas

Mickalene Thomas, Angelitos Negros (2016). © Mickalene Thomas / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin.

The show’s three artists aim to challenge the dominant narratives of Western culture and promote underrepresented communities through works that explore issues of inequality, race, gender, or colonialism. Collages are the focus of the exhibition and include Mickalene Thomas’s new eight-channel video installation Angelitos Negros (2016), hybrid forms by Kader Attia, and monumental works by social engagement collective Tim Rollins and K.O.S.

“People Who Work Here” at David Zwirner

Jun. 30–Aug. 5, 533 West 19th Street

Cy Amundson, Erika Anderson, Justin Davis Anderson, John Andrew, Ben Berlow, Spike Blake, Dan Bradica, William Carrà, Vanessa Castro, Chelsea Cater, Lily Colman, Kyle Combs, Hope Dickens, Xavier Donnelly, Joel Dugan, Joel Fennell, Natalie Rae Good, Dan Gratz, Young Sun Han, Brent Harada, Rebecca Holmberg, David King, Brendan Loper, Dane Mainella, Sam Martineau, Clive Murphy, Colin O’Con, David Ording, Steve Pauley, Jay Pluck, Owen Rundquist, Mike Schreiber, Emily Shanahan, William Stein, Nickolaus Typaldos, Aengus Woods, Rhys Ziemba

Performances by Bentley Anderson, Josh Brown, Kyle Combs, Jay Pluck, Owen Rundquist and Anicon, Nickolaus Typaldos and Whitney Platt, Ziemba LoPiccolo

Left: Spike Blake, Portrait of an Officer (2010); Right: Ben Berlow, Untitled (2014). Courtesy the artists and David Zwirner, New York/London.

For the second time, David Zwirner mounts a show of artists who are employees at the gallery (the first iteration was in 2012). Organized by Marina Gluckman and Jaime Schwartz, members of the gallery’s Research and Exhibitions department, the show features over 30 artists whose works span various media including performance, which can be see on Thursday evenings in July. 

Sem título (Ágrafo), 2015
Pace Gallery
Throw, 2016
Pace Gallery

Curated by Adrienne Edwards (Curator at Performa and Curator at Large, Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center), this show delves into black “as a material, a method, a mode,” says Edwards, in abstract art from the 1940s to the present. Highlights include Wangechi Mutu’s Throw (2016), a smattering of earth covering one wall, and textile works by Oscar Murillo that hang from the ceiling.

“The Great Figure Two” at The Journal Gallery

Jun. 29–Aug. 7, 106 North 1st Street, Brooklyn

Rita Ackermann, Alex Becerra, Katherine Bradford, Jason Brinkerhoff, Rafael Delacruz, André Ethier, Gerasimos Floratos, Bendix Harms, Nikki Maloof, Dan McCarthy, Walter Price, Tyson Reeder, Bill Saylor, Spencer Sweeney, Kon Trubkovich

Following “The Great Figure,” a six-person show held in late 2014, this sequel show, mounted in the midst of a steady market demand for figurative painting, brings together a new group of canvases by 15 sought-after artists. 

Installation view of “Record Lines This Summer” at Magenta Plains. Courtesy of Magenta Plains.

Artists in this show respond to the woes of air travel—namely, the vulnerable, potentially humiliating experience of passing through airport security. Curated by Ellie Rines, the works on view range from Herschlein’s wall sculpture featuring hands clutching a belt to Denise Kupferschmidt’s paintings of two people in familiar, full-body scan poses.

“Goulding the Lolly” at Gavin Brown’s enterprise

Jun. 30–Jul. 31, 291 Grand Street, third floor

Darren Bader, Yevgeniya Baras, Gina Beavers, Katherine Bernhardt, Bobo, Melissa Brown, Nicholas Buffon, Alex Chaves, Angela Dufresne, James Benjamin Franklin, Billy Grant, Jesse Greenberg, EJ Hauser, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Josh Kline, Christopher Knowles, Ajay Kurian, Eric Mack, Water McBeer Gallery, Annie Pearlman, Scott Reeder, Tyson Reeder, Spencer Sweeney, Torey Thornton

Performances by Raúl de Nieves and Sadaf

Image courtesy of Gavin Brown’s enterprise.

At Art Basel just two weeks ago, the centerpiece of Gavin Brown’s enterprise’s booth was a table covered with stone calculators by New York artist Brian Belott—one of the newest additions to the gallery’s roster. This summer, Belott takes the reins of a promising new group show at Gavin Brown’s Lower East Side space, corralling an exciting multigenerational roster of artists, many from his community.

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