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.
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.
“The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men” at Cheim & Read
Jun. 23–Sep. 2, 2016, 547 West 25th Street
Berenice Abbott, Ellen Altfest, Ghada Amer, Diane Arbus, Gina Beavers, Lynda Benglis, Huma Bhabha, Louise Bourgeois, Katherine Bradford, Cecily Brown, Kathe Burkhart, Lois Dodd, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Katy Grannan, Grace Graupe-Pillard, EJ Hauser, Celia Hempton, Jenny Holzer, Chantal Joffe, Sarah Lucas, Catherine Murphy, Alice Neel, Catherine Opie, Collier Schorr, Dana Schutz, Joan Semmel, Cindy Sherman, Sylvia Sleigh, Betty Tompkins, Nicole Wittenberg, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
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
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.
“Intimisms” at James Cohan
Jun. 23–Jul. 29, 2016, 533 West 26th Street
Ellen Altfest, Joan Brown, Jordan Casteel, Susanna Coffey, Ben Degen, Louis Eilshemius, Nicole Eisenman, Jane Freilicher, Lucian Freud, Hope Gangloff, Anna Glantz, Heather Guertin, Heidi Howard, Ridley Howard, Sangram Majumdar, John McAllister, Alice Neel, Aliza Nisenbaum, Jennifer Packer, Ga Hee Park, Fairfield Porter, Giordanne Salley, Tschabalala Self, Sylvia Sleigh, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Taylor, Patricia Treib
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jun. 24–Aug. 19, 510 West 25th Street
Terry Adkins, Jonathas de Andrade, Rasheed Araeen, Kevin Beasley, Sergio de Camargo, Kōji Enokura, Ellen Gallagher, Robert Irwin, Sui Jianguo, Rashid Johnson, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Laura Lima, Turiya Magadlela, Steve McQueen, Ulrike Müller, Oscar Murillo, Wangechi Mutu, Louise Nevelson, Lorraine O’Grady, Adam Pendleton, Pope.L, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Fred Sandback, Jack Tworkov, Carrie Mae Weems, Jack Whitten, Fred Wilson
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.