The 25 Shows You Need to See during Frieze Week

Casey Lesser
Apr 27, 2017 11:22PM

Frieze Week is much more than the sprawling fair on Randall’s Island—it’s a wealth of gallery and museum exhibitions that rallies an art world that has traveled to New York for the occasion. Here’s our curated look at 25 of the most adventurous and noteworthy options to add to your itinerary.

Florine Stettheimer at the Jewish Museum

May. 5–Sep. 24 • 1109 Fifth Ave

Florine Stettheimer, A Model (Nude Self-Portrait), 1915. Courtesy of the Jewish Museum.

A versatile talent who moved in same social circles as Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marcel Duchamp, and hosted salons for the esteemed creatives of her time, Stettheimer played an important role in American art and has since been recognized as a precursor to feminist art. This exhibition offers exciting insights into her multidisciplinary process, and includes paintings, drawings, costume designs, photographs, and poems from the Jazz Age-era pioneer.

Lygia Pape at the Met Breuer

Mar. 21–Jul. 23 • 945 Madison Avenue

Lygia Pape, Divisor (Divider), 1968. Photo by Paula Pape © Projeto Lygia Pape. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  


The first U.S. museum retrospective of Pape’s work, this show emphasizes the critical role she played in Brazilian Concretism. The sculpture, painting, installation, performance documentation, and films on view embody the artist’s experimental and innovative spirit, through which she built upon Brazilian traditions of geometric abstraction and integrated its principles to create works that employed the body and everyday life.

Kehinde Wiley at Sean Kelly Gallery

May. 6–Jun. 17 • 475 10th Avenue

Opening: May 5, 6–8 p.m.

Known for painting mostly anonymous black men and women within the tradition of decadent European portraiture—glimmering colors, intricate patterning, and gilded details—Wiley shifts gears slightly with this major show. Titled “Trickster” the show features a dozen portraits of his artist peers—Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Nick Cave, among them.

“We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85” at the Brooklyn Museum

Apr. 21–Sep. 17 • 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

Emma Amos, Sandy and Her Husband, 1973. Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery. Courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.

This unprecedented exhibition gives due recognition to the women artists and activists of color who were actively contributing to the second wave of feminism—a chapter of art history that has too often excluded people of color. Spanning painting, sculpture, performance, and video, among other mediums, the two-decade survey focuses on a multigenerational group of artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Ana Mendieta, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and many others.

Anselm Kiefer at Gagosian

May. 5–Jul. 14 • 522 West 21st Street

Opening: May 5, 6–8 p.m.

Anselm Kiefer, aller Tage Abend, aller Abende Tag (The Evening of All Days, the Day of All Evenings), 2014. © Anselm Kiefer. Photo © Charles Duprat. Courtesy of Gagosian.

Anselm Kiefer, aller Tage Abend, aller Abende Tag (The Evening of All Days, the Day of All Evenings), 2014. © Anselm Kiefer. Photo © Charles Duprat. Courtesy of Gagosian.

“Transition from Cool to Warm” borrows its title and general inspiration from a volume of watercolors that Kiefer published in the 1970s, which included both cool seascapes and warm female nudes. The show includes new paintings, watercolors, and over 40 artist’s books.

Lygia Clark at Luhring Augustine

Apr. 29–Jun. 17 • 531 West 24th Street

Opening: Apr. 28, 6–8 p.m.

Lygia Clark, Bicho, 1960. © O Mundo de Lygia Clark-Associação Cultural, Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy of Luhring Augustine, New York and Alison Jacques Gallery, London.

The trailblazing Brazilian artist—a founding figure of the Neo-Concrete movement—is celebrated in a show of early drawings, paintings, and collages along with her best-known works, called Bichos (“critters”). Clark evolved the relationship between art and audience with these sculptural pieces made from hinged pieces of metal. While they’re too fragile to be handled today, they were originally intended to be manipulated and played with by viewers.

Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth

Apr. 27–Jul. 29 • 548 West 22nd Street

Opening: April 27, 6–8 p.m.

Installation view, Roni Horn, Hauser & Wirth New York, 22nd Street, 2017 © Roni Horn. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Ron Amstutz.

Four series by the esteemed American artist make their U.S. debut, including two glass sculptures, new drawings, and a suite of photographs capturing personal gifts Horn received between 1974 and 2015. The exhibition promises to showcase the artist’s keen ability to manipulate material, perception, and meaning (often with a sense of humor), whether that’s through solid glass cylinders or clever works on paper that splice together Shakespearean verse.

Anicka Yi at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Apr. 21–Jul. 5 • 1071 Fifth Ave

Anicka Yi, Force Majeure, 2017 (detail). Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York. Photo by David Heald. © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Courtesy of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Known for swabbing spit from art-world women and growing bacteria at a MIT lab, Yi is lauded for her works that tap into the intersections of biology, psychology, social issues, and sensory perception. As a winner of the 2016 Hugo Boss Prize, Yi landed this solo exhibition of new sculptural installations at the Guggenheim. The trio of works are as eclectic as you might expect, and involve custom perfume, germs culled from Chinatown, and an enormous ant farm.

Becky Suss at Jack Shainman Gallery

Apr. 27–Jun. 3 • 510 West 20th Street

Opening: Apr. 27, 6–8 p.m.

Becky Suss, Red Apartment, 2016. ©Becky Suss. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Becky Suss, Blue Apartment, 2016. ©Becky Suss. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

The young Philadelphia-based painter presents a strong group of new and recent paintings: satisfyingly exacting interiors, devoid of humans, which highlight the psychological nature of domestic spaces. Suss focuses on homes and objects with personal significance; her sense of formal detail helps capture the intrigue and enigma of these rooms.

Joan Jonas at Gavin Brown’s enterprise

Apr. 30–Jun. 10 • 439 West 127th Street

Opening: Apr. 30, 12–4 p.m.

Jonas inaugurates the gallery’s new three-floor space in Harlem with a presentation of video installations, drawings, and props spanning her five-decade-long career. It’s her largest show in New York in over a decade, and includes a video of her latest performance, They Come to Us without a Word (2015), completed in collaboration with Jason Moran, as well as Jonas’s major, four-channel video Reanimation (2014).

Julius von Bismarck at Marlborough Contemporary

Apr. 19–May 20 • 545 West 25th Street

Installation view of "Julius von Bismarck: Good Weather," Marlborough Contemporary. Courtesy of Marlborough Contemporary.

The Berlin-based artist travels the world to surface the tense relationship between human beings and their natural environment. These works, born from recent travels in Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico, include giant dehydrated plant specimens—entire trees the artist has flattened, using hydraulic machinery, playing on the craft of pressing flowers into books. The show also features photographs and video footage tracking Von Bismarck’s ambitious attempts to control lightning.

Ivan Argote at Galerie Perrotin

Apr. 27–Jun. 11 • 130 Orchard Street

Opening: Apr. 27, 5–8 p.m.

Iván Argote, Covers - Anger be with me, 2017. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of the Artist and Perrotin.

Iván Argote, Setting up a system: This mineral time, 2017. Photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of the Artist and Perrotin.

The young Colombian artist inaugurates the gallery’s new Lower East Side space with a show inspired by a pair of cities that are antipodes—located on exact opposite sides of the globe. Through new sculptural works and a seven-chapter video, created through visiting both cities—Palembang, Indonesia, and Neiva, Colombia—the artist explores ideas of otherness and the universalities of everyday life.

Nari Ward at Socrates Sculpture Park

Apr. 29–Sep. 4 • 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City

Opening: Jun. 3, 11–3 p.m.

Nari Ward, Detail of G.O.A.T.s, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Socrates Sculpture Park, Lehmann Maupin and Galleria Continua.

Known for deftly employing found objects that speak to African-American experience, urban communities, social issues, and politics, Ward presents a new series of sculptures in his first institutional show in New York. Inspired by the boastful expression “Greatest of All Time” (G.O.A.T.), he presents six new works, commissioned for the show and created on-site, including a series of concrete goats cast from lawn ornaments. (Ward will also have shows at Lehmann Maupin in New York and ICA Boston this spring.)

Diane Arbus at Lévy Gorvy

May 2–Jun. 24 • 909 Madison Avenue

Diane Arbus, A young man and his girlfriend with hot dogs in the park, N.Y.C., 1971. © The Estate of Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus, Two friends in the park, N.Y.C., 1965
© The Estate of Diane Arbus  

Always on the look-out for spirited characters and visual intrigue, Arbus often shot photographs in New York’s Central Park and Washington Square. The photographs here, taken across a 15-year period, chart the maturation of her style.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres at David Zwirner

Apr. 27–Jun. 24 • 537 West 20th Street

Opening: Apr. 27, 6–8 p.m.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled, 1995. © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery and David Zwirner, New York/London.

The first show of Gonzalez-Torres at the gallery since Zwirner began representing the estate (in collaboration with Andrea Rosen) offers an in-depth look at some of the late conceptual artist’s greatest hits, all drawn from museums and private collections. The show spans iconic, career-defining works—candy spills, light strings, beaded curtains—as well as performance works like Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform) (1991), which sees a male dancer in a lamé bikini hold court daily on a small stage.

“MIDTOWN” at Lever House

May. 3–Jun. 9 • 390 Park Ave, Floor 2

Opening: May 3, 6–9 p.m.; performance of fluct, 8 p.m.

Oscar Tuazon, Concrete Steel Douglas Fir, 2015. Courtesy of Salon 94, Salon 94 Design, Maccarone Gallery and the artist.

Anton Alvarez, Chair, 2015. Courtesy of Salon 94, Salon 94 Design, Maccarone Gallery and the artist.

Salon 94 and Maccarone join forces to topple the hierarchical relationship between art and design. Set in a former office space in the Modernist Lever building, the show intermingles sculpture, painting, furniture, vessels, baskets, and tapestries—with a roster that includes talent like Vito Acconci, Jessi Reaves, and Max Lamb. The show opens with a performance by duo FlucT, curated by Performa.

Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery

Apr. 20–Jun. 2 • 555 West 21st Street

Installation view of Rodney Graham at 303 Gallery. Photo courtesy of 303 Gallery.

The Canadian artist has long portrayed himself as various fictional archetypes, using elaborate photographic self-portraits to comment on pop culture and the influence of art history. This exhibition gives us a whole new set of Grahams: an antiquarian, asleep in his cluttered shop; a drum player on a dinner break, eating a steak atop his kit; and a 1970s-era, turtleneck-wearing professor, perched on a desk and puffing on a cigarette.

“Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

May. 4–Sep. 4 • 1000 Fifth Ave

Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi. Courtesy of Comme des Garçons and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The annual spring Costume Institute exhibition celebrates the innovative approach of this Japanese fashion designer, who often dared to defy industry standards and beauty ideals. The 150 hard-to-categorize designs here were completed for Commes des Garçons, spanning the 1980s to the present day.

Louise Lawler at the Museum of Modern Art

Apr. 30–Jul. 30 • 11 West 53rd Street

Louise Lawler, Why Pictures Now, 1981. © 2017 Louise Lawler. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

This groundbreaking look at Lawler’s four-decade career stresses her influential contributions to photography and the art world. Part of the Pictures Generation, Lawler is known for an ongoing body of work that she began in the 1970s—photographs of fellow artists’ work hanging in private homes, art spaces, and auction houses, delivering a sharp critique of the valuation and commodification of art.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at the New Museum

May. 3–Sep. 3 • 235 Bowery

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Vigil For A Horseman, 2017. Courtesy of the artist, Corvi-Mora, and Jack Shainman Gallery. Courtesy of New Museum.

The Turner prize-winning British artist debuts a fresh series of her signature figurative paintings, absorbing and elegant oils populated by black men and women. Portrayed in everyday scenarios, often set against soft, monochromatic backgrounds, the figures speak to both the artist’s Ghanaian ancestry and contemporary politics.

“Imaginary Ancestors” at Almine Rech

May 2–Jun. 15 • 39 East 78th Street

Opening: May 2, 6–8 p.m.

Exhibition of Paintings by Derain, Early African Heads and Statues from the Gabon Pahouin Tribes at the Durand-Ruel Galleries New York, 1933. Image courtesy of Archives Durand-Ruel. ©Durand-Ruel& Cie, André Derain © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy of Almine Rech.

Drawing on the historic 1933 exhibition of the same name at Durand-Ruel Gallery in New York, this two-part exhibition, organized with Carlo Severi and Bernard de Grunne, questions the role of Primitivism in modern and contemporary art. In addition to re-assembling that show of sculptures made by the Fang people of Central Africa and modern paintings, the exhibition also presents the works of contemporary artists, including Joe Bradley, Mark Grotjahn, and Matthew Lutz-Kinoy.

Nancy Spero at Galerie Lelong

Apr. 28–Jun. 17 • 528 West 26th Street

Opening: Apr. 28, 6–8 p.m.

Nancy Spero, Maypole: Take No Prisoners, 2007. Courtesy of Galerie Lelong.

This spotlight on the late feminist and activist revolves around her last major work: a large-scale installation, Maypole: Take No Prisoners (2007), which was originally created for the 52nd Venice Biennale. The politically charged piece, which addresses U.S. involvement in global wars, incorporates over 200 decapitated aluminum heads.

Jamel Shabazz at the Studio Museum

Apr. 20–Aug. 27 • 144 West 125th Street

The esteemed Brooklyn-born photographer is known for documenting African-American communities since the ’80s. Here, Shabazz shares 25 years worth of images that capture the vibrant parade of daily life witnessed along Harlem’s 125th Street.

Leo Villareal at Pace Gallery

May 4–Jun. 17 • 537 West 24th Street

Leo Villareal, Cloud Drawing, 2017. Courtesy of Pace.

Fresh off a winning commission to illuminate the bridges over London’s Thames, light artist Villareal blends LEDs and projections to create a mesmerizing, unpredictable atmosphere for his first solo exhibition with the blue-chip gallery.

Hannah Perry at Arsenal Contemporary New York

May 3–Jul. 2 • 214 Bowery

Opening: May 3, 6–9 p.m.; performance: May 6, 7:30 p.m.

Courtesy of Arsenal.

Courtesy of Arsenal.

Perry makes multidisciplinary work that probes gender, the internet, and social class, often tapping into the working-class aesthetics of auto-body shops common to her hometown in North West England. For this exhibition, Perry conjures heartache and trauma through a multisensory installation of video, sculpture, and music.

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