The 25 Shows You Need to See during Frieze Week
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
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
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
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.
“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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.