25 Gallery Shows You Need to See This November
While November offers some breathing room between mega-fairs Frieze London and Art Basel in Miami Beach, the month’s exhibition calendar is as packed as ever. Spanning historical surveys headlined by greats like Donald Judd, Claes Oldenburg, and Coosje van Bruggen, to breakout solos by emerging artists like Lauren Elder, Kareem Lotfy, and Christine Sun Kim, Artsy selected 25 gallery shows, from New York to Mumbai, that you won’t want to miss.
Oct. 31–Nov. 28, Keithstraße 10
“ParameterChant” brings together the work of post-net artists Kareem Lotfy and Brenna Murphy, who reimagine ancient religious and cultural symbols using digital tools and aesthetics. Inspired by occult meditation practices, Murphy forges psychedelic devotional objects from 3D technology. And in Lotfy’s digital drawings, the artist fuses patterns related to Egyptian calligraphy and carpets with contemporary pop cultural and branding references. The exhibition marks the genesis of an ongoing collaboration between Lotfy and Murphy, who work in Amsterdam and Portland, respectively.
Blair Thurman at Peres Projects
Nov. 14–Dec. 19, 82 Karl-Marx-Allee
There are few objects more entwined with American identity than the automobile, a fact Thurman understands well. His brightly colored works on canvas and in neon often draw on his early childhood memories of playing with model cars and Hot Wheels. Featuring new works in both mediums, Thurman’s forthcoming show will probe his personal history as well as the formal qualities of painting, as seen in pieces that resemble the flattened schematics of go-karts mixed with bright tribal imagery.
Nov. 5–Dec. 12, 875 North Michigan Avenue
In this sprawling show of Stezaker’s delightfully enigmatic collages, the artist takes up the many associations that masks inspire—disguise, role-playing, escapism. A highlight includes works drawn from his cache of found images, for which he layers sepia-toned or technicolor vintage postcards, chock full of nostalgia, over Hollywood Golden Age headshots. The resulting pastiches, which obscure eyes and noses behind portals into a range of paradises, resolve as surrealist dreamscapes.
“1,000 Islands” at Simon Lee Gallery
Nov. 13–Dec. 21, 304, 3F The Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street
With a title that references the popular salad dressing and the Lake Ontario archipelago between Canada and the U.S., the group show “1,000 Islands” promises a dialogue on natural and artificial resources in contemporary, globalized society—and in artmaking. Helmed by independent curator and writer Franklin Melendez, the show features a knockout roster including Pierre Huyghe, Pamela Rosenkranz, Josh Kline, and Dora Budor.
Leopard heads, constellations, African textiles, and pops of neon color all find their way into works by amanze. In her inaugural show of new works at Goodman Gallery, amanze’s large-scale drawings feature mythological creatures—both human and animal—lounging languidly among disjointed floating human heads and geometric patterns with washes of bright colors. Paper and ink become a vehicle for the artist’s imagined characters, forming fantastical, dream-like narratives.
Nevermind The Smurfs or Stuart Little—did you know Sony Pictures’s upcoming film stars a cast of emojis? Chances are, Stokou does. The artist, fascinated by this semiotic language that might just become the first vocabulary to be understood worldwide, has created two new series that bring together symbols, from pencil drawings of peace signs to cut-outs of flyaway money. Don’t miss works depicting the most-commonly-used emojis of her peers, based on screenshots from their iPhone histories. They’re excellent.
In a nod to 18th-century “conversation pieces,” those British genre paintings depicting genteel ladies and gents informally gathered for leisurely activities—like hunting trips or tea parties—Figgis unveils new paintings of luscious, languid figures in fashionable get-togethers. In her first exhibition with Almine Rech, the Irish artist fills lavish parlours with royals in black-tie attire—such as Living Room or Royal Group (both 2015), or a painting after Mr and Mrs Andrews, Thomas Gainsborough’s quintessential “conversation piece” circa 1750.
Just one month after Sun Kim unveiled her ambitious interactive sound installation at MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York,” she makes her U.K. debut at Carroll / Fletcher. Born deaf, the Berlin-based artist uses synesthesia to probe how we communicate—choreographing an opera from facial movements, for instance. In this show, Kim will visualize noises in drawings and explore the “ownership of sound” in sound-based works that feature her own rarely heard voice.
London: Oct. 30–Dec. 19, 5-8 Lower John Street W1F 9DY; New York: Oct. 20–Dec. 19, 24 West 57th Street
Wall’s life-size new photographs reveal the complex beauty found in mundane scenes of daily life. Documented from the surrounding world and born from the photographer’s imagination, these monumental works leave the viewer wondering what is documented and what is fabricated. This vital and dizzying journey through Wall’s vision of “everyday life”—on view in London and New York—is not to be missed.
After a new Drake music video went viral last week picturing the rapper dancing amongst lightscapes that some see as an homage to Turrell—and just before the artist is honored at LACMA’s Art and Film Gala—Turrell debuts new work at a gallery that has already been shaped by his influence. KGC, which already has a permanent skyspace and a lighting installation designed by the artist, will show Turrell’s new “Elliptical Glass” works: LED light displays covered with glass that are embedded into the gallery walls—once again testament to the artist’s keen ability to harness light.
David Benjamin Sherry at Moran Bondaroff
Nov. 14–Dec. 12, 937 N. La Cienega Boulevard
How are human beings, as small as we are, destroying the natural world? As if to answer this question, Sherry turns his lens on the seemingly tiny presence of humans in National Parks, capturing campers with cell phones, a car driving through a canyon, an aging metal bridge—evidence of the inescapable impact of humans on nature. A raw, documentarian style characterizes this series, and though the monochromatic hues that drenched his earlier work are absent, the photographer’s taste for scale, texture, and the ineffable drama of the American landscape remains.
William Pope L. at Steve Turner and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Turner: Oct. 17–Dec. 5, 6830 Santa Monica Blvd; Vielmetter: Oct. 23–Dec. 5, 6006 W Washington Blvd, Culver City
William Pope L. first gained fame for his “crawls”—performances that saw the artist crawling along Broadway in a Superman costume in 1970s New York. At Steve Turner, you’ll find altered photographs of 19th-century black servants and oversized sculptures of erasers, as well as Obi Sunt (2015), a film that explores the 1906 boxing match, “Fight of the Century.” If you haven’t gotten enough of the artist’s witty yet impactful artwork, a specially designed GPS driving tour will take you to his companion show, “Forest,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, where paintings and sculptures are on display.
Alien-inspired and iconic, these new large-scale assemblage monoliths by Frydenborg inaugurate The Pit II with a colorful and texturally sensational exhibition. The artist uses a myriad of mediums—ranging from painting to collage to sculpture—to create these creatures. Each amalgamation references a span of time from the archaic to the hyper-modern, resulting in a feeling that is both terrestrial and cosmic.
“Unidades y Continuidades” at kurimanzutto
Nov. 6 – Dec. 12, Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94
For this curatorial outing, Gabriel Kuri has assembled four artists who, amid the conceptual art movement of the 1970s, developed radically experimental work aimed at reducing the presence of an author. The exhibition doesn’t rely on geographical closeness (the artists live in the Netherlands, Japan, America, and the Philippines), but rather a shared attention to geometry as a means of relating to the world. With Kuri’s thoughtful hand conducting a quartet of stellar artists, the show promises to delight.
Play-doh, grape syrup, a little-known brand of energy drinks—these are just some of the peculiar, artificial substances that Lobo has used as materials. His upcoming show, “A Modulor Broth,” finds the artist in full form, crafting large panels from the foam used in prostheses or the absorbent cloth used in cleaning chemical spills, which are embedded with imprints of hands and feet. At six feet tall, they form 21st-century monuments to the human body, in all of its chemically altered complexities.
Oct. 21–Nov. 28, 2 Krishna Niwas, 58A Walkeshwar Road
Melding interests in Minimalism, geometry, and Islamic art and architecture, Bangladeshi artist Begum presents her latest wall-mounted works alongside a 2011 series composed of triangular sheets of steel and glossy, painted aluminum that traverse walls and floors. In her new works—dizzying compositions made of overlapping steel mesh squares—Begum utilizes simple forms to play with perceptions of color.
Jim Lambie at Anton Kern Gallery
Nov. 7–Dec. 19, 532 West 20th Street
Glasgow-based Lambie brings his Punk-inspired approach to Chelsea, filling Anton Kern with a synesthetic mix of psychedelic pattern, appropriated objects, and even one train-shaped smoke machine. Titled “Train in Vein,” a tongue-twisting reinvention of The Clash’s chart-topping “Train in Vain,” Lambie’s show lays bare, and brings to fever pitch, the entrancing effects of music and art.
Judd’s sculptural practice—one that defined Minimalism—explored space, seriality, and shape through the industrial materials that form the structural foundation of our postwar society. Presenting a selection of the artist’s works in Cor-ten (a rust-colored genus of weather resistant steel), Zwirner reminds us that to say Judd worked simply in “metal” is woefully insufficient. Created primarily in a repurposed ice factory in Marfa, Texas, during the last five years of his life, the Cor-ten works, a relatively unexplored niche of his oeuvre, are the subtle and discerning products of a well-practiced master.
Christopher Chiappa at Kate Werble Gallery
Nov. 14–Jan. 9, 83 Vandam Street
Chiappa brings the term “serial” to a new level with “LIVESTRONG.” For his third solo with Kate Werble, he’ll cover the downtown Manhattan space with thousands of sculptural fried eggs, some bulging with as many as three Livestrong bracelet-yellow yolks, others lifelessly yolkless. Like an ever-growing amoeba, the coterie of eggs seems to move and multiply across gallery floors and walls, even taking to the streets. The effect is at once humorous and ominous—are they the product of a hyper-productive diner, serving up protein for all, or an unbridled infection induced by our hormone-dependent culture?
Lauren Elder at Lyles & King
Nov. 20–Dec. 20, 106 Forsyth Street
Lyles & King will house L.A.-based Elder’s first major U.S. solo exhibition. In a continuation of her show at Rod Barton in London earlier this year, Elder expands her investigations into objects in space, now looking at domestic life and the presence, or absence, of household items. Transforming the gallery space into an installation of new sculptures and acrylic-on-mirror works, Elder’s stateside debut is a must-see.
Upholding a tradition of redressing the white cube galleries where he shows, Haendel douses the floors and walls of Mitchell-Innes & Nash in a graphic combination of black and white, to complement his stunning, large-scale photorealistic drawings. Haendel is known for a painstaking process that yields meticulous results, and his new works include couples entwined in yoga poses within perfectly tailored frames, monkeys balancing on geometric shapes, and contemporary still lifes inspired by human body transformations, featuring objects found through Amazon.com searches (hand sanitizer, handcuffs, dentures) and QR codes that lead to YouTube videos.
Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen at Paula Cooper
Nov. 7–Dec. 12, 534 West 21st Street
Delving into the home and studio shared by Oldenburg—a patriarch of Pop Art best-known for massive sculptures of quotidian objects—and his partner of 33 years, the late van Bruggen, Paula Cooper promises an intimate look at the duo’s collaboration through some 100 works. Echoing the cadence of a life, some works reflect the quiet but immutable passage of time in ways that are both playful and melancholic—a well-worn key of stuffed canvas sags from a hook, for example, and a cardboard book of mostly broken matches sits open, one eternally aflame.
Highway 99, the stretch of tar that runs through California’s Central Valley, cleaves through desolate patches of dry, dusty earth—and its inhabitants have been the subject of Grannan’s work for the past four years. Her new show ranges in scale and medium, including color and black-and-white photographs, film stills, and three video installations. Grannan alters banal scenes and portraits with dramatic compositions, transforming the real to dreamlike, the ordinary to heroic, and the overlooked to spectacular.
Oct. 23–Dec. 5, 525 West 22nd Street
Muholi’s new series of commanding self-portraits examine race politics in the history of photography. In each work, her piercing gaze befits a different, exaggerated character staged in self-portraits that nod to black-and-white fashion photography. Some works have been processed so that Muholi’s skin tone is darkened, a deep black that provides sharp contrasts. Through process, she reclaims her sense of self and captivates the viewer with her power.
Sterling Ruby at Gagosian Gallery
Le Bourget: Oct. 18–Dec. 19, 26 Avenue de l'Europe; Rue de Ponthieu: Oct. 21–Dec. 19, 4 Rue de Ponthieu
From drippy polyurethane totems to collage paintings splattered with bleach, from giant ceramic basins to fashion collabs with Raf Simons, Ruby’s oeuvre is ever-changing, and, in recent years, omnipresent. The L.A. artist resurges this fall with a pair of Parisian shows—surprisingly, his first solo outing in the city. What’s in store? Fresh paintings made with brooms rather than brushes, and massive sculptures crafted from found pipes and scrap metal—including the hull of a submarine.