The 50 Gallery Shows You Need to See This Spring

Artsy Editors
Mar 15, 2016 1:00PM

Spring is nearly here, and it’s time to look ahead. We’ve culled gallery listings worldwide to highlight 50 must-see exhibitions over the next three months, spanning 14 cities and ranging from historical surveys to cutting-edge contemporary work, from all-female group exhibitions to debut solo shows.



Left to right: Keltie Ferris, Step Step Step, 2015. Photo: Mark­ Courtesy of the artist, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, and Klemm’s; Peles Empire, installation shot, 2016. Photo: Peles Empire. Courtesy of the artist and Wentrup, Berlin; Sanya Kantarovsky, Effacement, 2016. Image courtesy of Tanya Leighton.

Sanya Kantarovsky at Tanya Leighton

Mar. 15–Apr. 16, Kurfürstenstrasse 156 & 24/25

For “In the Gutter,” Kantarovsky’s second solo show with Tanya Leighton, the painter brings a new level of absurdity—and a darker palette—to the whimsical, mysterious cast of characters he’s become known for.

Keltie Ferris at Klemm’s

Mar. 19–Apr. 23, Prinzessinnenstrasse 29

For her first show in Berlin, Ferris presents new, large-scale paintings that resemble psychedelic aerial views or glitch-speckled screens—and wield the same hypnotizing effects.

Ed Fornieles at Arratia Beer

Apr. 29–Jun. 4, Potsdamer Strasse 87

In Fornieles’s first Berlin solo show, sculptures, films, and diet starter packs (disseminated to curious parties) track the artist’s experience with a trendy self-management diet—and question the concept of “life-hacking.”

Kate Steciw at Neumeister Bar-Am

Apr. 30–Jun. 25, Goethestrasse 2

Steciw has shifted from providing incisive commentary on stock imagery to creating curious yet immaculate abstract works couched in carefully crafted frames; new works, some over four feet, will hang in clusters.

Peles Empire at Wentrup

Apr. 30–Jun. 16, Tempelhofer Ufer 22

With a practice inspired by Romania’s majestic Peles Castle, artist duo Katharina Stöver and Barbara Wolff investigate ideas of originality in their newest show—a site-specific concert of bespoke wallpaper, Jesmonite sculptures, and photographic rugs.

Alexandre Singh at Sprüth Magers

Apr. 30–Jun. 25, Oranienburger Strasse 18

In his first solo show since the stunning three-hour theatrical work The Humans (2014), Singh offers “The School for Objects Criticized,” a witty light-and-sound installation in which a slinky, an abstract sculpture, and a bottle of bleach are among seven protagonists that critique the artist’s latest exhibition; the work takes cues from Molière’s The School for Wives Criticized (1663).



Left: Dan McCarthy, All Saints, 2016. © Dan McCarthy /Photo: Kent Pell. Courtesy of the artist, Anton Kern Gallery, New York and rodolphe janssen, Brussels; Right: Work by Michael Williams. Image courtesy of Gladstone Gallery.


David Altmejd, “L’air” at Xavier Hufkens

Mar. 4–Apr. 9, 6 rue St-Georges

Altmejd continues his “Bodybuilders” series with bronze sculptures that depict figures in the throes of ecstatic combustion; here, hands melt lovingly into faces and legs stretch high into space.

Michael Williams at Gladstone Gallery

Mar. 11–Apr. 15, 12 Rue du Grand Cerf

In his first presentation with Gladstone, Williams uses inkjet printing, airbrushes, and oil paints to compress life’s flotsam and jetsam into dizzying layered compositions.

“8 Femmes” at Office Baroque

Apr. 16–May 28, Bloemenhofplein 5 Place du Jardin aux Fleurs

While the all-female group show model is on the ascent, this one delivers a smartly curated lineup of mid-career artists (many not from the gallery’s roster); a mix of mediums and styles ranges from the entrancing patterning of Sascha Braunig to the vivid figurative works of Ella Kruglyanskaya to intricate embroideries by Junko Oki.

“Made in Oven” at Rodolphe Janssen

Apr. 20–May 21, 32 rue de Livornostraat

In a true ode to spring, Janssen collides its artists’ spirited ceramic vessels—think: an Dan McCarthy facepot—with the theatrical creations of Belgian florist Thierry Boutemy, whose environments have bolstered the fashion world for years (on catwalks, in Vogue shoots), as well as Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette.



Left: Hassan Hajjaj, Nabila Boxer, 2011; Right: Hassan Hajjaj, Surfer in Red, 2015. Images courtesy of The Third Line.

Hassan Hajjaj at The Third Line

Mar. 14–Apr. 16, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 Alserkal Avenue

In “La Salle de Gym des Femmes Arabes,” Hajjaj responds to the gender-segregated gyms of his native Morocco by transforming the gallery into a fitness club for women—and filling it with bold, bright photographic portraits of its customers (one sporting a hijab and boxing gloves, another with a head scarf and surfboard).


Hong Kong

Rats of Reality, 2016
Gagosian Gallery
Why don't we do it in the dumpster?, 2014
Gagosian Gallery
Let's have a war, 2016
Gagosian Gallery

Tracey Emin at White Cube and Lehmann Maupin


Titled “I Cried Because I Love You,” Emin’s debut in greater China promises to be a sprawling two-venue, confessional journey—inspired by a marriage ceremony in the South of France in which she wedded a rock—envisioned by the artist as a panoramic view of her varied practice, including paintings, embroidery, and her beloved neons.

Dan Colen at Gagosian Gallery


Colen’s recent work, which features in his first solo show in Hong Kong, has him employing New York bodega flowers and unexpected objects (bowling pins and billiard balls among them) to expel natural and artificial color onto canvas.

Yan Pei-Ming at Massimo de Carlo


The Milan- and London-based gallery inaugurates its new Hong Kong space with a show of Yan’s signature portraits, which depict the adolescent faces of artists who have inspired the Chinese painter.  



Work by Adam Pendleton. Image courtesy of Parra & Romero.

Adam Pendleton at Parra & Romero

Jun. 3–Oct. 8, Carretera de San Miguel Km 2,300

Coinciding with his first solo museum show, “Becoming Imperceptible” (which begins at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans and travels to Museum of Contemporary Art Denver), Pendleton’s first solo show with the Spanish gallery is a site-specific presentation of new paintings and works on paper that relate to his 2015 critical anthology The Black Dada Reader.



Alfredo Jaar at Goodman Gallery

Feb. 25–Mar. 23, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue

Across a range of Jaar’s neon text-based works, the centerpiece is JOHANNESBURG 2026 (2016)—an expansive, 27-foot-long installation positing Johannesburg as a mighty port city of the future, with greatness to rival that of Carthage, Axum, and other urban centers from antiquity.

Glenn Ligon at Stevenson

Mar. 17–Apr. 15, 62 Juta Street

For his third show with the gallery, Ligon spotlights spoken words (“bruise” and “blues”) from a Steve Reich recording in neon; the light effects echoe the composer’s musical style.



Left to right: Mary Kelly, preparation for Post-Partum Document (1973–79). Image courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth; Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Panthea 02, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary; Gabriel de la Mora, MCI / 6 – II f e, 2015. © Gabriel de la Mora, courtesy Timothy Taylor.

Keren Cytter at Pilar Corrias

Mar. 18–May 7, 54 Eastcastle Street

On the heels of her 2015 solo exhibition at MCA Chicago, Cytter shows three recent videos—Game (2015), Metamorphosis (2015), and Ocean (2014)—along with a series of new drawings.

Gabriel de la Mora at Timothy Taylor

Mar. 18–May 7, 15 Carlos Place

“Serial,” De la Mora’s first solo show in Europe, debuts engrossing abstract works that are visually minimal but hold conceptual weight, due to the artist’s exacting process and the unsuspecting found materials he employs—including discarded parts from printing presses and microscope coverslips.

Jules de Balincourt at Victoria Miro

Apr. 14–May 14, 16 Wharf Road

In “Stumbling Pioneers,” the frontier (in particular, de Balincourt’s native California, where he returned after a 20-year hiatus to make these works) inspires paintings that conjure the West’s alluring mix of adventure and idealism.

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum at Tiwani Contemporary

Apr. 1–May 7, 16 Little Portland Street

For her first solo exhibition in the U.K., Johannesburg-based Sunstrum presents new wall-scale drawings and an animated video that fuse mythology, cosmology, and geometry (Nancy Spero is a touchstone); compositions intermingle goddesses, astronomical maps, and images of volcanoes caught mid-eruption.

R. Crumb at David Zwirner  

Apr. 15–Jun. 2, 24 Grafton Street

The famed cartoonist’s anatomical drawings find a charged balance somewhere between refinement and obscenity; each mixture of ink and correction fluid feels as detailed as a Dürer engraving featuring contemporary characters (family members and Serena Williams among them).

Mary Kelly at Pippy Houldsworth

Apr. 15–May 28, 6 Heddon Street

Kelly’s iconic feminist work Post-Partum Document (1973–79) is resurfaced in a show devoted to her early photographs, films, and prototypes from the 1970s, tracing the first six years of her son’s life and the intimate relationship between mother and child.


Los Angeles

Left to right: Installation view of Phyllida Barlow, GIG, 2014. Photo courtesy of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel; Jesse Mockrin, School of Love, 2015. Photo by Nik Massey. Courtesy of the artist and Night Gallery; Lukas Geronimas, Untitled Work, 2015. Photo courtesy of the Landing.

Lucien Smith at Moran Bondaroff

Mar. 5–Apr. 2, 937 N. La Cienega Boulevard

The term “dawn patrol” (used to reference both early-morning military missions and surfers seeking untouched waves) inspires a new series of paintings from Smith, who’s covered canvases in striations of blue and white paint that resolve as rolling waves.

Elaine Cameron-Weir at Venus

Mar. 11–Apr. 30, 601 South Anderson Street

For her first solo exhibition in L.A., Cameron-Weir expands the scale of her dystopian sculptures, which fill the sprawling 14,500-square-foot space with a curved adobe wall affixed with neons, a hydrotherapy tub brimming with white sand, and other works that eerily blend the natural and the artificial.

Jesse Mockrin at Night Gallery

Mar. 12–Apr. 16, 2276 East 16th Street

Infused with hints of Rococo and men’s fashion, Mockrin offers enticing figurative paintings; dark visions of luxury, her works are populated by androgynous characters set in jewel-toned textiles and velvety black backgrounds.

“Revolution in the Making” at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Mar. 13–Sep. 4, 901 East 3rd Street

The gallery inaugurates its highly anticipated L.A. space with a bang—a show featuring the powerful abstract sculptures of 34 pioneering female artists, created between 1947 and the present; with some 60 works on loan from museums, artists’ estates and private collections, it promises to be a veritable museum-quality show.

Julian Schnabel at Blum & Poe


From Jack the Bellboy (1975), a wax painting Schnabel considers his first mature work, to a 2015 abstraction made from materials found in Mexico, this show of 12 paintings and approximately 40 drawings offers a concise survey of a leading painter.

Lukas Geronimas at the Landing


After his sculptures made eye-catching appearances in group shows at Andrea Rosen and 247365 last year, Geronimas mounts his most ambitious solo show to date, which debuts new works including the over-10-foot-tall Yin Yang Shelf and the graphite-swathed Custom Work Table, embedded with carvings that recall school-desk doodles.

“Desert Now” at Steve Turner


Berlin-based artist-adventurers Julius von Bismarck, Julian Charrière, and Felix Kiessling bring their boundary-pushing interventions to L.A., where they’ll transform the Hollywood gallery into a makeshift museum featuring objects that document, parody, and fetishize the southwestern desert.


Mexico City

Allora & Calzadilla at kurimanzutto


In their first show with the gallery since 2009, artist duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla present a show focused on three works that represent the breadth of their collaborative multimedia practice and explore existential themes—a sculptural installation made from acrylic lecterns, dinosaur bones, and the remains of extinct species; a performance in which three vocalists whistle at a four-billion-year-old rock; and a sound work based on recordings of breath.  


New York

Left to right: Installation view of Marcel Broodthaers at Paul Kasmin Gallery. Photo courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery; Carmen Herrera, Costa del Sol, 2015. © Carmen Herrera, courtesy of Lisson Gallery; Installation view of David Hammons at Mnuchin Gallery. Photo courtesy of Mnuchin Gallery.

Ibrahim El-Salahi at Salon 94

MAR. 1–APR. 24, 243 BOWERY

In “Alhambra,” El-Salahi’s first show with Salon 94 since becoming represented by the gallery, the 85-year-old Sudanese legend presents paintings inspired by his recent travels to southern Spain, filled with joyful flamenco dancers, rich earth tones, and a nod to the country’s Islamic history.

Marcel Broodthaers at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Mar. 3–Apr. 23, 515 West 27th Street

Coinciding with MoMA’s Broodthaers retrospective, Kasmin offers an unprecedented show in the U.S. including 20 artist books created between 1957–1975, and 26 editioned works from 1964–1975—plus an iconic installation featuring a living African gray parrot and an audio loop of the artist reciting his poetry.

Greg Parma-Smith at David Lewis

Mar. 4–Apr. 17, 88 Eldridge Street

The centerpiece of Parma-Smith’s new show is Last Judgment (2016), a 25-foot-wide, multi-panel painting with whole sections peeling tidily to reveal a solitary female figure or lush sacred geometries beneath a seascape at sunset; also on view is a series of smaller ink-on-paper works.

David Hammons at Mnuchin Gallery

Mar. 15–May 27, 45 East 78th Street

With the show’s installation conceived by Hammons himself, this broad-ranging survey fills the galleries with traditional Japanese court music as it spans five decades of work from the tirelessly inventive artist, who has made everything from prints of his body on paper in margarine to drawings with Kool-Aid.

Barkley L. Hendricks at Jack Shainman Gallery

Mar. 17–Apr. 23, 524 West 24th Street

Hendricks has directly addressed iniquities in the portrayal of black subjects with his portraiture, and new paintings in this show—like In the Crosshairs of the States (2016), in which a man in a grey hoodie is viewed unsubtly through the barrel of a gun—reveal a sharpening in the artist’s critiques.

Willa Nasatir at Chapter NY

Mar. 20–Apr. 24, 127 Henry Street

For her second New York solo show, Nasatir distorts and layers images of everyday objects to create haunting photographic tableaus—some over six feet tall—that build on the lexicon of master Surrealist image makers like Man Ray and Robert Heinecken.

The Propeller Group at James Cohan Gallery

Apr. 8–May 15, 291 Grand Street

Ahead of their first major museum solo show at MCA Chicago in June, the Ho Chi Minh City-based collective presents a new show including The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music (2014), a video work that blends documentary and reenactment in a musical meditation on funeral rites.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at Luhring Augustine

Apr. 16–Jun.11, 531 West 24th Street

Marionettes dance and play instruments around a sleeping sculpture of Cardiff inside an old trailer in one installation by the duo, while in a second, viewers’ shadows create soundscapes through activating dozens of salvaged speakers.

Carmen Herrera at Lisson Gallery

May 3–Jun. 25, 504 West 24th Street

As her 101st birthday approaches, Herrera is first and foremost an active and influential artist, which will be more than evident through this new show of fresh abstract paintings in contrasting colors—which inaugurates the gallery’s newly built space in Chelsea.

Eva Kot’átková at Maccarone

May 3–Jun. 18, 630 Greenwich Street

Following her 2015 solo show at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center and inclusion in the New Museum Triennial, the 32-year-old artist presents new works motivated by art workshops she runs with children at a mental hospital in Prague, where she is based; the show comprises stone sculptures, collages, and giant wire sculptures inspired by the children’s drawings.

Cindy Sherman at Metro Pictures

opens May 5, 519 West 24th Street

Sherman has minted a veritable army of alter egos in her signature portrait photography over the past decades; ahead of her survey at The Broad this June, she offers a show of various signature types she has shot, including a return to the familiar terrain of early Hollywood.  

Adam Silverman at Friedman Benda

May 5–Jun. 11, 515 West 26th Street

In his first solo show in New York, “Ground Control,” the L.A.-based ceramist (previously of Heath Ceramics) presents fresh wheel-thrown sculptures and vessels—dynamic forms splashed with glazes that balance precision and experimentation—in addition to a site-specific installation.

Nicole Eisenman at Anton Kern Gallery

May 19–Jun. 25, 532 West 20th Street

Two weeks after the MacArthur Genius’s retrospective opens at the New Museum, the masterful figurative painter shows us new work in response to everyday life in New York City, ranging in scale from the monumental to the minute.



Installation views of Oscar Tuazon at Galerie Chantal Crousel. Photos courtesy of Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Oscar Tuazon at Galerie Chantal Crousel

Mar. 5–Apr. 16, 10 rue Charlot

With a solo show at L.A.’s Hammer Museum under his belt, the Seattle-born artist shows large-scale objects that balance architecture, sculpture, and installation; surveillance and the utilitarian design demands of the American West are strong undercurrents throughout the work, on view for the artist’s first show with the gallery in Paris.

Leiko Ikemura at Galerie Karsten Greve

Mar. 11–Apr. 30, 5 Rue Debelleyme

Ikemura shows recent landscapes done in bold tempera colors on burlap as wide as nine feet alongside figurative ceramic sculptures and over 30 other works in conjunction with an exhibition, “CERAMIX, de Rodin à Schütte,” across two prominent museums (Paris’s La Maison Rouge and Sèvres - Cité de la céramique).

Natalie Czech at gb agency

Apr. 2–May 14, 18 rue des 4 Fils

“One can’t have it both ways and both ways is the only way I want it,” says Czech of this show of large-scale photographs from two discrete series, “Critics Bouquets” and “Poems by Repetition.”  


San Francisco

Isaac Julien, Homage Noir, Looking for Langston Series, 1989. Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Isaac Julien at Jessica Silverman Gallery

Apr. 22–Jun. 11, 488 Ellis St

Titled “Vintage,” this exhibition offers a retrospective glimpse at the accomplished British filmmaker’s cinematic photography, including photographs taken during the filming of  his 1989 film Looking for Langston, a fantastical exploration of the artistic community, race, and sexuality in Harlem during the 1930s and ’40s.


São Paulo

Sônia Gomes at Mendes Wood DM

Apr. 9–May 21, Rua da Consolação 3358

Expect intricate new assemblages of wire and spun fibers from Gomes, whose attitude towards her materials suggests they’re nearly living.



Mariko Mori at SCAI The Bathhouse

Mar. 21–Apr. 23, Kashiwayu-Ato, 6-1-23 Yanaka, Taito-ku

The Tokyo-born powerhouse mounts a show of new sculptures inspired by scientific theories purporting that our universe has no beginning or end and the eternal cycloid form—manifested in otherworldly, dynamic swoops of aluminum covered in a pearlescent sheen—as well as photo-paintings based on drawings of the ocean from Okinawa.

Artsy Editors