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By Erica Silverman
May 18, 2023
While exploring the fairs throughout New York this month, we’re bringing you the must-see exhibitions at Gagosian, Perrotin, Sprüth Magers, 52 Walker, David Kordansky, Vassell, Hauser & Wirth, and Pace Gallery.
Harold Ancart: Paintings
May 3 — June 16, 2023
Gagosian debuts a series of new works by artist Harold Ancart titled “Paintings,” currently on view through June 16. In a visceral study of transcendent forms and feelings, Ancart’s canvases experiment with mother nature’s wonders and the everlasting emotions they conjure in each of us. In abstract paintings of flora, the artist echoes humans’ fluctuating emotions and vibrations in avant-garde still lifes steeped in turquoise, crimson, gray, and cream. Landscapes illustrating a mighty full moon over dark blue waters, and a telescopic view of smoke rising from a green ocean—outlined in alarming red, bring to mind the mystical hold that our environment has over us, as well as the dangerous ways in which we have polluted it over time.
Danielle Orchard: You Are a Serpent Who’ll Return to the Ocean
April 26 — June 10, 2023
Danielle Orchard presents groundbreaking new paintings with her first solo show at Perrotin New York, currently on view through June 10. In a playful and poetic reframing of the female form in modern art, Orchard vividly illustrates mind, body, and soul. Unrestrained nude female figures enjoy art, food, the company of one another, and of mother earth’s bounty in rich and sensual tones. Both wit and tenderness can be found in every deft stroke of the artist’s brush. Compelling works such as Our Sympathies (After Wyeth), 2023 and I am a serpent who'll return to the ocean, 2023, impart a very personal tale of pregnancy, miscarriage, the levity of humor in even the darkest hours, and the perpetual battle for female empowerment and visibility.
May 16 — July 29, 2023
Sprüth Magers honors the dynamic work of multidisciplinary artist Senga Nengudi in a stunning exhibition of her photographs, currently on view through July 29. Inspired by the diversity and resiliency of New Yorkers, Nengudi’s 1972 Spirit Flags—made of flag material and suspended throughout the city by nylon cord—danced to the beat of the vibrant city, rising, falling, and always coming back for more. Eternalized in beautiful and haunting photographs, blue and red flags in evocative shapes mirror the light and dark of everyday people in a fight for and celebration of survival. "Spirits is the subject I am working with,” explained Nengudi. “The inner souls or spirits of people I have seen on the city streets; particularly in Harlem." A special series of intimate photographs from the late 1990s captures the serene energy and tranquility of Nengudi’s husband while resting in the bath.
Bob Thompson: So let us all be citizens
April 21 — July 8, 2023
52 Walker illuminates the creative wisdom and generosity of late visionary Bob Thompson (1937–1966) with a new exhibition of paintings from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, curated by Ebony L. Haynes and currently on view through July 8. “So let us all be citizens,” words taken from a profound speech made by Thompson in church as a mere teenager, illustrates the artist’s passion for the vitality and freedom of jazz culture. His fierce investigation of color, line, and composition rebelled against the then trend of abstraction, rather embracing and paying homage to classical art with familiar forms and figures of human beings enjoying the pleasure and rapture of nature. Alongside the show, an exhibition titled “So let us all be citizens too” at David Zwirner London celebrates Thompson’s dazzling artistry and resounding impact on artists to this day.
Fred Eversley: Cylindrical Lenses
David Kordansky Gallery
May 6 — June 10, 2023
Artist Fred Eversley continues his comprehensive investigation of energy, physics, and performance art with the latest “Cylindrical Lenses,” currently on view through June 10 at David Kordansky Gallery. In a ceremonious return to home after fifty years of living and working in Los Angeles, Eversley presents a series of luminous, large-scale sculptures in dreamlike hues of coral, violet, rose, and turquoise. A pioneer of the Light and Space Movement, the artist invites viewers to fully immerse themselves in the meticulously produced and otherworldly sculptures, exploring the celestial-like phenomena and vivacious evolution of light that is sparked with each passing glance.
Uman: I Want Everything Now
Nicola Vassell Gallery
May 4 — June 17, 2023
Nicola Vassell Gallery debuts the bountiful paintings of multidisciplinary artist Uman, currently on view through June 17. In both grounded and ethereal rainbow-hued artworks, Uman guides viewers through the physical and spiritual journey of her life thus far. Drawing on her formative years in Kenya, adolescence in Denmark, and recent periods in New York City and Upstate New York, the artist offers abstract, tapestry-like creations that are bursting at the seams with curiosity, longing, and awe for the human experience. Evocative titles such as My Insides are Like Your Insides (2023), Let Me Blow Dry My Hair B4 My Man Comes Down (2023), and I Would Rather Have Had You by My Side Than All the Blue in the World (2022-2023) are kaleidoscopic vessels of memory and feeling, urging viewers to embrace the fleeting fantasy that is life.
Mark Bradford: You Don’t Have to Tell Me Twice
Hauser & Wirth
April 13 — July 28, 2023
Artist Mark Bradford presents a sweeping solo show at Hauser & Wirth titled “You Don’t Have to Tell Me Twice,” currently on view through July 28. Throughout the gallery’s 22nd Street space, Bradford offers a piercing look into his deepest inspirations and astounding manifestations. Heavily textured, patterned, and nuanced mixed media paintings evoke historical European tapestries, juxtaposing powerful themes of socio-political power dynamics and the natural environment of an early 20th-century African American settlement in New Mexico, known simply as Blackdom. Meaningful dialogues surrounding racism, inhumanity, and family connection are weaved throughout breathtaking large-scale, abstract canvases, as well as in two multifaceted self-portraits. The exhibition partners with non-profit Culture for One—in which Bradford will collaborate with young adults in foster care to create immersive public events—as well as with StoryCorps Studios—helping to facilitate the recording of personal stories and records of displacement and authenticity.
Trevor Paglen: You’ve Just Been Fucked by PSYOPS
May 12 — July 22, 2023
Pace Gallery and artist Trevor Paglen celebrate an inaugural solo show in New York with the artist’s latest series, “You’ve Just Been Fucked by PSYOPS,” currently on view through July 22. In a blazing combination of sculpture, video, and photography, Paglen continues his unveiling of CIA and military impact on American culture and individual privacy. In tandem with a comprehensive Web3 project, the artist presents five artworks that shed light on a myriad of thought-provoking operations and deceptions. Ethereal photographs of unidentifiable objects in Earth’s atmosphere, and tracked daily by the US military, are captured by the skilled artist using infrared telescopes. A fearsome wall-mounted sculpture of a monstrous skull with swirling crimson eyes and mouth, embellished with a forceful military slogan, reveals the profound weight of the US Army in advertising, politics, and social media. Alarming installations illustrating covert surveillance operations, the fine details of an extraterrestrial technology program, and a special NFT series are fierce investigations by the artist into the shadows of modern-day mind control.
Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.