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Every year as summer comes to a close and the temperature drops, art critics, gallerists, collectors, and artists, all join together to celebrate the opening of the newest art season. Before the art world’s focus goes to the international art fairs, there is a moment the traditional gallery in New York show gets our undivided attention. Fall opening shows are often the strongest of the year, and this season is no exception.
Starting in Chelsea, Rashid Johnson’s show entitled “Fly Away,” at Hauser & Wirth (on view through October 22) is extraordinary. This body of work shows an amazing evolution and immeasurable growth as an artist for Johnson. During opening week, piano music echoes throughout all of the gallery originating from inside the main structure itself. Here, he manages to balance elements of his own personal identity and African American culture in a way that is within the context of art history referencing important artist such as Basquiat, Sol Lewitt, and Dan Flavin.
Another truly engaging show is Jonas Wood at Anton Kern Gallery (on view through October 29). These portraits by Wood give incredible insight into what the artist personally values, by painting images of himself, his family, and of an old obscure basketball card picturing Dwayne Schintzius complete with his distinctive mullet style hairdo. One particular painting that stands out is his portrait of the artist Mark Grotjahn in front of one of Grotjahn’s own work, ultimately creating artwork within his own canvas.
At Marianne Boesky Gallery (on view through October 15), Donald Moffett displays a sculptural approach to painting. By ignoring the standard of paintings, Moffett creates unique work that uses panel as a three-dimensional platform.
On the Lower East Side, showing at Brennan & Griffin’s new space on Norfolk Street Heather Guertin ventures to capture the ellipse (on view through October 16). As the subject of her work, the ellipse is a shape that connects the Greek philosopher Hypatia’s study of the solar system, all the way to the atom. The work is both compelling and aesthetically beautiful.
While over at Lehmann Maupin, Alex Prager’s photographs are truly an incredible body of work (on view through October 23). In this series, her photographs depict audience members, each clearly having their own individual history and personality, facing inwards on all of the surrounding walls. A truly amazing aspect of the show is when a live ballerina stepped in the middle of the space, creating an illusion of the audience in the frames watching her from all sides.
1969 Gallery is a new space whose group show is definitely worth checking out, including works by Tom Anholt, Markus Bacher, and Alexander Kroll (on view through November 6).
Lastly, Bruno Pacheco’s show at Taymour Grahne Gallery (on view through October 19) in Tribeca is a beautiful reminder of what the simplicity of work on paper can offer. Pacheco paints using soft pinks and yellows to create a composition of neutrality.
This fall, the New York art world has truly put on some wonderful exhibits and I look forward to what comes next.