Outside the fairs, be sure you save time in your schedule to visit these exhibitions, on view at New York’s top museums, galleries, and collections.
Alicja Kwade is a mixed-media artist who distorts everyday reality, time, and space through raw materials and found objects. Her exhibition at 303 Gallery will focus on the malleability of human experience through the abstract yet physical mathematical systems that make up our world. Concurrent with the exhibition, Kwade’s site-specific installation Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot will be on view from April 16 to October 27 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.
Jean-François Bouchard: In Guns We Trust
Arsenal Contemporary New York
Arsenal Contemporary New York will present an exhibition of works by Jean-François Bouchard, “In Guns We Trust,” from April 30 until June 23. A Canadian photographer with a focus on marginalized lives, Bouchard investigates ostracized groups through humanizing visual language. His new collection will document and explore gun culture in The Big Sandy Shoot—the largest machine-gun shooting range in the United States—based in Arizona, where military-grade weapons are used recreationally.
The Brant Foundation
Organized in collaboration with the Fondation Louis Vuitton, “Jean-Michel Basquiat” is a timely survey of works by the eponymous artist. Pulling from The Brant Collections, international museums, and private collections, the show illustrates Basquiat’s immeasurable range, observations, politics, and innovative vision.
Significant works, such as Untitled from 1981 and 1982, the monumental multipaneled Grillo (1984), Arroz con Pollo (1981), and Price of Gasoline in the Third World (1982), will invite viewers into Basquiat’s poetic, distilled-yet complex world of racial tension, empowerment, black excellence, and resistance. For guaranteed admission, visitors should reserve tickets in advance.
Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving
The Brooklyn Museum
Based on exhibitions at the Frida Kahlo Museum (2012) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (2018), “Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving” engages an extensive collection of personal possessions and key artworks in a larger dialogue of politics, gender, clothing, national identity, and disability. The exhibition focuses on Kahlo’s time in the United States—and New York, especiall—which intensified her nationalist political convictions and translated them into her self-presentation and artwork. “Appearances Can Be Deceiving” studies the both radical and intimate results and includes examples of elaborate headwear, striking Tehuana skirts, and orthopedic corsets.
In late-1960s Tokyo, a group of young artists—united by a rejection of representational art—emerged as a movement known as Mono-ha (School of Things). A pioneer of this group, Lee Ufan framed himself as a “mediator of materials,” according to Dia associate curator Alexis Lowry. Lee’s exhibition at Dia will showcase three early sculptural works acquired in 2017, alongside important loans that illustrate Mono-ha’s underlying belief in connecting seemingly disparate materials. Relatum (1974), for example, features a Damoclean wooden beam, hanging above a steel plate supported by a pile of pebbles.
“An Accelerated Culture”
May 3—June 8
Alluding to Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
Culture, Friedman Benda’s “An Accelerated Culture” gathers the ideologies of a diverse generation. Confronted by post–Baby Boomer reactions that declared them apathetic and encumbered by ennui, these designers, in reality, developed a unique expressiveness, energy, autonomy, and openness. The exhibition, curated by Libby Sellers and Brent Dzekciorius, brings together seminal design by more than 20 Generation X practitioners, including Michael Anastassiades, Aldo Bakker, Maarten Baas, Tord Boontje, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Nacho Carbonell, Julia Lohmann, nendo, Raw Edges, Jerszy Seymour, and Studio Job.
Unveiling six heretofore-unseen works, Jeff Wall’s first show with Gagosian will incorporate essential elements of painting, cinema, and literature into his chosen medium, photography. Wall is a leading contemporary photographer whose work orchestrates seemingly candid, vernacular mise-en-scènes that exist somewhere between the fantastic, the documentary, and the blatantly art historical. In Parent Child (2018), a quartet of figures round the corner of a building—one parent stalling while his daughter slumbers on the sidewalk, another parent passing, unaware, while his son observes his counterpart in a theatrical moment of looking and hanging expectations.
May 1—June 8
“Damián Ortega” is the titular artist’s first show in New York since 2013. The exhibition at Gladstone Gallery will feature a series of new and recent works in sculpture, installation, photography, film, drawing, and performance that examine variations in and relationships between exchange, consumption, and regional environment. Highlighting this multidisciplinary interest, the exhibition will underscore Ortega’s catholic practice as a symptom of and response to global behavior.
Elias Sime: Noiseless
Elias Sime’s third solo show at James Cohan, “NOISELESS,” is an exhibition of
new work by the multidisciplinary artist. For almost three decades, the Ethiopian artist has collaged discarded technological components into landscapes, abstractions, and figures that recall traditional Ethiopian textiles. At James Cohan, Sime will share large-scale works from his ongoing “Tightrope” series, which stresses the fragility of technology and human interaction. Many of these pieces will reappear in “Elias Sime: Tightrope,” his exhibition at the Wellin Museum of Art in Clinton, New York, opening this September.
Naama Tsabar: Dedicated
“Naama Tsabar: Dedicated” will transform Paul Kasmin into a site-specific sculptural and sonic installation. Subverting the championing of masculinity in the history of music, Tsabar’s exhibition will redefine movement, mastery, and the female body through the union of iconic relics of rock and roll and the experience of an artistic body moving through space. Melodies of Certain Damage, for instance, will connect bits of broken guitars to Transitions (works on canvas, hanging on the walls), while other works will forefront the productive tension between disruption and femininity.
Lehmann Maupin will present works by Swiss artist Heidi Bucher, whose oeuvre challenged the manner in which “femininity” was embalmed in domestic and sartorial objects. Her early drawings, wearable sculptures, and latex “skins” demonstrate a preoccupation with material restrictions, how humans react in public and private bounds. Bucher is best known for her “Roomskins” series, in which she cast architectural structures in latex. The result was a semi translucent, discolored specter of a room, rife with the past and its domestic, gendered systems.
From April 30 to June 8, Lisson Gallery will present a selection of works by Sean Scully, who recently had acclaimed solo shows at the Hirshhorn Museum and the Wadsworth Atheneum. This Chelsea edition will feature new paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. Viewers can expect gestural, seascape-like canvases from the “Landline” series, of which Scully explained, “I was always looking at the horizon line—at the way the end of the sea touches the beginning of the sky, the way the sky presses down on the sea and the way that line, that relationship, is painted.”
Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Martin Kersels is a New Haven–based artist who focuses on the humor, trials, and poignancy of the everyday motions of the body. Irreverent, awkward, and dark, Kersels’s works explore his own body as it falters, or appears out of place. His upcoming exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash will feature recent works such as The Fury of the Brave Bulls (2018), a mounted record of the same name atop the album Be My Love, which has been cut apart and semi-rejoined.
Joan Miró: Birth of the World
Joan Miró’s The Birth of the World serves as a point of departure for MoMA’s current exhibition. Situating the painting within Miró’s oeuvre, the exhibition includes approximately 60 paintings, works on paper, collages, and objects from 1920 to the early 1950s—from the artist’s first trip to Paris to his development of a widely lauded visual language. “Birth of the World” highlights the uniqueness of Miró’s vocabulary, as well as his process, experimentation, and engagement with poetry.
Gina Beavers: The Life I Deserve
Long Island City
In her first solo museum exhibition, the New York–based artist Gina Beavers confronts daily concerns of self-fashioning, consumption, and desire. Manifesting in visceral, sometimes disturbingly realistic paintings of makeup tutorials or bodies-turned-to-feasts (“food porn”), Beavers’s parodies grapple with the banal yet horrifying realities of the age of social media. Her most recent series simultaneously satirizes and exalts art-historical heroes, such as Van Gogh and Mondrian, repositioning the lens of critical theory.
Nari Ward: We the People
Spanning Nari Ward’s 25-year career, “We the People” comprises 30 sculptures, paintings, videos, and large-scale installations, distributed across three floors of the New Museum. In an approach that evokes the material textures of his birthplace, Jamaica, as well as his current home, Harlem, Ward accumulates and repurposes language, scavenged materials (fire hoses, shopping carts, cooking trays, etc.), and structures that reflect on contemporary communities and their histories. “We the People” will unite Ward’s most iconic sculptures to illuminate the gentrification of Harlem, its complex social effects, and the rupturing of democracy.
Changing and Unchanging Things: Nugochi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan
The Nugochi Museum
Long Island City
“Changing and Unchanging Things” concentrates on the relationship between the artists Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) and Saburo Hasegawa (1906–1957) in postwar Japan. Brief though intense, their friendship sprung from Noguchi’s 1950 visit to Japan and morphed into a thoughtful collaboration. Together, they traveled the country, visiting sites of historic importance as they considered the complex issues of modernization facing Japan. The exhibition will feature 90 works by the two artists that illuminate the effect that these explorations and conversations had on their art.
Raqib Shaw: Landscapes
In time for spring, Pace presents an exhibition of new landscapes by Raqib Shaw. Known for his opulent, hedonistic fantasies that spill across the canvas, Shaw’s natural yet dreamy compositions have often been compared to the work of Hieronymus Bosch. The new landscapes elaborate on his almost-surrealist, jewel-like vision and recall the imagery of his childhood home in Kashmir. Today, Shaw lives and works in London, where he crafts these labor-intensive visual experiences.
Lower East Side
For her first solo show in New York since 2013, Paola Pivi will present a new set of works inspired by her “Bears” series. Known for placing animals in unexpected settings, Pivi subtly challenges cultural norms and evokes the power of imagination through her performances, sculptures, and large installations. The multidisciplinary artist’s Lower East Side unveiling will include more than 70 baby bear sculptures sprawled across the gallery in a staggering takeover.
The Hugo Boss Prize 2018, Simone Leigh: Loopehole of Retreat
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Upper East Side
Simone Leigh, winner of the Hugo Boss Prize 2018, will have a solo show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in honor of her achievement. The Hugo Boss Prize was established in 1996 to recognize significant contemporary artists, and, appropriately, Leigh has been selected for her thoughtful, pioneering considerations of African diaspora and black female subjectivity in sculpture, video, and performance. “Simone Leigh, Loophole of Retreat” will comprise a suite of sculptures, a sound installation, and a broadsheet written by renowned historian Saidiya Hartman. The exhibition title is drawn from the writings of Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897), a formerly enslaved abolitionist who memorialized her seven years spent hiding, in harrowing writings.
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
The Jewish Museum
Upper East Side
“A Crack in Everything” will be an exhibition inspired by the themes of Leonard Cohen’s life and work. An influential singer-songwriter, novelist, poet, and icon, Cohen harmonized the beauty and imperfection of the human condition, observing and comforting spirits with a measured perspective and a unique, energetic language. The exhibition will comprise works by international artists who have been inspired by Cohen’s style, motifs, and life, including Kara Blake, Candice Breitz, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Christophe Chassol, Daily Tous Les Jours, Tacita Dean, Kota Ezawa, George Fok, Ari Folman, Jon Rafman, and Taryn Simon.
Camp: Notes on Fashion
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Upper East Side
May 9—September 8
Structured around Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay (“Notes on ‘Camp’”), “Camp: Notes on Fashion” explores the influence of “camp”—theatricality, pastiche, humor—on fashion, as it headily evolved from a place of marginalization into the mainstream. Beginning with a study of Versailles as “camp Eden,” the exhibition will feature about 175 garments, sculptures, paintings, and drawings that trace “camp” from the 17th century to the present. As the exhibition unfolds, it will also confront the notion of the dandy, queer subcultures, artifice, irony, and exaggeration—and, of course, the sartorial expression of these elements.
Siah Armajani: Follow This Line
The Met Breuer
Upper East Side
“Follow This Line” is the first major U.S. retrospective of work by the influential Iranian-American artist Siah Armajani, comprising nearly one hundred works from the past six decades. The show features previously unexhibited and recently rediscovered works, as well as well-known pieces like the “Dictionary for Building” series (1974–75), which was originally composed of thousands of small architectural models. As a whole, Armajani’s oeuvre develops an aesthetic of exile and challenges the contemporary understanding of public art. But “Follow This Line” also presents the aspect of performativity within the artist’s practice in his models, installations, drawings, and sculptures that invite narration or speech making.
Whitney Biennial 2019
The Whitney Museum of American Art
May 17—September 22
“Artists in the exhibition are engaged with notions of what community means and can provide while using art to confront and cope with our current world,” says Rujeko Hockley, who is co-organizing the Whitney Biennial 2019 with fellow Whitney curator Jane Panetta. The 79th in a long series of highly lauded exhibitions, this edition thematically grapples with the state of the world: the function of its history, the bodies that inhabit it, and urgent questions of inequality that plague it. Hockley and Panetta visited more than 300 studios across the United States to develop this extraordinary group of emerging and established artists, which includes individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film, photography, performance, and sound.
Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Drawing exclusively from the Whitney’s permanent collections, “Spilling Over” narrates the explosions, shifts, and emphasis on color in 1960s and ’70s America. When a new generation was confronting issues of civil rights and women’s rights on canvas, artists looked to color to explore and articulate these concepts. Newly available acrylic paints, experimentation with staining in Color Field painting, and geometric Op art led to brilliant, bold, semi-hallucinatory hues that reflected formally and politically on that intense, transitional moment. The exhibition will feature works by artists including Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler, and Sam Gilliam, as well as new acquisitions by Kay WalkingStick and Emma Amos, the latter of which has been acquired jointly with the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Paul Anthony Smith
Jack Shainman Gallery
“Junction” is a new body of work by Paul Anthony Smith—and the artist’s first solo show with Jack Shainman Gallery. Inspired by Caribbean scholars Frantz Fanon and Stuart Hall, Smith confronts photography’s ability to represent and host the histories of the postcolonial Caribbean and its people. Eloquently disruptive with his picotage technique, Smith shields his subjects from the exotic gaze, cloaking them in the patterns of Caribbean breeze block fences. But his emphasis on diaspora, his inclusion of many identities, and his questioning of borders are intended to celebrate—even still—the power of community assembly.
May 3—June 22
“Meaning and intellect in abstract art can be difficult to locate, as there is no narrative to lead us into it. It is like the voice itself. I use pattern and color to create the voice. And I use structure and form to channel it,” says Marina Adams of her powerful oeuvre. For her second solo exhibition with the Salon 94, Adams will present new paintings in a brilliant array of hues. The canvases pulse asymmetrically with energy, rhythm, and form—and her voice reverberates distinctly. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
Joan Mitchell: I carry my landscapes around with me
May 3–June 22
One of the few artists of her generation to explore polyptych compositions, Joan Mitchell embraced the possibilities of these panoramic expanses. “I carry my landscapes around with me” will comprise paintings from public and private collections and the Joan Mitchell Foundation that probe the potential of these continuous yet ruptured landscapes. The works span four decades of the artist’s career and demonstrate the evolution of her distinctive orchestrations. “I carry my landscapes around with me” will be on view at the gallery’s West 20th Street location.
Carlito Dalceggio: Mythologia Libre
332 Canal Street
At 332 Canal Street, Carlito Dalceggio is presenting a month-long multimedia
experience to the public. Entitled “Mythologia Libre,” the contemporary piece combines painting, sculpture, poetry, music, film installation, and performance to guide visitors to the mystery of the universe. Here, among spontaneous acts of performance, art patrons enter through a futuristic, spiritual world that aims to liberate the human spirit, reject commercial boundaries, and bring primordial resonance to contemporary culture.
Gavin Brown’s enterprise
Filling three floors of gallery space, an exhibition of new works by Alex Katz will take over Gavin Brown’s enterprise’s uptown location. Inspired by the works of Edgar Degas, Katz will present “Homage to Degas,” a new series in which nude models stand before green backgrounds and appear to be suspended in space, hovering in the positions of Degas’s dancers. The show will also include large-scale sunrise and sunset landscapes resplendent with contrasting color schemes reflecting Katz’s dedication to visually striking works.