This Fall’s Best Art Exhibitions and Gallery Openings

Mark your calendar—these are the must-attend art shows of the season.

Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

Instead of mourning the end of summer, art lovers should rejoice: Autumn will usher in a new batch of cool exhibitions and gallery openings to attend, giving you plenty to look forward to.

To help you sort through them all, we’ve rounded up the buzziest showcases of the season—from a spectacular display handpicked by one of the world’s leading art collectors to an imposing work that will stretch across the entire city.

“Arte Povera”

Spanning three floors at Hauser & Wirth, “Arte Povera” celebrates Italian art that emerged amid the country’s political and social evolution in the 1960s and ’70s. Curated by former gallerist Ingvild Goetz (who owns one of the largest art collections in Germany), the upcoming show will boast more than 150 works from many of the movement’s most prominent figures, from the recently deceased photographer Claudio Abate to the unconventional Gilberto Zorio. Archival materials like exhibition catalogs, invitations, and documentary photographs will also be on display.

“Arte Povera” at Hauser & Wirth New York

548 West 22nd Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), Chelsea
September 12–October 28

M23/Project Room

A self-proclaimed “evolving curatorial platform responding to contemporary aesthetics and culture,” Chelsea-based M23—owned and curated by Theodore Mauritz—is expanding its reach with this 400-square-foot exhibition space housed in a former Bushwick chroming factory. “I’m interested in artists whose conceptual and aesthetic narrative I believe advance or support contemporary culture,” says Mauritz, whose studio will feature a new artist exhibition each month, starting with Brooklynite Sean Donovan. Daniel Klaas Beckwith’s intriguing “magick carpet” is coming in October, and in December, the studio will host Berlin-based artist and cultural anthropologist Cyrill Lachauer’s first showcase in the United States. The latter’s featured works include Dodging Raindrops—A Separate Reality, an episodic film centered on the concept of “othering” that’s part documentary, part mythical narrative.

M23/Project Room
Opening Friday, September 15
209 Morgan Avenue, Bushwick


A former glass factory, the Knockdown Center honors its building’s history by continuing to serve as a site for creativity and innovation. The 50,000-square-foot art and performance space hosts experimental creations “that respond to its unique architecture.” That’s especially the case with the Knockdown’s most recent piece, “Wall<Enter,” a hands-on installation produced in partnership with the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services Arts and Literacy Program and artist Laura Paris.

A mishmash of dance, music, writing, and spoken word, this immersive project gives more than 1,000 immigrant children and their families a voice, enabling those most affected by the anti-immigrant Trump administration a place to express their concerns. Visitors are invited to contribute to the ongoing exhibition through an interactive “voting booth,” where they can submit their own stories as written, audio, and visual content, which will be incorporated into the final installation.

“Wall<Enter” at the Knockdown Center

52-19 Flushing Avenue, Maspeth

“Alan Vega: Dream Baby Dream”

Jeffrey Deitch, who counts Jeff Koons and the late Jean-Michel Basquiat among his closest peers, has been rooted in the art world for more than four decades. This fall, the artistic dean—who delivered the eulogy at Basquiat’s funeral—will honor the late Alan Vega, another dear friend and fellow visual artist, with a memorial exhibition commemorating the punk legend’s life and work. Set to open a little over a year after Vega’s death, the showcase will present video projections of historic performances by Vega and instrumentalist Martin Rev’s musical duo Suicide, along with a selection of Vega’s sculptural works.

“Alan Vega: Dream Baby Dream” at Jeffrey Deitch

18 Wooster Street (between Canal and Grand Streets), Lower East Side
September 5–30

Ai Weiwei: “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”

World-renowned multimedia artist Ai Weiwei is taking to the streets with his largest and most ambitious public showcase to date: a multisite project inspired by the global migration crisis, created in conjunction with the Public Art Fund to celebrate the nonprofit organization’s 40th anniversary. The free installation, called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, will be comprised of a series of metal wire fences meant to signify the psychic and physical barriers that divide today’s society. The makeshift walls will be planted all across the city—from Essex Street Market in Manhattan to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens—in unexpected spots such as bus shelters, rooftops, and in between buildings.

Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
October 12–February 11, 2018
Multiple locations

Reach out if you’d like us to guide you through NYC’s varied gallery scene.

Return to our Fall Guide 2017