Autumn is the busiest time of year in the art world, so plan your season around some incredible, thought-provoking shows. From a sensual retrospective celebrating visual artist Barbara Hammer to an abstract exhibition inspired by beloved cartoons, our art experts have curated a must-see selection of gallery shows and installations in New York City you won’t want to miss.
As the founder and editorial director of Art F City, a highly regarded art criticism and commentary site, this longtime art writer and curator knows what she’s talking about. She has written for New York magazine, The New York Times, The Economist, and more.
Jess Johnson: “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost,” through October 8
Inspired by retro video games and comic books of yesteryear, Johnson’s show comprises several drawings exploring the the concept of world building and alien forces. The artist often places distorted figures in fantastical spaces that resemble what one might see in a psychedelic trip. The paintings also take subtle jabs at contemporary culture—our obsession with food, health, and computer networks.
JoAnne Carson: “Dreamcatchers,” through October 15
Not nearly enough contemporary art is influenced by Looney Tunes. The level of craft and inventiveness that went into the cartoons is simply astounding, so anytime I see them picked up in art, I’m happy. Enter “Dreamcatchers,” a solo exhibition that includes rendering paintings and sculptures that depict a world of abstracted and animated flower forms influenced by Cubism and Looney Tunes. It’s about time an artist merged these styles—the two seem such an unexpected conversation that the show’s almost certain to yield great results.
Adrian Piper, through October 21
Within art circles, it’s hard to imagine an artist more recognized for her work on race, gender, and xenophobia than Piper. And yet her art has been consistently undervalued by commercial galleries. Until now, that is. Lévy Gorvy will show her Mythic Being series (1973–75); It’s Just Art (1980); and Here, an installation conceived in 2008.
Harriet Salmon: “Terra,” through November 12
A solo show by emerging artist Salmon that merges landscape painting, biology, and science fiction. The press release promises quiet dread that precedes a horrifying experience. But there’s also a more calculated aspect of the work. In some long woven pieces, binary code suggests the beginning of communication. So it’s not all cues from the horror movies that leave their protagonists without cell phones.
The Brooklyn-based installation artist has performed in a number of NYC’s most prestigious venues, including MoMA PS1, Pioneer Works, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Victoria Fu: “TELEVOIX,” through October 15
Los Angeles–based Fu comes to New York at the Simon Preston Gallery for this season’s opening. She’s a dynamic multimedia artist who was represented in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, so this show will definitely be a winner.
Josephine Halvorson: “As I Went Walking,” through October 19
Halvorson is debuting her most recent work in her fourth solo show at Sikklema Jenkins & Co. in Chelsea. This exhibition will feature oil paintings that Halvorson made in the wooded Massachusetts town where she lives—and where she voted this past election.
Ruth Asawa, through October 21
David Zwirner’s first exhibition features the works of Asawa and will include the late artist’s sculptures, paintings, and works on paper. The California-born Asawa was well-known for her looped-wire sculptures, which she began to create in the 1940s while living in an internment camp in Santa Anita.
“Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason 1950–1980,” through January 14, 2018
Posing the argument that great art is often made during delirious historical moments, this show examines the time period between 1950 and 1980. Some artists include painter Philip Guston, sculptor Eva Hesse, Abstract painter Alfred Jensen, artist and writer Yayoi Kusama, and Minimalist artist Sol LeWitt.
Barbara Hammer: “Evidentiary Bodies,” through January 28, 2018
This retrospective exhibition at Leslie-Lohman Museum will feature Hammer’s known and previously unseen film and video works, plus installations that address sexuality, intimacy, illness, and sensation—themes she has often explored throughout her career.