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Article: Fifteen Gallery Shows in NYC to Catch Now

November 2017 – Although Auction Week may have come to a staggering close with the record-breaking sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvador Mundi, fear not: New York’s gallery offerings are as awe-inspiring as that $450.3 million dollar price tag.

Below are fifteen of ArtMuse’s must-see shows this month. Be sure to download the Discover.Galleries app to help map out the shows on your phone!

David Smith: Origins and Innovations

Hauser & Wirth
November 13 – December 23, 2017
548 East 22nd Street

Before joining the Art Students League of New York, David Smith (1905-65) worked in the production line of an automobile factory. But working behind a machine soon became working behind a canvas, and Smith soon joined the circle of Archille Gorky and Willam de Kooning. When Smith finally returned to his industrial roots, he fused Abstract Expressionism with the use of iron and steel. In the first solo exhibition of David Smith in New York, Hauser and Wirth present a conclusive survey of the artist’s oeuvre, the most impressive of which include expressive drawings Smith etched into steel.


Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Light Infinity Nets

David Zwirner
November 2 – December 16, 2017
525 & 533 West 19th Street
34 East 69th Street

It’s next to impossible to resist photographing any work by Yayoi Kusama. And David Zwirner knows this: the gallerist has inserted hashtags (“#”) into the wall text of Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Light. And you’ll be glad they did—the Nineteenth Street gallery presents two stunning infinity rooms, a space covered in Kusama’s iconic dots, and sixty-six large scale paintings that are expressive and bold. Uptown, the gallery is exhibiting new ‘Infinity Net’ paintings by the artist, which are subtle, complex, and contrast the frenzy in Chelsea.

Richard Serra: Sculpture & Drawings

David Zwirner
November 4 – December 16, 2017
537 West 20th Street

Richard Serra is back at David Zwirner Gallery. This time around, DZ presents two new works in forged steel of magnificent scale, accompanied by recent drawings by the art world giant in the upstairs space. Just as Serra’s reputation suggests, his new sculptures in steel are of a formidable size and inspire peace and awe in their viewers. Perhaps Serra is the answer to the craziness.

Ed Cohen: Contemplating Destiny

Winston Wachter
October 26 – December 23, 2017
530 West 25th Street

If Jackson Pollock practiced Buddhism, his canvases would probably resemble something close to Ed Cohen’s. Cohen’s abstract canvases expand upon traditional boundaries of acrylic paint. The result—vivid displays of paint splatters—is psychedelic yet serene. Visit Cohen’s show at Winston Wachter to meditate and be transported to another dimension.

Misha Kahn: Midden Heap 

Friedman Benda
October 26 – December 16, 2017
515 West 26th Street

Misha Kahn’s Midden Heap, an immersive installation at Friedman Benda, will transport you to the beach, to the moon, and then back to earth. For his installation in the Chelsea gallery, Kahn was first inspired by the Giant Pacific Octopus: “Incorporating aquatic treasures, as well as the carcasses of their prey, they create scrappy underwater facades known as ‘midden heaps.’ For this show, I, too, collected crap from the sea that caught my attention: clusters of bags had been so entangled with each other that they now looked like kelp, a toilet seat became a textured shell, shards of broken bottles became so wobbly and deformed they looked like translucent calamari.”

Taking note from this sea-creature, Kahn created intergalactic creatures for the installation from materials he found at Rockaway Beach. Ultimately, his creations were composed of a mix between natural materials from the ocean – a seashell, a textured rock- with utter trash- a toilet seat and entangled plastic bags.

Devan Shimoyama: Sweet

De Buck
November 1-December 9, 2017
545 West 23rd Street

In the portraits of Devan Shimoyama, the artist uses splattered paint, sequins, rhinestones and beads to mine questions of black queer male identity. Sweet, an exhibition whose name alludes to a derogatory term for effeminate males, includes seven never before exhibited paintings as well as an installation of two sculptural hoodies in mixed media. In his dazzling works, Shimoyama effectively transforms the tradition of portraiture into a feast for the eyes in both its brilliant form and deeply personal content.

Sylvie Fleury: Eye Shadows

Salon 94
November 2 – December 23, 2017
12 East 94th Street

Sylvie Fleury’s exhibition at Salon 94 is a makeup lover’s dream: giant sculptures of blush, eye-shadow palettes, and compacts are installed to the walls of the gallery. Visiting this exhibition, It’s as if you’re walking through your mother’s makeup drawer. By Fleury’s sculptures are not merely superficial: her large-scale objects comment upon vanity, consumerism, and femininity by magnifying these ubiquitous objects to an unbelievable scale.

Gabriel Rico: One Law for the Lion & The Ox is Oppression

November 5 – December 23, 2017
130 Orchard Street

For his debut exhibition in New York, Mexico-based artist Gabriel Rico creates dazzling assemblages that integrate emblems from human history: a sculpture by Rico may include a beautiful log, flourescent lights, and a pristine bottle of Coca Cola. “Art can be anything — good taste, bad taste, avant-garde, digital — it’s just material,” the artist has said. You’ll want to feast your eyes on every inch of Rico’s works, as the artist comments upon the relationship between humans and the natural environment in which we live.

Jim Shaw

Metro Pictures
November 2 – December 22, 2017
519 West 24th Street

Jim Shaw, a superstar on the Los Angeles art scene, comes back to New York since his 2015 survey at the New Museum, ‘The End is Here.’ If you’re not familiar, Shaw is a Los Angeles legend and is associated with Angeleno artists such as Mike Kelley, John Miller, and Tony Oursler. For his show at Metro Pictures, the artist presents dreamy and spectacular paintings, sculptures, and video that exhibit the artist’s mastery over the bizarre in a variety of media.

William Villalongo: Keep on Pushing

Susan Inglett
October 26 – December 9, 2017
522 West 24th Street

Brooklyn-based William Villalongo offers a re-imagining of the black male body at a time when current events and social realities force this body to exist in fear. For these meditations on invisibility and the Black male psyche, Villalongo carefully constructs beautiful and sophisticated collages on felt paper—a style that is now synonymous with the artist. The results of these complexly assembled and visually striking works are chillingly beautiful.

Rachel Lee Hovnanian: (The Ray Lee Project Vol. 1) NDD Immersion Room

Victori + MO, Brooklyn
November 3 – December 22, 2017
56 Bogart Street

Conceptual artist Rachel Lee Hovnanian inaugurates her new project, The Ray Lee Project Vol. 1, with NDD Immersion Room—a brilliant, all-immersive installation that forces one into a meditative, contemplative state. In fact, Hovnanian requires visitors to place their phones in a lockbox at the door before entering her dark environment (where leaves seem to crack underfoot as the sounds of birds and insects fill the room).



Jessica Jackson Hutchins: The People’s Cries

Marianne Boesky
November 2 – December 22, 2017
507 West 24th Street

Visitors to Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ The People’s Cries are greeted by a beautiful stained-glass the artist installed into the door of Marianne Boesky Gallery. As the gallery’s entrance suggests, The People’s Cries displays Hutchins’ recent exploration into fused and stained glass. The exhibition features two forty-foot skylights Hutchins assembled with glass panels as well as floor-pieces consisting of glass and ceramic. As beautiful as these new works are, Hutchins created her new pieces in response to her new political reality: “I believe it is part of my job to be able to expose a raw nerve to whatever our culture is suffering through and let all that into the work; the beauty and pain and the outrage,” Hutchins said. “The sensory extravagance (the gorgeousness!) of colored light was as overwhelming as the political upheavals and injustices.”

Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle: Crossing Lines

Pace Gallery
November 2, 2017 – January 13, 2018
32 East 57th Street

Where flashier exhibitions often become Instagram fodder, Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle: Crossing Lines is a subtle show whose complexity, nuance, and beauty are best enjoyed without the mediation of a screen. For this highly intellectual show, Pace Gallery presents a beautifully-rendered visual conversation: new wire pieces by Richard Tuttle, installed next to the grey paintings by Minimalist pioneer Agnes Martin, to which his works respond. A subdued and serene show, Crossing Lines is best for Minimalism enthusiasts—or those who have wanted an Agnes Martin to come alive.

John Stezaker: The Voyeur: Photoroman Collages, 1976–1979 

November 10, 2017 – January 6, 2018
35 E. 67th Street

London-based artist John Stezaker describes the kiss as “cinema’s most ubiquitous still image of itself.” In an exploration of cinematic displays of affection, Stezaker assembles romantic photo-collages from vintage stills of the silver screen. Marking Stezaker’s fifth show at Petzel and first show in the gallery’s uptown outpost, The Voyeur will transport you to a tender time past.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor: The Backwards Formal

James Cohan Gallery
November 9- December 22, 2017
291 Grand Street

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, whose show The Backwards Formal is on view at James Cohan through December 22, describes her process as “Frankensteining.” This descriptor evokes the grotesque—a quality that her visually-rich and thematically-personal pieces may not suggest at first glance. Indeed these works are beautiful. Still, Taylor’s process is indeed Frankenstein-esque: she intricately compounds these landscapes and portraits from her own photographs, found-images, painted paper and more. When viewed in its entirety, each piece is barely decipherable as a collage. Although Taylor’s practice is entirely original, her subjects find their origins in the works of Thomas Eakins (whose photographs Taylor cut-up and re-assembled in Forgive Me Mr. Eakins), Manet, and Toulouse-Lautrec (to name a few). Tucked away on Grand Street, The Backwards Formal is not one to miss.