Here Are 22 Unmissable Spring Gallery Shows in New York, From Joan Mitchell’s Big Moment to Jeff Wall’s Spooky Surrealism

Galleries are putting on some of their biggest stars to coincide with Frieze Week.

Jeff Wall, Parent child (2018). © Jeff Wall, courtesy of Gagosian.

As Frieze New York touches down on Randall’s Island, galleries all over the city are breaking out their big guns in hopes of luring out-of-town collectors to their spaces.

Here are some of the week’s biggest openings, plus a selection of shows we’re looking forward to later in the month.


Matthew Ronay: Betrayals of and by the Body” at Casey Kaplan
April 30–June 15

Matthew Ronay, <i>World of Joined Coupling</i> (2018). Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery.

Matthew Ronay, World of Joined Coupling (2018). Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery.

In Matthew Ronay’s creepily, colorfully, bountifully weird show at Casey Kaplan, shapes bulge and penetrate one another—not necessarily in a sexual way, but sometimes, as the show’s title implies, in a distinctly corporeal way.

Casey Kaplan Gallery is at 121 West 27th Street.


Jean-François Bouchard: In Guns We Trust” at Arsenal Contemporary
April 30–June 22

"Jean-François Bouchard: In Guns We Trust." Photo courtesy of Arsenale Contemporary.

“Jean-François Bouchard: In Guns We Trust.” Photo courtesy of Arsenal Contemporary.

Jean-François Bouchard journeyed deep into the heart of Arizona to document American gun culture and the tourism that has sprung up around it. The resulting photographs have a strong cinematic flavor, offering a dramatic view of the recreational use of military-grade weapons.

Arsenal Contemporary is at 214 Bowery.


Jeff Wall” at Gagosian
April 30–June 22

An installation view of Jeff Wall's show at Gagosian. Photo courtesy of Gagosian.

An installation view of Jeff Wall’s show at Gagosian. Photo courtesy of Gagosian.

For Jeff Wall’s debut show at Gagosian, many new and previously unseen works will be on display. In the latest issue of Gagosian’s quarterly magazine, Wall discusses how his foray into black-and-white photography edges toward “near documentary,” although he continues to create elaborately staged and lit tableaux that are more akin to film sets.

Gagosian is at 522 West 21st Street.


Elodie Blanchard: Fabrications” at the French Institute
May 1–June 1

Installation view, courtesy of Elodie Blanchard.

Elodie Blanchard’s new installations at the French Institute create a whimsical landscape to engage visitors. Using a range of materials, such as plastic-textiles and soft fabrics, she creates upholstered furniture and sculptures. A series of graphic face masks are also on display, made of intricate layers of felt.

FIAF Gallery is at 22 East 60th Street, 1st floor.


Morgan O’Hara: Times Studies – Letterpoint – Silverpoint” at Anita Rogers Gallery
May 1–June 15

Morgan O' Hara, <em>TIME STUDY IN VENICE Week 6</em>. Courtesy of Anita Rogers Gallery.

Morgan O’ Hara, TIME STUDY IN VENICE Week 6. Courtesy of Anita Rogers Gallery.

Morgan O’Hara has been tracking how she spends each and every minute for the past 47 years, recording daily reports in small notebooks as part of an ongoing series called “Time Studies.” This careful documentation, complete with monthly summaries and annual reports, is being shown with the “Letter Press Editions” she has been making since 1978 and a selection of “Silverpoint Drawings” made on watercolor paper with black gesso. The artist also currently has solo shows in New York at Magdalena Keck through May 13 and at Mitchell Algus Gallery through June 2, collectively presenting six separate bodies of work.

Anita Rogers is at 15 Greene Street.


Chris Ofili: Dangerous Liaisons” at David Zwirner
May 1–June 15

Chris Ofili, Calypso 15, (2019) (detail). © Chris Ofili, courtesy of David Zwirner.

Chris Ofili, Calypso 15, (2019) (detail). © Chris Ofili, courtesy of David Zwirner.

Chris Ofili’s new exhibition is filled with works inspired by historic artists and writers, including Magritte, Shakespeare, and Homer. The works share a similar composition with some of Marc Chagall’s pastel and watercolor pieces, which the late artist also often made as companion pieces to literary works.

David Zwirner is at 34 East 69th Street.


Vanessa Thill: Cleave-To” at Larrie
May 2–June 9

Vanessa Thill, Plan for Tilting Up (2019), detail. Courtesy of Larrie.

Vanessa Thill, Plan for Tilting Up (2019), detail. Courtesy of Larrie.

Vanessa Thill lets alchemy take over when making her crystallized sculptures, for which she submerges paper into a primordial ooze of dollar-store cleaning supplies, foodstuffs, and other ingredients. As the mixture dries out, a hardened mass of paper, utterly transformed by forces beyond Thill’s control, emerges.

Larrie is at 27 Orchard Street.


“Louise Nevelson: Wood Assemblages From the 1970s” at Galerie Gmurzynska
May 2–June 15

"Louise Nevelson: Wood Assemblages From the 1970s." Photo courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

“Louise Nevelson: Wood Assemblages From the 1970s.” Photo courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Galerie Gmurzynska pairs Louise Nevelson’s wood assemblages—monochromatic works that exist at the intersection of Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, and Cubism—with her rarely seen collages.

Galerie Gmurkzynska is at 39 East 78th Street.


Ron Nagle: Getting to No” at Matthew Marks
May 2–June 15

Ron Nagle, New Collusion (2018). © Ron Nagle. Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery.

The veteran artist Ron Nagle is getting some overdue recognition, thanks to a big new show at Matthew Marks and an accompanying profile in the New York Times. His quirky, off-kilter sense of humor is seen in the cheeky titles of his perfectly imperfect sculptures.

Matthew Marks Gallery is lat 522 West 22nd Street


“Carolee Schneemann: Tooth and Paw” at P.P.O.W.
May 9–June 1

Carolee Schneemann, CS feeds La Nina, 2 months old, photo–Andy Archer (2016). Courtesy of P.P.O.W.

The late, great Carolee Schneemann lives on in the delightful correspondences that she gathered during her final years, and are now being published in a posthumous show at P.P.O.W. The works are accompanied by photographs of Schneemann’s cat, La Nina, sometimes pictured with Schneemann and sometimes alone, which will be accompanied by sculptures of La Nina in the gallery.

P.P.O.W is at 535 West 22nd Street


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