Here Are 51 New York Gallery Shows That You Need to (Somehow) See This September
There's no shortage of great art in New York this fall.
The editors at artnet News searched New York City high and low for the most exciting, bizarre, and thought-provoking gallery exhibitions this fall. From Chelsea to the Lower East Side, we’ve got you covered.
1. “Tom Sachs: Objects of Devotion” at Sperone Westwater
Tom Sachs brings together several recent bodies of work—his DIY takes on the boombox, the space program, and Japanese tea ceremonies (appearing later this month at a survey show at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas)—in a cabinet of curiosities-style show inspired by the European tradition of the wunderkammern. It’s one of two exhibitions opening at the gallery that night, the other being “William Wegman: Dressed and Undressed.”
257 Bowery, September 5–October 28, 2017; opening reception September 28, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
2. “Tom Burckhardt: STUDIO FLOOD” at Pierogi
As the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, Tom Burckhardt grapples with the legacy of the devastating storm with an installation inspired by those artists he knew whose studios were affected by the storm. Burckhardt has built an upside down studio from cardboard and black paint, the flooded space hanging above viewers’ heads.
155 Suffolk Street, September 6–October 8, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
3. “Ruptura” at Luciana Brito-NY Project
Brazil’s Luciana Brito Galeria launches its new New York location with an exhibition of historic work from São Paulo’s Grupo Ruptura. The founders the Brazilian concrete art movement in the 1950s, Ruptura was part of an effort to break away from the country’s naturalistic style of painting through geometric abstraction. The exhibition’s over 50 works will include drawings, paintings, sculptures, objects, photographs, furniture, and architectural and landscaping designs.
186 Franklin Street, September 6–November 6, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
4. “Wardell Milan: PERSONA” at Project for Empty Space
Themes such as queerness, mental illness, fetish, and capitalistic value systems recur in Wardell Milan’s work. This solo show at Project for Empty Space pairs large-scale mixed media drawings from the Tennessee-born artist’s “A Series of Inspiring Women” (2012–2019) with new work created during his residency at the nonprofit gallery space.
2 Gateway Center, Newark, New Jersey, September 6–October 15, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
5. “Polly Apfelbaum: The Potential of Women” at Alexander Gray Associates
At her first show at Alexander Gray Associates, Polly Apfelbaum shows a selection of new gouache drawings, hand-woven rugs, and wall-mounted ceramics, including an immersive environment on the gallery’s second-floor. The show’s central motif is an image appropriated from graphic designer Rudolph de Harek’s cover design for The Potential of Woman. Published on the occasion of a 1963 symposium of the same name, the book’s patronizing thesis envisioned a future where women might contribute to society. Apfelbaum, as you might expect, takes a more feminist view.
510 West 26th Street, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
6. “Rosalyn Drexler: Occupational Hazard” at Garth Greenan
Rosalyn Drexler, known for her politically charged Pop art, has been exhibiting her artwork since the 1950s. In her new show, Garth Greenan is focusing on the more surreal paintings she’s been making since 1986. Many of the compositions feature menacing, often masked figures, an interchangeable cast of criminals, businessmen, and politicians.
545 West 20th Street, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
7. “Celeste Dupuy-Spencer: Wild and Blue” at Marlborough Contemporary
This is the first New York solo show of West Coast-based painter Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, one of the breakout stars of this year’s Whitney Biennial. Her canvases are infused with personal narratives that take place between Upstate New York and New Orleans, weaving in references to family and friends, along with broader themes of social and political events.
545 West 25th Street, September 7–October 7, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
8. “Christian Marclay: Phones” at Paula Cooper Gallery
Paula Cooper Gallery breaks out early work by Christian Marclay, including Boneyard, an installation of 750 hydrostone casts of telephone receivers scattered across the gallery floor like skeletal remains.
521 West 21st Street, September 7–October 7, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
9. “Tiffany Chung: The Unwanted Population” at Tyler Rollins Fine Art
The current refugee crisis has inspired Tiffany Chung to create cartographic work that documents the displacement of people around the globe. Based on extensive academic research and ethnographic fieldwork, Chung’s drawings serve as historical records as well as visual objects.
529 West 20th Street, 10W, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
10. “Borinquen Gallo: Like a Jungle Orchid for a Lovestruck Bee” at Burning in Water
Bronx-based Puerto Rican-Italian artist Borinquen Gallo painstakingly weaves red and yellow caution tape, construction tarps, garbage bags, and other unconventional materials into richly textured sculptures and installations. It’s a process that can take weeks or even months.
317 10th Avenue (at West 28th Street), September 7–November 15, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
11. “Lin Tianmiao: Protruding Patterns” at Galerie Lelong
For her exhibition at Galerie Lelong, Lin Tianmiao presents a selection of woven wool carpets, allowing viewers to touch and even walk on her vibrant textiles for the first time. The carpets are embroidered with 2,000 phrases used to describe women, many derogatory, that the artist has encountered in numerous languages over the last six years.
528 West 26th Street, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
12. “Alex Sewell: Hookey” at TOTAH
Alex Sewell’s most recent works explore our fascination with celebrity mortality. Playing “hookey” from death, Sewell presents paintings of Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and Brian Jones’s gravestones. Other pop culture and art historical references abound, from King Arthur and Excalibur to Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s graffiti.
183 Stanton Street, September 7–October 8, 2017; opening reception 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
13. “Louise Fishman” at Cheim and Read
Throughout her more than 50-year-long career, Louise Fishman has continually pushed herself “to keep discovering and to keep changing,” according to a quote from the artist in the exhibition’s press release. In new paintings created in 2016 and 2017, she has worked with oil, watercolor, egg tempera, colored pencil, ink, and graphite, applying pigment to canvas in a variety of ways.
547 West 25th Street, September 7–October 28, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
14. “Paul Shore: Draw Home” at C.G. Boerner
Over the last four years, Paul Shore has obsessively documented the contents of his apartment, creating 792 drawings, 13 prints, and 13 sculptures, which collectively represent every object in his home. After being shown in its entirety this spring at Vermont’s Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, the series—which functions both as still life and a deeply personal portrait—gets a New York outing at C.G. Boerner.
526 West 26th Street, Room 304; September 7–October 14, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–9 p.m.
15. “Mira Schendel: Sarrafos and Black and White Works” at Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth presents “Mira Schendel” Sarrafos and Black and White Works,” an exhibition organized by Olivier Renaud-Clément focusing on the last two series in the career of Brazilian artist Mira Schendel (1919–1988). In her “Sarrafos” (1987) and “Brancos e Pretos” (1985–87) series, among her last works, Schendel attempted to blur the boundaries of painting and sculpture.
32 East 69th Street, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
16. “Iran do Espírito Santo: SHIFT” at Sean Kelly
Brazilian minimalist Iran do Espírito Santo has multiplied standard industrial nuts and bolts to 20 times their normal size for a series of large-scale screw sculptures. He’s also employed a team of four to create massive, hyper-detailed wall drawings, an installation process that has taken several weeks to complete.
475 Tenth Avenue, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
17. “Stanley Whitney: Drawings” at Lisson Gallery
The first major exhibition of Stanley Whitney’s drawings showcases his consummate understanding of color in works dating from 1989 to the present. Working with a wide array of materials—colored pencil, graphite, acrylic marker, and crayon, on a variety of surfaces—Whitney experiments with structure, adopting a more precise grid as the years go by.
138 Tenth Avenue, September 7–October 21, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
18. “Jordan Casteel: Nights in Harlem” at Casey Kaplan
The Denver native Jordan Casteel (born 1989) moved to Harlem in 2015 for the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Artist-in-Residence Program. For her first show at Casey Kaplan, she shows the larger-than-life portraits she painted of men living in her new neighborhood.
121 West 27th Street, September 7–October 28, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
19. “Eric Helvie: O” at Massey Lyuben Gallery
Any Instagram user knows the frustration of a slowly loading feed, those images of avocado toast and perfectly framed sunsets replaced with an indistinct blur and the outline of a white circle. For his latest body of work, Eric Helvie has translated those transitional social media moments, drawn from his own Instagram feed, into richly colored oil paintings. This uniquely abstract form of photorealism forces the impatient viewer to disengage with their phones, slow down, and engage with the art.
531 West 25th Street, September 7–October 7, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
20. “Robert Motherwell: Early Paintings” at Paul Kasmin
The first show in New York of Robert Motherwell‘s early paintings traces his evolution from Surrealist tinged works to the Expressionist canvases for which he is best known.
515 West 27th Street, September 7–October 28, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
21. “Pat Steir: Kairos” at Lévy Gorvy
For her first show at Lévy Gorvy, Pat Steir debuts more than a dozen new works, including five 11-foot-tall oil paintings. The show title refers to a propitious moment of decision and comes from an Anne Waldman poem, “Trance Abyss,” which was written in response to the works.
909 Madison Avenue, September 7–October 28, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
22. “Tim Bengel: Monuments” at HG Contemporary
Tim Bengel has become somewhat of a YouTube sensation for the process videos featuring his unique technique of painting with sand and gold leaf. After tirelessly gluing individual grains of sand to blank canvases—each work can take up to 300 hours to complete—he reveals his intricate composition by standing up the canvas and letting the excess sand fall away, unveiling the image below. At the opening of his first New York solo show, the German artist will replicate this dramatic reveal live and in person for his newest piece.
527 West 23rd Street, September 7–October 3, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
23. “Amanda Ross-Ho: My Pen Is Huge” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Ross-Ho turned Mitchell-Innes & Nash into her studio for the month of August, working in the gallery to create new paintings and sculptures for her upcoming exhibition. The central motif will be the clock, featured in 12 large-scale paintings made last month based on drawings produced over the past year—compressing a year’s worth of work into just 31 days.
534 West 26th Street, September 7–October 14, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
24. “Kara Walker: Sikkema Jenkins and Co. is Compelled to present The most Astounding and Important Painting show of the fall Art Show viewing season!” at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
In her enigmatic artist’s statement, which acknowledged the polarizing nature of her work, Kara Walker revealed that her upcoming show features “works on paper and on linen, drawn and collaged using ink, blade, glue and oil stick,” created over the course of the summer.
530 West 22nd Street, New York, September 7–October 14, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
25. “Love, Loss & Longing: B.D. White” at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery
B.D. White, who suffered a spinal cord injury as a teenager, creates street art—with his fair share of run-ins with the law—despite being confined to a wheelchair. Expect a strong turn out of his fellow street artists at the opening of White’s first gallery show.
98 Orchard Street, September 7–October 10, 2017; opening reception, 7 p.m.–10 p.m.
26. “Thomas Eggerer: Todd” at Petzel
In his new series of works, Thomas Eggerer has painted the city streets in aerial view, extreme closeups that pay unusually close attention to this often overlooked element of the city landscape. “The street floor,” notes the exhibition description, “is not treated like a part of the urban arena but rather like a natural domestic habitat.”
456 West 18th Street, September 8–October 14, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
27. “Aneta Bartos: Family Portrait” at Postmasters
In her show at Postmasters, Aneta Bartos shares intimate Polaroid and black-and-white photographs of herself with her father, an aging bodybuilder who lives in Poland.
54 Franklin Street, September 8–October 14, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
28. “Phillip Buehler: (un)thinkable” at Front Room Gallery
For the last 25 years, Phillip Buehler has traveled the US and Europe, photographing military bases, missile bunkers, fallout shelters, and other historic sites connected to the Cold War, many of which have been forgotten.
48 Hester Street, September 8–October 1, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
29. “Barbara Kasten: Parti Pris” at Bortolami Gallery
The title of Barbara Kasten’s new exhibition “Parti Pris,” takes its name from the architectural term that describes a project’s chief organizing principle. The octogenarian will show three recent bodies of work, including Parallels, her first freestanding sculpture since the ’70s, and colorful large-scale photographs from her “Collisions” series.
39 Walker Street (between Church and Broadway), September 8–October 21, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
30. “Petra Cortright: human sheep brain ‘alice in wonderland’ Americana” at Foxy Production
Petra Cortright’s large-scale paintings, on linen and aluminum, are digital creations. Collaging together imagery sourced from the internet, she creates work that, despite its electronic origins, looks surprisingly like traditional oil painting.
2 East Broadway, 200, September 8–October 8, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
31. “Trevor Paglen: A Study of Invisible Images” at Metro Pictures
Trevor Paglen takes a break from exploring the shadowy realm of government surveillance to tackle the equally terrifying topic of artificial intelligence, working with facial recognition algorithms and training computers to generate images of their own.
519 West 24th Street, September 8–October 21, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
32. “Tamar Ettun: Eat a Pink Owl” at Fridman Gallery
In her tetralogy, Mauve Bird with Yellow Teeth Red Feathers Green Feet and a Rose Belly, Tamar Ettun explores the relationship between colors and emotions—here, in the work’s third part, pink represents aggression—through sculptural installations, performance, video, and works on paper.
287 Spring Street, September 9–October 14, 2017
33. “Cerith Wyn Evans: Hot Wax Play” at Century Pictures
Cerith Wyn Evans’s glass and crystal chandelier sculptures—manufactured by Galliano Ferro, a Venetian lighting specialist working on the island of Murano—flash on and off, transmitting a variety of messages in Morse code. Recognizing that most viewers will be unable to decode the meaning, the artist has chosen texts ranging from poetry to a guide to BDSM, reducing each subject to nothing more than the somewhat hypnotic blinking on and off of an ornamental light fixture.
1329 Willoughby Avenue, 131, Brooklyn, September 9–October 22, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
34. “Rosa Menkman: Behind White Shadows” at TRANSFER
Virtual reality moves beyond the headset in Rosa Menkman’s upcoming exhibition, which sees her piece DCT:SYPHONING. The 1000000th (64th) interval, featuring 3-D environments, projected onto a 14-foot tall sculpture inspired by Yugoslavia’s futuristic looking postwar Spomenik monuments.
1030 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, September 9–October 14, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–10 p.m.
35. “Peter Saul: Fake News” at Mary Boone Gallery
On the heels of his first career-long survey show in Europe, Peter Saul’s latest series are consistent with his irreverent, kitschy style. Masterpieces like Rembrandt’s Nightwatch are reimagined with cartoon characters running amok in lieu of grandiose historical narratives, as Saul considers the era of “fake news” in the media.
541 West 24 Street, September 9–October 28, 2017
36. “Rachel Hecker: Exhibition Title Goes Here” at yours mine & ours
In her first New York solo show, Rachel Hecker brings new importance to mundane objects, carefully rendering cigarette butts, garden gnomes, and expiration date stickers while painting with an airbrush tool. This absurdity carries over to her chapel-like installation venerating a celebrity version of Jesus Christ, featuring paintings of the deity inspired by representations of rock stars.
54 Eldridge Street, September 10–October 22, 2017; opening reception 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
37. “Ruth Asawa” at David Zwirner
In their first Ruth Asawa (1926–2013) show since announcing representation of the artist’s estate earlier this year, David Zwirner will present a selection of her delicate looped-wire sculptures, as well as paintings, works on paper, and rare archival materials.
537 West 20th Street, September 13–October 27, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
38. “Olivia Locher: I Fought the Law” at Steven Kasher Gallery
For her first New York solo show, Olivia Locher presents a suite of 50 photos, each one depicting the violation of an obscure, bizarre law, such as Alabama’s seemingly unnecessary prohibition against carrying ice cream cones in your back pocket.
515 West 26th Street, September 14–October 21, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
39. “Mikiko Hara: In the Blink of an Eye, 1996–2009” at Miyako Yoshinaga
A selection of 20 color photographs taken by Mikiko Hara between 1996 and 2009 feature quietly captivating scenes from everyday life. In her portraits of people walking the streets of Tokyo and its suburbs, the artist has elevated simple snapshots into surprisingly emotional tableaux.
547 West 27th Street, September 14–October 21, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
40. “Julian Schnabel: Re-reading” at Almine Rech
With Walt Whitman as his inspiration, Julian Schnabel presents a series of new works that reproduce found images, expanding on the traditional definition of painting. Identifying himself as a “reader,” Schnabel describes his process of replicating the mark-making of others as “really a Whitman-esque concept where all things have an equality and can be interchangeable in some way.”
39 East 78th Street, September 14–October 14, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
41. “Stephen Wilkes: Day to Night” at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
In mesmerizing large-scale photographs, Stephen Wilkes captures the passing of an entire day in some of the world’s most beautiful places—the sun rising and setting at once through the magic of composite imagery. Each scene takes months of research and scouting, and a full day of shooting from a fixed perspective overlooking sites such as the Vatican in Rome and Brazil’s Ipanema Beach.
505 West 24th Street, September 14–November 1, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
42. “The WPA: Save the NEA” at Washburn Gallery
As part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided work for more than 5,000 artists through the Federal Art Project. In the first exhibition at Washburn Gallery‘s new Chelsea location, see work from artists who participated in the program, including Philip Guston, Stuart Davis, and Jackson Pollock. The showstopper will be Ilya Bolotowsky’s 1980 recreation of his 17-foot-long 1936 Mural for the Williamsburg Housing Project.
177 Tenth Avenue, September 14–October 28, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
43. “Alois Kronschlaeger: New York” at Cristin Tierney
Alois Kronschlaeger pulls hand-dyed Merino wool through and across aluminum mesh to create his Constructionist-tinged fiber works. Displayed in the round stacked in a 12-foot-tower, or on hinged frames, these pieces cry out to be seen in person, where they cast dramatic shadows and shift in appearance depending on the viewing angle.
540 West 28th Street, September 14–October 28, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
44. “John Hoyland: Stain Paintings, 1964–1966” at Pace Gallery
Abstract British painter John Hoyland (1934–2011) has his first show at Pace, and first US show in 25 years. A selection of monumental paintings and works on paper made following the artist’s first visit to the US in 1964, showcase a key period in his career.
32 East 57th Street, September 15–October 21, 2017; opening reception and discussion of the artist’s career from gallery founder Arne Glimcher and art critic and curator Mel Gooding, 6 p.m. RSVP necessary.
45. “Diana Al-Hadid: Falcons’ Fortress” at Marianne Boesky Gallery
The surreal appearance of Diana Al-Hadid’s sculptures and wall panels is the result of the artist’s unique process, which transforms paint into an almost architectural material. In other works, where she rotates her canvases, interlocking drips flowing in different directions take on the appearance of the warp and weft of a woven fabric. For a piece made during last month’s solar eclipse, Al-Hadid recreated a time-telling device from 13th-century Islamic inventor Al-Jazari, creating a sculpture based on the melting of her gypsum version of his “Candle Clock of the Swordsman.”
509 West 24th Street, September 16–October 21, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
46. “Lisa Brice: Boundary Girl” at Salon 94
Female nudity abounds in the work of South African artist Lisa Brice, divorcing women’s sexuality from the confines of the male gaze. For her first New York solo show, she presents a selection of all new paintings and works on paper.
243 Bowery, September 16–October 28, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
47. “Elia Alba: The Supper Club” at the 8th Floor
Since 2012, artist Elia Alba has been hosting socially engaged dinner parties, encouraging her guests, who are largely artists of color, to discuss themes such as “Black Female Subjectivitiy” and “Baltimore, Race, and Identity,” (a response to the death of Freddie Gray). Alba takes photos of diners, who have included LaToya Ruby Frazier and Michalene Thomas, in the style of Vanity Fair’s “Hollywood Issue,” which has historically lacked diversity.
17 West 17th Street, September 21, 2017–January 12, 2018; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
48. “Susan Cianciolo: RUN PRAYER, RUN CAFÉ, RUN LIBRARY” at Bridget Donahue
Susan Cianciolo is showing on both sides of the Atlantic this fall, with an exhibition split between New York’s Bridget Donahue and London’s Modern Art gallery. On the Lower East Side, the artist invites viewers to enter three tent-like structures: a cafe serving tea, a library stocked with Cianciolo’s handmade books, and a plant-filled prayer room.
99 Bowery, 2nd Floor, September 21–December 3, 2017.
49. “Ashley Bickerton” at FLAG Art Foundation
Ashley Bickerton, who got his start in New York’s East Village art in the 1980s and now lives in Bali, gets his first US survey of his painting, photography, and sculpture. A recurring theme in Bickerton’s work is the impending apocalypse, as explored in his late ’80s and early ’90s sculptures that serve as bizarre survival kits stocked with such essentials as canned sturgeon, an Elvis costume, and alcohol.
545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, September 23–December 16, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
50. “Karina Aguilera Skvirsky: The Perilous Journey of María Rosa Palacios” at Smack Mellon
In 2015, Karina Aguilera Skviersky documented her journey across Ecuador, traveling by mule, by riverboat, and by foot. It was a recreation of the path taken in 1906 by the artist’s great-grandmother, then just 14 years old, shortly before the completion of a railroad route connecting the highlands and the coast. The resulting film is part documentary, part fiction, touching on a family history with wider resonance through timely issues of global identity.
92 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, September 23–November 5, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
51. “Duke Riley: Now Those Days Are Gone” at Magnan Metz
For his fifth show with Magnan Metz, Duke Riley is taking over both the gallery and the space across the street (formerly home to Robert Miller Gallery) to show works documenting and inspired by his 2016 Creative Time performance piece Fly by Night. The artist housed thousands of pigeons on a historic boat at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, outfitting them with miniature LED lights and releasing them at dusk each night. A series of large-scale, seemingly abstract photographs capture the trails of white light left in the night sky by the flock, while 1,000 hand-painted, embroidered works offer portraits of the individual birds.
521 West 26th Street and 524 West 26th Street, September 27–October 21, 2017; opening reception, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.
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