8 Gallery Shows Not to Miss This Fall in New York, From New Louise Lawler Work at Metro Pictures to a Karma Show Curated by Hilton Als

Galleries are preparing for a return to in-person art this season.

Lisa Yuskavage, Yellow Studio (2021). © Lisa Yuskavage. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

This is the first fall in a while where we may see genuine foot traffic across New York—and the city’s galleries are ready for it. While many are still shying away from the full-on public openings of yesteryear, this is the season that might come closest yet to jumping back into the fold.

To help you choose what to see, we rounded up a range of exhibitions, from established artists to the emerging, giving a scope of not only who should be on your radar, but who you should continue to pay attention to.

Here are 8 gallery shows we’re looking forward to seeing.


“Get Lifted!” (Organized by Hilton Als)
Karma, 22 East 2nd Street
August 19ºOctober 2

Installation view from “Get Lifted!” organized by Hilton Als. Courtesy Karma, New York.

Organized by critic and curator Hilton Als, this group exhibition brings together 31 artists in an homage to the life-affirming qualities of the creative process. Diane Arbus, Peter Hujar, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Ana Mendieta, and Kelley Walker are among the figures featured in the show which pays tribute to the restorative power of art and art making.


PAGE (NYC) at Petzel
Petzel Gallery, 35 East 67th Street
September 8–October 30

Leigh Ruple, The Chess Game (2021). Courtesy of the artist and PAGE (NYC).

Debuting new works by up-and-coming artists on the international circuit, this group show is born from a collaboration between the young downtown gallery PAGE (NYC) and seasoned powerhouse Petzel. For the occasion, Petzel head of media Lucas Page stepped in to curate the edgy presentation at the gallery’s townhouse location on the Upper East Side, which features rising stars such as Magnus Andersen, Freida Toranza Jaeger, and Agnes Scherer.


“John Akomfrah: Five Murmurations”
Lisson Gallery, 508 West 24th Street
September 9–October 16

John Akomfrah, FIVE MURMURATIONS (2021). © Smoking Dogs Films. Courtesy Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery.

The renowned British filmmaker debuts new video work—his longest continuous-running project to date—that was originally begun in March 2020 amid the global lockdown. Mounted across a three-screen installation, the work is a meditation on the recent chaos sparked by the trio of crises we presently face: the pandemic, systemic racism, and climate change. Akomfrah recorded the film in real time with the intent to “document and reflect the current condition” through a “filmic archive of today.”


“Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings”
David Zwirner, 533 West 19th Street
September 9–October 23

Lisa Yuskavage, Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture (2018-2020). © Lisa Yuskavage. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

Yuskavage presents two new distinct groups of paintings to mark her seventh solo outing at David Zwirner. Of particular note are four brightly colored, large-scale compositions, all portraying a studio space, and drawing upon Yuskavage’s own artistic history, particularly the early works from her 1990s “Bad Baby” series. The prolific painter shows no signs of slowing down: she is also the subject of a concurrent exhibition at Baltimore Museum of Art (through September 19), which traveled to Maryland after a year-long stint at the ultra-trendy Aspen Art Museum.


“Bruce Conner and Jay DeFeo: we are not what we seem”
Paula Cooper, 524 West 26th Street
September 9–October 23

Bruce Conner, THE WHITE ROSE (still) (1967). © Conner Family Trust, San Francisco, © 2021 The Jay DeFeo Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The first-ever exhibition to showcase Bruce Conner and Jay DeFeo side by side shines a spotlight on the lasting impact of the pair’s long friendship, first forged in 1950s San Francisco amid the Beat Generation’s heyday. Each became instrumental in the other’s artistic development, with Conner eventually making a short film (installed in the screening room) centered around DeFeo’s creation of The Rose, her pivotal and best-known painting (and arguable masterpiece). Also on view are drawings, collages, photographs, and photocopies that further demonstrate how their kinship was fundamental in shaping both Conner and DeFeo into pioneering artists.


Diane Simpson
JTT, 191 Chrystie Street
September 9–October 23

Diane Simpson, Three Windows (NYC) (2020). Courtesy of the artist and JTT, New York.

The Chicago-based sculptor has been enjoying a Renaissance of sorts over the last decade, despite having actively been making art since the late 1970s. Renewed appreciation for Simpson’s work saw her participate in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, followed by her U.K. debut in a 2020 solo at Nottingham Contemporary. Now, for Simpson’s third exhibition at JTT, the artist continues in the vein of crafting sculptures sourced from everyday materials, including plywood and clothing, to reflect her ongoing interest in the domestic versus industrial spheres.


Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
Luhring Augustine, 531 West 24th Street
September 10–October 23

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. The Instrument of Troubled Dreams (2018). © Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller; Courtesy of the artists and Luhring Augustine, New York.

In their fifth solo exhibition at the gallery, the longtime artist duowho have been collaborating since 1995present three bodies of recent work executed in the pair’s signature immersive, multi-sensory style. This includes a brand new series of small oil paintings that subvert the traditional landscape composition: Each is outfitted with two speakers and a button that brings the canvas to life when pressed by emitting an alternating soundtrack of music, sound effects, and voices.


“Louise Lawler: Lights Off, After Hours, In the Dark”
Metro Pictures, 519 West 24th Street
September 16–October 16

Louise Lawler, Untitled (Sfumato) (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

For what will be one of the final shows at Metro Pictures before the historic gallery closes its doors, Louise Lawler has produced a new series of photographs capturing Donald Judd’s 2020 exhibition at MoMA in New York. The Pictures Generation artist snapped the photos over the course of two evenings, during which she was given access to the museum after hours, and was able to use long exposures to create quiet, atmospheric works punctuated by light sources—exit signs, skylights, and hallways—within MoMA’s architecture.

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