With Armory Week upon us, be sure to take some time away from the fairs to visit these museum and gallery shows around New York.
Arlene Shechet: Skirts
February 28–April 25, 2020
Pace Gallery present “Skirts,” its first solo exhibition of works by Arlene Shechet. Running concurrently with the Whitney Museum’s exhibition Making Knowing, which also features works by Shechet, Skirts brings together more than a dozen of the artist’s most recent sculptures, including large-scale works and a monumental outdoor piece, to be displayed on the second-floor galleries and terrace of Pace’s new flagship building at 540 West 25th street.
Bharti Kher: The Unexpected Freedom of Chaos
February 22–April 11, 2020
Perrotin New York presents “The Unexpected Freedom of Chaos,” a solo exhibition by New Delhi based artist Bharti Kher. The artist brings a fresh display of a widely heterogenous practice to New York after a gap of 8 years. New York is no longer the same city when Bharti Kher showed here last. But as someone who believes that “change is the very nature of our bodies,” Kher is here to remind us that she is not the same artist either. In this latest encounter between artist and the city, the animal is still displaced but now morphed into an intentional absurdity. The bindi remains, in its rigorous ubiquity, but its surface no longer ensconced, comes to us instead as something broken, and fittingly then, as viewers will see in fluxes of time such as these—as something powerful. It comes as an unexpected freedom of chaos.
Bisa Butler: The Storm, the Whirlwind, and the Earthquake
Claire Oliver Gallery
February 29–April 25, 2020
Claire Oliver Gallery debuts a solo exhibition by artist Bisa Butler,” The Storm, the Whirlwind and the Earthquake.” Butler’s textile portraits of people of color are created from layers of brightly colored fabrics with a multiplicity of meanings. Butler’s composite characters are inspired by historical photography; the resulting images are rendered life-sized with viewers often engaging the subjects eye to eye.
Jeffrey Gibson: When Fire Is Applied to a Stone It Cracks
The Brooklyn Museum
February 14, 2020–January 10, 2021
More than two years ago, the Brooklyn Museum invited artist Jeffrey Gibson to create an exhibition of Native American objects chosen from the Museum’s extensive collection. Gibson, an artist of Choctaw and Cherokee descent, spent months diving into and researching the Museum’s collections and archives. The resulting installation, which spans three galleries in the Arts of the Americas wing, challenges long-held representations that have stereotyped Indigenous peoples and Native American art, thereby offering a more joyous narrative of survival and self-determination.
Jennifer Guidi: Gemini
February 28–April 4, 2020
In “Gemini”—named for her own astrological sign—Guidi explores dualities: light and darkness, abstraction and figuration, science and mysticism. Viewers first encounter this focus in the twinned snakes of To Protect and Hold You Up (2019). Tracing links between cosmic and earthly forces, Guidi finds symmetry in opposition. In seven diptychs featuring triangular and circular canvases, the colors correspond to those of the chakras, a system of circular energy centers located in the body that inspires Guidi’s artistic and meditative practices alike.
José Parlá: It’s Yours
February 26 to August 16, 2020
The Bronx Museum of the Arts presents an exhibition focusing on a series of new large-scale paintings by José Parlá. This is the first solo museum exhibition of the internationally renowned artist in New York City. The new paintings evoke the artist’s personal connection to the Bronx, as well as the borough’s influence, which has helped to shape how Parlá views painting history and cities around the world. “José Parlá: It’s Yours” is organized by guest curator Manon Slome.
March 1–July 11, 2020
“Judd” is the first major US retrospective dedicated to the work of Donald Judd (1928–1994) in over three decades. Presented solely at MoMA, the exhibition explores the remarkable vision of an artist who revolutionized the history of sculpture, highlighting the full scope of Judd’s career through 70 works in sculpture, painting, drawing, and prints, from public and private collections in the US and abroad.
Misha Kahn: Soft Bodies, Hard Spaces
February 27 – April 4, 2020
Friedman Benda presents Misha Kahn’s third solo show at the gallery. In “Soft Bodies, Hard Spaces,” the Brooklyn-based artist exploits innovative processes across different media to propose an alternative environment, reflecting our natural sense of being. The exhibition title references Kahn’s interest in the incongruity of what he refers to as our “strange, soft bodies” within the “hard, violent right angles” in which we reside. “Our entire material culture constantly places images of the natural world in rectangular frames and builds textures that riff off the tension between our constructed civilization and our desire to escape it,” he says.
Tanya Merrill: Woman Laughing Alone in the Woods at Night
February 29—March 28, 2020
In Tanya Merrill’s work, an amorphous cast of characters time hop through art history, folklore and mythology. Let’s consider the curious composition of an 18th century gentleman cuddling his rifle as the world burns behind him. Contemporizing history, Tanya Merrill’s painting Man with Gun highlights a lustful embrace of firearms by scrolling back to the days of Second Amendment drafting. The figure’s excessive affection for his weapon eschews the macho pose of an NRA member for the love affair beneath it.