In addition to the big art fairs that happen during Frieze week, there is no shortage of museum and gallery shows. Here is Whitewaller‘s list of exhibitions you’ve got to see in New York.
MOMA PS1 Long Island City
April 15–September 3
The New York–based artist Julia Phillips offers glitches, suggestions, and sculpture in her first museum solo show. Based on the idea that our bodies are always and intimately entangled in political spaces, “Failure Detection” comprises six new commissions, alongside existing works. Phillips’s creations are mostly ceramic, featuring scenes and objects that support structures, avoid figuration, and emphasize impressions of human form. Phillips’s sculptures distribute and present bodies as fragments and her titles highlight the intangible presence of politics.
4 May–June 16
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
The Met Upper East Side
May 10–October 10
Sprawling through The Met Fifth Avenue and the uptown Met Cloisters location, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” examines the ongoing relationship between high fashion and high religion. Featuring approximately 40 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy and more than 150 examples of women’s and men’s ensembles, the exhibition situates fashion production among Christian materiality. Its placement in the medieval and Byzantine galleries of The Met and The Cloisters further addresses devotional practice and this rich dialogue between Catholicism and couture. Featured designers will include Azzedine Alaïa, Cristobal Balenciaga, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (for Dolce & Gabbana), John Galliano (for House of Dior), Elsa Schiaparelli, Donatella Versace (for Versace), and Madeleine Vionnet.
Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300-Now)
The Met Breuer, Upper East Side
March 21–July 22
How closely should sculpture imitate the human form? Through an examination of eight centuries of sculpture, “Like Life” offers a glimpse at how artists have sought to mimic the living, human body. Featuring works by Donatello, El Greco, Auguste Rodin, and Jeff Koons, among others, the exhibition draws together idealized sculpture, wax effigies, reliquaries, mannequins, and even anatomical models. It will flesh out an ongoing search for realism, the (sometimes morbid) desire to copy the human form, and the anxieties of approximating a human life.
Museum of Arts and Design Columbus Circle
January 25–August 12
“Sanctuary” introduces 50 works inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, a Jim Crow–era guidebook that listed safe destinations for black American travelers. At a time when open, itinerant travel was not an option for black Americans, The Negro Motorist Green Book provided access to leisure. “When I think about freedom in the truest sense of the word,” says curator Dexter Wimberly, “I’m struck by how relevant The Green Book still is today.” With this in mind, Derrick Adams activates the book’s history and devastating relevance in mixed-media collage, assemblage on wood panels, and largescale sculpture that reimagine the safe spaces of the mid-20th century.
“Portraits and Wonders”
Gagosian Gallery Upper East Side
May 8–June 23
“Portraits and Wonders” is an exhibition of new ink-and-wash paintings by Hao Liang, one of the foremost artists working in China today. In his first-ever solo exhibition in the United States (and with the gallery), he considers the dualities and simultaneities of East and West, incorporating the theories of Wassily Kandinsky and Dong Qichang, a Ming-era scholar. In the paintings, Hao combines artistic motifs from Ming and Song dynasty landscape paintings with elements of human anatomy and even modern film montages.
Before The Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s
Neue Galerie Upper East Side
March 8–May 28
On view through May 28, “Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s” presents nearly 150 paintings and works on paper that trace the artistic developments preceding the Second World War. As these artworks accompanied the beginnings of that chaotic and tragic period, they also foreshadowed and registered their context. The exhibition explores these responses to circumstance, as well as the fates of the artists and wider political affairs. Those artists include Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Oskar Kokoschka, and Alfred Kubin, in addition to many whose work has never before been exhibited in the United States. The exhibition is organized by Dr. Olaf Peters, University Professor at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg; it is the final show in the Peters-curated “German History” trilogy.
Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Upper East Side
February 9–May 9
Spiraling through the iconic Wright building, “Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away” presents a survey of Vo’s work from the past 15 years. Including more than 100 objects (installations, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper), the exhibition defies chronology, with the intention of refracting meanings across the rotunda. Specifically, Vo highlights U.S. and European intervention in South and Southeast Asia. He excavates objects that represent personal longing marred by historic context—objects found, deconstructed, and collaged. Entrenched in the imagination of capitalism and colonialism, thank-you notes from Henry Kissinger and personal, familial belongings are among the array.
Akari: Sculpture By Other Means
Noguchi Museum Long Island City
February 28–January 27, 2019
When Isamu Noguchi designed the 1986 United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, he had been forewarned not to include his famous Akari Lanterns. His artistic rejoinder was to create a new line of lanterns for the installation. Through January 27, 2019, the Noguchi Museum will celebrate that playful spirit. The Akari, as demonstrated by Noguchi’s lifelong exploration of their form, are emblematic of lightness, adaptability, inspiration, resolve, and the feeling of being “at home.” They represent, in Noguchi’s words, our growing appreciation for the “‘less-thingness’ of things, the less encumbered perception.”
Being: New Photography 2018
March 18–August 19
How can photography capture what it means to be human? In “Being: New Photography 2018,” MoMA searches for an answer. On view through August 19, 2018, the exhibition includes more than 80 new and recent works by 17 artists from eight countries. The works grapple with concepts of personhood, community, privacy, exposure, heritage, and more—which feel all the more pressing and personal in 2018. The artists, who are at various points in their careers, are all presenting at MoMA for the first time.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz
“Your Place Or Mine…”
The Jewish Museum Upper East Side
March 16–August 5
“Your Place or Mine…” is Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Chaimowicz emerged in early 1970s London, playfully synthesizing performance and installation art, while confronting politics, queer theory, and feminism. This large-scale survey presents 50 years of his cross-disciplinary work, organized around the theoretical dichotomies that propel him—artist and viewer, home and exhibition, past and present. It features painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles, and wallpaper, produced from 1978 to the present.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash Chelsea
April 12–May 19
The Kentucky-born artist Keltie Ferris reveals ten new paintings in (F(U(T( )U)R)E), her fourth show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash. Her new paintings, much like her previous work, call upon her signature spray gun, pointillism, and geometric shapes. Yet she departs from her earlier paintings through raised accumulations and “erasures.” The “erasures” have been wiped clean with rag-cloth and turpentine, guiding the viewer’s gaze toward areas of negation. These modifications open up new ways of seeing, but also capture moments of subtle deliberation.
Erez Nevi Pana
Friedman Benda Gallery Chelsea
May 3–June 9
Erez Nevi Pana’s first solo show in the United States, “Consciousness,” studies the impact of human interaction on the environment. Constructed from salt, asphalt, and plant fibers, the three series on view—“Bleached,” “Wasted,” and “Unravel”—interrupt, enhance, or combine naturally occurring processes. The highlight of the exhibition is “Bleached,” a project motivated by the impact of mineral extraction in the Dead Sea, in which Nevi Pana allowed unnatural objects to crystallize like coral formations. In imitating human influence, the artist evokes “intangible blueprints of our consciousness,” the way we mold our environment.
303 Gallery Chelsea
April 13–May 25
Inspired by conversations with the inventor of the mobile phone, Doug Aitken’s video installation NEW ERA grapples with the future of technology. What, Aitkin asks, could an age of absolute connectivity look like? The film’s protagonist, 89-year-old Martin Cooper, serves as a medium to explore a posthuman future, where nature and technology coexist. The viewer, in turn, “enters” the screen, joining Cooper’s world through an immersive experience. Both Cooper and the viewer are thus implicated in this dystopian future—one in which our very humanity has been altered.
The Whitney Museum Meatpacking District
March 2–June 10
Over the last three decades of her career, Zoe Leonard has created sculptures, photographs, and installations that reexamine and appreciate the familiar, constantly reframing our everyday. In this collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, “Survey” assesses the scope of Leonard’s outstanding achievements. It brings together about 100 works, including several significant loans, such as Strange Fruit. In this key piece, Leonard stitched together banana and orange peels as a response to the losses caused by the early AIDS crisis. Leonard has said of her wide-ranging attentions, “Rather than any one subject or genre . . . I was, and remain, interested in engaging in a simultaneous questioning of both subject and vantage point, the relation between viewer and the world.”
Lisson Gallery Chelsea
May 2–June 16
“Skoob Works” is Lisson Gallery’s first New York exhibition of work by the British artist John Latham (1921–2006). Although many visual artists have incorporated books into their work, “Skoob”—the title is a reversal of “books”—represents a uniquely consistent and deliberate exploration. He began using books as a medium in 1958, attracted to the possibility of consuming them spontaneously. The new exhibition will feature select early works, as well as some of his most seminal sculpture.
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Chelsea
April 14–June 2
The Berlin-based Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno presents a new body of work, spanning from sculpture and installation to interactive iPad application. Inspired by Alexander Calder, modernism, and avant-garde architecture, Saraceno probes our relationship to the environment—asking how we can live more sustainably. Following the New York show, various works by Saraceno will be featured in exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; MAAT, Lisbon; and Museum für Bildende Künste, Leipzig.
15 x 105 x 15
Judd Foundation SoHo
April 27–July 28
At 101 Spring Street, the Judd Foundation presents “15 x 105 x 15.” The exhibition celebrates the work of Donald Judd, one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, through an installation of 12 extruded aluminum works from 1991. It’s the only example of Judd’s use of the extrusion technique, which he employed to divide space in a logical, symmetrical manner. The works were also anodized in 12 different colors, ranging from black to turquoise to transparent. The show, which is about symmetry and variation, will be accompanied by a series of talks exploring Judd’s work.
“With a Trace”
Salon 94 Upper East Side
April 22–June 1
For Salon 94, Huma Bhabha presents a series of pastels relating to her commission for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garde,, in addition to new large photo-drawings and sculpture. Under the title “With a Trace,” Bhaba crafts spectral figures that occupy hybrid identities. Their forms represent Bhabha’s myriad interests in the ancient, modern, postmodern, and contemporary, alluding to current events, ancient Greek kouroi, African sculpture, Egyptian pharaohs, Giacometti, Picasso, Rauschenberg, and Richard Prince. Through their haunting representation and specific visual vocabulary, these unique renderings shed light on colonialism, war, displacement, and memories of place.
Sean Kelly Gallery Hudson Yards
May 5–June 16
“180 Faces” is an exhibition of 180 small-scale portraits by the Chinese artist Liu Wei, a leader in China’s “cynical realism” movement. Sean Kelly Gallery will display the portraits in alternating frames, sometimes with the glass intentionally shattered. Liu Wei’s works here delve into a distinct understanding of realness and artificiality. In these identically sized paintings, he depicts his own artistic impulse, filling them with his own emotion, rather that the visages of human figures. Satirical and seductive, his work constructs a balanced system, rather than aesthetic verisimilitude.
Cut Outs By Alex Katz
Paul Kasmin Gallery Chelsea
March 8–April 14
The solo sculpture exhibition “Cut Outs” presents Alex Katz’s ongoing study of surface, perception, and the human figure. Constructed in stainless and porcelain enamel coated steel, the figures in the series are strikingly flat, clean, and hard-edged. Emphasizing materiality, the works are informed by the visual vocabulary of Pop art and Abstract Expressionism. Since making his first cutout in 1959, Katz has employed this language to express his fascination with formal arrangement rather than storytelling.
“Sex & Death & Rock & Roll”
Blum & Poe Upper East Side
April 28–June 30
Dave Muller’s “Sex & Death & Rock & Roll” is the artist’s 10th solo show with Blum & Ploe and his first in New York in a decade. The Los Angeles-based artist will present over 50 new paintings featuring vinyl record labels. Exploring how music shapes our identity, Muller worked with albums from the ‘60s through the ‘90s. Paintings will be shown thematically across four sections: Sex, Death, Rock & Roll, and the Amper.