With summer quickly drawing to a close, that means there’s only a limited amount of time to see art exhibitions around the city. From painting to performance art, there is a lot is happening around the five boroughs this time of year. Here are five must see NYC art shows to see before summer is over.
All Over the Moon Laurel Sparks, Lily Stockman, and Richard Tinkler at Cheim and Read
All Over the Moon features the work of art heavy hitters Laurel Sparks, Lily Stockman, and Richard Tinkler. Each painter’s unique approach to abstraction has come together in this group show to further parse the way painting is thought of, and how each of these artists approach their canvases. While this is a group show, each artists’ work is on view in a separate gallery space, giving you a wider sense of their versatility and their studio practice. Sparks is known for incorporating a variety of mediums into her paintings from beads, papier-mâché and gold leaf which often creates patterns that become abstracted. Stockman has a more minimalist approach often filling her canvas with simple shapes that are offset by bold color choices. Tinkler’s works which are often done in just a day, incorporate symmetry, abstraction, and bold patterns and shapes that are offset by the lush images he creates. All Over the Moon is on view until August 31 at Cheim and Read.
The Incomplete Araki: Sex, Life, and Death at The Museum of Sex
Over the last three years, the Museum of Sex has continued to surprise viewers with an ever-changing rotation of fascinating exhibitions. This show at the Museum of Sex is no different and continues to push the bounds between sexuality and art in complicated ways. The Incomplete Araki: Sex, Life, and Death, features the work of Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. Ar?k?, as he is also known, has become famous within the fine art world and beyond for photographing women in often highly suggestive sexual scenes that often incorporates kinbaku-bi, a kind of Japanese knot art. The exhibition showcases over 400 books, 150 prints and 500 hundred Polaroids from this prolific and often controversial artist. It is on view until August 31.
Land: Zhang Huan and Li Binyuan at PS1
PS1 has been always a cut above the rest when it comes to showcasing ground breaking contemporary art. In Land, this exciting performance art survey features the work of established artist Zhang Huan and emerging artist Li Binyuan. Together they address larger issues surrounding the body and the contemporary state of China and more. The tension between urban and rural spaces, and other elements dealing with the political and personal are also explored within the context of this show. Where Huan has been a pioneer within the performance art world, Binyuan work is both a response and an attempt to push beyond the bounds of how performance art functions and the way it has come to be thought of today. Land is on view until September 3.
Notes from Downtown, Jonas Mekas at James Fuentes
James Fuentes is one gallery that is always surprising viewers with interesting and bold shows even during off times of the year. Notes from Downtown does not disappoint. This exhibition features a 1990 video piece by artist and writer Jonas Mekas as well as a series of film still photographs, and portraits of John Lennon over a thirty-year period. The show brings together a number of elements drawing on video documentation, and photograph, while also touching on themes of ephemera and nostalgia. The show also features more contemporary work by the artist as well. The exhibition open to the public until September 5.
History Refused to Die at the Met
Featuring over thirty works in various mediums from paintings to quilts, History Refused to Die, explores the larger artistic contributions of self-taught African American artists. The show features work by Thornton Dial as well as some of the now famous quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama including Annie Mae Young, Lucy Mingo and Loretta Pettway among others. The exhibition brings together everyday objects and more traditional art pieces to further explore the African American experience in this very political fraught moment. It seamlessly weaves personal and cultural histories to offer a larger commentary on issues of oppression, power, and more. It is on view until September 23.
These five shows represent some of the best work that is up right now. With fall right around the corner, and the art world gearing up for an intense exhibition calendar, these shows offer a much-needed breath of fresh air. Be sure to check these NYC art shows out and learn something in the process!
About the author:
Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.