12 Incredible Group Shows to See in New York This Summer
As summer kicks into high gear and the art market quiets down, contemporary galleries take the opportunity to experiment with innovative group exhibitions. From introducing young and emerging talent to exploring contemporary political and social issues, these are the must-see exhibitions of the season.
1. “Abstract, Representational, and So Forth”
The many dimensions of contemporary ceramics are on view in this vibrant show at Gladstone Gallery’s Chelsea space. Referencing traditional forms such as the relief, mosaic, and bust, these abstract artworks interact within the white-cube gallery space—both as support for the works as well as a feature in itself. Visitors can see works by ceramic masters such as Rosemarie Trockel and Betty Woodman as well as artists not typically associated with the medium, including Sarah Crowner and Mary Heilmann.
When: Through July 26
Where: 515 West 24th Street
Throughout art history, we have been inundated with heterosexual depictions of intimacy. Now, corresponding to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Perrotin New York is changing that with a timely exhibition that examines queer romanticism in the modern era. Artists Hernan Bas, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, and Salman Toor reclaim traditional scenes of intimacy with works that explore fantasized utopian realities and unapologetic representations of sex and gender. “Homosexual love often eluded the canon, and even when not outright censored, found entrance through the usage of tempered and codified presentation,” Perrotin director Donald Ryan said in a statement. Here, art is presented as a safe space for social, personal, sexual, and creative expression.
When: Through August 16
Where: 130 Orchard Street
3. “A Thousand Plateaus”
Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Curated by conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas along with Daphne Takahashi, “A Thousand Plateaus” focuses on the mixed-media assemblage as an outlet for identity reconstruction. Featuring new works by Chris Berntsen, Camille Hoffman, Kambui Olujimi, and Patrice Renee Washington, the exhibition draws from the 1980 philosophical text A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, which examines the “assemblage” as an entity composed of malleable parts. Investigating physical and mental states of construction and deconstruction, artists reference societal happenings and personal experiences to address feelings of confinement and moments of freedom within their own identity.
When: Through August 17
Where: 207 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn
4. “Painters Reply”
“Painters Reply” responds to the 1975 Artforum questionnaire concerning the future state of painting. This exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who responded to the original prompt in 1975, all of whom continue to experiment with and advance the medium of painting. The artworks exhibited demonstrate how the growing disinterest in painting afforded the artists greater liberty to challenge the materiality, application, and format of the medium. Expect works by a varied group ranging from bright young stars Lucy Dodd and Eric N. Mack to conceptual artists Mary Corse and Lynda Benglis.
When: Though August 9
Where: 504 West 24th Street
5. “7 Painters”
Greene Naftali Gallery
Greene Naftali Gallery joins the conversation about the renewal of painting with its summer group exhibition, “7 Painters.” Investigating how the medium has changed over the course of history, both in application and definition, the show displays artwork by seven leading contemporary painters: Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Charline von Heyl, Jacqueline Humphries, Albert Oehlen, Chris Ofili, and Laura Owens.
When: Through August 9
Where: 508 West 26th Street
6. “Paint, Porcelain, and Pulp: Amy Bessone, Francesca DiMattio, and Natalie Frank”
This group exhibition spotlights the work of three female artists, Amy Bessone, Francesca DiMattio, and Natalie Frank, who are each unique in style yet collectively bold in their quest to undermine traditional and male-dominated realms of art. Seeped with attitude and rendered in meticulous detail, the works presented reimagine female identity with their fearless and dynamic subjects. Frank’s painterly, hand-pigmented paper pulp paintings, for example, depict anxious females, some with their eyes closed tightly, another chewing on her hair. Bessone mines the cultural representation of women throughout history to reinvent popular motifs, including the bather, the mother, and the muse, with her signature vibrant oil-on-canvas paintings, while DiMattio’s porcelain sculptures recall the caryatids of ancient Greece, combining elements of animal and human, masculine and feminine.
When: Through August 9
Where: 243 Bowery
7. “For Mario”
Tina Kim Gallery
Adam Charlap Hyman of the buzzworthy creative design firm Charlap Hyman & Herrero was tapped by Tina Kim for the gallery’s latest endeavor. Named after the revolutionary writer Mario Praz, whose cataloguing of objects in his own home led to a groundbreaking spatial autobiography, The House of Life (1964), the show brings together works by such art and design talents as Louise Bourgeois, Katie Stout, Milano Chow, Candida Höfer, and Gala Porras Kim to explore the fleeting nature of a home and the memories created from the objets within. Each room is swathed in white cotton muslin, a fabric associated with moving and packing, conjuring an austere yet nostalgic ambiance. “Tina approached me about curating the show after she saw a show I had curated for Nina Johnson Gallery in Miami,” says Charlap Hyman. “We have an ongoing friendship and very special working relationship as she was my first client.”
When: Through August 23
Where: 525 West 21st Street
8. “Abstract by Nature”
Sean Kelly Gallery
“Abstract by Nature” brings together major works by international artists and antique artifacts to visualize how artistic practices have changed over the centuries. Juxtaposing video, ceramic, and sculpture artworks with antiquities from the Heian period, Tang dynasty, Song dynasties, and Muromachi periods, the show forms a dialogue between modern artistic practices and traditional aesthetics with works by Callum Innes, Markus Karstieß, Hyun-Sook Song, Su Xiaobai, and Wu Chi-Tsung, all of whom work with a range of modern and traditional mediums.
When: Through August 2
Where: 475 10th Avenue
9. “Painters of the East End”
Removed from the crowded city, the Hamptons has been an inspiration for artists since the mid–twentieth century. In this exhibition, Kasmin gathers the work of 11 iconic female painters from that community who were drawn to the open fields and rolling seas of the South Fork of Long Island. On display will be work by well-known talents such as Mary Abbott, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, and Joan Mitchell, as well as those deserving of it, such as Betty Parsons, who was also known as a collector and dealer of Abstract Expressionism.
When: July 11–August 16
Where: 297 10th Avenue
10. “Cart, Horse, Cart”
Thirteen dynamic artists are brought together in this exhibition focused on the structures embedded in abstraction. Organized by the gallery’s curatorial director, Anna Stothart, the show attempts to answer the question of where abstraction came from. Artists such as Angel Otero, Tomashi Jackson, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung challenge the shape of the standard canvas while Sarah Cain, Beverly Fishman, and Donald Moffet explore materiality as a way to deal with the rigorous content of each work.
When: Through August 16
Where: West 22 Street
11. “303 Gallery: 35 Years”
As the celebrated Chelsea gallery marks 35 years in business, director Lisa Spellman is launching a new publication and accompanying exhibition with a selection of ephemera featured in the book alongside pieces that draw from the gallery’s history. Iconic works foregrounding the long relationships of many artists continuing to show with the gallery are on view (think Doug Aitken and Sue Williams) as well as work by more recently added artists, including buzzy Polish talent Alicja Kwade, whose work was chosen for this year’s Met rooftop summer commission.
When: July 18—August 16
Where: 555 West 21 Street
12. “Summer Show”
An eclectic exhibition at Boers-Li gallery on 81st street presents a group of both established and emerging artists working across a variety of mediums. The gallery, which was founded in Beijing’s 798 Art District, opened in 2017 in a townhouse in the Upper East Side with the aim of presenting a snapshot of Chinese contemporary art in the U.S. Here, the show doesn’t disappoint, with works by such talent as the conceptual artist Zhang Peili, with his 1995 piece One Thousandth of One Second to One Second, and Huang Rui, an important artist of Ai Weiwei’s generation, who is in the collection of the Guggenheim. Another highlight is a new work by emerging artist Esteban Cabeza de Baca, whose sculptures recall otherworldy terrestrial forms. He caused a stir with his first solo show at the gallery in May.
When: Through August 3
Where: 24 East 81st Street
Reporting by Kaela Walker and Lucy Rees.