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It’s that time again: the autumnal art season is upon us, and we’re bringing you Hyperallergic’s New York Art Guide for fall 2016. Just like last year, we’ve compiled a list of the fun, insightful, and very New York art exhibitions and events that you should see this season. In addition to being online now, the guide will soon be available in print, so look for it in galleries, bookstores, and other spaces around the city as you go about your arting.
Angela Washko, The Game: The Game
When: Through October 8
Where: Transfer (1030 Metropolitan Avenue, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Angela Washko has delved deep into the emotionally complicated landscape of digital feminism, so it seems fitting that the visceral and vulnerable band Xiu Xiu is scoring her newest installation. The immersive experience is based on the first chapter of a video game she created that uses pick-up-artist techniques to seduce the player. Perhaps you’ll find, to quote Xiu Xiu, “No romance, no sexiness but / A star-filled night.”
“Thinking Pictures”: Moscow Conceptual Art in the Dodge Collection
When: September 6–December 31
Where: Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University (71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey)
Rutgers University’s Zimmerli Art Museum contains an overlooked art wonder: the world’s largest collection of Soviet nonconformist art. “Thinking Pictures” is the kind of exhibition that can only come from such a specific resource, with over 40 artists and collectives representing Moscow Conceptualism. Stretching from the 1960s to the ’90s and heavy on painting, this movement saw artists like Ilya Kabakov, Ivan Chuikov, and Lev Rubinstein responding to both the restrictions and utopian spirit of life under socialism.
Joan Semmel: New Work
When: September 8–October 15
Where: Alexander Gray Associates (510 W 26th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Last year, Alexander Gray Associates chronicled nearly five decades of Joan Semmel’s painting, from abstraction in the 1960s to recent nude self-portraits that offer a vulnerable perspective on eroticism and desire. New Work will pick up where that exhibition left off, as Semmel continues to capture, with bold brushstrokes, her own aging body as she sees it, from above and mirrored, in constantly shifting images.
When: September 8–October 23
Where: BRIC House (647 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn)
This show featuring eight artists who engage with the tactile history and contemporary meaning of textiles promises to be eclectic. Highlights include costumes examining the significance of indigo dye by Laura Anderson Barbata; Elana Herzog’s interpretations of Persian rugs as both domestic decoration and emblems of civilization; and a crochet shelter by Xenobia Bailey that references gospel revival tents and our universal yearning for protection.
A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s
When: September 8–December 10
Where: Grey Art Gallery at New York University (100 Washington Square East, Greenwich Village, Manhattan)
Fresh from its debut earlier this year at Northwestern University’s Block Museum, A Feast of Astonishments argues for “topless cellist” Charlotte Moorman as more than just a provocative prop for her better-known collaborators. Be prepared to dive into her meticulous archives and explore her spectacle-like performances, including the time she played cello while suspended by balloons.
Lynda Benglis: New Work
When: September 8–October 22
Where: Cheim & Read (547 W 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
You might call 2016 the year of Lynda Benglis: she’s had a series of exhibitions in Bergen, Norway; her fountains displayed at the Aspen Art Museum; and a solo show at the Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla, Mexico. Here in New York, you can see her more recent experiments in contorting handmade paper into unexpected shapes molded by chicken wire, a diversion from her usual use of wax and latex.
OSGEMEOS: Silence of the Music
When: September 8–October 22
Where: Lehmann Maupin (536 W 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Giant, gangly figures populate the street art murals of Brazilian twins Os Gêmeos and will be shrunk slightly for this show, featuring new work done in the artists’ trademark magical realist style. Their 2015 Manhattan visit resulted in a tracksuit-sporting, boom-box-wielding colossus emerging from an East Village mural, so maybe this trip will also generate some intriguing side projects.
Slavs and Tatars: Afteur Pasteur
When: September 9–October 22
Where: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (521 W 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
For Afteur Pasteur, Slavs and Tatars uses the inventor of pasteurization, Louis Pasteur, as inspiration for a typically immersive installation that includes a milk bar serving a fermented drink from the Caucasus and Central Asia. The collective, whose works often focus on the region known as Eurasia, will use the microbe and sourness as metaphors for political discontent — something to consider while you’re taking your sips.
Rebecca Morgan: In The Pines
When: September 10–October 29
Where: Asya Geisberg Gallery (537 W 23rd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Rebecca Morgan’s drawings, ceramics, and paintings are equal parts R. Crumb grotesquerie and Jan Steen humor, as she illustrates the darkness of country life in Pennsylvania. Mining her Appalachian roots, Morgan explores poverty and addiction in portraits like one featured in this show, of a woman smoking a corn cob pipe, her yellow teeth and blotchy skin hinting at the meth overtaking the moonshine.
Molly Crabapple: Annotated Muses
When: September 10–October 15
Where: Postmasters (54 Franklin Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)
Acrylic nudes overlaid on intricate collages make up Molly Crabapple’s Annotated Muses series, debuting in this exhibition. Biochemist Sara Jafary, sex worker Akynos, and journalist Natasha Lennard are among Crabapple’s subjects, their words scrawled over her vivid portraits. Having worked as an artist, model, and activist herself, Crabapple is able to deftly merge the beauty of the human body with the political charge of these women’s lives.
Taryn Simon: An Occupation of Loss
When: September 13–25
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Collective mourning is a global tradition, and for her first performance-based piece, Taryn Simon is building a space for grief. At night, 30 professional mourners from across the globe will transmit their pain through a series of 48-foot-high concrete pipes, inspired by the Zoroastrian towers of silence where the dead were exposed to birds. During the day, anyone will be able to visit the temporary structure to express their own sorrows.
When: September 16–October 29
Where: Broadway 1602 (211 and 213 E 121st Street, Harlem, Manhattan)
Broadway 1602 opened a new space in a former Harlem fire station earlier this year and is using the roomy gallery to continue spotlighting the 20th-century avant-garde. This survey of work by Rosemarie Castoro, who passed away last year, will underline her contributions as one of the rare women in the circle of the New York Minimalists and include her later mixed-media sculptures that respond to human movement.
NY Art Book Fair
When: September 16–18
Where: MoMA PS1 (22–25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens)
Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair is an annual sprawl of the printed word, from scrappy zines to rare editions of avant-garde art books. The crowds can be intense, but they’re worth braving in order to discover one of the event’s many treasures. Past finds include Katie Holten’s book with a typeface inspired by trees and a poster borrowing lyrics from Les Misérables by the counterculture cooperative Justseeds.
Decolonize This Place
When: September 17–December 17
Where: Artists Space (55 Walker Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)
Decolonize This Place promises to be a laboratory for art, research, and action. Under a broad umbrella of decolonization, the project will explore the intersection of Black Lives Matter, Palestinian liberation, indigenous struggles, transnational worker campaigns, and gentrification — all within and beyond the economy of the art system. Lots to talk about and even more to digest.
Cosima von Bonin: Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Sea?
When: September 19, 2016–January 2, 2017
Where: SculptureCenter (44–19 Purves Street, Long Island City, Queens)
A crustacean slumped in a beach chair, a shark at a school desk, and an octopus with gilded tentacles are among the curious sea creatures traveling from the Glasgow International to the SculptureCenter for this exhibition. The approachable playfulness of Cosima von Bonin’s textile and sculpture work doubles as a portal into the mysterious ocean that laps against our beaches.
EAF16: Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
When: September 25, 2016–March 13, 2017
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park (32–01 Vernon Boulevard, Astoria, Queens)
While strolling through Socrates Sculpture Park this fall, you might notice a startling preponderance of busts of Christopher Walken; made by the artist Bryan Zanisnik, they refer to the actor’s Astoria roots. The work is one of the projects in Socrates’s 2016 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition, whose other potentially surreal experiences include Dachal Choi and Mathew Suen’s vision of the park sailing above the city like a wayward balloon.
Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven
When: September 26, 2016–January 8, 2017
Where: Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
In the medieval era, Jerusalem was sometimes called a “city of foreigners” for its incredible diversity of inhabitants beyond those of the three Abrahamic faiths. Jerusalem 1000–1400 will animate this history through more than 200 objects, about a quarter of them on loan from the Holy City. Some, like the five sculpted capitals from the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, are journeying out of their spiritual home for the very first time.
Dubuffet Drawings, 1935–1962
When: September 30, 2016–January 2, 2017
Where: The Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue, Midtown East, Manhattan)
Jean Dubuffet used drawing as a means to experiment with new styles, taking inspiration from children’s scribbles and graffiti. Dubuffet Drawings, 1935–1962, is the first museum retrospective to focus on this aspect of the French artist’s practice, with rare loans of Parisian scenes, sketches of “majestic beards,” and views of the Sahara, all part of his search for a more impulsive, raw form of expression.
By the People: Designing a Better America
When: September 30, 2016–February 26, 2017
Where: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (2 E 91st Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
The 60 design projects on view in By the People emerged from a two-year search across the United States. Each of them addresses a social problem through design, such as the Humane Borders water stations in the desert between the US and Mexico, and the Atlanta BeltLine, which transforms defunct rail lines into a green loop connecting 40 neighborhoods. Accompanying events will tackle affordable housing, sustainable design, job training for homeless people, and more.
Bushwick Open Studios
When: October 1–2
Where: Various locations (Bushwick, Brooklyn)
Bushwick Open Studios is happening in October for the first time, which might be more pleasant than past sweltering summers. The weekend will once again include the hundreds of participating artists and galleries that make it the city’s largest open-studios event. It will also offer a chance for organizer Arts in Bushwick to refocus the event as more of an artists’ platform than a party, as gentrification continues to creep into the area.
Elmgreen & Dragset: Changing Subjects
When: October 1–December 17
Where: Flag Art Foundation (545 W 25th Street, 9th Floor, Chelsea, Manhattan)
In a solo show that will hopefully have a bit more bite than their recent sculpture at Rockefeller Center, Elmgreen & Dragset are taking over two floors and the terrace of the Flag Art Foundation. With selections from two decades of the duo’s collaborative work, Changing Subjects might be a mixed bag, albeit a visually exuberant one. Expect everything from a work that shows a baby abandoned at an ATM to a set of handblown vases containing pigment used to color HIV medication.
Securing the Shadow: Posthumous Portraiture in America
When: October 5, 2016–February 26, 2017
Where: American Folk Art Museum (2 Lincoln Square, Upper West Side, Manhattan)
Not infrequently, the first photographic portrait a 19th-century American had taken was after they had died, their body propped up with metal supports and family members standing solemnly by their side. Securing the Shadow begins with 18th-century tombstone carvings and progresses through the traditions of the art of the dead. Each work was an attempt to remember the departed as they were in life, even after they’d already slipped away.
Art in Odd Places
When: October 6–9
Where: Along 14th Street (Manhattan)
A lot of events claim to bring art to the people, but Art in Odd Places is one of the rare happenings that actually succeeds, staging serendipitous encounters along Manhattan’s 14th Street. Some are of the blink-and-you-miss-it nature, like Daniel Bejar’s 2011 project that restored to subway signs their historical place names (e.g. “Breuckelen” for “Brooklyn”); others are comfort-zone-pushing experiences, like Katya Grokhovsky’s 2014 piece that engaged strangers in pas de deux. This year’s theme is “Race,” so expect some provocation of all kinds.
Cecily Brown: Rehearsal
When: October 7–December 18
Where: The Drawing Center (35 Wooster Street, Soho, Manhattan)
The leaping colors and shapes layered in Cecily Brown’s paintings are energized by the influence of artists including de Kooning and Rubens, so it’s not surprising that there are some intense sketches behind them. Rehearsal will feature over 60 drawings by the British artist, tracking her incorporation of patterns and motifs as varied as Jimi Hendrix album art and 19th-century animal encyclopedia illustrations.
Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York
When: October 7, 2016–March 26, 2017
Where: Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth Avenue, East Harlem, Manhattan)
The 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story might not seem like a queer narrative, but all the major creators behind it were gay, working in one of the many LGBTQ collaborations of 20th-century New York City. Designs for the Leonard Bernstein show are among the art and artifacts in Gay Gotham, which focuses on 10 cultural figures. Famous names like Andy Warhol and Bill T. Jones are included alongside lesser-knowns like Harmony Hammond and Greer Lankton, emphasizing unexpected connections.
When: October 7, 2016–January 11, 2017
Where: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was the first institution to acquire a painting by Agnes Martin when it was gifted her darkly patterned “White Flower” (1960) in 1963. Over the ensuing half century, her art star has grown much brighter. This first posthumous survey, which debuted at Tate Modern, will span Martin’s entire career, with her delicate grids and muted color fields playing against the long curves of the Guggenheim rotunda.
Gowanus Open Studios
When: October 15–16
Where: Various locations (Gowanus, Brooklyn)
The banks of the “lavender lake” have changed radically over the two decades that Gowanus Open Studios has been bringing the public into the neighborhood’s industrial spaces–turned–art hubs. Last year’s event was preceded by a rash of sudden artist evictions, but hundreds more remain, representing the sustained creativity of the canal area.
Open House New York
When: October 15–16
Where: Various locations (New York City)
The annual Open House New York feels like being given a key to the city. Past experiences have included a visit to Eero Saarinen’s soaring, disused TWA Flight Center; a night tour of Gilded Age mausoleums in Woodlawn Cemetery; and a boat trip up the polluted Newtown Creek. You have to be quick on the draw with reservations, but mainstays like the curiosity-packed City Reliquary and the Eldridge Street Synagogue, with its Kiki Smith stained-glass window, host open access for adventurous visitors.
Françoise Grossen Selects
When: October 18, 2016–March 15, 2017
Where: Museum of Arts and Design (2 Columbus Circle, Midtown West, Manhattan)
The Museum of Arts and Design’s POV series invites artists to excavate objects from the institution’s collection and place them in the context of their own practice. Françoise Grossen, who began making fiber art in the 1960s, has long drawn on disparate influences, so it should be intriguing to see how she positions her own rope sculptures beside selections of work in basketry, wood, and metal.
Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity
When: October 19, 2016–April 23, 2017
Where: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (15 E 84th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
You can place some of the blame for our 9-to-5 work routine on the Greeks and Romans. Expanding on Egyptian and Babylonian innovations, the great minds of the classical world became proficient at dividing the days into hours and providing timepieces to keep this order. Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity charts this process through ancient sundials, surveying instruments, calendars, and even cosmological jewelry.
Native Artists of North America
When: Opens October 22
Where: Newark Museum (49 Washington Street, Newark, New Jersey)
Too often, exhibitions of American art start with colonialism, while Native American work gets relegated to natural history museums. This redesign of the Native American galleries at the Newark Museum frames indigenous art as American art, with a reinterpretation of over 100 objects curated by indigenous artists and scholars. Artifacts like Pomo baskets and Southwestern pottery are joined by Haida sculptures by master carver Charles Edenshaw and Pueblo paintings by Fred Kabotie and Awa Tsireh. Recent acquisitions in contemporary art by Jeffrey Gibson, Preston Singletary, and others will be on view in adjoining galleries.
Kerry James Marshall: Mastry
When: October 25, 2016–January 29, 2017
Where: Met Breuer (945 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
For over three decades, painter Kerry James Marshall has been addressing the absence of black people in art history, so this survey at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — a keeper of the canon — should be major. Following its inaugural run at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Mastry will feature around 80 works, including many of Marshall’s large-scale narrative paintings, which should feel monumental within the concrete-heavy Marcel Breuer building.
Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest
When: October 26, 2016–January 15, 2017
Where: New Museum (235 Bowery, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
What dreams may come from this three-floor takeover of the New Museum by video and installation artist Pipilotti Rist? A woman smashing car windows with a flower and slow-motion psychedelia pulsing to musical tones are among the fantasies to be found in Rist’s work. Pixel Forest will chronicle her output back to the 1980s and feature a new installation that considers the evolution of technology in the context of her art.
Trenton Doyle Hancock
When: October 23–November 28
Where: James Cohan Gallery (291 Grand Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
An ultimate battle between good and evil has fueled much of Trenton Doyle Hancock’s work, but far from being a simple riff on comic book culture, his drawings, paintings, and prints manifest a timely darkness. A survey of two decades of his work last year at the Studio Museum in Harlem emphasized his deft drawing and humorous self-deprecation, and was a reminder that any exhibition by the artist is worth catching.
Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016
When: October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017
Where: Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan)
Spanning the Whitney’s vast fifth floor, Dreamlands will explore how artists and filmmakers have used, challenged, and twisted the conventions of cinema, starting with work from 1920s Germany and then concentrating on American projects over more than a century. With projections in a geodesic dome, Oculus Rift VR experiences, Syd Mead’s concept art for Blade Runner, and a ceiling of a thousand frogs by Dora Budor, this show is sure to not just immerse but overwhelm.
Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty
When: November 4, 2016–April 2, 2017
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)
The glossy, glittery, gooey world of Marilyn Minter arrives in Brooklyn thanks to this touring exhibition, co-organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Pretty/Dirty features four decades of the American artist’s work: videos, paintings, and photographs that muddy the glistening aesthetics of high fashion with the dirty excesses of our cosmetic obsession.
Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design
When: November 4, 2016–March 26, 2017
Where: The Jewish Museum (1109 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
Pierre Chareau built his famed 1932 Maison de Verre, or “House of Glass,” with a steel frame and glass block walls that worked around an upstairs neighbor and a medical space downstairs. Such graceful use of industrial materials defined his career. This exhibition situates his work in a larger context, from his patronage of the arts — he collected Mondrian and Chagall — to his efforts to restart his architecture practice after fleeing the Nazis to New York, where he died in 1950.
Jan van der Ploeg
When: November 5–December 25
Where: Minus Space (16 Main Street, Suite A, DUMBO, Brooklyn)
With their buoyant, geometric shapes and bright colors, the murals of Dutch artist Jan van der Ploeg respond to the architecture around them. In this solo show, the artist will create a site-specific piece that crawls over the entire gallery as well as an adjoining interior wall. Whether on buildings in his hometown of Amsterdam or in institutions like the Hammer Museum, van der Ploeg’s works play with scale and setting in a distinct way.
When: November 5–December 23
Where: Luhring Augustine (531 W 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan; 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)
Ragnar Kjartansson’s work is always laced with absurdist humor and often animated by live musicians. Concurrent exhibitions at Luhring Augustine’s two spaces will concentrate on the Icelandic artist’s recent videos and paintings. They’ll likely involve some kind of repetition, as seen in “The Visitors,” 64 minutes of musicians playing the same lines over and over, and “Me and My Mother,” for which, every five years, he asks his mother to spit on him.
Soundwalk Collective: Himalayan Wind
When: November 11, 2016–June 5, 2017
Where: Rubin Museum of Art (150 W 17th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Butter lamps flickering beside golden statues of deities fill the Shrine Room of the Rubin Museum of Art. Sounds of fluttering prayer flags, chants, and the wind in Mustang, Nepal, will soon join this contemplative space, thanks to an installation by the Soundwalk Collective. Recorded in the Himalayas, the audio samples will be accompanied by kaleidoscopic videos made using crystals and glass.
Meredith Monk and Ani Choying Drolma
When: November 17
Where: National Sawdust (80 N 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
After meeting in 2005, when both were performing at the Walker Art Center, Meredith Monk and Ani Choying Drolma are premiering their first collaboration. Monk is an artist who uses performance, dance, music, and film to build ritualistic experiences; Drolma is a Nepalese nun and humanitarian with a rippling voice, who’s brought Buddhist chants to a contemporary audience. This evening will be a celebration of art as a spiritual practice.
Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction
When: November 21, 2016–March 19, 2017
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd Street, Midtown West, Manhattan)
Many of us know the name Francis Picabia, but it’s hard to pin down exactly what and who he was. Dadaist, poet, filmmaker, painter, and performance artist, he was prolific, and his career doesn’t fit neatly into accepted artistic categories. Arriving at the Museum of Modern Art from its premiere at the Kunsthaus Zürich, this 200-work retrospective attempts to elucidate his elusive legacy.
A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt
When: Opens December 2
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)
One of the many mysteries of Ancient Egypt is why male pronouns were used on the tombs of both men and women. Egyptologists have long viewed these as mistakes, but this exhibition will spotlight recent research into the phenomenon, drawing on the Brooklyn Museum’s collection to examine how Ancient Egyptian women entered the afterlife.
A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde
When: December 4, 2016–March 12, 2017
Where: Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd Street, Midtown West, Manhattan)
Timed to the centennial of the Russian Revolution of 1917, A Revolutionary Impulse will use the Museum of Modern Art’s collection to commemorate the rise of such radical art movements as Constructivism and Suprematism. Expect frenetic photomontages, bold graphic design, and other experimental works of sculpture, film, and architecture in this chronicle of the years between 1912 and 1934.
A True Friend of the Cause: Lafayette and the Anti-Slavery Movement
When: December 7, 2016–February 4, 2017
Where: The Grolier Club (47 E 60th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
America’s favorite fighting Frenchman was also an abolitionist — an unheralded history that this exhibition intends to exhume. Drawn from the archives of Lafayette College, as well as Cornell University and the New-York Historical Society, the rare manuscripts, paintings, prints, and other artifacts on view will argue for the Marquis de Lafayette as a human rights advocate, from his concern for enslaved people during the American Revolution to his work for the emancipation of French Guiana.
Black Fashion Designers
When: December 6, 2016–May 13, 2017
Where: Museum at FIT (227 W 27th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
The Ebony Fashion Fair traveled the United States annually from 1958 to 2009, showcasing African-American models and designers and inspiring viewers in the process. That event is one of the touchstones of Black Fashion Designers, which will bring together some 70 pieces from the collection of the Museum at FIT. More than 30 designers will be represented, among them Ann Lowe, who designed Jackie Kennedy’s 1953 wedding gown, and Maki Oh, who reimagines Nigerian traditions for the contemporary runway.
Correction: This article previously stated that the Guggenheim bought Agnes Martin’s “White Flower,” not that the painting was gifted. We regret the error, and it has been fixed.