I don’t know about you, but I was enjoying my slow, lazy summer, and then all of a sudden it was Labor Day. The art world woke up, and I went from having a few museum exhibitions I needed to catch to feeling overwhelmed by the all of the shows. So, I decided to sort through and round up some of the ones I’m most looking forward to, ranging from small solo shows to larger themed exhibitions that tackle political issues. That’s what I love about the New York art world: I can get so many different kinds of art in a single afternoon.
This list may look long, but trust me, I’ve left out hundreds, not to mention all the shows coming later this fall that haven’t even been announced yet. If you’re feeling overwhelmed like I am, here’s a little something to get you started.
Tim Spelios: Do Not Blow Horn Use Bell at Studio 10
Tim Spelios foregoes the sharp edges and angles that have long been associated with collage, instead using rounded and ameboid forms to turn vintage images into mesmerizing swirls of abstraction. Some of the new works will be shown in long, vertical, film-reel-like strips, while found and saved ephemera will be rotated in and out of view in glass worktables.
56 Bogart Street, Bushwick
Through Oct. 6
Virginia Poundstone: Total Meltdown at Kansas
Virginia Poundstone continues her investigation into some of most timeless and tireless of all cultural symbols, flowers. For this show at Kansas, she’s turned a floral arrangement into cast bronze sculptures and made messy wall pieces from rose petals, among other things. You’ll never look at bouquets so innocently again.
59 Franklin Street, Tribeca
Through Oct. 19
Matthew Craven: Oblivious Path at DCKT Contemporary
More collage, and in a similar way to Spelios, Matthew Craven is interested in the transformation of old content into new form. But Craven also investigates the processes and patterns that gave rise to the old content in the first place — the symbols and visual language of historicization. His collages and mixed-media pieces could be the remains of a future or alternate civilization.
21 Orchard Street, Lower East Side
Through Oct. 20
Death of a Cameraman at Apex Art
The starting point for this exhibition is a horrifying video posted on YouTube in which a man is recording gunfire in Syria on his cell phone when he spots a sniper, who promptly shoots him. The man and the camera both fall. The man’s fate is unclear, but his video made it to YouTube. Apex Art has gathered six artists whose work either explores or relates to these types of images of war, including Rabih Mroué, whose ontological investigation of the video was on view in the recent ICP triennial.
291 Church Street, Tribeca
Through Oct. 26
Nalini Malini: In Search of Vanished Blood at Galerie Lelong
If Galerie Lelong’s press release is to be believe, Nalini Malini is “widely considered the pioneer of video art in India.” That alone makes me want to see this show. The immersive installation comes from Documenta 13 and features video projections, sound, and shadow play via rotating cylinders painted with reverse Hindu and Western images.
528 West 26th Street, Chelsea
Through Oct. 26
Brian Adam Douglas: How to Disappear Completely at Andrew Edlin Gallery
If you’re not familiar with the name Brian Adam Douglas, you might know him as his street artist alter ego, Elbow Toe. Andrew Edlin has mounted Douglas’s first solo exhibition in New York, bringing the artist’s layered, pulsing images into a white-walled space. The new works focus on life in the wake of global-warming-induced disasters, giving them further resonance in Chelsea.
134 Tenth Avenue, Chelsea
Through Oct. 26
Martin Honert at Matthew Marks Gallery
There are only three sculptures in Martin Honert’s new show at Matthew Marks, a sparse approach to display that worked beautifully in last fall’s Charles Ray exhibition and that I’m hoping will work again. There’s something gratifying in seeing slowly crafted, labor-intensive sculptures, particularly ones that seem so receptive to the flaws of humanity, as Honert’s — and Ray’s, for that matter — are.
523 West 24th Street, Chelsea
Through Oct. 26
Julian Pretto Gallery at Minus Space
I know next to nothing about Julian Pretto, but he was apparently an influential and pioneering gallerist in New York starting in the 1970s. Minus Space celebrates the man with an exhibition of more than 40 artists whom he showed. It’s the first to examine his legacy, and I expect it to be an eye-opener.
111 Front Street, #226, Dumbo
Through Oct. 26
Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Hustlers at David Zwirner
In 1990, Philip-Lorca diCorcia went out into the streets of Los Angeles looking for male prostitutes. But instead of having sex with them, he photographed them, and paid them for their time using National Endowment for the Arts grant money. The landmark Hustlers series was first shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1993, and now it’s on view at David Zwirner, 20 years later but no less powerful.
525 West 19th Street, Chelsea
Through Nov. 2
Artists’ Walks: The Persistence of Peripateticism at Dorksy Gallery
I’ve been fascinated by the underexplored genre of artists’ walks for a while now, waiting for someone to put together a show on them. Thankfully, Earl Miller has. At Dorksy Gallery, Miller gathers documentation of walks by a wide group, from art icons Marina Abramović and General Idea to contemporary practitioners. Exciting and long overdue.
11-03 45th Avenue, Long Island City
Through Nov. 17
Containment at Proteus Gowanus
Proteus Gowanus’s theme for this coming year is water, which is fitting, given the location of the space — right near the Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country — as well as its larger home, New York, a city dealing with the effects of water in the globally warmed 21st century. The first show in the yearlong series brings together two dozen artists thinking about how humans contain and seek to control water, a symbol of our larger, overwhelmingly complicated relationship with the environment.
543 Union Street, Gowanus
Sept. 15–Dec. 28
Jonathan Schipper: Detritus at The Boiler
Last year, The Boiler gave us Andrew Ohanesian’s “House Party.” This year, we get Jonathan Schipper’s “Detritus,” which will sounds like it will be far less chaotic but definitely just as weird. To wit: 12 tons of salt, a machine that moves around the room making 3-D representations of everyday objects in the salt, and a hot tub from which you can sit and watch the salt machine at work.
191 North 14th Street, Williamsburg
Sept. 27–Nov. 24
Karl Wirsum at Derek Eller Gallery
Karl Wirsum was a member of The Hairy Who, one of three groups that make up the famous Chicago Imagists. His work straddles the line between art, comics, and illustration, drawing on everything from Peruvian pottery to the city of Chicago for inspiration. Whether this upcoming show at Derek Eller is new work or old, it’ll be a treat.
615 West 27th Street
Oct. 11–Nov. 16
Olu Oguibe & Carl E. Hazlewood at FiveMyles
Crown Heights isn’t exactly known as an artists haven (yet), but FiveMyles is an excellent local gallery that often gets overlooked. This upcoming show highlights two African artists whose practices subtly investigate the politics of a global black identity in quite different ways. No word yet on how closely they’re collaborating, but all the art will be made for and at the space.
558 St. Johns Place, Crown Heights
Nov. 3–Dec. 12