The start of September has always meant “back to school” for the art world. Now, with the Armory Show settled into its fall slot, there are more gallery shows than ever to check out during this busy fair week. Here a just a few openings worth slotting into your schedule.
“Lorna Simpson: 1985–92” at Hauser and Wirth
Lorna Simpson takes over all three floors of Hauser and Wirth’s Upper East Side location with the first comprehensive look at her early photography work since her 1992 survey show at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The gallery has secured loans from both museums and private collections, in addition to works directly from Simpson’s studio.
“Hank Willis Thomas: Everything We See Hides Another Thing” at Jack Shainman Gallery
In his latest outing, Hank Willis Thomas presents a selection of large-scale sculptures, mixed-media textile works, and his unique retroreflective prints, their latent imagery activated by the flash of your cell phone camera. The show also features Thomas’s ongoing “Falling Stars” series, of massive blue flags featuring one embroidered star for every U.S. death from gun violence in a year—14,916 in 2018, 15,433 in 2019, and 20,923 in 2021.
“Enrique Martínez Celaya: The Foreigner’s Song” at Miles McEnery Gallery
Born in Cuba in 1964, Los Angeles artist Enrique Martínez Celaya presents new paintings and works on paper that he says are inspired by “the foreigner’s dual longing for a future that can redeem the dislocation of the past and a present that can provide a sense of belonging.”
“Rick Lowe: Meditations on Social Sculpture” at Gagosian
MacArthur Genius Grant winner Rick Lowe pioneered a new form of community-based art by revitalizing derelict homes in his native Houston under the auspices of Project Row Houses. Now, after a long stint without a New York solo show, he is making his debut with the megagallery Gagosian, featuring paintings inspired by that groundbreaking work, as well as new abstract works.
“In Bloom: Jordan Casteel” at Casey Kaplan
Jordan Casteel first came into the spotlight with her tender portraits of Harlem residents. Having moved upstate in 2022, she pairs her latest subjects with a rural landscape in a suite of nine new paintings.
Using resin and shattered pieces of tempered glass, Alteronce Gumby creates gemlike “tonal paintings” that at once recall Impressionist paintings and views of the cosmos captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.
“Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Common Measures” at Pace
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer brings his thoughtful digital artwork to Pace for the first time, with three large-scale installations including , which debuted earlier this year at Art Basel. The immersive biometric piece features a hanging display of 3,000 lightbulbs, each blinking in time with a human heartbeat, recorded in real time by pulse sensors.
“vanessa german: Sad Rapper” at Kasmin
Assemblage artist vanessa german employs all manner of unusual materials in her richly decorated works that speak to issues of racial oppression and structural violence. Her latest series of sculptures is inspired by neighborhood figures from when she was growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980s.
“A Maze Zanine, Amaze Zaning, A-Mezzaning, Meza-9” at David Zwirner
David Zwirner teams up with Performance Space New York on this show, billed as a “living exhibition,” that bridges performance and painting. Curated by a quartet of artists—Ei Arakawa, Kerstin Brätsch, Nicole Eisenman, and Laura Owens—it features an impressive range of names, from Lorraine O’Grady to Jamian Juliano-Villani and Wade Guyton, to name just a few. Who says group shows are only for summer?
“Melissa McGill: Currents” at Totah
Melissa McGill has made three major public art projects centered on the water, including on the Hudson River and on the canals of Venice. Her latest work, which includes sculptures and works on paper, continues to explore our symbiotic relationship with water and the environment.
“Paula Wilson: Imago” at Denny Dimin Gallery
Mixed-media artist Paula Wilson will transform Denny Dimin Gallery with her large-scale collages, assemblages, and monumental figures, including wooden sculptures made with her partner Mike Lagg. She’s one to watch with a 2023 solo show coming up at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, plus a two-person outing with Nicola López opening at the Albuquerque Museum next month.
“Sturtevant” at Matthew Marks Gallery
Matthew Marks presents the pioneering work of Sturtevant, including her recreations of pieces by the likes of Joseph Beuys, Robert Gober, Keith Haring, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, and Andy Warhol. But for the late artist, these defiant acts of mimicry weren’t concerned with the concept of ownership. “The appropriationists were really about the loss of originality and I was about the power of thought. A very big difference,” she once said.
“Nostalgia: Zsofia Schweger & Nick Dawes” at Sapar Contemporary
This two-person exhibition pairs Zsofia’s Schweger’s hard-edged paintings of lonely interior scenes with poured abstractions Nick Dawes makes using industrial household paint.