13 Buzzy Back-to-School Gallery Shows to See During Armory Week, From a Red-Hot Group Show to Rick Lowe’s Gagosian Debut

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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, Necklines (1989). Photo by Adam Reich, collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, gift of Emily and Jerry Spiegel, ©Lorna Simpson.

Lorna Simpson, (1989). Photo by Adam Reich, collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, gift of Emily and Jerry Spiegel, ©Lorna Simpson.

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

Hank Willis Thomas, Freedom Riders on Colors for a Large Wall (2021). Photo courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Hank Willis Thomas, (2021). Photo courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

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

Enrique Martínez Celaya, <em>The Thin Line</em> (2022). Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery, New York.

Enrique Martínez Celaya, (2022). Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery, New York.

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

Rick Lowe, <em>Untitled #060822<em> (2022). Courtesy of Gagosian, New York.

Rick Lowe, (2022). Courtesy of Gagosian, New York.

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, Morgan (2022). Photo courtesy of Casey Kaplan, New York.

Jordan Casteel, (2022). Photo courtesy of Casey Kaplan, New York.

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.

 

Alteronce Gumby: The Color of Everything at Nicola Vassell

Work by Alteronce Gumby. Courtesy of Nicola Vassell, New York.

Work by Alteronce Gumby. Courtesy of Nicola Vassell, New York.

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, <em>Pulse Topology</em> (2021). Photo courtesy of Pace, ©Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, (2021). Photo courtesy of Pace, ©Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

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

Vanessa German, Sad Rapper (2022), detail. Photo courtesy of Kasmin, New York.

vanessa german, (2022), detail. Photo courtesy of Kasmin, New York.

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

Kerstin Brätsch, <em>Unstable Talismanic Rendering_ Psychopompo (with gratitude to master marbler Dirk Lange)</em>, 2017 (detail). Courtesy of David Zwirner.

Kerstin Brätsch, , 2017 (detail). Courtesy of 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, <em>Celestial River</em> (2022). Photo courtesy of Totah, New York.

Melissa McGill, (2022). Photo courtesy of Totah, New York.

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

Paula Wilson with Mike Lagg, <em>Earth Angel</em> (2022). Courtesy of Denny Dimin Gallery, New York.

Paula Wilson with Mike Lagg, (2022). Courtesy of Denny Dimin Gallery, New York.

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

Sturtevant, <em>Duchamp Man Ray Portrait</em> (1967). Photo courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

Sturtevant, (1967). Photo courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

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

Work by Zsofia Schweger. Courtesy of Sapar Contemporary, New York.

Work by Zsofia Schweger. Courtesy of Sapar Contemporary, New York.

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.

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