This month the international art set takes New York City, from uptown to Tribeca—culminating with Frieze New York’s return to the Shed at Hudson Yards for its 13th edition. We’ve collected 10 exhibitions to catch during the major art fair’s annual superbloom.
Wangechi Mutu, “Intertwined”
New Museum, through June 4
Wangechi Mutu was the talk of the town when her solo show of 110 works from the past 25 years unveiled at the New Museum in March. And for good reason—each room, occupying every available gallery, transports viewers to another world where the corporeal, mechanical, and botanical combine across collage, video, and sculpture. May 20 will offer an afternoon of programming, including a conversation between the show’s co-curators and Nasher Museum director Trevor Schoonmaker, followed by artist Sanford Biggers and DJ Reborn in discussion with catalogue contributor and author Maureen Mahon.
Seth Price, “Ardomancer”
Petzel Gallery, through June 3
A.I. remains all the rage. While some worry the technology could hurt their careers, scores more are employing it to explore new possibilities. As Seth Price said, “Making art with extremely different tools and media helps you take control and lose it, back and forth.” For his new show at Petzel, the artist suggested words to an algorithm, coaxing it to achieve an image that resonates before applying it to gestural paintings. It’s his second presentation of new works in New York in a decade.
Misha Japanwala, “Beghairati Ki Nishaani – Traces of Shamelessness”
Hannah Traore Gallery, through July 30
During the reception, zeitgeist-shaper Hannah Traore’s Lower East Side gallery was so packed that enthusiasts had to dodge delicate bronze casts of breasts and hands floating from the walls and ceiling of Japanwala’s solo show. Inspired by ancient Indus Valley civilizations, the artist and fashion designer’s series honors femme, queer, and trans histories in Pakistan while reclaiming the Urdu term for ‘shamelessness.’ Noteworthy subjects include filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and former Karachi kidnapping victim Dua Mangi.
Yayoi Kusama, “I Spend Each Day Embracing Flowers”
David Zwirner, through July 21
Get in on this sensation, but be ready for crowds. Yayoi Kusama returns to David Zwirner for a victory lap coinciding with the close of her retrospective at Hong Kong’s M+ Museum, her largest outside of Japan. The gallery show displays 36 new paintings, six monumental sculptures, and an that will surely play background to many, many selfies. Expanding on motifs central to Kusama’s practice, the exhibition takes its title from the three massive flowers at its entrance—and the artist’s famed fascination with the natural world.
Joan Brown, “Facts & Fantasies”
Matthew Marks Gallery, through June 17
Autobiographical painter Joan Brown’s first solo presentation with Matthew Marks Gallery shifts between fact and fantasy across paintings, sculptures, and drawings between 1971 and 1986. Brown defined facts as “travel situations, everyday situations, sitting on a bed and looking out the window,” and fantasies as imagined scenes abroad. If you missed Brown’s retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, fret not, as curator Beau Rutland has included several works from that exhibition here.
Richard Mayhew, “Natural Order”
Venus Over Manhattan, through June 17
Venus Over Manhattan inaugurates its latest gallery by shining a light on 20 oft-overlooked paintings and works on paper by 99-year-old Afro-Native American artist Richard Mayhew. The contemporary of artists like Norman Lewis, Alma Thomas, and Romare Bearden calls these “mindscapes” or “moodscapes.” Infusing fauvist palettes with low-fi realism, this collection of 26 works marks Mayhew’s gallery debut, despite the Spiral group founder’s renown, drawing on his multicultural identity to harmonize nature and memory with elements of Cherokee, Lumbee, and Shinnecock spirituality.
Oona Brangam-Snell, “Shadowlands”
MRS., through June 30
New works of embroidered jacquard by Queens-based Oona Brangam-Snell occupy “Shadowlands,” defined by the artist as “an indeterminate borderland between places or states,” “the realm peopled by shadows,” “the domain of the unconscious,” or just “obscurity.” Much like the artist’s practice, the show blends textiles and paintings with works that search out liminal spaces—sometimes with scenes between safety and danger, other times with expressions balancing wonder with incredulity. There’s magic to be had in this show, aptly described as “an IKEA starter pack for spiritual seekers.”
Ariamna Contino & Alex Hernández Dueñas, “REVERSE”
Nunu Fine Art, through June 10
Nine years since curator Nunu Hung opened Taipei-based Nunu Fine Art, the cross-cultural gallery is celebrating its New York arrival with this joint show by two Cuban artists—Ariamna Contino and Alex Hernández Dueñas—with decidedly social practices, also marking their debut in the city. There are three bodies of work between them, highlighting the endangered ecosystems of Cuba’s eroding coastline and the Arctic’s melting glaciers. In conversation with each other, the artworks examine geopolitics and environmental ethics through data the artists have translated into collaborative drawings and installations.
Georgia O’Keeffe, “To See Takes Time”
MoMA, through August 12
Think you know Georgia O’Keeffe? Think again. New angles to the American artist unfold across her current show in the MoMA’s third-floor South Galleries—the first to focus on O’Keeffe’s works on paper. A whopping 110 abstractions and portraits from more than 40 years were created with pastel, charcoal, and watercolor—and not a single cow skull in sight. Paintings pulled from O’Keeffe’s practice accompany the show’s focal points, providing further insight into how the artist’s lesser-known studies fit alongside the more famous elements of her oeuvre.
Grada Kilomba, “18 Verses”
Pace Gallery, through July 1
Portuguese interdisciplinary artist, writer, and Venice Biennale curator Grada Kilomba joined Pace’s roster this year—and makes her gallery debut with the installation of her work in “18 Verses,” in collaboration with London-based Goodman Gallery, where the work was most recently on view. It’s grounded in the silhouette of a shipwreck, crafted from burnt wood, and engraved with a poem by Kilomba hand-painted in brilliant gold leaf. The installation carries forth nautical motifs introduced by her acclaimed 2021 work O Barco | The Boat, acknowledging cyclical violence across society through the lens of Mediterranean migrants in particular.
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