Spring Awakening


There may be snowflakes fluttering outside, but inside, New York’s in full bloom thanks to its lengthy list of must-see art shows out now. Think Taryn Simon and her larger-than-life floral arrangements, Vogue photographer Irving Penn and his rarely seen personal work, and London-based photographer Anja Niemi and her jaw-dropping, mod-like self-portraits (her pastel color palette has us swooning). So, what better way to spend this weekend’s impending cold front than gallery hopping? Check out all of the city’s current highlights below in our Spring Hit List.


Image 1: Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of Australia Relating to the Settlement of Refugees in Cambodia. Ministry of Interior, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 26, 2014, Paperwork and the Will of Capital, 2015; Image 2: Bratislava Declaration, Bratislava, Slovakia, August 3, 1968, Paperwork and the Will of Capital, 2015″, both © Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Gagosian Gallery | Taryn Simon
Paperwork and the Will of Capital
| Feb 18-March 26
Taryn Simon’s photography and sculpture exhibit is at once politically charged and aesthetically pleasing. As evidenced in the two separate works above, by juxtaposing the delicacy of floral arrangements with the power behind government and economic treaties, Simon brings to light how easily destructible and fundamentally unstable these groundbreaking decisions actually are. Taken by the conversation between frail flora and monumental decisions, onlookers get the sense that even in the most powerful, there’s fallibility. (MAP IT), gagosian.com


Images Courtesy of Christopher Astley and Tracy Williams Ltd., New York.

Tracy Williams Ltd. | Christopher Astley
Conglomerations: backfill, slag & scree | March 11 – May 1
Christopher Astley’s recent collection of paintings is a departure from his more well-known work with concrete-filled fabric sculpture, though the series do share similarities. For starters, both are rendered in similarly muted color palettes, a nod to Astley’s penchant for the natural and organic. The paintings— a smattering of large and small scale canvases— appear just as three-dimensional as their sculpted brethren too, a fine example of the artist’s mastery of abstraction. Each work feels grounded and earthily, and yet, eerily distorted by man— a style the gallery aptly refers to as “Vonnegutian.” (MAP IT), tracywilliamsltd.com

© Anja Niemi. The Trunk, 2015.

© Anja Niemi. The Trunk, 2015.

Burning in Water Gallery |Anja Niemi
Photographing in Costume | March 2 – April 2
Celebrated works from Parsons grad Anja Niemi’s past three critically-acclaimed photography series are brought together at the Little Black Gallery’s Chelsea pop-up thanks to expert curator Andi Potamkin. Niemi works completely alone— as in, she stars as photographer, director, stylist and subject of each of her shoots (yes, we’re exhausted just thinking about it). Overtly feminine and a tinge mod, her images critique the “perpetually-put-together” role of women in society and film. Presented as a societal expectation over an individual choice, the systematic invention of the “female” is still, Niemi would argue, second-nature. (MAP IT), thelittleblackgallery.com


Irving Penn, IP, Photograph of Self (F), New York, 1993 © The Irving Penn Foundation, and Irving Penn, Optician’s Shop Window (B), New York, 1939 © Condé Nast Publications.

PACE Gallery | Irving Penn
Personal Work | Jan 29-March 5
Irving Penn brought a simplistic and modernist approach to the field of fashion photography, revoltionizing the field through his advertising campaigns and his work with Paris couture collections. His attention to detail is obvious in the works featured at the PACE Gallery’s collection of his uncommissioned and privately produced work, which shows his talents in photography mediums not explored in his widely appreciated advertising projects—moving light portraits, self-portraits and nudes included show us the depth and range of his far-reaching talents. The exhibit offers us an insight into his personal life and private thoughts, showing us what he chooses to capture when uninhibited by corporate critique. (MAP IT), pacegallery.com

©Christopher Payne/Courtesy of Benrubi Gallery, NYC.

© Christopher Payne/Courtesy of Benrubi Gallery, NYC.

Benrubi Gallery | Christopher Payne
ASYLUM | Feb 11 – March 26
With a background in architectural design, Christopher Payne documents the history of buildings— specifically the decaying architectural landscape of the US— through sweeping, vivid photographs. Taken over six years, his newest project highlights interiors and exteriors of abandoned mental hospitals including disquieting shots of autopsy theaters and treatment rooms. The crumbling bones of these near-mansions seem to echo the suffering of those once confined in them. Payne also captures the humanity of the past residents in photographs of their abandoned possessions, a commentary on the public’s ostracism of the mentally unstable, (MAP ITbenrubigallery.com


Rosalind Fox Solomon New York, 1977, Archival inkjet print, Rosalind Fox Solomon Lima, Peru, 1996, Archival inkjet print, and Rosalind Fox Solomon Merida, Mexico, 1985, Archival inkjet print. © Rosalind Solomon, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY.

Bruce Silverstein Gallery |Rosalind Fox Solomon
Got to Go | Feb 25 – April 16
In Got to Go, NYC-based artist Rosalind Fox Solomon’s fourth solo exhibit at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery, images from various stages in her career come together to create a singular universal storyline, attempting to inspire the viewer to understand and relate to the narrative told. The images are unsettling and invasive, with portraits are so close-up that they capture the emotion—usually sadness or anger—in the subject’s eyes or in their demeanor. Commentary on sexual promiscuity, interracial relationships and predatory men are sparked in other photographs, critiquing social and cultural norms that criticize or ignore the parts of ourselves that we are told to repress. Using photographs of many different people to tell a single story, Solomon works to create in the viewer an understanding of others and, in effect, ourselves. (MAP IT), brucesilverstein.com


Lucy Dodd, installation view of Wuv Shack at David Lewis Gallery, 2015. Courtesy the artist and David Lewis Gallery, New York. Photograph by Jenny Kim.

Whitney Museum of American Art | Lucy Dodd
Open Plan | March 17 – March 20
The spacious fifth floor of the Whitney has been cleared of its interior walls, creating a massive space for painter Lucy Dodd to construct a visual landscape— an 1,8200 sq. ft. landscape be exact. The open-air exhibit will feature a vivid tableau comprised of unusual materials and pigments collected from her travels—think fermented walnuts, kombucha scoby and hematite— and smaller works cut to resemble sails and waves in honor of the Whitney’s showcased Hudson River views. The entire space is set up to feel like you’ve scored an intimate studio visit with Dodd herself. Plus, with musicians invited to perform intermittently, the artist brings the worlds of visual and audio together in what she calls, “a space of improvisation demanding a longer and broader engagement of the audience” or what we’ve labeled, “interactive Sunday fun.” (MAP IT), whitney.org 


Image Courtesy of the Paul Kasmin Gallery.

Paul Kasmin Gallery | Morris Louis and Landon Metz
March 3 – April 9
Work from renowned Color Field painter Morris Louis is paired with inspired paintings from contemporary artist Landon Metz at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, creating a cohesive collaborative space. Both use negative space in their works to draw the bold colors out into the room, allowing these more brightly pigmented sections to become synonymous with the wall on which they are placed. Morris’s revolutionary work meshes well with Metz’s more modern adaptation of his approach to stained canvas, producing a seamless partnership between old and new.  (MAP IT), paulkasmingallery.com CP


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