Suggested Viewing: Must See Shows Edition

This year was one of the most pleasurable Bushwick Open Studios. Aimlessly wandering throughout the many industrial spaces proved to be very inspiring. I caught up with artists who I haven’t seen in a while, and met a few new artists that I will continue to look at. Now that the party has winded down, it is time to get back to the many ongoing exhibitions throughout New York City and beyond. This suggested viewing post features a concise selection of current and upcoming exhibitions with a strong focus on painting and politically themed art.

Melanie Daniel: Piecemaker
Shulamit Gallery
17 North Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
May 21-June 27, 2015

Melanie Daniel has produced strong psychologically charged paintings for her current solo show is in Venice Beach at Shulamit Gallery. Daniel is an expressive painter whose dreamlike narratives engross the viewer and allow for multiple interpretations. In these paintings, there are also elements of socio-political narratives stemming from her perspectives as an immigrant in Israel.

Leon Golub: Riot
Hauser & Wirth
32 East 69th Street
New York NY 10021
11 May – 20 June 2015

– Ida Applebroog: The Ethics of Desire
Hauser & Wirth
511 West 18th Street
New York NY 10011
14 May – 31 July 2015

Hauser & Wirth has packed a one, two punch with two knockout exhibitions of seminal political artists. Two great figurative painters Ida Applebroog and Leon Golub. Golub’s exhibition is aptly titled “Riot.” It is the first major look at the artist in New York City since his Brooklyn Museum Retrospective in 2001. Golub is a master history painter, however, his documentation of past events can be seen through the lens of contemporary protests and political advocacy. These paintings are just as relevant today as when they were first painted. Ida Applebroog is another established artist with a very strong political oeuvre. She is one of the most dynamic pioneering feminist artists whose work address themes of gender identity, politics, female sexuality, and domesticity, among other social themes. The work in both of these shows are massive and powerful. Be prepared to come away thinking progressive thoughts, and perhaps feel invigorated to become more socially aware.

Art AIDS America
Co-curated by Jonathan D. Katz &
Rock Hushka
June 6 – Sept.6, 2015
Presented in two parts at the ONE Archives Gallery & Museum and the West Hollywood Library:

ONE Archives Gallery & Museum
626 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

West Hollywood Library
625 North San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Art AIDS America is a survey of 30 years of art made in response to the AIDS crisis in the United States. The diverse selection of artists includes Patrick Webb (who was featured in a previous post). Art AIDS America opens in 2015 and runs through 2017 and will travel to Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Bronx Museum, San Francisco and Atlanta.

Second Annual Summer Invitational
Life on Mars Gallery
56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn NY 11206
June 4 – July 19, 2015

Life on Mars Gallery always smells of paint. This is an alluring smell indeed. The current exhibition is large group show of artists whose work includes portraiture in some facet. The exhibition also has a focus on Bushwick painters who, according to the gallery’s press release “make Brooklyn the “painting capital of the world.” While this is a very subjective statement, the truth is that there were many great paintings on view during Bushwick Open Studios. In a way, this show is a culmination of that painterly energy.

Story of a Story
Smack Mellon
92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
June 13 – July 26, 2015

Storytelling is alive and well in this exhibition curated by Shlomit Dror featuring thirteen emerging artists whose work focuses on narrative. The works are uniquely personal and reveal a universality to the art of storytelling.  This zeitgeist of storytelling is also the subject of a current show at The Guggenheim museum. Their show is called “Storylines,” and it includes both visual artists and writers.

Steffani Jemison: Promise Machine
Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
June 25 – June 28, 2015

Brooklyn based artist Steffani Jemison will unveil her commission in conjunction with the current exhibition One Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Vision of the Great Movement North. The multipart piece titled Promise Machine was inspired by the Utopia Neighborhood Club, which was a Harlem based women’s social service organization that supported Jacob Lawrence. One facet of the work joins together members of Harlem based community organizations, artists, writers, and activists to explore notions of a utopian society. The other element is a new score and libretto written by the artist and Courtney Bryan.

The Alembic of Creative Thought
Westminster Waste
Ilderton Wharf, Rollins St. London SE15 1EP
June 11 – June 25, 2015

“Our minds are a slow distillation of energy, electricity, and metaphysical mystery. We choose how much to share and how much to lie, and what to keep secret for those ‘special’ others that can comprehend the true meaning behind our distillation. We pour our fluids, our mixtures, our chemicals into this reality, and they(noun) decide, transmute us and others’ for better or for worse.” – Excerpt 2 of 5

Artist Tim Zercie has organized a show that features a strong roster of artists whose practice is akin to the mystical practice of alchemy.

Heathen Fundamentalism
The Lodge Gallery
131 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002
June 3 – June 28, 2015

The Guston Effect
Steven Zevitas Gallery
450 Harrison Avenue #47, Boston, MA 02118
May 15 – August 15, 2015

Philip Guston
Timothy Taylor Gallery
15 Carlos Place, London W1K 2EX, United Kingdom
June 10 – July 11, 2015

An exploration of Philip Guston’s influence on contemporary artists is the subject of two concurrent exhibitions, Heathen Fundamentalism, and The Guston Effect. The focus on younger generation’s increased interest in Guston generation of artists is sweeping the art world. Artsy also published an article called “How Philip Guston is Influencing a Younger Generation of Artists.” Guston himself is the theme of a solo show at Timothy Taylor Gallery in London.

Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play
Artists Space
55 Walker Street, New York, NY 10013
June 14 –  Aug 23, 2015

Known to most as Tom of Finland, Touko Laaksonen is renowned as one of the most iconic gay artists of the 20th century. Despite the fact that he is largely known as such, he hasn’t had any major critical retrospectives that examine and affirm his work within an academic and art historical framework. This will all change when Artist Space presents The Pleasure of Play, a definitive survey on Laaksonen.

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