Brooklyn-based writer Vittoria Benzine pounds pavement at least once a week to dance with the city—and explore art. Here’s her Top 5 Exhibitions to see in New York right now. Each comes with a concise review to help decide whether it’s for you. If you’re looking for a longer form look at the local scene, we caught up with new Brooklyn gallery owner Gabe Boyer.
Will Boone: No Man’s Land @ KARMA
It’s giving mini golf in Manhattan. Which begs the question, what does it mean to ‘give mini golf,’ and how can that be art? Sculpture is just one medium in Houston raised-and-based Boone’s practice. These bronze-cast “relics of Americana” are inspired by a swap meet he attended in 2017, Karma says. Try to go at a crowded time—one of the best parts of opening night was watching people move amongst the work and remembering we are animals too. Until February 25.
Shirin Neshat: The Fury @ Gladstone Gallery
Shirin Neshat’s political and feminist visual practice always wrestles down the moment. Or maybe those themes are timeless. Hopefully not. Neshat’s latest solo show, “The Fury,” presents particular urgency in lieu of the ongoing revolution in Iran, where the New York-based artist hails form. Her new works pair a series of photographs where poetry’s hand drawn in calligraphy on living, beating female bodies with a beautiful but haunting double channel video installation, a fictional narrative of the real trauma Iranian women released from prison endure. Until March 4.
Loie Hollowell, Harminder Judge, Agnes Pelton, and Ghulam Rasool Santosh: Love Letter @ Pace Gallery
Transcendentalist paintings are riding a mainstream resurgence, along with occult artworks, diagrams—perhaps a plea for control after the last couple years’ chaos or the Age of Aquarius is dawning at last. Either way, the appeal of spiritual artwork is palpable amongst this group show at Pace Gallery’s second story gallery, where artists and co-curators Harminder Judge and Loie Hollowell contribute six works each alongside equal selections from Kashmiri neo-tantra painter Ghulam Rasool Santosh and Agnes Pelton, of the Transcendentalist Painting Group in America. All I can say is they work. Until February 25.
Antonia Kuo and Pauline Shaw at Chapter NY
New York-based artists Antonia Kuo and Pauline Shaw explore abstraction through experimental media in this duo show, which actively feels like a portal to other realms. Side by side, both artists explore their own personal and generational histories in a manner that acknowledges the beauty and rough edges of their experiences at once—Kuo through mesmerizing photochemical paintings and industrial sculptures of steel and wood, Shaw through felted wool tapestries and glass sculptures on bronze posts. Until February 18.
Katherine Bernhardt: I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you? at Canada
Sometimes when I say I’m an art writer, people ask if I’m a critic. “I hope not,” I reply. Who am I to judge whether something is right or not? A friend of mine was decrying the bygone bad review recently, noting that writers just ignore what they don’t like nowadays. I do that too—I thought it was diplomatic. But, like all people, I have opinions. The first time I caught wind of this show’s hype after it opened, Bart’s ass just rubbed me the wrong way. As I thought about it further, paired with my friend’s advice to lean in, I figured that’s probably precisely part of what Bart wants to do. I had to see the work in person, and in the space, I had to relent. Bernhardt’s phosphorescent color and dreamy forms pitted against the manic directness of her hand deals her muse more depth than I allowed myself to hope for. Until February 25.