Your New York Exhibition Guide

Must-See Shows This Week

Wondering what’s on view and what to see? Let us be your guide to exploring the New York art scene. Scroll through for our favorite exhibitions up now and check back weekly for fresh updates to this list. Happy arting!

Maki Na Kamura at Michael Werner Gallery East Hampton | ArtDrunk

Maki Na Kamura at Michael Werner East Hampton

Maki Na Kamura’s dynamic paintings teeter on the edge of figuration and abstraction, and are utterly captivating. Using old-school paintings as a “blueprint,” she then injects a healthy dose of contemporary energy, with particular inspiration coming from K-pop dances. The paintings include just enough recognizable forms to suggest a story, but their real verve comes from a swirl of abstract elements, whose tumultuous mystery keeps you guessing. Her compositions simmer towards a rolling boil, and her dynamic blend of realism and abstraction suggests a new and exciting direction (we’d be as bold to say heading into the next frontier of contemporary art).

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Image courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.
Matisse: The Red Studio at MoMA | ArtDrunk

Matisse: The Red Studio at MoMA

Who doesn’t love Matisse? This summer, MoMA offers visitors a luxurious treat with “The Red Studio,” a remarkable feat of curatorial ambition that revolves around one of Matisse’s most iconic and revolutionary paintings. Created in 1911, the titular work shows the artist’s creative space chock-full of his paintings, ceramics, and sculptures. The curators have diligently tracked down all the pieces depicted in the painting, which are reunited around the show’s eponymous canvas for the first time in over a century. This makes for a uniquely moving experience: the relationship between the works transports you to another place and time. The essential emotional power of Matisse’s bold color and charming line will make you fall in love all over again.

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Image credit: Installation view of Matisse: The Red Studio, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 1, 2022 – September 10, 2022. © 2022 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar
The Kingfisher’s Wing at Grimm Gallery | ArtDrunk

The Kingfisher’s Wing at Grimm Gallery

If you’re pressed for time this week, head straight to “The Kingfisher’s Wing,” a show of hot young-ish painters that gives you maximum bang for your buck. The show’s title is taken from a poem by T.S. Eliot, which grapples with the human struggle to live in the present when we are both plagued by the past and looking to the future. Muted tones are present throughout the works, creating a lush environment that enables you to feel at peace and in the moment. Some artists we love include Louise Giovanelli (whom you’ll find featured in our London guide), Matthew Krishanu, and William Monk, amongst many new artists to us such as Francesca Mollett and Tim Stoner.

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Gina Beavers at Marianne Boesky | ArtDrunk

Gina Beavers at Marianne Boesky

Stippled and smudged, blurred and buffed: the pastel worlds of makeup and painting are perfectly blended in a new series of works by Gina Beavers. Taken from the infinite vortex of online makeup tutorials, Beaver’s pictures examine the narcissism, obsession, and absurdity of beauty à la Instagram. At once seductive and sickly, the works are executed in pastels, whose oily textures and saturated colors convey true fleshiness. Internet visuals are everywhere in today’s galleries, and while Beavers isn’t the first to transform social media scrolling into old-school drawing, her fluent navigation between the two stands out as particularly clever and deft.

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Kiyan Williams at Brooklyn Bridge Park | ArtDrunk

Black Atlantic at Brooklyn Bridge Park

If you find yourself on a beach this summer, gazing out at the horizon and pondering the vast mystery of the sea, you will probably understand why the ocean has always exerted such power over artists. In “Black Atlantic,” a series of site-specific installations around Brooklyn Bridge Park, five artists (Leilah Babirye, Hugh Hayden, Dozie Kanu, Tau Lewis, and Kiyan Williams) have set out to shift your perspective on this mighty body of water. The Atlantic was pivotal to American history, especially due to its role in the slave trade and the African diaspora. These artists take ownership of a subject that has long dominated American and European art — often with imperialist and colonialist overtones — and argue for a more nuanced understanding of the complex cultural exchanges that shaped the identities of contemporary Americans. While it might be scorching this time of year, most galleries are closed for the summer break, so outdoor sculpture is your best bet to keep seeing art. 

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Cecilia Vicuña at the Guggenheim | ArtDrunk

Cecilia Vicuña at the Guggenheim

Never has there been an artist more necessary for our time than Cecilia Vicuña. If the dark events of the past months are weighing on your mind, you may find a certain sense of solace, or at least solidarity, in Vicuña’s latest show at the Guggenheim. Since the 1960s, the Chilean artist has been confronting environmental destruction, colonial cruelty, and gender inequality with bold and arresting work that seems almost prophetic in its current relevance. The show centers around one of Vicuña’s signature “Quipu” installations that she created specifically for the Guggenheim’s spiraling atrium. Along with paintings, textile pieces, and films, the Quipu – inspired by an ancient Incan communication tool – offer a poetic, restorative response to environmental anxieties and social struggles.

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