In previewing the fresh art season, one thing became increasingly clear — the galleries and museums of our major coastal cities no longer have the monopoly on important, innovative, powerful, and engaging art. Despite economic fears, if this September is anything to go by, the audiences for established and emerging voices working in media from oil pigment to futuristic genres are hungrier than ever. Here are ten of the fall’s most intriguing exhibitions, opening in New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, DC, and Cleveland.
Lee Friedlander: America by Car at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York An early giant of new American photography, Friedlander’s iconic project of photographing the nation’s roads from behind the wheel of a rental proves evergreen. The style of the new cars, homogeneous and sleek, shows more evidence of time’s passing than the lone pines, diner signs, and folksy pop art that line his route.
Sue Williams: Al-Qaeda is the CIA at 303 Gallery, New York A mid-career survey designed to support and contextualize Williams’ most recent work, Al-Qaeda is the CIA offers a rollicking, visceral good time, as it traces how her style evolved diligently toward abstraction, while losing none of its political or sexual bravado.
JJ PEET: Shadow at On Stellar Rays, New York Shadow is a mobile painting studio in which PEET gathers the found media and materials used in his work, which is also created in and around it. Through paintings, ceramics, periodic screenings and digital transmissions, PEET shares his personal history and political experience as the raw materials he transforms it into works of art.
Paul McCarthy: Three Sculptures at L&M Arts, Los Angeles Powerhouse modern and contemporary gallery L&M Arts opens a west coast bureau, inaugurating its expansive Venice space with transgressive post-punk art world professor, Paul McCarthy, who hasn’t had a solo show of new work in LA in a decade. Expectations are sky-high for his return to the local spotlight; early reports suggest fans won’t be disappointed.
Jen DeNike: The Scrying Trilogy at The Company, Los Angeles New York’s Jen DeNike’s first solo show in LA expands upon a dance-based work she premiered at MoMA earlier this year, incorporating ballet choreography, performance, documented action, sculptural installation, and personal mythology into a cross-genre cycle that confronts the human drive to search for pattern and meaning.
Eamon O’Kane: Der Glasraum at Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco Irish painter O’Kane employs both meticulous quasi-realism and expressive, gelatinous abstraction in depicting half-imagined architectures. Hinting at the ghosts of their makers as much as the perceptual itinerary of their inhabitants, O’Kane’s new series fuses Modernist glass, steel, and concrete archetypes into psychologically and visually lush inversions of time, space, boundaries, and histories.
Ari Marcopoulos: No Cause at OHWOW, Miami Marcopoulos is a photographer and something of a gonzo documentarian, embedding himself in international extreme-sports as well as more politically charged situations, the better to get at something closer to the truth. In 1993, he hit the mean streets of the NYC skateboard scene, the subject of his new exhibition of vibrant, edgy, candid snaps.
Kehinde Wiley: The World Stage: India-Sri Lanka at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago Wiley’s ongoing World Stage series has previously looked at Brazil, China, and Africa in service of the artist’s twin obsessions: hip-hop and indigenous cultural histories. His method in combining these seemingly unlike realms result in lavishly decorated, symbolically and sexually charged, heroic portraits in the grand tradition.
Superflex at the Hirshhorn Museum, DC Copenhagen-based artist collective, Superflex, reflects concerns ranging from the aesthetic to the political, economic, and environmental, staging interactions and interventions that indict rampant consumerism and other forms of world-flattening toxicity using strategies of cinema and Pop Art. For this exhibition, they built and documented the destruction of a full-scale McDonald’s.
Duke Riley: An Invitation to Lubberland at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland Using an ambitious array of media from sculpture to video and drawing, New York-based artist Riley presents a commissioned piece that documents his research into, and takes stylistic and conceptual inspiration from, a legendary Cleveland catacomb with a violent history. This literal and figurative excavation is an ideal project for Riley, who often addresses the nexus of culture and history that occurs along a nation’s waterways.