July’s 10 Must-See Art Shows

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At least one of the deer-hunting shots from I Am Legend, where Will Smith runs through deserted New York streets, takes place in the Chelsea gallery district, mostly likely during the summer. Even on a busy opening night, blocks full of art galleries almost always seem expansive and empty from the outside, and this gets more intense during the summer, when enough major players close up for the season to convince art lovers that there’s nothing to see. It’s worth reminding ourselves that I Am Legend isn’t real, and actually, there are a loads of galleries that are worth visiting during July, for reasons besides their offerings of air conditioning and shade. Here are ten of the best shows opening across the country this month.

Going My Way at Barbara Davis Gallery (Houston, TX)

Jason Yates; The Twins; 2013; acrylic on canvas with Mylar and copper armature; 48 x 48 inches. Image courtesy Barbara Davis Gallery.

Highlights of this eight-person group show includes a site-specific installation by Paul Fleming and paintings by Jason Yates, in a curated arrangement that emphasizes diversity and playfulness.

Going My Way runs July 12 through August 31. Barbara Davis Gallery is located at 4411 Montrose Boulevard, Suite D, Houston, Texas. Opening reception will be held on Friday, July 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ART WORLD at Freight + Volume (New York, NY)

Loren Munk. Bushwick, an Interim Attempt at Documentation, 2012-2013. Oil on linen. 60 x 54 inches.

With no shortage of irony, this show seeks to turn the typically cheerful, inclusive attitude of a summertime group show on its head, showing works by William Powhida and Karen Finely colored by pessimistic class consciousness and acerbic art-world parodies.

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ART WORLD, PART I: THE ONE-PERCENTERS runs July 11 through August 17. Freight + Volume is located at 530 W. 24th St., New York. Opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

Trygve Faste: Shards, Protoforms and Turboforms at David Richard Gallery (Santa Fe, NM)

Trygve Faste. Turboform Red and White. Acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy David Richard Gallery.

Ditching the earthy Western-style aesthetics of his Southwestern peers, Trygve Fast has prepared a series of energetic, Pop-infused paintings that lean toward (rather than away from) the colors and machine-sharp edges of industrial art and design.

Trygve Fast: TECHNOFORMS runs July 2 through July 27. David Richard Gallery is located at 544 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe. Opening reception will be held on Friday, July 5, 2013.

Robert Arneson: Early Work at David Zwirner Gallery (New York, NY)

Robert Arneson, Herinal, 1965/1971. Glazed ceramic. 50 x 66 x 72 inches. Image courtesy David Zwirner Gallery.

In an homage to the California Funk heyday of the 1960s, this selection of work by Robert Arneson will take viewers to back to the dawn of the ceramics revolution in contemporary sculpture, when the medium and its practitioners were just beginning to be accepted into the cloistered abode of fine art.

Robert Arneson: Early Work is on view from July 8 through August 9. David Zwirner Gallery is located at 519, 525 & 533 West 19th Street, New York. Opening reception will be held Monday, July 8, 6-8 pm.

Eric William Carroll: G.U.T. Feeling (San Francisco, CA)

Eric William Carroll, Particle Detector, 2012. Pigment Ink Print. 20” x 16”. Image courtesy Highlight Gallery.

This series of work by Eric William Carroll, which takes its name from the sought-after “Grand Unification Theory” in theoretical physics, is alternately nerdy and introverted, using scientific photographs and data maps to make a statement on the tenuous limits of contemporary knowledge.

Eric William Carroll: G.U.T. Feeling is on view from July 11 through August 17. Highlight Gallery is located at 17 Kearny Street, San Francisco.

DAVID BOWIE at Richard Young Gallery (London, UK)

If you’re not burnt out by the David Bowie retrospective at the Victoria & Albet Museum, this series of press photos of concert shots should add a rich dimension to the lore of Bowie theology, including several never-before-seen images from the Richard Young archive.

DAVID BOWIE will be on view from July 10 through October 25. Richard Young Gallery is located at 4 Holland Street, London.

Model / Arbus: Great Photographs of the 20th Century at Hasted Kraeutler (New York, NY)

Lisette Model, Coney Island Bather Standing, 1939-1941. Image courtesy Hasted Kraeutler.

This straightforward photographic history show, featuring giants of mid-century documentary and candid portraiture, represents a new step by the gallery towards educational, museum-style showing. Highlights include Arbus’s Loser at a Diaper Derby, 1967, and Lisette Model’s Coney Island Bather Standing, 1939-1941.

Model / Arbus: Great Photographs of the 20th Century will be on view July 9 through August 16. Hasted Kraeutler is located at 537 West 24th Street New York.

Death Row Picnic at Steven Wolf Fine Arts (San Francisco, CA)

Richard Kamler, Food Tray. Image courtesy Steven Wolf Fine Arts.

The harrowing debate over prison reform looms large in this exhibition, which includes a large, electric-chair-inspired sculpture by Phillip Zimmerman and a series of “last-supper” food trays by artist and prison-rights advocate Richard Kamler.

Death Row Picnic will be on view from July 14 through August 24. Steven Wolf Fine Arts is located at 2747 A 19th St., San Francisco. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, July 14, 2-5 pm.

It’s Our Turn at Galerie Protegé (New York, NY)

Cognatype Collection, Tremors (Color Series). Medium: C-Print Mounted on ClayBoard. Dimensions: 11″ x 14″ x 2″. Image courtesy Galerie Protegé

School’s out in July, so for this collaborative group summer show, the worthy artist staff at Chelsea Frames and Galerie Protegé will take over the gallery to feature paintings, sculptures, and assemblages of their own.

It’s Our Turn will be on view from July 11 through August 15. Galerie Protegé is located at 197 Ninth Ave, Lower Level, New York.

Jason Salavon: Chance Animals at Eight Modern

Installation view of One Week Skin. Image courtesy Salavon.com.

A net artist’s net artist, Jason Salavon has more than honed his skills as a manipulator of digital material, taking images from online caches and repurposing them in dynamic digital prints, videos, and installations. This exhibition shows some of his biggest successes, including <Color> Wheel and his One Week Skin series.

Jason Salavon: Chance Animals will be on view July 19 through September 1. Eight Modern is located at 231 Delgado Street, Santa Fe. An opening reception will take place on Friday, July 19, 5-7 pm.