This week, the international art community is flocking to New York for a much-anticipated Armory Week, which coincides with the back-to-school openings since the fair’s schedule left its stomping grounds in early March. While the central art exhibition attracts over 240 galleries from over 30 countries, many top local galleries are opening some of their strongest exhibitions to date – and showcasing Cultivated Young Artist alumni including Christina Quarles, Rindon Johnson, Lucy Bull, Sable Elyse Smith, Kristi Cavataro, Jordan Casteel, Hayden Dunham, and more. Outside of the Armory, here are 10 New York art exhibits you can’t miss this fall.
“In 24 Days the Sun Will Set at 7pm” by Christina Quarles at Hauser and Wirth, Chelsea
One of the most prolific figurative painters of her generation, Christina Quarles, depicts the human body at its most vulnerable. She made this new series of paintings during a summer residence in Somerset, England. Quarles’ figures appear asexual, rendered as complex anatomical beings interconnected across multiple planes. Breaking through the societal facade of physical classification gives its viewers a space to discover new meanings and see people in a different light. Quarles constructs a visual vocabulary that respects the liminal space between mind and body.
“Piper” by Lucy Bull at David Kordansky Gallery
Lucy Bull’s new oil on linen paintings appear as silky panoramas of color embodying spectra of light. Bull uses abstraction on his canvas to articulate the control of sensory experience; pigments blend to form elements of the natural world while embracing the simultaneity of the universe. It is easy to get lost in these works, their power residing in the meditative notions provoked in the viewer.
“Dark Dreams” by Yuri Yuan at Alexander Berggruen
From a multi-eyed Argus-like piece to a knight on horseback wielding a sword, Yuri Yuan imbues her canvases with personal references that she uses to understand the psychology behind fear. Layered with intimate moments of self-discovery, the artist grants the viewer leeway for voyeurism in their private dream state, capturing them as fleeting moments. Yuan grapples with memory malaise and describes various instances of invisibility where the protagonist is alone, an outsider, or perhaps a superpower.
“Cuvier” by Rindon Johnson at François Ghebaly
Dedicated to Cuvier’s remarkable beaked whale, which inhabits ocean waters over 300 meters deep, Rindon Johnson presents a collaborative video game with artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork that straddles a unique blend of marine-inspired sculptural stained glass. Absorbed in the poetics of underwater life, Johnson focuses primarily on the hunting and feeding habits of whales. In this video game, visitors can take on the role of a whale that feeds on squid at the bottom of the ocean.
“Meditations on Social Sculpture” by Rick Lowe at the Gagosian Gallery
Fresh off his participation in the 2022 Whitney Biennial, Rick Lowe opens his first solo exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery with a set of abstract paintings designed by working with local communities in the Houston, Texas area. Through the work, Lowe interrogates social structures, interrogating wealth disparities, architectural inequalities and aerial gaps demonstrating how societies are divided. Clusters of contrasting shapes appear like city maps that come together as symbols forming a script.
“Dîme” by Sable Elyse Smith at the JTT
Putting a blowtorch to supposed sanctity, Sable Elyse Smith’s new work draws on religious iconography to question the morality of power structures regarding correctional facilities. Drawing on humor and irony, Coloring book 99 (2022) depicts three figures, including a saint and a judge, materializing from the fires of hell. A slogan above them reads: “All types of people are judges”, referring to the lack of trust in judicial systems and the antiquated character of politicized religious ideologies.
Kristi Cavataro at Ramiken
Kristi Cavataro’s three-dimensional Tetris-like sculptures constructed in stained glass are architectural as they are playfully reminiscent of pipe toys. His prismatic sculptures mimic the twisted forms found in concrete urban topography. In this exhibition, Cavataro uses elaborate deformation forms that mimic utilitarian objects and views of unrecognized structural fragments.
“Time Sensitive” by Issy Wood at the Michael Werner Gallery
Multidisciplinary artist and musician Issy Wood uses found and appropriated imagery to inform her new series of paintings. Her choice of memories acts like a sequence of snapshots of unseen moments, creating rich worlds that defy hierarchical point of view. Wood’s works function as a tapestry of ephemeral objects, questioning notions of obsolescence and memory.
“In Bloom” by Jordan Casteel at Casey Kaplan
Illustrating her personal and community life in nine figurative and landscape paintings, Jordan Casteel continuously analyzes how she interacts with her environment. I was first drawn to her work at the Denver Museum of Art, where she portrayed several subjects from her neighborhood in Harlem. With Casteel, everything is in the details; each work shares attributes that further demonstrate the human complexities of its subjects.
“Transmutation” by Hayden Dunham at the Company Gallery
Interdisciplinary artist Hayden Dunham works through assemblage and sound to examine how human relationships correspond to environmental toxicity. She is currently building a reserve of “160 degree mineral-rich hot spring water” which has opened up an investigation into the atomic relationships of solid and liquid forms. Dunham collaborates with composer Finn Keane to create a multi-sensory sound experience, which coincides with his new album Clearing.
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