Mosaics have an interesting place in the realm of fine art. Similar to collage, they simultaneously occupy spots in both high and low art, and can occasionally be seen as part of home decor. As it turns out, Rashid Johnson works in both mosaic and collage, as well as sculpture, film, and other multimedia endeavors. His latest exhibition, The Hikers, is inspired by a film he shot in the Colorado mountains and uses all these artistic disciplines to explore the ever-growing anxiety that stems from the mere act of being alive in today’s tumultuous times, both in America and beyond. In addition to The Hikers, the gallery will also be opening a show of eclectic, colorful paintings by Mike Kelley.
A Part of US Opening Thursday, November 7 at Geary. On view through December 20.
The first thing an onlooker might notice about the works of Yvette Mayorga is the color, which draws you in with its fluorescent brightness and candied hues. Next, you might notice its unique style, consisting of acrylic piping on canvas instead of brushstrokes. Paired with the colors, the works almost resemble elaborate baked goods or confections—even her sculptures, made of glazed porcelain, could look good enough to eat. Mayorga isn’t just looking to please one’s sweet tooth; her work (on view starting Thursday at Soho gallery Geary) also provides commentary on the so-called American Dream, which isn’t quite so dreamy for everyone.
Envisioning the Liquid Land Opening Wednesday, October 30 at Lesley Heller Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through December 21.
Envisioning the Liquid Land could be the title of a book on how climate change will undoubtedly plunge us all underwater one day, but it’s also the name of Nicole Awai’s latest solo show, on view starting Wednesday at Lesley Heller Gallery on Orchard Street. The Trinidad-born artist and teacher is known for utilizing a wide range of items in her art, from nail polish and resin to feathers and shells, in order to explore the intricacies of living in America today. Awai’s multifaceted style gives her work a multi-dimensional feel reminiscent of candy-colored dreamlands that look almost like normal life, but more surreal and more intriguing. That’s not all—in the gallery’s project space, there will also be an installation by Rachelle Dang, inspired by Hawaiian colonialism and botanical cabinets.
Harvest Opening Wednesday, October 23 at 172 East 4th Street, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 20.
Frequently, galleries will show work by acclaimed artists who just happen to not be alive anymore. Sometimes their work gets combined with more contemporary creations, but not when art advisory group Sidel & McElwreath is concerned. Their focus is squarely on living artists, and they’ll be showcasing nine of their favorites at an East Village exhibition opening this Wednesday. The work included runs the gamut in both form and content, like a bountiful harvest should, and presents a chance for artists and viewers of art who may not normally gather in the same room to come together as a community.
Passed and Present Opening Thursday, October 17 at Howl! Happening, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 17.
One of the pioneers of the Cinema of Transgression—an New York-based underground movement active in the 80’s that focused on low-budget subversion—was Tessa Hughes-Freeland, an experimental filmmaker who utilized psychedelic, kaleidoscopic visuals in her work, as well as found footage. This exhibition at East Village space Howl Happening acts as a “cinematic survey” of her work, featuring sculptures, videos, and an “interactive kaleidoscope.” Beyond the opening reception, there will be several special events throughout the course of the show, including film screenings and filmmaking workshops led by Hughes-Freeland herself.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Opening Wednesday, October 9 at Equity Gallery, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 2.
There are plenty of exhibitions nowadays that spotlight creations by queer artists of present and past, but this show at Equity Gallery organized by critics and curators Christopher Stout and Eric Sutphin narrows its focus even more to zero in on what they call “queer abstraction.” Deeming the exhibition a “visual essay,” it (and the six artists participating) aims to explore how the subgenre has been showcased both locally and abroad, and the power (or lack thereof) of abstract art that doesn’t have an overt political statement to it.
Satellite Art Fair Opening Thursday, October 3 at 630 Flushing Avenue, 5 pm to midnight. On view through October 6. Tickets $10 for one day, $15 for the week.
Art fairs have a bit of a reputation. Namely, they’re associated with the types of people with enough money to buy expensive art (and who can take a break from their jobs to browse for it). The Satellite Art Fair strives to break from this model, offering an experience that’s less about the money and more about the artists, with a focus on the independent and experimental. Also, it’s in one of the most unique structures currently housing art: the Pfizer Building on Flushing Avenue, a huge mazelike place that used to be a pill factory and that currently also provides space for anything from food businesses to music studios. From Thursday to Sunday, it’ll be filled with art and performance from Satellite’s roster of 40+ creators from around the country.
Love No Border: An Artist’s Call for Action Opening Monday, September 23 at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 6 pm. On view through November 30.
It’s always been common for art to intersect with buzzy political topics, for better for for worse. Of course, not everyone is just trying to capitalize on the latest news item; some artists have more noble intentions. One show that fits more into this category is Love No Border, a group show at the Lower Eastside Girls Club featuring artists from New York, Guatemala, Mexico, and New Orleans who are “questioning the value of borders in 21st century society.” The show includes a wide variety of artistic disciplines—from a sculpture of stuffed toys referencing ICE to a contribution by performance art activist group Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir—and there will be events throughout the run of the show to raise funds for immigrant aid organizations.
Glenn O’Brien: Center Stage Opening Tuesday, September 17 at Off Paradise, 6 pm to 8 pm. On view through November 2.
Off Paradise, a loft located on Soho’s Walker Street, is both a new and old space. As a gallery, it’s brand new, and the exhibition opening Tuesday it its first. As a more general space, it’s been around quite a while—the show’s curator, Natacha Polaert, has been there for the past ten years. Off Paradise’s gallery debut celebrates the life and legacy of Glenn O’Brien, a producer, writer, and creative director who worked with Andy Warhol at Interview magazine, among other projects. The show features work by Warhol, as well as contributions by luminaries like Eileen Myles, Rene Ricard, and Richard Prince.
The heart of the matter… Opening Tuesday, September 10 at Hauser & Wirth,6 pm to 8 pm. On view through October 26.
As a painter, Amy Sherald focuses on portraiture that captures the human spirit, specifically the African-American spirit. She achieves this by taking inspiration from the classic American Realism style, popularized by the likes of George Bellows and Edward Hopper (both, unsurprisingly, white men), and imbues it with a distinctly contemporary energy and eye-catching pops of color. They’re tall, too, with a typical painting spanning over four feet tall and three feet wide. A collection of Sherald’s paintings will be on view at Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street gallery space, at an exhibit that takes its name from within the pages of a bell hooks book.