Your compact New York Art Guide for May 2022

Willie Cole, “Piano Bird” (2021), piano legs, keys, metal and wiring, 34 x 32 1/2 x 42 in. (86.4 x 82.5 x 106.7 cm) (Courtesy Alexander and Bonin , New York; photo by Joerg Lohse )

May in New York is packed with art fairs and arts programs, and the city’s galleries and museums are keeping up by beating up the heat. This month, Hélio Oiticica’s radical plans for an immersive sculptural outdoor installation from 1971 will finally come to fruition; intertwined corporeal shapeshifters Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge are honored with their first major posthumous solo exhibition; and six decades of Cecilia Vicuña’s cross-media work will – amazingly – be featured in her first solo show at the New York Museum. Enjoy and be safe.


Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho, Film Still from 羽化 (wings being) (2022), 16mm color, no sound, 6:20 minutes, Edition 5 plus II AP (Image courtesy of the artists and 47 Canal, New York)

When: until May 21st
From where: 47 Canal (291 Grand Street, 2nd floor, Chinatown, Manhattan)

In their 16mm film of burning paper butterflies in a community garden next to FDR, not far from the Chinatown gallery, collaborators Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho explore diaspora resilience and the reclaiming of autonomy through the collective cultivation of land otherwise used for capitalist purposes used or seen as architecturally dead space. Also appearing as a sign of regeneration are the translucent skull and crossbones butterflies in the gallery space, all made of paper made from organic material such as onion skins, cherry blossoms, and banana peels.

Installation view from Willie Cole: No strings, April 1 – May 27, 2022, Alexander and Bonin, New York (Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York; Photo by Joerg Lohse)

When: until May 27th
From where: Alexander and Bonin (59 Wooster Street, 2nd Floor, SoHo, Manhattan)

Willie Cole, whose finds assemblage can also be seen in the Afrofuturist Time Room We could fly the day before yesterday at the Met, presents sculptures made from repurposed musical instruments as part of Yamaha’s recycling program, along with several works on high-heeled paper. While deftly turning guitars and pianos into elephants, dogs and birds, Cole also explores the visual resonances between musical instruments and the instruments of slavery. The sale of the work will benefit the music department of the public high school the artist attends, Arts High in Newark.

Nanette Carter, “Destabilizing #1” (2021), Oil on Mylar, 72 x 67 in. (182.9 x 170.2 cm) (© Nanette Carter; courtesy Berry Campbell, New York)

When: until May 27th
From where: Berry Campbell (530 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Nanette Carter first encountered Mylar in architectural drawings in the mid-1980s. Since then, frosted Mylar sheets have become the artist’s medium of choice as she constructs self-supporting collages by painting and printing directly onto irregular shapes cut from the material. This exhibition shows current collages, including stirring examples from the artist’s pen destabilizing and change of perspective series, clearly hammers away that Carter is not just a painter concerned with colour, texture and dynamics, but also a builder with an interest in balance, weight and gravity.

Emilie Louise Gossiaux, “Dreaming Doggirl” (2022), earthenware, 3 x 5 x 13 1/2 in. (7.6 x 12.7 x 34.3 cm) (courtesy of the artist and Mother Gallery; photo by Pierre le hors)

When: until June 4th
From where: MOTHER (368 Broadway #415, Tribeca, Manhattan)

Emilie Louise Gossiaux’s exhibition takes its title from Donna Haraway’s 2003 book on relationships between species Significant difference examines the intimate relationships between – and the fundamental entanglement of – humans and animals. Gossiaux makes ceramic representations of objects important to her guide dog, London, both independently and in direct relation to herself; Pen and ink drawings depicting coexistence and tensions between species, including the alligators with which the New Orleans-born artist identifies; and hybridized ceramic figurines that fuse canine or alligator features with human ones.

Nari Ward, “Peace Walk; ASSEMBLY” (2022), copper sheet, copper nails and darkening patina, 84 x 84 in (213.4 x 213.4 cm) (Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London)

When: until June 4th
From where: Lehmann Maupin (501 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Ward transcends the divide between street, studio, and gallery, incorporating found materials from his Harlem neighborhood into these recent works. The exhibition’s offerings include a large-scale installation with still life arrangements on stepladders, wall-tied shoelace-based text pieces that reference Claude McKay’s powerful 1919 poem “If We Must Die,” and large copper plaques modeled on the crosses are forming on sidewalks and contain material taken from the street monuments that were particularly prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Installation view from Nora Turato: Rule me harderApril 8–April 1 July 2022, 52 Walker, New York (Courtesy of 52 Walker, New York)

When: until July 1st
From where: 52 Walker (52 Walker Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)

Opening following the Amsterdam artist’s performance publication pool 5 Nora Turato’s first solo show in a US gallery at MoMA builds on her project to denaturalize our daily flood of language and typography. Treating words as found objects or sculptural material, Turato paints decontextualized snippets of language—culled from sources such as social media posts and exhibition press releases—onto multi-part steel plates or directly onto the gallery wall. With an irregular font specially made for the exhibition, the artist boldly asserts himself against a modern typographical logic of uniformity and legibility.

Installation view from BREYER P-ORRIDGE: We are only oneApril 15 – July 10, 2022, Pioneer Works at Red Hook Labs (Courtesy Pioneer Works; photo by Dan Bradica)

When: until July 10th
From where: Pioneer Works (133 Imlay Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

In their multi-year Pandrogyne project, artists and lovers Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge underwent a series of physical modifications to merge into BREYER P-ORRIDGE. we are only one, the couple’s first major exhibition since Genesis’ death in 2020, features photographs, sculpture and works on paper associated with this ambitious endeavor, as well as an elaborate shrine installation created by Genesis’ daughter Genesis P-Orridge. On May 26th, Pioneer Works will be showing archive footage selected by Jacqueline Castel, director of an upcoming documentary about an occult and chaos magic community of which Genesis was a founding member.

Installation view from The absolute restoration of all things by Miguel Fernandez de Castro and Natalia MendozaApr 8-30 July 2022, Storefront for Art and Architecture (Courtesy Storefront for Art and Architecture; Photo by Ivane Katamashvili)

When: until July 30th
From where: Art and Architecture Showcase (97 Kenmare Street, SoHo, Manhattan)

The idea of ​​artist Miguel Fernández de Castro and anthropologist Natalia Mendoza, The absolute restoration of all things deals with the ecological devastation caused by mining in the Sonoran Desert, the efforts of local communal landowners to hold miners accountable for restoring the damaged ecosystem, and finally the legal limitations on land rights. The couple’s joint investigation centers around a court case and is manifested in a film, photographic mural, found mining objects, diagrams and ephemera at the SoHo Gallery – and further afield, a small sculpture at an abandoned mine in the Sonoran Desert.

Hélio Oiticica, “Maquette for Subterranean Tropicália Projects: PN15 Penetrable”, 1971, nylon fabric and cardboard (courtesy of Miguel Rio Branco, © César and Claudio Oiticica)

When: May 14th – May 14th August
From where: Socrates Sculpture Park (32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Queens)

Not long after arriving in New York City, Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica designed, but never completed, an immersive outdoor installation for Central Park Underground Tropicália Projects (1971). A version of the circular structure “PN15” – a mockup of which was featured in the first part of recently This Must Be the Place: Latin American Artists in New York, 1965–1975 at the Americas Society – will eventually be built on a large scale in the outdoor Socrates Sculpture Park, giving viewers a chance to experience Oiticica’s radical vision of a plant-filled and projection-filled space dedicated to shared creativity and leisure.

Cecilia Vicuña, “La Vicuña (The Vicuña)” (1977), oil on cotton canvas, 54 3/4 × 47 in., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Ives Family Fund, 2018 (Photo: 2022 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston © Cecilia Vicuna)

When: May 27–May 22 August
From where: Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

For her first solo exhibition at the New York Museum, Chilean-born artist, poet, and activist Cecilia Vicuña will present six decades of her work, ranging from surreal figurative paintings to films in which she is politically astute Palabrarmas (“word weapons”) or visual anagrams. The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a site-specific, three-part node Quipu Installation, part of a poetic series of works mourning ecocide and referencing ancient records in the Andes. This installation will be the setting for a one-off participatory performance aimed at promoting collective healing.


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