Your guide to the best weekend art exhibitions for Friday June 17–Sunday June 19
Planning on gallery-hopping in Chelsea or one of the other gallery districts in town this weekend? Or maybe you’re in the mood for some museum-going at The Met, the Guggenheim or somewhere else? Whatever you’re thinking about seeing art-wise this weekend, check out our guide to the best weekend art exhibitions before heading out the door.
Sigmar Polke, “Eine Winterreise”
This selection of works by Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) marks his first show with the gallery since it announced its representation of the artist’s estate in 2015. Along with Gerhard Richter, Polke was originator of Capitalist Realism, Pop Art’s darker German variant. Embracing multiple mediums while frequently blurring the boundaries between them, Polke created a signature non-signature style of unconventional materials and techniques, making him a hero to subsequent generations of painters. This museum-quality show presents paintings from the 1960s to the 1980s, most of them focusing on themes related to travel and tourism. David Zwirner, through June 25.
"Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs"
This survey of beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast focuses on the original drawings for Can't We talk About Something More Pleasant?, her mordantly funny account of her parents decline in old age. As only Chast can, the work manages to re-affirm life even while reminding viewers of death’s certainty. Museum of the City of New York, through Oct 9.
“Derrick Adams: ON”
Collages, performance art, sound pieces and illuminated sculptures await visitors to this solo exhibition of new work by Adams. An artist known for an infectious blend of African and American folk art traditions, Adams unpacks the conditions of contemporary black identity. Building on a previous series of works on paper which delved into how African-Americans view television (and vice-versa), a centerpiece group of nine large-scale, mixed-media wall hangings do double duty as backgrounds for video-taped performances projected on a nearby wall; other galleries present “meditative environments,” including one referencing a 1990s TV mystic named Miss Cleo. Pioneer Works through July 15.
“Philip Guston: The Painter, 1957–1967”
These abstract paintings date from ten-year period before the artist made his epochal return to figurative art around 1970, when he began to paint dark, cartoonish canvases that captured the existential angst of the Vietnam era and influenced countless later artists. Merging the gestural agitation of Willem de Kooning with the moody color of Mark Rothko, Guston’s abstractions embody a kind of oceanic alienation and served as the tabula rasa that cleared the way for his emergence as a paladin of anxious representation. Hauser & Wirth, through July 29.
“Terence Koh: Bee Chapel”
Self-styled as the Naomi Campbell of the art world, Canadian artist Terence Koh made a splashy debut some eight years ago with performances and installations that enlivened a mystical bent with porn references, punk attitude and queer aesthetics. But in 2014, he disappeared to upstate. Being in the woods must have rubbed off on him since his latest show transforms the gallery into a solar-powered “living Garden of Eden,” complete with Apple tree. While there are bees, there’s no sign of a snake. Andrew Edlin Gallery, through July 1.
Kirk Mangus, “A pot, a joke, a rhythm, a theory”
Magnus (1952–2013), a Pittsburgh native who spent his career working in Ohio, was a potter who earned an international reputation for objects that combined inventive imagistic forms with colorful glazes running a wide gamut of finishes and techniques. His work drew upon myriad influences, including cave art, modernist abstraction, folk art and Japanese prints, as well as Meso-American and Asian ceramic traditions. He was a regional artist with a worldwide profile—though, surprisingly, not well that well known here. This show, his first in New York, offers a taste of what we’ve been missing. James Cohan Gallery, through June 26.
“Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective, 1999-2016”
A lot of artists transform ordinary objects into art works, but Sachs’s pieces evince a funky swagger mixed with crowd-pleasing populism. His best-known project,Space Program: Mars, filled the Park Avenue Armory in 2012 with a full-scale simulation of a mission to the Red Planet, complete with mission control, launch platforms, exploratory vehicles and a martian landscape. This show, which takes up the museum’s glass entryway, surveys a series of sculptures created over the last 17 years that are based on that icon of street culture, the boom box. Among the highlights: Toyan’s from 2002, a group of speakers measuring eight feet in height by twelve feet in length inspired by Jamaican sound systems. Brooklyn Museum, though Aug 14.
Nicole Eisenman, “Al-ugh-ories”
This two-decade retrospective makes a good case for why Eisenman won a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” in 2015. One of the premier painters of her generation, Eisenman’s figurative canvases are unique blend of autobiography, fiction, queer aesthetics, feminism, pop culture and references to artists ranging from Giotto to Picasso. Her style collapses realism, Surrealism and Expressionism into bold, imaginative and ambitious meditations on that timeless tale—the human comedy of errors. New Museum, through June 26.
“Andy Warhol: Little Electric Chairs”
Warhol is known for his Marilyns and Campbell’s Soup Cans, but his most disturbing and profound effort was undoubtedly the “Death and Disaster” series of the 1960s. Created in the wake of JFK’s murder, and coinciding with collective descent into mayhem and madness that followed in both the streets and on television, these works captured the zeitgeist of what was undoubtedly the most divided period in the country’s history since the Civil War. Vietnam, urban riots and political assassinations were symptomatic of a rot at the core of the American experience that if anything has grown even worse over time. Warhol summed up the inherent violence of American society with tabloid images of electric chairs, car crashes and other talismans of catastrophe silkscreened onto canvas. Some 18 works from the series produced between 1964 and 1965 are presented here, powerful as ever. Venus, through June 25.
“Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty”
Incredibly, this show is MoMA’s first-ever monographic exhibition of this Impressionist giant who became one of the most enduring and popular figures of 19th-century art. The exhibit spotlights a little-know aspect of the artist’s work: His experimentation with monotypes, a technique invented in 17th-century Italy. A monotype is created by laying paper down on a metal or glass plate covered with a design in wet paint or ink, then running them through a press to produce a one-of-a-kind print. Degas exploited the full potential of the monotype: Some of the most haunting and abstract images here were the result of initially inking the entire surface of a plate, then creating a subtractive image using brushes, rags or finely-pointed tools. He also add colored pastels in some cases once the monotype dried. All of Degas’s family subjects are here, including ballerinas, theater scenes and landscapes. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), though July 24.