Private view: must-see gallery shows opening in January

Lydia Benglis's sparkly vessels and an abortion rights fundraiser—the best new commercial exhibitions this month

Viva Ruiz, Untitled (2018) Photo by jazzmine beaulie

Viva Ruiz, Untitled (2018) Photo by jazzmine beaulie

Abortion is Normal

Galerie Eva Presenhuber and Arsenal Contemporary, New York, 9 January-1 February

The two-venue group show features new works by around 40 female artists, among them Marilyn Minter, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Natalie Frank and Shirin Neshat. The exhibition is a response to recent laws passed across the US south and Midwest that severely restrict women’s access to abortions. All proceeds will go to the arts and culture political action committee Downtown for Democracy to fund voter education and advocacy, as well as to support Planned Parenthood fundraising efforts in the upcoming 2020 US presidential elections.

Serge Attukwei Clottey, Heritage II (2019). Courtesy of the artist and EverGold Projects

Serge Attukwei Clottey

Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco, 11 January-29 February

Serge Attukwei Clottey’s multimedia works riff on the textile traditions of his Ghanaian culture while incorporating Western materials and aesthetic influences to highlight the cultural and material exchange between Africa and the West. Many of his sculptures feature a particular kind of yellow plastic container that clogs the waterways of Ghana’s capital, Accra, as well as tyres, discarded wood and jute sacks. For his third exhibition, Clottey presents new large-scale, mixed-media wall works, charcoal drawings, and wood and bronze sculptures.

Lynda Benglis’s Broken Favor I (2015-16) © Lynda Benglis; Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery

Lynda Benglis: Spettri

Thomas Dane Gallery, Naples, until 14 March

The US artist Lynda Benglis first alighted in Naples in 1952, aged 11. Nearly 70 years later she has returned for this exhibition, Spettri (meaning ghosts or spirits), at Thomas Dane’s Naples outpost, which concentrates on Benglis’s exploration of “weightlessness and light” within her sculptures. The show mixes “sparkle” works from the 1970s with marble knots from the 1980s, and more recent glitter and paper sculptures built over chicken wire, alongside Benglis’s voluminous light “vessels” and phosphorescent reliefs.