UPSTATE NEW YORK
Beatriz Cortez: The Volcano That Left
Until 13 November at Storm King Art Center, 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, New York
This new outdoor installation features three recent large-scale sculptures by El Salvador-born, Los Angeles-based artist Beatriz Cortez, a multidisciplinary maker best known for her sculptural reflections on the immigrant experience. The Volcano That Left, organised by Storm King associate curator Eric Booker and curatorial assistant Adela Goldsmith, takes on the simultaneous terror and freedom of contemporary futurity, grounding big questions about geologic ontology, history and the human condition in the language of improvisational steel construction.
The exhibition’s central thread relates to Ilopango, the Volcano that Left (2023), the artist’s “speculative reconstruction” of an ancient volcano that erupted 1,500 years ago in current-day El Salvador. The eruption, known as the Tierra Blanca Joven disaster, is considered one of the largest volcanic events in recorded history. Cortez frames the ash distribution from the eruption as a testament to Mayan spiritual and religious practices. “Lava flows under the volcanic range that unites my two homes,” Cortez has said, “Los Angeles and San Salvador. The underworld is not divided by these borders.” This non-linear, de-colonised relationship with time courses throughout Cortez’s practice; in November, her installation will travel by boat to Troy, New York for a show at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center titled Shifting Center. T.A.
Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination since 1969
Until 26 November at the the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, 33 Garden Road, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
This exhibition, the first large-scale show foregrounding the importance of performance and theatre in Indigenous art, takes 1969 as its origin point. That was the year the New Native Theater movement launched in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the exhibition features archival materials and documentation related to that movement. It was also the year the group Indians of All Tribes began their 19-month-long occupation of Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, which brought new visibility to contemporary Indigenous issues in the Americas.
The exhibition, curated by Candice Hopkins—a member of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and the executive director of Forge Project—features more than 100 works by artists including Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂), Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Band of Choctaw and Cherokee), Kay WalkingStick (Citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Anglo), Marie Watt (Seneca and German-Scot), Dyani White Hawk (Sičangu Lakota) and Natalie Ball (Klamath/Modoc), among others. Many of the featured works employ humour as a form of critique, depict Indigenous bodies (and their absences) as a means of undermining stereotypes about Native identity or reinterpret traditional art forms to address contemporary issues. B.S.
Ellsworth Kelly: States of The River
29 June-29 October at the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center, 82 North Broadway, Nyack, New York
The Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center in Nyack, New York, has joined forces with the Ellsworth Kelly Studio and other organisations to launch States of The River, an exhibition focused on Kelly’s lithographs named for major waterways around the world, including the Hudson (which the Hopper House Museum overlooks), the Amazon and the Nile. Held at Hopper’s birthplace and childhood home, the exhibit will bring together nine lithographs Kelly created between 2004 and 2005 and coincides with the centenary of his birth. Kelly and Hopper were “equally captivated by rivers and the interaction of light on the water’s surface”, museum director Kathleen Motes Bennewitz said in a statement. C.P.
Rita McBride: Momentum
1 July 2023-January 2025 at Dia Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, New York
Rita McBride’s well known Arena (1997) will be installed at the Dia Art Foundation’s Beacon location this summer in an exhibition that explores how architecture and design is incorporated in day-to-day life within the public sphere. The artist’s modular Twaron and wood Arena seating area will be activated throughout the presentation with performances by artists, writers, musicians and dancers, according to Dia. A section of McBride’s work involving public infrastructure from the previous two decades will be presented alongside Arena. C.P.
Welcome to New York!
Until June 2024 at Magazzino Italian Art, 2700 Route 9, Cold Spring, New York
To mark Magazzino Italian Art’s sixth anniversary, the museum dedicated to post-war and contemporary Italian art is showing new work by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. A mixed media sculpture, Welcome to New York! draws inspiration from the Statue of Liberty and features colourful, cascading rags tied to a metal crown. Seven of Pistoletto’s mirrored sculptures will be displayed alongside Welcome to New York!. Magazzino will also unveil a permanent installation by Pistoletto, Terzo paradiso, on the museum's grounds. The project was completed with 46 stones excavated during the construction of a new pavilion. Magazzino will also host the official Upstate Art Weekend kickoff party on 21 July. C.P.
Women Reframe American Landscape: Susie Barstow & Her Circle
Until 29 October 29, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring Street, Catskill, New York
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is restoring a lost name to her proper place in the canon this summer. Women Reframe American Landscape is the first retrospective of artist Susie Barstow (1836-1925), well-respected in her time but forgotten in the century since her death. The exhibition seeks to retroactively “reinsert” Barstow into the legacy of the Hudson River School, America’s landmark artistic “fraternity” founded by the institution’s namesake, Thomas Cole. As the Hudson Valley continues to grow in popularity, the legacy of its art historical tradition is being updated for a contemporary audience.
Women Reframe American Landscape also features work by contemporary artists in conversation with Bartstow’s, reflecting subsequent approaches to the landscape. This portion of the show features a new work by the Guerrilla Girls, an outdoor sculpture by Jean Shin, an interactive library installation by Mary Mattingly and works on canvas by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Kay WalkingStick. “This exhibition represents the growing interest in, and need for, greater inclusivity and diverse voices when telling the story of the American landscape movement,” Nancy Siegel, professor of art history at Towson University and exhibition co-curator, said in a statement. (After its run at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the exhibition will go on view at the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, 16 November 2023-31 March 2024.) T.A.
Artists Choose Parrish Part 1
Until 6 August, Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, New York
The Parrish Art Museum is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a conceptual retrospective of sorts—41 renowned artists with ties to the east end of Long Island have selected work from the museum’s collection to show alongside their own. Artists Choose Parrish, organised by Corinne Erni, the museum’s chief curator, is unfolding in three parts. Part I, split into A and B rotation, pairs the work of contemporary artists who have spent time in and around the Hamptons like Mary Heilmann, Cindy Sherman, Eric Fischl and Ross Bleckner with pieces by art historical figures like William Merritt Chase and Jackson Pollock, juxtaposing cultural, visual and creative narratives across time, movements and genres. The exhibition is also an opportunity to delve into into PAM’s 3,600-piece online and in-person collection, affording opportunities to see rarely-exhibited gems and discover new connections between contemporary and historical works. T.A.
Renée Cox: A Proof of Being
2 July-4 September at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, New York
The centrepiece of Guild Hall’s reopening following a $25m renovation is a thoroughly overdue 30-year survey of Renée Cox’s photographic work, which often involves elaborate self-portraiture in which she assumes various guises—from supermodels and superheroes to historical figures and artistic tropes—to unsettle conventions of gender, race and beauty. In addition to a recent video installation, Soul Culture (2022), the show (organised by independent curator Monique Long) brings together earlier series like her rumination on motherhood, Yo Mama (1992-94), and other iconic images from the 1990s and early 2000s. Also featured is her 12ft-wide photograph The Signing (2017), which reimagines Howard Chandler Christy’s 1940 painting Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States but replaces all the historical figures with people of colour. B.S.
Raven Halfmoon: Flags of Our Mothers
Until 7 January 2024 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 258 Main Street, Ridgefield, Connecticut
In her bravura earthenware sculptures the artist Raven Halfmoon, who is a member of the Caddo Nation, transforms the iconography of historical statues and sculptural portraits. She brings in influences from Caddo tattooing to Land art and Moai sculpture to create pieces that are often monumental in scale yet also intensely personal and richly tactile. Her heavily worked sculptures, which can rise as tall as nine feet and weigh more than 800 pounds, feature impressions of her fingers and expressively dripping glazes. The pieces here span the past five years and include brand new works; the show, which was co-curated by Amy Smith-Stewart of the Aldrich and Rachel Adams of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, will travel there following its run in Connecticut. B.S.
In a New Light: Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art
Until 3 December at the Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut
Visitors to In a New Light: Paintings from the Yale Center for British Art can see more than 50 paintings from the Yale Center for British Art’s (YCBA) collection at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven while the YCBA is closed for a conservation project. The exhibition covers 400 years of British painting with works from artists like Mary Beale, John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth and JMW Turner. Highlights include an 1818 seascape by Turner and Constable’s Hampstead Heath (around 1825). The display occupies a section of the fourth floor of the Yale University Art Gallery’s Kahn building, which was designed by Louis I. Kahn and was the first modernist structure on the university’s campus. The YCBA is home to the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. C.P.
Adama Delphine Fawundu: In the Spirit of Àṣẹ
Until 10 March 2024 at the Newark Museum of Art, 49 Washington Street, Newark, New Jersey
An exhibition at the Newark Museum of Art pairs 17 new works by Sierra Leonean-American photographer and visual artist Adama Delphine Fawundu with objects from the museum’s collection of global African art to explore ancestral memory and liberation. Much of Fawundu’s work includes images of herself at historic sites related to Black resistance in Africa and the Americas. For this exhibition, Farundu chose to include three works by Sierra Leonean artist Olayinka Miranda Burney-Nicol, a pioneer of modern African art. Fuwundu approached the work from the Newark Museum of Art’s collection as connected and intertwined with what the Yorùbá people in West Africa call “Àṣẹ”, a life force that causes things to happen and change, the museum said. C.P.
Meryl McMaster: Chronologies
Until 15 October at Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey
Though most concisely described as a photographer, Québec-based artist Meryl McMaster, who is a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation and the Siksika Nation, works across disciplines, incorporating elements of sculpture and performance to create powerful and enigmatic images. She fashions elaborate costumes and sculptural props, often augmented with dramatic makeup, which then form the basis for self-portraits and tableaux she shoots at sites that hold significance for her family and community. For instance, in her recent series Stories of my Grandmothers | nōhkominak ācimowina (2022)—showing in the US for the first time—she re-creates family stories using objects, images and accounts of events from her Plains Cree and Métis grandmothers. B.S.
Spiral Q: The Parade
Until 7 January 2024 at Grounds for Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, New Jersey
Spiral Q is a Philadelphia-based non-profit known for their creative protests and direct action campaigns, which typically incorporate elements of large-scale puppetry, elaborate costumes and props. Since 1996, the group has animated street festivals and celebrations, as well as bringing powerful imagery and pageantry to protests against police brutality and violence against transgender people, in support of greater environmental regulation and more. This exhibition brings together materials from past actions and protests, plus new images of footage of their performances and portraits of Spiral Q members. B.S.