Our editors and writers scour the city each week for the most thoughtful, relevant and exciting new exhibitions and artworks on view at galleries, museums and public venues across all five boroughs of New York. This week we recommend:
Until 13 February at Galeria Nara Roesler, 511 West 21st Street, Manhattan
The Brazilian gallery has inaugurated its expanded street-level space in Chelsea with a series of exhibitions (each on view for five days) curated by its artistic director Luis Pérez-Oramas, a celebrated Venezuelan writer and curator and the Museum of Modern Art’s former curator of Latin American art. The mini-exhibitions highlight the work of nine artists that the gallery represents, beginning with a show of conceptual works by the Brazilian artist Antonio Dias, best known for his involvement in the Tropicália movement, and proceeding to others featuring pieces by Tomie Ohtake, Milton Machado and others. Galeria Nara Roesler, which also operates in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, hired the award-winning Brazilian architect Miguel Pinto Guimarães to design its new home in New York, which dwarfs the gallery’s previous third-floor space in the Upper East Side. The shows attest to the gallery's aptitude for championing dynamic Latin American art even as the American and Brazilian art markets face severe economic disruption amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Raven Halfmoon: Okla Homma to Manahatta
Until 6 February at Ross + Kramer, 515 West 27th Street, Manhattan
The Oklahoma-based artist Raven Halfmoon is making an impact with the New York debut of a series of large-scale stoneware sculptures that honour symbols of her Caddo heritage and the nearly-extinct art of Caddo ceramics, an ancient tradition that was largely forgotten after the arrival of European colonists and has been little studied by scholars. The totemic works, which aim to critique the appropriation of Indigenous cultures, also draw inspiration from contemporary subjects and some archaeological wonders like the Moai, the mysterious carvings of human figures on Easter Island. The artist says she has also been deeply inspired by the Caddo elder Jeri Redcorn, who is known for having revived the culture's lost ceramic arts and has been selected to create work to inaugurate the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma, which plans to emphasise a contemporary rather than historically ethnographic representation of Indigenous art.
Shirin Neshat: Land of Dreams
Until 27 February at Gladstone, 515 West 24th Street, Manhattan
Shirin Nishat’s Land of Dreams (2019) is the New York debut of a sweeping new body of work by the prolific Iranian-American artist. The centrepiece of the exhibition is the 25-minute film from which the show takes its title; it follows the fictional Iranian art student Simin as she travels throughout New Mexico on an assignment that involves photographing strangers in their homes and asking them about their dreams. As the dreams are recounted for Simin, they are made manifest in the video, and the viewer watches them unfold with a sweeping, surreal physicality. In a second film of similar length that is also on view, The Colony (2019), the same protagonist is now a spy tucked away in a bunker where she is forced to archive the dreams she has captured. Both of these films, along with a documentary directed and produced by Sophie Chahinian and titled The Making of Shirin Neshat’s ‘Land of Dreams’, will be viewable online. Also in the exhibition are over 100 photographic portraits that Neshat captured during the filming process: for many of these, she asked her subjects about their dreams before transcribing them in Farsi on the printed portraits.
- Click here to see our previous picks of shows to see in New York this month.