Top 8 Art Shows to See in NY this Summer

Top 8 Art Shows to See in NY this Summer

Hi friends, Nina (aka @artstagram__) here! When Erin (@afinereye) invited me to write an article for her website, I figured there was no better way to kick off the 2017 summer season than with a list of cool exhibitions that I’m excited to see in the city over the next few months.


So, I’m taking y’all all the way back to the emotionally tempestuous days of the Myspace Top 8, where friendships were made and broken with the slight click of a button. You know what I’m talking about- when Becky dropped you down to spot number 8 because you were flirting with her crush during fourth period Civics class.. Hopefully no one takes this list that seriously, but a girl can hope right?

So without further ado- here’s my NYC Summer 2017 Top 8:

  1. Leo Villareal at Pace Gallery (537 W 24th St), through Jun 17:

Whether you’re actually into contemporary art, or you’re just looking for that next big Insta moment, this exhibition has something for everyone. Known internationally for his light-based sculptures and installations, Villareal has taken over Pace Gallery’s 24th St location, dazzling gallery-goers by immersing them within an epic light show. I’ve already been once, but am definitely planning to go back at least once more before it closes with a friend in tow.. Photoshoot will ensue. Do it for the gram, fam!! 


 2. Daniel Buren at Bortolami Gallery (39 Walker St), through Jun 24:

Okay, so I may be a little toooo motivated by how Instagrammable an activity is, but can you really blame me with so many great opportunities in a city like NYC? Bortolami’s inaugural show at their new Tribeca location, Daniel Buren’s “To Align: works in situ 2017,” is guaranteed to be another one full of not-to-be-missed photo ops. Think classic Buren with a contemporary Tribeca twist: lots of stripes, bold color pops, and enhanced natural lighting. It goes without being said (and yet, here I am saying it) that I’m excited to explore Bortolami’s new space as well. Bold move ditching Chelsea, am I right?? #artnerdproblems


3. Alexander Calder at the Whitney (99 Gansevoort St), Jun 9- Oct 23  

As a huge Calder fan, I will say that there’s nothing like stumbling across a Calder sculpture when you least expect it- let alone, an entire show of them. So I was obviously pumped to hear that following on the heels of Pace and Acquavella’s amazing "Calder / Miró: Constellations” uptown collaboration, the Whitney will be opening “Calder: Hypermobility” in early June. The exhibition will focus on key Calder sculptures, or “mobiles”- specifically those of a kinetic nature, and their relation to performance and theater. Pretty sure this is the definition of an artist “having a moment.” Side note: if you time your visit just right, you can catch the sunset behind the NYC skyline from the Whitney’s beautiful outdoor terrace (as if you needed more convincing.. millennials love the Whitney).


4. Iván Argote at Galerie Perrotin (130 Orchard St), through Jun 11 

A formerly Upper East Side gallery that recently traded spaces for a Lower East Side location, Perrotin is opening Summer 2017 with a solo show on its ground floor by Colombian artist Iván Argote. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the artist (so many artists, so little time!), but Perrotin used to be two streets from my office uptown, and their departure has left a hole in my art-loving heart that can only be filled by my impending visit to their new location. And if I’m really honest, Argote had me at “giant golden sculpture of a sweet potato.” See pic for visual, it’ll get ya too. 


5. Anselm Kiefer at GagosianGallery (522 W 21st St), through July 14

Literally no one ever is surprised when Gagosian rolls out another blockbuster show, due to the gallery’s incredibly consistent track record of doing so (and conveniently unlimited resource$). Anselm Kiefer’s “Transition from Cool to Warm” is no exception to this rule. Kiefer makes use of the cavernous indoor spaces in a way that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an alluring, romantic fairytale world. From huge abstracted landscapes to an entire room of handcrafted books, Kiefer takes you on a journey through the seasons (“cool” to “warm”), keeping you guessing as to what’s coming next around each corner. 


6. Robert Rauschenberg at the Museum of Modern Art (11 W 53rd St), through Sept 17

As a member of MoMA, I am slightly embarrassed to say I haven’t seen this show yet. It’s been open for like 2 whole weeks already.. If you’re not first, you’re last!! But anyways, it definitely makes my must-see summer show list, because who doesn’t love Rauschenberg? The super #relatable master of multimedia kept it very real over the course of his six-decade career, as one was apparently inclined to do in NYC in the 1960s. The retrospective, entitled “Among Friends,” presents over 250 of his works and basically focuses on his uncanny ability to make art out of the weirdest, most random everyday objects while hanging out and collaborating with other cool artsy peeps. I like to think that I would’ve been best friends with him.. Or at least let him steal my bedspread to make a sick collage out of. (Inspired by a true story, behind the work pictured here, “Bed.” Google it!).


 7. “The Times,” group show at Flag Art Foundation (545 W 25th St, 9th Fl), thru Aug 11

I definitely consider Flag Art Foundation to be a hidden gem of the Chelsea gallery district. It’s a little off the beaten path up on the 9th floor of the Chelsea Arts Tower, but they have a multilevel space that they utilize to showcase a strong exhibition program that’s worth the detour. The last two exhibitions I saw there (Cynthia Daignault and Gerhard Richter/Etel Adnan) were on point, so I’m expecting big things from this group show. With a roster of over 80 artists- including Ellsworth Kelly, Felix Gonzales-Torres, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, to name just a few- that incorporate the newspaper into their art practice in some way, the show promises to be positively newsworthy!! **

**Idk how we almost got to the end of this article without me making a corny dad joke.. Couldn’t resist at least one!


8. “The White Heat,” group show at Marc Straus (299 Grand St), thru Jul 30 

You know when it’s summer in the art world because *group shows.* This one in particular first caught my eye because the title is something I’d probably caption one of my artgrams when I can’t think of anything more witty than an idiomatic play on words (be on the lookout for an idiomatic play on words in the caption of my future gram for this show lol). However, the phrase “The White Heat” is actually derived from a line in an Emily Dickinson poem, so props to Marc Straus for digging a little deeper on that one. Regardless, this very timely post-Memorial Day curatorial theme features only white paintings and sculptures by a formidable group of artists like Damien Hirst, Enrico Castellani and Nicole Eisenman. My advice: grab a friend, your fave all-white white outfit, and go get yourself a cool #artwatchers pic.