What I'm Seeing in New York This Summer
An interactive art show in a reclaimed Canal Street building. LGBTQ+ paintings. Great theater deals. And a plethora of incredible group shows that let you experience a broad array of artists in context of one another.
New York's steamy summer days bring with them a plethora of options for the intrepid art warrior looking to steal away to cool gallery spaces, or get sweaty at an arty party. Here's just a taste of what I've seen and plan to see before the first chill of fall.
1. Louis Fratino + Angela Dufresne at Monya Rowe Gallery | through August 3rd
Picasso's cubist period meets contemporary queer art under the watchful and kind eye of New York based painter Louis Fratino. We've been digging his work heavily through Instagram for the past year, and finally got the chance to see it in the flesh/paint at this cozy upstairs gallery in the quiet part of Chelsea, helmed by Monya Rowe, fresh from a stint in sleepy St. Augustine, Florida. Louis' hard lines and beautifully represented men in tender moments are complemented perfectly by the softer lines of Angela Dufresne's work, which draws equally from 80s John Cassavetes films and the steamy 19th century scenes of Toulouse-Lautrec. Most of the works are sold but this is a must-see, so get over there while it's still up.
2. Threshold: Lara Atallah and Anne Spalter (curated by Kurt McVey) at 329 Canal Street / July 28 to September 1
New York's man-about-town Kurt McVey wears many hats, and in this case he's curating a bang-up duo show that will light up a previously neglected space on the busy Canal Street corridor. Threshold will open on July 28th at 329 Canal Street, with a series of emotionally driven polaroids of Mediterranean shorelines by Lebanese artist Lara Atallah that look askance at the relevance of national borders in a part of the world where these imaginary lines have been drawn and redrawn over the course of many centuries. The show will be capped by a massive "digital lighthouse" sculpture by artist Anne Spalter, whose site-specific installations have graced the entryway of 2016's Pulse Art Fair in Miami Beach as well as a presentation at 2018's Spring/Break Art Show in New York. This will be one for the books and a highlight of New York's summer social + art calendar.
3. THEATER | The End of the Afterglow | through August 12th
You probably remember the Afterglow boys from the trio of images our creative director James Miille created and showed at Superfine! NYC this past May. The little show that could is finally coming to end, with a scheduled wrap date of August 14th. If you haven't yet seen this loving send-up of the Ménage à trois, we strongly encourage you to scoop the already affordable tickets and make your way up to the theater district before you miss out.
4. Warm Up at MoMA PS1 | Every Saturday through September 1
Loads of young art and music lovers take the 7 train out to this Long Island City outpost of the Museum of Modern Art for a fun, sweaty, summer dance party transpiring weekly amidst rotating installation art. It's a summer tradition, and one not to be missed. Eat shucked oysters and chill with cold beer (or rosé, if that's your thing) to the sounds of the zeitgeist. You can also take a self-guided tour of the museum's summer program, which includes the gripping photos of New York artist Elle Perèz and a larger-than-life retrospective of works by late Iranian-American theater director Reza Abdoh, who died of AIDS in 1995. A concise presentation of paintings by Brooklyn artist and U.S. Navy veteran Walter Price rounds out the exciting program. We recommend dropping in for the Saturday August 1 edition of Warm Up, which features DJ sets by Laff Trax, comprised of LA's Toro y Moi and Oakland's Nosaj Thing.
5. David Wojnarowicz at The Whitney | through September 30
One of the most overlooked artists of the second half of the 20th century, the late artist David Wojnarowicz is finally getting his due with a solo retrospective at The Whitney. His work, which directly confronts the AIDS crisis and the chronic apathy to it from the White House on down, is extremely powerful and visually arresting. This is definitely a must-see show for any NYC recent history buffs or anyone looking to deepen their nearly-contemporary art knowledge beyond Basquiat and Warhol. "History Keeps me Awake at Night" is a comprehensive look at the raging pendulum of sex and loss that fueled New York in the 80s.