Frieze Art Week is upon New York City and galleries are pulling out the stops for new shows opening this week through May 7, 2017. This week's list of new exhibitions opening in New York galleries include shows presenting art from the Light and Space movement, minimal abstraction and paintings by Eric Fischl that continue his studied look at the underside of life presented through suburban scenes. Gallery exhibitions can be found in a range of NYC neighborhoods including Chelsea, Noho, the Lower East Side and Uptown on 57th Street. Attending the art fairs? Check out our "Ultimate Guide to the NYC Art Fairs of Frieze Week 2017."


TOTAH: “Transient: Helen Pashgian and Brian Wills”

May 3 through July 31, 2017

TOTAH gallery brings together two generations of the Light and Space movement with “Transient: Helen Pashgian and Brian Wills.” The exhibition features work by Helen Pashgian, a pioneer of the original Light and Space movement, alongside Brian Wills, a member of its next generation. The two artists focus on experimentations with the conditions of vision, with Pashgian showing molds of epoxy adhesives and Wills showing myriad hued nylon and rayon threads against wood frames. In “Transient,” the artists reveal a shared interest in what a gallery press release calls “the proto-light of the west, that blue, harsh light … reflecting and refracting off surfaces, smog, mist.”

Helen Pashgian, from Pasadena, California and currently based in Los Angeles, is a pre-eminent member of the Light and Space movement. Her sculptures often utilize signature forms such as columns, discs and spheres featured along with isolated elements activated by light to create new forms and areas of spatiality. Pashgian received a National Endowment of the Arts Individual Artist Grant in 1986 and was a recipient of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles Awards to Distinguished Women in the Arts in 2013.

Multimedia artist Brian Wills, based in Los Angeles, blends sculpture and painting through wrapping colored thread around strips of wood, which is later encased in paint and mounted on a wall. His work, which is often geometric and linear, has been the subject of a solo show at Praz-Delavallade (Paris) as well as in group shows, such as the 2017 Armory Show (New York) and with Ochi Projects Gallery (Los Angeles).

TOTAH is located at 183 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002.

Click here for exhibition details.

Eric Firestone Gallery: “Michael Boyd That’s How the Light Gets In: 1970 – 1972”

May 4 through June 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Eric Firestone Gallery presents works from the late Michael Boyd in “That’s How the Light Gets In: 1970 - 1972,” square canvases from the period that explored space and light through hard edges and contrasting gradients. The body of work, which has not been presented together since Boyd’s solo exhibition at Max Hutchinson Gallery (New York) in 1973, shows how Boyd furthered his abstract art by distilling paintings down to their core structure. The works, which feature bright greens against grays and sunrise-like color schemes against soft blues, celebrate color, form and the primacy of paint.

Michael Boyd (1936-2015), who began his career as an Abstract Expressionist before moving toward hard hedges and minimalism, created art in Ithaca, where he taught both ecology and design at Cornell University, and in New York City. His work is in public collections such as the Albright Knox Gallery (Buffalo), the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse) and the Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, Virginia).

Eric Firestone Gallery is located at 4 Great Jones, New York, NY 10012.

Click here for exhibition details.


Skarstedt: “Eric Fischl: Late America”

May 2 through June 24, 2017

Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 2 at 6 p.m.

Eric Fischl will present new paintings at Skarstedt Gallery

Eric Fischl presents new paintings at Skarstedt Gallery in “Late America,” an exhibition that continues the artist’s theme of exploring moral ambivalence and social malaise while depicting scenes around suburban pools. The paintings show a variety of personal dramas that reflect larger social issues. The painting that gives the show its title, Late America, was painted just after the American presidential elections; in it a young boy draped in an American flag looks over a naked older man lying in a fetal position at the edge of a pool as two day laborers work in the background. The painting shows a divided nation, not only through class and ethnicity, but in terms of hope and potential up against inequality and a sense of defeat.

In another painting, Daddy’s Gone, Girl, Fischl returns to an earlier subject for the first time ever, depicting the subject from his 1984 painting Daddy’s Girl, as she is now, older and fatherless. Like all of Fischl’s work, these paintings suggest narratives both within and beyond the scenes depicted. 

Eric Fischl, born and based in New York, studied at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia and began his art career in Nova Scotia before relocating back to New York City. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe and has been part of exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Musee Beaubourg (Paris) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York). Fischl also founded America: Now and Here, a multi-disciplinary exhibition of American artists, musicians, poets, playwrights and filmmakers and is a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Letters and at the American Academy of Arts and Science. 

Skarstedt is located at 550 W 21st St, New York, NY 10011.

Click here for exhibition details.

Lisson Gallery: “Carmen Herrera: Paintings on Paper”

May 3 through June 10, 2017

Carmen Herrera presents new paintings on paper at Lisson Gallery, exhibiting 15 works from the past six years. Continuing to use arithmetic guidelines and calculations to create her work, Herrera establishes balanced relationships between compositional variants of symmetrical or asymmetrical forms. In her recent work, Herrera continues to explore the role of color while introducing new juxtapositions of forms and line. Her focus is on primary colors along with green, orange and black. Viewers can also get a glimpse of Herrera’s earlier works from the late 1940s, when she lived in Paris, in the Lisson Gallery space at TEFAF New York from May 4 through May 8, 2017.

Carmen Herrera, who was born in Havana, Cuba, is currently based in New York. Her geometric abstract work features formal simplicity and striking sense of color through crisp lines and contrasting chromatic planes. Her work has been the subject of solo shows at Museo del Barrio (New York), Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern (Germany) and Ikon Gallery (Birmingham). Her work is in private and public collections including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Tate Collection (London) and the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.). Her paintings were recently the subject of a large-scale survey “Lines of Sight” at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Lisson Gallery is located at 138 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10011.

Click here for exhibition details.


"Untitled" by Carmen Herrera, 2014. Acrylic and pencil on paper, 19 x 27.5 inches. © Carmen Herrera; Courtesy Lisson Gallery.

"Untitled" by Carmen Herrera, 2014. Acrylic and pencil on paper, 19 x 27.5 inches. © Carmen Herrera; Courtesy Lisson Gallery.


Matthew Marks Gallery: “Ellsworth Kelly Last Paintings” & “Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings”

May 5 through June 24, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.

In its two spaces on West 22nd Street, Matthew Marks Gallery presents two concurrent exhibitions of work by the late Ellsworth Kelly with “Ellsworth Kelly Last Paintings” and “Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings,” to show how Kelly progressed as an artist.

“Ellsworth Kelly Last Paintings” is composed of 10 canvases that Kelly created in the months leading prior to his death in December 2015. To create these paintings, Kelly had revisited earlier works or studies, some made as far back as decades before. A new diptych, for example, revisits a single-panel painting from 1963; a three-panel painting is a variation on his 1954 collage Study for Four Color Panels

“Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings” includes 25 drawings spanning nearly 60 years of the artist’s career. Kelly said of his drawings from plant life that they “seem to be the bridge to the way of seeing that brought about the paintings in 1949 that are the basis for all my later work.” The drawings, all made from life, show Kelly’s commitment to direct visual impressions and his fascination with the effects of negative space and overlapping planes. The exhibition allows viewers to see how Kelly began his early style that would become his signature.

“Ellsworth Kelly Last Paintings” will be at 522 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011. “Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings” will be held at 526 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011.

Click here for exhibition details on “Last Paintings” and here for exhibition details on “Plant Drawings.”


"Branch of Leaves" by Ellsworth Kelly, 1970. Graphite on paper, 29 x 23 inches. and Conditions. © Ellsworth Kelly, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

"Branch of Leaves" by Ellsworth Kelly, 1970. Graphite on paper, 29 x 23 inches; 74 x 58 cm. © Ellsworth Kelly, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery



Marian Goodman Gallery: “Nairy Baghramian: Dwindle Down”

May 4 through June 10, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Marian Goodman Gallery will present Nairy Baghramian’s first solo exhibition in New York in “Dwindle Down.” Baghramian’s sculpture and installation references architecture, the fragmented human body and plumbing through its use of floor-to-ceiling glass pipes, zinc bands and chemical adhesive patinated with smoky residues. The sculpture commands and redefines the gallery space while addressing temporal, spatial and social relationships and creating dialogue about the assigned relationship between an object and its meaning and pointing to larger social and intellectual considerations.

Nairy Baghramian, who hails from Iran and is currently based in Berlin, has had solo exhibitions at institutions including Marian Goodman Gallery (London), S.M.A.K Museum of Contemporary Art (Ghent), Museo Tamayo (Mexico City) and the Art Institute at Chicago. She has been part of group exhibitions at MUMOK (Vienna), Punta della Dogana (Venice) and the 8th Berlin Biennial. She will have a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Denmark in the fall of 2017 and solo presentations at the Nasher Center in Dallas, Texas, and Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum in 2018.

Marian Goodman Gallery is located at 24 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019.

Click here for exhibition details.


The "NYC Gallery Scene" column publishes weekly with exhibitions selected by Hamptons Art Hub staff. This edition was written by Genevieve Kotz.


Copyright 2017 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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