For the 2019 fall art season we decided to put all the gallery and museum shows in one place so that our readers could get a quick overview of what’s on in NYC. The list reflects many of our interests and we hope you’ll find it useful for discovering new work or learning more about your favorite artists.
It seems to be a quiet season in the big museums with few shows that are true must-sees. We’re not sure why that is, but it means there’s more time to visit the smaller museums of New York. This fall they all seem to have an excellent list of exhibitions with interesting topics, imaginatively presented. The gallery scene looks to be a little conservative this season, but there are many well thought out shows that educate as well as being enjoyable.
Gallery Shows: September and October
From the art history POV there’s Anita Shapolsky Gallery with CA → NY: Post-War Migration of Abstract Expressionists, Nailya Alexander Gallery’s Constructing the Frame: Composition Among the Early Soviet Avant-Garde, Francis M. Neumann Fine Art’s NY Dada and the Arensberg Circle of Artists and the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Resident Alien: Austrian Architects in America.
In the well-known name category there’s Bernar Venet at Kasmin, Nam June Pak at James Cohen, individual exhibitions of Eva Hesse and Amy Sherald at Hauser and Worth, Richard Serra at three locations of Gagosian, and N. Dash at Casey Kaplan (fresh from her show at the Aldrich Museum in CT).
In the not well-known names department (but you should learn who they are): Vera Molnar at Senior & Shopmaker, Moki Cherry at Kerry Schuss, Jeppe Hein at 303 Gallery, Joe Massey at Ricco/Maresca Gallery, and Kikuo Saito at Loretta Howard Gallery.
Photography is particularly strong this season with Roy DeCarava at David Zwiner, Arlene Gottfried with Daniel Cooney Fine Art, Ishiuchi Miyako at Fergus McCaffrey, group shows from Front Room Gallery and Laurence Miller Gallery, Don McCullen with Howard Greenberg Gallery, and Michiko Kon at Robert Mann Gallery.
In the unusual (and often spectacularly beautiful) category we find ‘Fura’s Tears’, a selection of emeralds left in their natural state at Willensky Gallery, ceramic neriage pieces by Ogata Kamio and presented by Joan Mirviss, masks from Mexico at Cavin-Morris, and glass sculpture from Ritsue Mishima at Luhring Augustine.
Museum Shows – September to December
The big museums have their typical selections of single artist or thematic exhibitions. Of these, we recommend The Met Breuer’s Vija Celmins exhibit, the three shows at the grand re-opening of MoMA, and the Whitney’s Jason Moran and Rachel Harrison exhibits. As a special joint exhibition, both MoMA and the Whitney, along with the Public Art Fund, are showing Pope.L works from his 40-year career.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (main location) has several shows but the most interesting one is the premiere of their new annual artist commission series for the building façade. The first artist chosen is Wangechi Mutu and her sculptures are on view September 9, 2019 – January 12, 2020. Other exhibitions include The Last Knight: The Art, Armor and Ambition of Maximillian I (October 7 – January 5), Felix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet (October 29 – January 26), Making Marvels: Science & Splendor at the Courts of Europe (November 25 – March 1), and In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection (November 27 – May 17)
MoMA will reopen to the public on October 21 with redesigned permanent collection spaces and several new exhibitions: member: Pope.L, 1978-2001 and Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window (both October 21 – January 2020) and Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction (October 21 – March 2020)
The Whitney begins the season with Jason Moran (September 20 – January 5), Order and Ornament: Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures (September 27 until late 2020), Pope.L: Choir (October 10 – Winter 2020), Rachel Harrison: Life Hack (October 25 – January 12), Alan Michelson: Wolf Nation (October 25 – January 12) and Making Knowing: Craft in Art 1950-2019 (November 22 – January 2021).
The New Museum has Carmen Argote: As Above, So Below (September 24 – January 5) and Hans Haacke: All Connected (October 24 – January 26), two artists with multi-disciplinary practices and deep commitments to social and political issues.
The Guggenheim will not have a new show until next year, in the meantime there is Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection (now until January 12).
Now we’ll look at the smaller museums’ exhibitions. There are so many outstanding shows this fall, especially in institutions that are not well known outside their core audience or borough, that New Yorkers are in for some wonderful surprises.
The American Museum of Folk Art is showing Memory Palaces: Inside the Collection of Audrey B. Heckler (September 17 – January 26). The show is an excellent way to learn about the wide variety of imagery in folk art, a genre that still struggles to get the attention it deserves.
At the Asia Society there are three shows this fall: Xiaoze Xie: Objects of Evidence, tracing the history of banned books and censorship in China; Wang Dongling: Ink in Motion, with works that the calligrapher created for the museum in 2018; and In Focus: Lakshmi, part of the museum’s ongoing ‘In Focus’ series that uses an artwork to explore various themes (all exhibits September 10 – January 5).
Bronx Museum of the Arts showcases Henry Chalfant: Art vs Transit, 1977-1987 (September 25 – March 8), with photographs documenting the ephemeral work of graffiti artists and writers who used NYC’s subways as their canvas.
Brooklyn Museum has two new exhibits: JR: Chronicles (October 4 – May 3), the first major North American exhibition for the artist (also check out the gallery show at Perrotin, from September 11 to October 26) and One: Xu Bing, a tribute to Walt Whitman (October 25 – April 26). They’re also finishing a reinstallation of the Arts of Asia galleries (opening October 25).
Cooper Hewitt presents Face Values: Exploring Artificial Intelligence (September 20 – May 17), Nature by Design: Selections from the Permanent Collection (ongoing rotating selections), and Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master (November 16)
The Frick Collection has Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence (Sepember 18 – January 12), the first major exhibition of this artist; Manet: Three Paintings from the Norton Simon Museum (October 16 – January 5); and Henry Arnhold’s Meissen Palace: Celebrating a Collector (November 7).
The Jewish Museum has Edith Halpert and the Rise of American Art (October 18 – February 9), about the first woman gallerist to open a commercial gallery in Greenwich Village and Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone (November 1 – March 22), a multi-media exhibition.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum has a powerful exhibit titled On Our Backs: The Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work (September 28 – January 19) examining facets of the history and culture of queer sex work and its relationship to activism and artistic inspiration.
The Morgan Library and Museum has four shows on offer this fall: Verdi: Creating Otello and Falstaff – Highlights from the Ricordi Archive (September 6 – January 5), Guercino: Viruoso Draftsman (October 4 – February 2), John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal (October 4 – January 12), and Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at The Morgan (October 25 – February 2)
The Museum at FIT presents two shows: Paris: Capital of Fashion (September 6 – January 4) and Power Mode: The Force of Fashion (December 10 – May 9).
Museum of Art and Design (MAD) will have The World of Anna Sui (September 12 – February 23). Their current show, Vera Paints a Scarf: The Art and Design of Vera Neumann, is on until January 26.
The Museum of Chinese in America presents two exhibits: With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America (September 1 – December 31) and Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History (October 17 – March 22).
Museum of the City of New York has three exhibits opening this fall as well as several ongoing shows. Urban Indian: Native New York Now (September 27 – February 15) discusses the native presence and its cultural/political/social impact on the city. Cultivating Culture: 34 Institutions that Changed New York (October 18) is an exploration of the city’s cultural landscape. Who We Are: Visualizing New York by the Numbers (November 22) is a timely examination of the data collected by census work and how it may be interpreted to understand the complexity of our population’s backgrounds, interests, and needs.
National Museum of the American Indian presents Stretching the Canvas: Eight Decades of Native Painting (November 16 – Fall 2021), works that shatter the artistic stereotypes associated with Native creativity and originality.
Neue Galerie’s fall show is Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (October 3 – January 13), a survey of the German artist’s work, influences, and place in art history. Due to the museum’s strong relationships with private collectors and European museums there will be items rarely seen in the US, making this a once in a lifetime event for local art lovers.
New-York Historical Society has three shows this season: Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere (September 6 – January 12) examines the life and career of this American patriot, Mark Twain and the Holy Land (October 25 – February 2) discusses this famous trip and the book that inspired thousands of writers since, and Artist in Exile: The Visual Diary of Baroness Hyde de Neuville (November 1 – January 26), a groundbreaking exhibition of this little known European artist’s time in America.
Queens Museum gives visitors three unusual shows this fall: The Art of Rube Goldberg (October 6 – February 9), a survey of the artist’s career from his famous invention drawings to later work that earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1948, American Artist: My Blue Window (October 6 – February 16) a multi-media installation examining the issues of data collecting by law enforcement and the impact on black communities, Nicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My Sign (October 6 – February 9), the first solo exhibition of this artist’s work in New York City.