As a contemporary art journalist, I’m always asked two questions: “what should I see this weekend?” and “what should I buy?” The good news first: the art world has never been bigger or more dynamic. According to the 2022 Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, sales are already outperforming the year before the pandemic. New York’s TriBeCa, gathering steam as a significant arts district since the fall of 2019, has experienced an explosion post-shutdown, giving Chelsea a bona fide run for its money. Speaking of competition, the specter of Los Angeles as the country’s cultural epicenter certainly looms. While in the Hamptons, Hauser & Wirth has reverted to a seasonal schedule and Phillips has abandoned Southampton. At the same time, Palm Beach continues to blossom as an ecosystem with sustained programming from the likes of Lehmann Maupin, Pace, and Gavlak Gallery. The bad news? There’s a deluge of emerging names and top-notch spaces—with no sign of slowing, especially from the smaller, sexier galleries. Yet we still have the same amount of time on our calendar, perhaps even less with a booming fair circuit that vies for attention.
Enter: Duly Noted. Join me the last Thursday of each month as I cut through the noise to tell you about the most important art shows and why you can’t miss them. This week we begin in my home turf—no dethroning New York as the white-hot, nucleus just yet—but throughout the year, I’ll be coming to you from Los Angeles, Mexico City, Paris, and beyond with concise reporting and reviews. My goal is to keep Duly Noted always about the artists by highlighting the painters and sculptors that will define the decade ahead and dominate buyer’s wishlists. By pushing their medium to new heights, each artist reminds us of Covid’s enduring truth: there’s no substitute for experiencing art in real life.
Welcome to New York: I’ve Been Waiting for You
Jana Schröder’s roaring, frenetic compositions have been lodged in my psyche since Nino Mier’s spectacular group exhibition last summer, “Painters Paint Paintings: LA Version,” curated by art advisor Alexander Warhus. Luckily, us New Yorkers will now have a Schröder all our own. I’m so looking forward to “PERLASYNTHICS,” which showcases her large masterpieces in the artist’s signature, saturated lexicon of scribbles and curling brushwork. The body of work will be rendered in fast-drying acrylic for the first time, and with a broader color range than ever before. Based in Düsseldorf, Schröder’s moment has come, and once you know her work it's unmistakable. Meanwhile, Nino is an LA fixture, preceded by five spaces in his hometown, one in Marfa, Texas and two in Brussels. Take note: with a deep roster of European artists, he is unveiling his 4,500 square-foot ground floor SoHo space this weekend. I’ll see you there.
“PERLASYNTHICS” by Jana Schröder is on view from January 28 through February 25, 2023 at Nino Mier Gallery in New York.
Come on, Get happy
Derrick Adams is simply in a league of his own. If you haven’t seen his singular style in person, then “I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You” is the perfect introduction. And for those of you who are longtime fans like myself, the show offers a thrilling theatrical side of the artist in a sweeping, painterly portrayal of his talent. The FLAG Art Foundation has gathered 16 monumental works from Adams's “Motion Picture Paintings” series that celebrate Black joy and contemporary leisure in a way that no other artist does today. It’s currently a dreary stretch of winter here in New York, and his jubilant world is a welcome respite. Adams is often described as a kind of 21st century Cubist portraitist, and that historical precedent surely resonates. But, what strands out here is his deliberate blend of lyrical text, collaged layers, mosaic elements, and humorist motifs, like the floating zzzz’s in All With A Soft Touch, 2021, and love-bird pigeons in JUST, 2022—all of which proves to me that Adams is just getting started.
“I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You” by Derrick Adams is on view through March 11, 2023 at FLAG Art Foundation in New York.
Sometimes Bigger is Better
Katherine Bernhardt is the queen of high-low mash-ups. The St. Louis, Missouri-based artist has painted Americana cartoon iconography in all its glorious electrified fluorescence, from Garfield and the Pink Panther—inspired, she’s said, after a stay at the Pink Palace Hotel in Waikuku with her young son watching the eponymous TV show—to E.T., her own childhood obsession. And now she’s added the perennial slacker Bart Simpson to her practice. When it comes to Bernhardt, the bigger the better. Her current show at Canada gallery in TriBeCa features a breathtaking 10 by 20 foot tableau titled I can’t promise I’ll try, but I’ll try to try that's worth a trip to New York alone. Like the ultimate crossover episode: the stars of our childhood cavort with a pair of mooning Bart Simpsons in the raucous universe of Bernhardt’s acid-laced nostalgia-scapes.
"I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?" by Katherine Bernhardt is on view through February 25, 2023 at Canada in New York.
And Sometimes Less is More
Otis Jones’s first show with Vito Schnabel Gallery is an important presentation of a painter whose career spans 60 years and critical acclaim—but whose circular canvases deserve much wider recognition. To call these artworks minimal feels reductive, as the artist uses acrylic and linen on plywood to create a type of aged painting-cum-sculpture with heft and roughness. Jones’s work has been described as “stubbornly original,” and he has famously declared, “I don’t hide anything. It’s a very real object.” Indeed, his muted pinks and smudged red oxides are beautiful in their own right, but it's the distressed details like the stapling that make him a cult classic.
"New Work" by Otis Jones is on view through February 25, 2023 at Vito Schnabel Gallery in New York.
In My Queue
Coinciding with the artist’s solo exhibition at the Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (where she lives), Tania Pérez Córdova’s “Precipitation” opens at Tina Kim Gallery next week. It's a chance to see a body of work that I’ve been highly anticipating: a series that uses plastic leaves that resemble a kind of unsettling botanic infestation and are adorned with jewelry chains. A group of hand blown glass sculptures will also be on view. Interspersed throughout the gallery space, the pieces evoke, according to the artist, how various breathing patterns can induce different psychological states. Barely mid-career, and already with a 2017 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago show under her belt, Córdova is an artist to watch closely. My favorite work of hers thus far, Subtraction 1, 2018, finds a Le Creuset Dutch casserole dish remelted in its own mold to sublime, Mad Max effect.
"Precipitation" by Tania Pérez Córdova will be on view from February 2 to March 25, 2023 at Tina Kim Gallery in New York.
Stay tuned for my next chapter. After a whirlwind of Frieze and Felix week in LA, Duly Noted will return in February to update you on the best of LA art at the moment.