Art This Week in Culture

This Month, Investigate the Queer Lens With 9 Must-See Exhibitions

Zanele Muholi, Manzi I, West Coast, Cape Town, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.


Zanele Muholi
Tate Modern
When: June 6, 2024 - January 26, 2025
Why It’s Worth A Look: The activist-photographer’s oeuvre is being explored in depth with this latest exhibition, which includes over 260 images. On view are selections from series like “Only Half the Picture,” “Faces and Phases,” “Brave Beauties,” and “Somnyama Ngonyama.”
Know Before You Go: The exhibition follows Muholi’s 2020 presentation at the Tate Modern, pulling from that display and mixing in works crafted in the years since.


With, And, Of, On Sculpture” by Nicole Eisenman
Hauser & Wirth
When: June 5 - September 21
Why It’s Worth A Look: In the artist’s first showing at Hauser & Wirth’s Paris outpost, Eisenman dives into the sculptural aspect of her practice. But, that doesn’t mean everything on display is in the third dimension. Paintings and other two-dimensional work from Eisenman’s studio have been incorporated to give her practice context.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition runs concurrently with the artist’s “What Happened” show at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Back to the Body, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery. 


Ilé Oriaku” by Toyin Ojih Odutola
Kunsthalle Basel
When: June 7 - September 1
Why It’s Worth A Look: For her first institutional solo in Switzerland, the Nigerian artist isn’t pulling from the archive. “Ilé Oriaku” consists entirely of new drawings on paper, linen, and canvas. The resulting suite of meditative charcoal, pastel, and pencil works interrogate the capacity of language and its limitations.
Know Before You Go: Communication across geographies and other boundaries is a recurring theme for the artist, who was born in Nigeria and then moved as a child to rural Alabama.


I’ll be Your Mirror: Reflections of the Contemporary Queer
Produced by Mighty Real/Queer Detroit at various galleries
When: May 31 - June 29
Why It’s Worth A Look: In only its second iteration, this biennial includes the work of over 180 artists, and the participation of 11 galleries. This year’s theme pulls from art’s capacity to act as a mirror to our own identities, desires, and more. Among the laundry list of notable names involved are Clifford Prince King, Harmony Hammond, Gordon Price, and Lyle Ashton Harris.
Know Before You Go: Inspired by the biennial, there will also be a short film festival hosted by DIA/Detroit Film Theatre. Filmmaker Adam Baran has curated a selection of LGBTQ+ documentary shorts made during the past four years.

Phillip Gutman, Sementha with Horsehair Hat, 2017. Image courtesy of the artist and Daniel Clooney Fine Art.

New York

Invasion of the Pines” by Phillip Gutman
Daniel Cooney Fine Art
When: June 6 - July 6
Why It’s Worth A Look: Every year, there is a pilgrimage from Cherry Grove to Fire Island Pines by boat, and Gutman captures it in this 27-image exhibition. Drag queens and other queer compatriots are immortalized in the photographer’s work.
Know Before You Go: The ritual began in 1976 when Cherry Grove resident Teri Warren was denied service at a Fire Island restaurant. Queens from the surrounding area took to the seas to gather and demand justice. Given their success, boats have taken off for the past five decades in commemoration.

Kapp Kapp
When: June 1 - July 26
Why It’s Worth A Look: On their inaugural show’s fifth anniversary, Kapp Kapp is opening the second iteration of “Tulips,” an exhibition inspired by Sylvia Plath’s post-appendix removal recovery. Laid up in bed after the surgery, the writer penned a poem of the same name about her bedridden status. The works on display, by the likes of Alicia AdamerovichAnthony Cudahy, Cynthia Hawkins, Sam McKinniss, Louis Osmosis, and Stanley Stellar, similarly interrogate the various constraints under which the artists are operating.
Know Before You Go: “I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly,” Plath lamented. “As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. / I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. / I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses / And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.”  

Artwork by Ted Carey. Image courtesy of Guild Hall.

East Hampton

Ted Carey: Queer as Folk
Guild Hall
When: May 19 - July 14
Why It’s Worth A Look: Did any artists live in the Hamptons who weren’t friends with Andy Warhol? Carey is no exception. The graphic designer turned American folk painter bounced between the city and East Hampton during the ‘70s and ‘80s, chronicling the lives of gay men as he went.
Know Before You Go: This is the first survey of Carey’s work since 1985, when a memorial showing of his work went up in an East Hampton gallery shortly after his death from AIDS-related complications.

Los Angeles

No Blunder” by Cosima zu Knyphausen
Sebastian Gladstone
When: June 6 - July 6
Why It’s Worth A Look: Twenty-two recent paintings compose Knyphausen’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The Berlin-based artist uses chess, a favorite pastime of a close relative, to examine human interactions and logic. A variety of techniques—including patchwork, mosaic, and more—are used to construct these works.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition’s largest piece takes a Renaissance approach to composition. In La Partida (the chess game), 2024, two groups of women face off over a chess board, stuck pondering the opening move. Upon closer examination, the king is absent from the board. 

David Medalla: In Conversation with the Cosmos
Hammer Museum
When: June 9 - September 15
Why It’s Worth A Look: Four years after his passing, the first comprehensive survey of Medalla’s work is coming to the Hammer Museum. The late Filipino artist produced experimental paintings, kinetic works, and performances that went against the norms established by dominant institutions.
Know Before You Go: Endlessly fascinated with the cosmos, Medalla’s work often circled around the natural world and its unending mysteries.