Art

June Gallery Peeping

Newly commissioned works and never before seen pieces don the walls of New York's galleries this summer. Cultured editors share their favorites.

Cultured Magazine

Belson_Sphere-(Circle)_c1953_Matthew-Marks-Gallery
Jordan Belson's Sphere (Circle), 1955. Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks.

Jordan Belson: Matthew Marks 
Paintings by the late San Francisco mystical artist and filmmaker Jordan Belson are a rare treat for New York viewers this summer. Featuring 23 paintings, the majority of which have never been publicly shown, and four films “Jordan Belson: Paintings 1950–1965” is an overdue presentation for this seminal figure of 20th-century avant-garde cinema. Belson’s work explores his simultaneous ties to mysticism and science. He halted the exhibition of his paintings after 1949 when they were shown at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (now the Guggenheim!), making this show a must-see.

Joiri Minaya’s #dominicanwomengooglesearch, 2016, Installation view. Courtesy of Raquel Pérez Puig.

Resisting Paradise: apexart
Downtown nonprofit Apexart takes their summer exhibition to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a collaboration with the independent art space Pública, curated by Marina Reyes Franco. The Open Call show, “Resisting Paradise,” includes work by Deborah Anzinger, Leasho Johnson and Joiri Minaya—three Caribbean-born artists whose presentations here trace historical representations of the Caribbean to look at ways in which ideas of paradise have perpetuated colonialism.

RongRong’s 1994 No. 20 (Zhang Huan, “12 Square Meters”), 1994. Courtesy of the artist and Three Shadows Photography Centre, Beijing.

RongRong and the Beijing East Village: The Walther Collection
The photo-centric Walther Collection Project Space presents a collection of photographs by RongRong—an integral figure in contemporary Chinese art who has remained little known in the West. RongRong’s seminal photographs from 1993–98 depict life in the Beijing East Village—a hotbed of political and artistic radicalism in post-Tiananmen China. On view through October, the show coincides with the release of RongRong’s Diary: Beijing East Village, co-published by the Walther with Steidl.

Janet Cooling’s Atomic Birth, 1982. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Hanley.

Janet Cooling: Jack Hanley
Cultured contributing writer Ashton Cooper has put together an exhibition of painter Janet Cooling’s early works, created at the confluence of the AIDS crisis and the Cold War and which have not been shown since their original exhibition in the early ’80s. On view at Jack Hanley Janet Cooling: 1978–1982, is an opportunity to see Cooling’s apocalyptic narratives which reflect on her childhood in New Jersey and contextualize alongside her contemporaries such as Martin Wong and David Wojnarowicz.

Hannah Levy’s Untitled 2019. Courtesy of Jeffrey Stark.

Hannah Levy: Jeffrey Stark
Comprised of a single sculpture in Jeffrey Stark’s gallery space, Cultured 2018 Young Artist Hannah Levy debuts Bone-In: a monumentally-sized femur bone made of aluminum, epoxy, fiberglass and sand. Navigating the relationship between body and machine, Bone-In contests the differences between the artificial and organic. Levy’s show runs until August 11.

Raque Ford’s I did it for myself, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and 321 Gallery.

Raque Ford: 321
Extending her stay at 321 Gallery until July 13, Cultured 2019 Young Artist Raque Ford debuts 6 Obsessions, in the form of two wall works in black acrylic. The Brooklyn-based artist combines hand-written texts and ink drawings to create massive works exploring her relationship with the devil, with her mother and with herself. “I wanted to write this story about my mother, how she’s the Devil, but I feel so conflicted. To show her as a villain means that I am a villain. I am just her creation. How can I be something different than what she is?”

Mo Kong’s Conservative Circulation, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and CUE Art Foundation

Mo Kong: Cue Art Foundation
In an immersive installation exploring a not so distant future in which China and the US are in the midst of a political cold war, Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Mo Kong creates “Making A Stationary Rain On The North Pacific Ocean.” Curated by 2019 Whitney Biennial participant Steffani Jemison, the show uses climate change as a lens through which to navigate neo-nationalism, human migration and censorship. “Making A Stationary Rain On The North Pacific Ocean” is at the Cue Art Foundation until July 10.

Leonardo Drew’s Number 217, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong.

Leonardo Drew: Galerie Lelong
Leonardo Drew’s City in the Grass has taken over Madison Square Park in a massive, interactive installation open to the public until December. For a double dose, Galerie Lelong celebrates the multimedia artist with his first solo show at the gallery, “Number 217.” On view through August 2, the wooden installation at Lelong sees an expansion of Drew’s palette and materiality.

Install View featuring Jean-Luc Mouléne’s Bouboulina (Paris, 2016), 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Abreu.

Jean-Luc Mouléne: Miguel Abreu 
Parisian artist Jean-Luc Mouléne celebrates his third solo exhibition at Miguel Abreu with “Bouboulina with Works on Paper (1985–2017).” The show is centered around the eponymously-titled sculpture accompanied by 33 works on paper in various media. “I always think by starting with a drawing,” the artist explains. “The drawing allows me to not yet work in matter, and not in language. Not writing, nor making art. It is the closest to the interior voice… Every drawing is a study. Very few are the final state of an object.”