By: Janice Driesbach, Chief Curator
My tour of New York City galleries began in Chelsea at James Cohan Gallery for a thoughtful look at Fred Tomaselli’s new work. While there, James Cohan shared images from the recent Contemporary Arts Museum Houston opening of the Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing exhibition that we will be hosting this fall. And I saw Yinka Shonibare’s young bicyclist on a platform, giving his sculpture more presence than when I had previously seen it exhibited directly on the floor.
I then saw a few other Chelsea gallery exhibitions, including an installation featuring Brazilian printmakers at ICPNY.
Next, I headed to Soho to look at a painting being offered to the museum from Ellen Lanyon‘s estate. Cicada proved to be much richer in color then the JPEG had suggested, continuing evidence that art is best experienced in person. While there, I had a delightful conversation with the artist’s daughter, who spoke about what close friends Ellen had been with Barbara Tannenbaum, my predecessor as chief curator in Akron, surely part of the reason the museum was named in the artist’s will.
Proceeded from Soho uptown to look at works by Chris Pekoc, a Cleveland artist whose exhibition I’m organizing for the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery this fall, in a Manhattan collection. Since I was nearby, I then wandered over to the Guggenheim Museum and saw the recent section of the Carrie Mae Weems exhibition that they are presently hosting and which included works borrowed from the Akron Art Museum collection (https://akronartmuseum.wpengine.com/collection/Obj2419 and https://akronartmuseum.wpengine.com/collection/Obj2420). I was able to view a powerful recent video that Weems made in Savannah in its entirety before the museum closed for the day.
I started the second morning of my trip in Chelsea as well, this time at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., where Vik Muniz’s new work fills the galleries. There, I had conversations about the work of both Muniz and Tony Feher, whose sculpture was installed upstairs and is also featured in the Akron Art Museum’s Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries.
Then saw a number of very nice shows in surrounding galleries, including April Gornik’s new landscapes and Duane Michals’ early Empty New York, inspired by Atget.
Ghada Amer at Cheim and Read and Robert Mangold at Pace Gallery were also impressive.
The day capped by meeting with John Newman at his exhibition at Tibor de Nagy, being introduced to artist Red Grooms when I arrived, and talking with John about his sculptures and drawings.