Here are our picks of the six must-see shows in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood this season, from the Art in America Guide to Chelsea.
Ed Ruscha at Gagosian
Through Jan. 23
Ed Ruscha’s most recent series of paintings draws from an established visual lexicon that the artist has been generating since the 1960s. Tire treads, tattered flags, and desert and mountain scenes recalling traditional landscape painting evoke quintessential American symbols while signaling the deterioration of the nation’s ideals.
Frank Auerbach at Luhring Augustine
Through Feb. 20
“Selected Works, 1978–2016”
A figurative painter who developed alongside Lucian Freud and R.B. Kitaj, Frank Auerbach became known for his thick, quasi-sculptural application of paint and bold use of color. This exhibition emphasizes Auerbach’s achievements in painting throughout the postwar era with a selection of his portraits and landscapes. Highlights include Head of J.Y.M. (1978) and Primrose Hill (1978), which exemplify Auerbach’s signature style.
Shirin Neshat at Gladstone Gallery
Through Feb. 27
“Land of Dreams”
Iranian-born, New York–based artist Shirin Neshat has explored notions of freedom and social ideologies in her photographs and videos over the course of thirty-year career. On view is a selection of works from the artist’s most recent series, Land of Dreams, which focuses on the fraught relationship between the United States and Neshat’s birthplace, while also drawing parallels between the two countries.
Tara Donovan at Pace Gallery
Through Mar. 6
Testing the boundaries of perception, Tara Donovan’s latest exhibition showcases a suite of large-scale translucent plastic installations that refract light and distort the surrounding space. Donovan, whose work is often an exercise in accumulation and aggregation of mass-produced goods, focuses here on crafting relational and atmospheric effects. Additionally, a series of twenty-four drawings—created by pressing ink through the weave of manufactured metal screens—subverts the regularity of an established grid.
Kate Pincus-Whitney at Fredericks & Freiser
Through Mar. 12
“Feast in the Neon Jungle”
Kate Pincus-Whitney’s maximalist paintings feature table settings complete with spices, wax candles, and fine white china laden with food alongside notable works of literature and art. Psychedelic neon hues enliven seemingly mundane objects that themselves refer to different time periods, histories, and cultures.
Paul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth
Through Apr. 10
“A&E Sessions – Drawing and Painting”
Complex, often vulgar, and always provocative, Paul McCarthy became known for his bawdy sexual imagery suggestive of power and violence. On view is a selection of large-scale drawings from his most recent project, A&E (2019)—an acronym for Adolf and Eva, Adam and Eve, and Arts & Entertainment. Staged with German actress Lilith Stangenberg, this series of improvised drawing-sessions-turned-feature-film probes those same themes as rooted in the legacy of fascism, religion, and Hollywood.