Shows to See Opening in September

By Katy Hamer

Every year as kids go back to school, the warm weather starts to fade, and summer vacations end, the New York art world reopens with a bang. After two difficult and different years, September 2022 promises, at long last, a return to normal. My inbox is full of invitations including lunches, previews, and late night openings with the artists. It is a joy to return to the normalcy we used to take for granted. Many of the shows opening focus on young new artists, but there are still plenty focusing on more established artists. If you’re in New York, don’t miss these shows opening in September.


Cathy Wilkes, Ortuzar Projects, Image courtesy of the galleryCathy Wilkes, Ortuzar Projects, Image courtesy of the gallery

I wasn’t familiar with Wilkes’ work until her solo exhibition at MoMA PS1 in 2017. That show still feels fresh in my mind, as I was so impressed with her installations, many of which used found objects to communicate with a larger human presence. Wilkes (b. 1966, Ireland) was the first receipt of the Maria Lassnig Prize, awarded by the Maria Lassnig Foundation in 2016, and her MoMA PS1 exhibition was the culmination of the prize. Her upcoming exhibition at Ortuzar Projects promises to have a similar aesthetic, utilizing sculpture and painting to tell an uncertain narrative. Like a puzzle, each piece of Wilkes’ in her exhibitions is incredibly important and collectively form a whole; if a single work were missing, the exhibition might not make sense. I’m looking forward to seeing her work again for the first time since 2017. 


David LaChapelle, Fotografiska, Courtesy of the FotografiskaDavid LaChapelle, Fotografiska, Courtesy of Fotografiska

For those of you who binge watched The Andy Warhol Diaries on Netflix, you might recognize David LaChapelle, as he was featured heavily in the documentary series as a friend and peer of the famed pop artist. The exhibition will include older work as well as new, never before seen photographs. LaChapelle makes work that is a combination of reality and fantasy utilizing the figure in a sexualized and dreamy way. Having photographed celebrities throughout his oeuvre, the artist will also exhibit a gorgeous photo made in collaboration with Kim Kardashian that I’m sure will attract attention. LaChapelle is a master of light and illusion. For years, the vibrant photographs he shoots have teetered between glossy editorials and an active dialogue with fine art. I think of his work as advertorials for products that exist only in the mind of the viewer. Desire, beauty, dreams, and a perfect landscape function as a candy that will always leave you wanting more.


Lorna Simpson, Hauser & Wirth, Courtesy of the GalleryLorna Simpson, Hauser & Wirth, Courtesy of the Gallery

Showcasing a Lorna Simpson who was truly ahead of her time, with a focus on photography and text looking at early interventions around gender race and representation, this new exhibition at Hauser & Wirth’s Upper East Side location will fill all three floors of the gallery, and looks to establish a new dialogue around her work that was made in the 80s and 90s. It’s perfect timing to revisit Simpson’s work through contemporary eyes, politics, and injustices. She paved the way for many artists working today and this is an opportunity to not only acknowledge what has been done before but also pay respect to an artist still actively working today. Concurrently, a second exhibition focusing on an entirely new body of work by Lorna Simpson, Everrrything, will open at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles, September 14. Using painting, sculpture, and collage, this exhibition will expand upon her Ice series, which featured black and white collaged photographs incorporated with a gorgeous, rich, cool, cobalt blue. While on opposite coasts, these exhibitions easily make September Lorna’s month. 


Julie Curtiss, Anton Kern Gallery, Image courtesy of the galleryJulie Curtiss, Anton Kern Gallery, Image courtesy of the gallery

Artist Julie Curtiss was born in France in 1982. She is one of the most popular figurative artists working today. Yet her sense of figuration has its own look, feel, and sense of timelessness or otherworldliness. The artist tends to paint cropped parts of the figure, shoes, still-lives, and interior landscapes all with a dark, somewhat muted color palette. Curtiss is known for painting hair in a very glossy, detailed way—each strand a separate brushstroke. Another common detail in many of her paintings are long, elegant fingers with nails painted dark and filed into fine points. This exhibition will be the artist’s first solo show with Anton Kern since October 2020, when they repurposed a booth that was supposed to be at FIAC, Paris and turned it into an exhibition titled Square One

The term Somnambules, translated from Latin, means Sleepwalkers. As a title of an exhibition, Sleepwalkers also seems to be the perfect socio-political title, implying a nation of zombies,and could be looked at as a silent call for action.


Wolfgang Tillmans, Museum of Modern Art, Courtesy of the MuseumWolfgang Tillmans, Museum of Modern Art, Courtesy of the Museum

It could be said that German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans is one of the best contemporary photographers of our time. A large-scale retrospective opens September 12 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Titled To look without fear, it will be one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of the artist’s work and the first of this size in New York. For years, Tillman has photographed life in a way that is both real, abject, and beautiful. I came across some of his photographs in 2012 at the Boros Collection Bunker in Berlin, Germany. One of the photographs on view featured a couple sitting in a tree, their milky white skin and blank expressions both mysterious and welcoming. I found myself wanting to know who they were, wanting to know where they lived (if they were in fact a couple) and how they knew the photographer. His work captures people that you may or may not know, landscapes that you may or may not have seen before, and parties that you may or may not have attended.  In his 2018 exhibition at David Zwirner in New York, How likely is it that only I am right in this matter?, Tillman exhibited a range of mixed media artwork including photography, video, and sound installation. One photograph, rumored to have been shot and printed only days before the opening, was so crisp and clear it felt as if the viewer could remove a grain of sand with tweezers. Tillmans’ exhibition at MOMA is sure to be a visual and audio treat.

Other galleries to see in the coming months include: 

  • Miles McEnery, Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Foreigner’s Song, September 8-October 5, 2022
  • Jane Lombard Gallery, Sarah Dwyer, Clatter…..THUD, September 9-October 15, 2022
  • Arsenal Contemporary Art New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Montreal-based painter Janet Werner at their brand new location in Tribeca at 11 Cortlandt Alley, 2nd Fl, New York, NY.
  • Michael Werner Gallery, New York is pleased to present Issy Wood: Time Sensitive, an exhibition of new paintings by American-born, British artist and musician, opening September 8, 6-8pm
  • International Center of Photography, Close Enough, New Perspectives from 12 Women Photographers of Magnum, September 30-January 9, 2023


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