Organised by the Art Dealers’ Association of America, the ADAA Chelsea Gallery Walk invites visitors to experience 30 member galleries after-hours.

Art Radar highlights 5 must-see galleries.

Installation view of Pine Barrens, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, June 21 – July 27, 2018. Photo: Joerg Lohse Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

Installation view of Pine Barrens, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, 21 June – 27 July 2018. Photo: Joerg Lohse. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles.

With talks, events and guided tours, the ADAA Chelsea Gallery Walk is a good opportunity for art-lovers in New York to dive deeper into some of the season’s best shows in Chelsea.

On Wednesday 18 July, participating galleries will stay open late until 8 pm, throwing open their doors to visitors for a chance to meet artists, curators and other art professionals behind the shows this summer. Art Radar highlights five exhibitions not to miss along the art walk.

Nicholas Hlobo, 'Phantsi Komngcunube', 2017 ribbon and leather on canvas. 94.49 x 71.65 x 7 inches, 240 x 182 x 17.8 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Photo: Anthea Pokroy

Nicholas Hlobo, ‘Phantsi Komngcunube’, 2017, ribbon and leather on canvas. 94.49 x 71.65 x 7 in, 240 x 182 x 17.8 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Photo: Anthea Pokroy.

 1. Nicholas Hlobo, “Ulwamkelo” — Lehmann Maupin, 536 W 22nd Street

“Ulwamkelo”, the South African artist’s second exhibition with the gallery, features intricate, almost delicate mixed media paintings and sculptural works by the artist. Known for using ribbon, leather, wood and rubber, Nicholas Hlobo‘s work is often rooted in his identity as a South African. A member of the Xhosa community, Hlobo’s voluminous, beautiful sculptures tell stories about his community, experiences and cultural identity. For this exhibition, Hlobo presents recent works. Sculptures of molded bronze, copper and brass instruments are accompanied by strikingly detailed wall-mounted works. Combining leather and ribbons, these works spill onto the floor, overflowing in bunches. Similarly, Hlobo’s instrument-like sculptures are elongated, stretched-out. The title of the series “Mphephethe uthe cwaka”, which translates to “blowing them in silence”, invites the visitors to reflect on phallic connotations surrounding Hlobo’s chosen visual language, through the masculine/feminine qualities of his media used.

This exhibition also includes works that were recently recovered after a robbery that occurred in his studio in 2017. For the ADAA Chelsea Art Walk, the gallery is hosting a special reception, accompanied by an artist talk.

Installation view of 'Michal Rovner: Evolution', 53 West 24th Street, New York, NY, May 4 - August 17, 2018. Photographer: Tom Barratt, courtesy Pace Gallery, © Michal Rovner/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Installation view of ‘Michal Rovner: Evolution’, 53 West 24th Street, New York, NY, 4 May – 17 August 2018. Photographer: Tom Barratt, courtesy Pace Gallery. © Michal Rovner/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

2. Michal Rovner, “Evolution” — Pace Gallery, 537 W 24th Street

“Evolution” is the New York edition of Israel-born artist Michal Rovner, following a successful exhibition in Pace Gallery‘s Palo Alto location earlier this year. The exhibition focuses on a series of works that repeat the same motif across different video installations and prints. Rovner creates large-scale video works that screen multimedia patterns of human movements. However, she abstracts the human figure, removing the contours of the body, their surroundings, settings and contexts. Collectively, the exhibition presents these works as “texts”, line after line of repeated symbols and gestures, to be read and decoded by the visitor.

Installation view of 'Pine Barrens', Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, June 21 – July 27, 2018. Photo: Joerg Lohse Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

Installation view of ‘Pine Barrens’, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, June 21 – July 27, 2018. Photo: Joerg Lohse. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

3. “Pine Barrens” — Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, 521 W 21st Street

Presenting 21 artists in the group exhibition “Pine Barrens”, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery’s latest exhibition, highlights the eponymous stretch of wilderness known as the Pine Barrens in New Jersey. The land is a heavily forested area, characterised for extremely nutrient-poor soil. The exhibition draws on the limbo-like state of the rural and mostly undisturbed Pine Barrens, using it as a metaphor for the present era. Impressed with “uncertainty and anxiety, caught between the familiar and the alien”, the exhibition brings together a diverse group of artists who speak of this condition. Including artists such as Kelly Akashi, Emily Mae Smith, Slavs and Tatars, Agnieszka Kurant and others, the exhibition spans sculpture, painting and mixed-media installations, bringing into focus various narratives, stories and emotions that stem from various issues faced by the world today. Tackling a broad range of issues, such as gender, labour, power structures and even mortality, the exhibition is a resounding commentary on life in the present.

Nadiah Bamadhaj, 'Ravaged VI', 2018, 60 x 149 cm, Charcoal on paper and digital print. Image courtesy Richard Koh Fine Art and Nadiah Bamadhaj

Nadiah Bamadhaj, ‘Ravaged VI’, 2018, 60 x 149 cm, Charcoal on paper and digital print. Image courtesy Richard Koh Fine Art and Nadiah Bamadhaj

4. Nadiah Bamadhaj, “Ravaged” — Chambers Fine Art, 522 West 19th Street 

Presenting new works by Malaysian-born artist Nadiah Bamadhaj, “Ravaged” showcases a series of six charcoal on paper collage drawings, which capture defining moments from her time spent with the LGBTQ community. Bamadhaj had interviewed members of a shelter in Indonesia, capturing the everyday lives of her subjects in photographs. Her latest series of works combine these images to form a narrative around the experiences of LGBTQ community members in Indonesia, and layers over them with drawings of the face of Medusa. The LGBTQ community faces harsh oppression and their members are generally ostracised; by combining these two images together, Bamadhaj draws connections between her chosen subjects and of the legend of Medusa, who was cursed by Athena after being raped by Poseidon. Her works points out the injustice of their treatment, and highlights the continuing hopes and aspirations of her subjects.

David Wojnarowicz, 'Untitled (One day this kid...)', 1990 photostat on board 30 3/4 x 41 in. (78.1 x 104.1 cm). Courtesy of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W

David Wojnarowicz, ‘Untitled (One day this kid…)’, 1990, photostat on board, 30 3/4 x 41 in. (78.1 x 104.1 cm). Courtesy the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W.

5. David Wojnarowicz, “Soon all this will be picturesque ruins: the installations of David Wojnarowicz” — PPOW Gallery, 535 W 22nd Street

An artist and unwavering AIDS advocate, David Wojnarowicz made a career as a prominent painter, photographer, filmmaker and performance artist. Pulling together Wojnarowicz’s major installation works, made over the span of his two-decade career, the exhibition pieces together a tragic, startling and yet moving narrative. Surrounding issues that Wojnarowicz fought for during the course of his lifetime, this vivid exhibition calls attention to societal discrimination, homophobia and the fear of the unknown, angrily denouncing them through a range of photographic, text and video work. This exhibition coincides with the first major travelling retrospective “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake At Night” at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Junni Chen

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ADAA Chelsea Gallery Walk takes place on Wednesday, 18 July 2018 from 6 pm to 8 pm at various venues across New York City.

Related topics: Australian artists, gallery shows, events in New York, feature, promoting art

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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