Your compact New York Art Guide for September 2022

Everyone knows September as art fair month, but Manhattan’s big draws are just a few of New York’s fall offerings. It’s not quite winter yet, so you can still see the end of an artist-created aviary show next to Prospect Park. Still, a group show of politically charged textiles along the Long Island Sound is a blow to an area otherwise awash with wealth. Our other highlights for this month include a sanctuary of African healing on Governors Island, colorful deconstructions of gender and sexuality, and transmissions from a post-worker dystopia in Brooklyn.

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Statue of Gerardo Dexter Ciprian, Medicina De Amor (courtesy Bronx Museum of the Arts)

Gerardo Dexter Ciprian: Medicina de Amor

Dominican artist Dexter Ciprian’s new solo exhibition transforms deeply personal objects into universal symbols of resilience. The artist dismantles pieces of family furniture and reconstructs them as lanterns to shed light on the island nation’s chronic power outages. Likewise, he is remembered through chunks of the bricks of his childhood home in the Bronx Jabon de cuaba, an all-purpose soap used throughout the diaspora. Named after a popular Dominican hymn, Medicine de Amor is a meditation on the home remedy that becomes the first line of defense when no other support is in sight.

Bronx Museum of the Arts (bronxmuseum.org)
1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx
Until 4.9

Installation view from malforms (courtesy of Tiger Strikes Asteroid)


If there’s an ethical kind of “gender bias,” it hits the Bushwick gallery Tiger Strikes Asteroid. Three contemporary Latinx artists – Ad Minoliti, KC Crow Maddux and Madeline Jimenez Santil – deconstruct the social constructs of gender and sexuality, removing the womb from its traditional “female” context and presenting the binary as a soulless, outdated formula. In the contribution to the exhibition, Nicolas Cuello laments how queer, non-conforming color artists, despite marginal recognition in cultural institutions, have long been confronted with a “historic accumulation” of stigmatized discrediting. malforms is thus the forerunner that gives physical and formal experiments room to breathe.

Tiger meets asteroid (tigerstrikesasteroid.com)
1329 Willoughby Ave #2A, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Until 11.09

Installation view from threading the needle (Photo by Gary Mamay, courtesy of The Church, Sag Harbor)

threading the needle

The aesthetics of sewing unite this group exhibition of living and deceased textile artists. The late poet Edel Adnan’s warm tapestries depict her lifelong yearning, in contrast to Philadelphia resident Tabitha Arnold’s bold protest tapestries and Mexican artist Margarita Cabrera’s cacti made from border patrol uniforms. Despite their differing styles, a common structural basis points to the gendered and often political history of the medium. threading the needle thus centering the work of marginalization and, in turn, the marginalization of work.

The Church (thechurchsagharbor.org)
48 Madison Street, Sag Harbor, Long Island
Until 18.09

Installation view from Eros Rising: Visions of the Erotic in Latin American Art (Photo by Martyna Szczesna, courtesy of ISLAA)

Eros Rising: Visions of the Erotic in Latin American Art

The 10 Artists in ISLAA’s Eros rises Ponder the unpredictable pleasures of feeling truly yourself, trading outward sexuality for colorful abstraction. Skin tones in Wynnie Mynerva’s sparse watercolors are reflected in Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro’s non-representational charcoal drawings and culminate in Oscar Bony’s photograph of two anonymous tongues forever on the edge of contact. Influenced by the pastel colors of Argentine conceptualist David Lamelas, Eros rises translates the simple act of touch into a revelation that can affirm one’s understanding of self and truth.

Institute for Studies in Latin American Art (islaa.org)
50 East 78th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan
Until 30.09

Nadia Gould, “Playful Sunshine” (c. 1964) (Courtesy Derfner Judaica Museum and Hebrew Home at Riverdale)

Not Listed: Underrated Women

historian Michael Lobel recently written down the market-centric pitfalls of labeling artists “forgotten.” Accordingly Derfner Judaica’s Not listed tells the stories of several Jewish modernists through the lens of patriarchal obliteration. Expressionist portraits by the Lithuanian artist Yuli Blumberg appear alongside abstract wild horses by the Romanian painter Magdalena Rădulescu and non-representational works by Nadia Gould and Gertrude Perrin. Presented in person and online, these colourful, challenging works advance our understanding of how war, faith and immigration shaped mid-century artists and underscore that the “Women of Ninth Street” were by no means alone.

Derfner Judaica Museum (derfneronline.org)
5901 Palisade Avenue, Bronx
Until October 1st

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, “Sinner Get Ready” (2022) (courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong)

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum: I held back a lot more than I wrote

Pamela Sunstrum has lived many lifetimes in the United States, Africa and Southeast Asia. But as her current exhibition title suggests, much of that experience has yet to be expressed. This is how the individual painted canvases are made I held back – many of which are paired into diptychs or incorporated into three-dimensional installations – together form a surreal tableau of placelessness. Sunstrum layers denim jeans, volcanic mountains, palm trees and checkered tiles into visions of kaleidoscopic splendor, as if drawing from overflowing fountains of memory. So maybe the artist is more talkative than she admits.

Gallery Lelong (galerielelong.com)
528 West 26th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
Sep 8–Sept 22 October

Olalekan Jeyifous, “Birdega” (2022) (Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden)

For the birds

The phrase “for the birds” often carries derogatory connotations, but the Brooklyn Botanic Garden means it literally. Dedicated to its diverse bird life, For the birds colorful artist-made birdhouses are scattered throughout the grounds, all specifically designed and placed to encourage community. From a blue heron fishing platform to a crow’s nest made out of trash to a tiny communal sculpture garden, these makeshift maisons serve the survival needs of each species and add a bit of color to the lush landscape.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (bbg.org)
990 Washington Avenue, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Until October 23rd

LaJuné McMillian, “Black Movement Library” (2021) with dancer Roukijah Rooks (Photo by Guy de Lancey, courtesy of Recess)

LaJuné McMillian: The Library of the Black Movement

The Dynamics of LaJuné McMillian Black motion library Series synthesizes the black radical tradition and political turmoil of today. Using archives of motion capture data collected from misrepresented black actors and character base models, McMillian recreates their movements while wearing motion capture suits with perceptual neurons. Footage from their many public workshops and performances with artists Roobi Gaskins, Renaldo Maurice, Ntu, Roukijah Rooks and RaFia Santana features the entire illuminated facade of the Brooklyn Public Library as they dance in front of a crowd of onlookers. Drawing on archival footage of peoples’ movements around the world, McMillian’s work collapses the period between revolutions to warn us how quickly the advances can be reversed.

Recess (recessart.org)
46 Washington Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Sept. 15 – Sept. 29 October

Installation view from Elissa Blount-Moorhead and Bradford Young: back and vocals (courtesy Lower Manhattan Cultural Council)

Elissa Blount-Moorhead and Bradford Young: back and vocals

On Governors Island, a two-person show explores the poetics of health in the African diaspora. Blount-Moorhead and Young collaborated on four-channel films and installations set in the Arts Center’s dark, desolate Lower Gallery, juxtaposing personal testimonies from doctors, undertakers, and health workers with clips of meditations and ritual performances. Equally critical and purifying, back and vocals Rejects the dominant singularity of western colonial medicine and roots generations of black healing in community and lived experience.

The Art Center (lmcc.net)
Building 110 at Soissons Landing, Governors Island, Manhattan
Until October 30th

Rodrigo Valenzuela, “Afterwork #10” (2021) (courtesy of the artist and Galerie Asya Geisberg)

Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Works for a World of Postal Workers

Two photo series by Rodrigo Valenzuela, After work and weaponsImagine what would have happened if machines had actually made workers redundant. For each shoot, he assembled elaborate, dystopian scenes from scrap wood and scrap, inventing surreal yet familiar depictions of what he calls a “post-worker world.” Drawing heavily on conceptual art and communist theory, Valenzuela portrays industrialism as a dehumanizing force that led capitalists to believe that machines would replace an imperfect and increasingly sophisticated worker. Housed in a structure the artist built at BRIC House, New works for a world of postal workers portrays a public sphere in which the cause of work is defeated, and it seems quite chilling.

BRIC House (bricartsmedia.org)
647 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Sept. 22–September 23 December

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