New York Summer Solo Shows

In July and August, Chelsea and the rest of New York’s gallery scene grow quiet; what little activity remains tends to revolve around the predominantly thematic jumble of the summer group show, which means that seeking out summer solo shows can be like searching for indie films in listings dominated by Hollywood summer epics and blockbusters. But, in pursuit of something different, I set out to see what was on offer as an antidote to summer group show madness.

I discovered that the sheer number of art galleries in New York makes for more solo show choices than one might imagine. Still, the pool is small, and though it can be fairly easy to separate the good from the not-as-good, it is difficult to find the fantastic. It’s even harder when timing is a determining factor: one of my favorite solo shows of this summer — Zhang Huans “Blessings” at PaceWildenstein — closed too early for this writing.

Luckily, other galleries picked up the slack, with nicely varied results: The best solo shows of the season cover a range of media — from sculpture to photography to painting — and a range of artists — from American to Brazilian to Japanese, and U.S. newcomers to more seasoned veterans. Some of the shows are good, and some are great, proving that even in the summer, the New York art world hasn’t completely forgotten that less can still be more.

Click on the photo gallery to the left to see the picks of the best summer solo shows.