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2022 Year in Review: Unframed

Jul 23, 2023Jul 23, 2023

Every month, Design Milk’s art expert, David Behringer, checked out the best of what’s happening in modern art in New York City galleries. He sought the coolest exhibitions and shows that most of us didn’t even know existed, and shared an up close and personal experience of the artist and their work. If you missed any of his posts or just want a second glance, read on for a visual tour of NYC’s art scene from our Unframed column in 2022.

A retrospective of artworks by the legendary Abraham Palatnik was on view at the Nara Roesler Gallery in New York back in January. Curated by Luis Pérez-Oramas, the exhibition was visually electric and perfectly selected – every single work worth a pause. “Abraham Palatnik: Seismograph of Color” was a must-see for newcomers and long-time fans alike.

Back in February, artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gork presented an intriguing interaction of sculpture and sound at Francois Ghebaly gallery in New York City. The exhibit offered layers of unexpected surprises, including a strange swirl of sound that was produced by the footsteps of visitors in real time.

Legendary artist Michael Heizer presented five massive sculptures back in March at Gagosian Gallery in New York that balance huge boulders on interlocking steel. It was a visually thrilling experience that you could feel in your gut.

Israeli-born American artist Ghiora Aharoni re-mixes time, science, and multiple religions into dazzlingly complex glass assemblages. Seven of those sculptures from “The Genesis Series” took center stage along with other glass works in an exhibition titled “Inception” on view at Sundaram Tagore Gallery in New York this past April.

Artist Josh Sperling’s exhibition of shaped paintings was on view at Perrotin in New York in May. “Daydream” pushed the possibilities of precision, color, and curiosity through multiple series of joyful works. His canvas paintings combine an obsession for color selection with the precision of a CNC router. Each painting feels too perfect to be human but too human to be a computer.

Artist Jean-Luc Moulène ignited curiosity and froze time in sculptural experiments presented in “Clearly” at Miguel Abreu Gallery in New York in June. Utilizing blown glass, carved foam, found objects, and cast bronze, the exhibition was a cross-fertilization of new ideas.

Summer is the “off season” for the contemporary art galleries, which means weekend closures, group exhibitions, and surprising gems! We covered 4 exhibitions worth cutting out of work a couple hours early for: Paola Pivi’s “Free Land Scape” at Perrotin New York; “Wave” featuring Jesús Rafael Soto at Marlborough New York; “Universes 5” at The Hole; and Portia Munson & “Made to Be Broken” at P.P.O.W Gallery.

New York City hosted two surprising public artworks that use water to reveal and engage the public, surroundings, and history of New York. The loudest of the two sculptures was at Rockefeller Center, where contemporary artist Jeppe Hein tempted visitors to walk into circular fountain enclosures that rose and fell at unpredictable intervals. The second was by Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias who resurrected an ancient stream under Madison Square Park.

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer presented a dazzling interactive exhibition at Pace Gallery in New York in September that broadcasted and recorded every visitor’s heartbeat across 3,000 suspended light bulbs.

The captivating work of artist Sheree Hovsepian poetically plays between the curves of the body and a sense of geometry, often blurring the lines between object and image. Her must-see exhibition Leaning In was on view in October at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York, featuring three series of works that abstract, crop, and echo the human in compositions that are both strange and familiar.

In November, American sculptor Deborah Butterfield’s exhibition at Marlborough Gallery in New York invited viewers to walk circles around sculptures that hold the most honest aura of horses, and yet delightfully deceive in their material. Though each work appeared to be assembled from various types of wood, they are in fact all bronze.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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The top 4 art exhibitions in New York galleries this summer include ceramics by Doyle Lane, paintings by Evian Wenyi Zhang, glass sculpture by Ann Veronica Janssens, and drawings by Harry Gould Harvey IV.

Yayoi Kusama presents a new Infinity Mirror Room, warped pumpkin walls, and psychedelic paintings at David Zwirner Gallery in New York.

Artist Fred Eversley's newest body of work sparks to life in New York, with incredible surprises when other viewers enter the room.

Gerhard Richter presents his "final paintings" at David Zwirner Gallery in New York, but the end is just the beginning. This surprising exhibition continues beyond his retirement.