Top 3 Solo-Exhibitions to See: NYC October 2023

Must see art exhibitions for Barnard students.

I find October to be one of the busiest months of the semester at Barnard, both due to my increasing workload and my desire to maintain an active social life. One of my favorite ways to relax during the chaos is by escaping Morningside Heights for a few hours and visiting different galleries around the city -I love immersing myself in other people’s creativity to enrich my mind and give myself a well-deserved break from studying. Thus, I implore you all to de-stress and go see some art! These three exhibitions, which feature female artists, are my top picks for October: 

  1. Njedika Akunyili Crosby’s solo show “Coming Back to See Through, Again”at David Zwirner presents the artist’s recent works. In each of her compositions, Akunyili Crosby integrates painting and drawing with photographs using a transfer technique, displaying her identity as a Nigerian woman through imagery from her own life and from Nigerian media. Crosby  also focuses on familial relationships: in one work displaying her mother, and in another depicting herself with her son. The plant imagery in many of her works demonstrates her newfound fascination with botanical history and her evolving relationship with gardening. These layers of meaning within Crosby’s  work are apparent through the care she puts into her artmaking practice, and the subject matters which she portrays. 

‘Coming Back to See Through, Again’ is on view through October 28, 2023, at David Zwirner, W 19th St.

2. Candice Lin’s “Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory” at Canal Projects is a must-see installation. Lin employs a variety of art forms to create a cohesive exhibition, centering on a short essay she authored. Through her complex work, Lin comments on the impacts of the production of lithium and industrial society’s wide usage of this resource. The exhibition resembles a lithium factory, with tall laboratory-esque desks, connected via tubes coming in-and-out of decorated ceramic jars.  Foil tubes emerge from these desks, which are topped with liquids bubbling in canisters. The larger, more industrial objects contrast with the smaller and more personal details on the desk, such as sticky notes with barely legible handwriting, memes referencing pop culture, or animated videos on portable screens. The content displayed in and around these desks demonstrate her fascination with Asian mythology, labor markets, and mass consumption. The exhibit also contains a structure, with an upper and lower half, to mimic how a factory manager would surveil their workers. The upper half is empty but contains holes to look down into the inner workings of the lower half. The lower level includes a captivating group of objects enveloped by a red haze, with four elevated ceramic jars, anthropomorphic sculptures, bottles, and cigarettes, surrounded by elaborate tapestries. Lin’s multimedia approach plays with one’s senses, with many moving objects, noise components, and lighting changes, especially under her built structure.

 ‘Lithium Sex Demons in the Factory’ is on view through December 16, 2023 at Canal Projects. 

3. Jane Dickson presents her newest creations in a solo exhibition titled “Promised Land.” Her vibrant paintings and drawings reflect photographs that she took in the 1970s and 80s in New York City and across the United States. In ‘Promised Land’, Dickson uses the negatives of her past photographs for inspiration, depicting signage from Times Square, the city, and throughout America, to convey, as she explains: “what Americans are thinking, what we want and why we want it.” The materials that Dickson utilizes are apparent on her canvases – whether it be the pieces of tiny pieces of eggshell in her paint, her use of oil stick, or the palpable texture of colored felt. Her reflection on her older works, juxtaposed with her unique choices of materiality, truly distinguishes this exhibition. 

‘Promised Land’ is on view through October 28, 2023 at KARMA NYC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *