7 Art Shows to See in New York This February

A detail of Apollinaria Broche’s “I Close My Eyes Then I Drift Away” (2023) at Marianne Boesky Gallery (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

The short month of February still packs a lot of art in New York City, from a survey of the influential Godzilla Asian American Arts Network to Apollinaria Broche’s whimsical ceramics and Aki Sasamoto’s experimentations with snail shells and Magic Erasers in her solo show at the Queens Museum. This month, we will also publish a second list of art exhibitions to see in the middle of February, as many shows open past our publication time.

One such exhibition was Julie Torres and Ellen Letcher’s joint show at Pocket Utopia last month, which we were not able to list, and another was Joyce Kozloff’s Collateral Damage at DC Moore, which opened on January 6 and closed on February 3. The latter was a beautiful exhibition that embodied painting as a site of power and conflict. A veteran of the Pattern & Decoration movement, Kozloff turned world maps into rich surfaces teeming with danger, cultural memory, and possibilities. She demonstrates, yet again, that painting continues to be a point of conflict — not only in art but in the way we see the world, or, more correctly, the way we refuse to look away.  — Hrag Vartanian

Resnick Wong Pic by Hrag
Two works by Milton Resnick, left, and Matthew Wong, right, in U + ME at the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation in Manhattan (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

U + ME: Milton Resnick and Matthew Wong

This is your last chance to catch this sleeper of an exhibition that brings the work of two painters, Milton Resnick and Matthew Wong, in dialogue and it’s surprisingly effective. Both artists died by suicide: Wong at the age of 35, while Resnick took his own life at the age of 87. That’s not the only parallel in their lives and careers, and it’s sometimes hard to discern between their works, which highlights the almost unnerving overlap of style and technique. Figures have a gestalt quality evoking mythic imagery on muddy planes, puncturing illusionism in favor of an idealized scene that feels forever haunted by a dark cloud overhead. Poetry and words by both artists are interspersed throughout, which underlines the poetic quality of the art. An added bonus is John Yau’s essay for the show, curated by Alex Paul Chapin. —HV

Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation (resnickpasslof.org)
87 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Through February 10

Kurt Lightner Harpers Hrag Pic
Paintings by Kurt Lightner at Harper’s Gallery (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Kurt Lightner: Spark

This small exhibition on West 22nd Street is jammed with vibrant artworks that are, according to the artist, built through improvisation — though that’s hard to discern as a viewer. Focused on forest floors and their layers of vegetation, Kurt Lightner renders the plant world in a kaleidoscope of color. Lightner’s keen ability to capture each branch, leaf, and plant in a way that maintains its elegant individuality without succumbing to the chaos all around is visually impressive. Life and death intermingle freely (though there are no signs of animal life from what I could see) and the results are these dense, almost transparent surfaces that call attention to the overlooked and ask us to find the vibrancy beneath our feet. —HV 

Harper’s Gallery (harpersgallery.com)
534 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
Through February 17

Apollinaria Broche Hrag Pic
View of Apollinaria Broche’s “Everybody tryna have a, a good time I think you why the reason why” (2023) and “Feeling exceptionally unhuman” (2023), among other works, at Marianne Boesky Gallery (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Apollinaria Broche: In the distance there was a glimpse

A charming display of ceramic and bronze sculptures that feel as whimsical as a drawing, but as complex as a vivid dream. The artworks sprout from the gallery’s polished concrete floors, accompanied by an eerie soundtrack of pop songs about flowers warped into something more bewildering. There’s a deeply romantic dimension to Broche’s vision on display and the wistful figures don’t feel contemporary, but instead like historical or fictional spirits conjured up before us, even if only momentarily. The title for the show is taken from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 children’s book The Secret Garden, and that sense of wonderment, tinged with fragility, is laid bare in this scene, which appears to be on the verge of collapse. —HV

Marianne Boesky Gallery (marianneboeskygallery.com)
507 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
Through February 24

Shary Boyle MAD Hrag Pic
A view of some of the curious objects on display at Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me at the Museum of Arts and Design (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Shary Boyle: Outside the Palace of Me

Canadian artist Shary Boyle has created a wonderfully theatrical display on two floors of the Museum of Arts and Design, exploring her fascination with theatricality and observation. Her work with clay is truly inspired, while many of the objects here look like rejects from a very cutting-edge porcelain factory full of workers who read critical theory. The topics of gender, whiteness, and mortality figure throughout, and the video work she made for the Kaunas Biennial in Lithuania, “The Trampled Devil” (2021), is a clever short film that breathes new life into a fragment from the world’s largest collection of folk art depicting the devil. The real thrills on display are the 10 “intimate dramas” that reflect on the history of ceramics with a self-consciousness that draws you into their psychological scenes of self-creation. —HV

Museum of Arts and Design (madmuseum.org)
2 Columbus Circle, Upper West Side, Manhattan
Through February 25

Tammie Rubin Pic by Hrag
Tammie Rubin, “Always & Forever (forever, ever) No. 14” (2024) at C24 Gallery (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Tammie Rubin: Points of Origin

Tammie Rubin’s Always & Forever (forever, ever) series is on full display at this one-person exhibition in Chelsea that pushes the forms that evoke household objects in addition to KKK hoods, dunce caps, religious costumes, funnels, and other associations. The forms Rubin adds to the surfaces can denote maps, insignias, and various abstract patterns. The eyes in her funnels add to the mystery and convey a sense that the work is standing witness to something just beyond our gaze, or altogether invisible to us. The fan objects and drawings add to the larger vision here, and my only wish was to see a few larger objects that would anchor the gallery, but maybe I’m just eager to see more from Rubin. —HV

C24 Gallery (c24gallery.com)
560 West 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
Through March 8

AX Godzilla Image
Yun-Fei Ji, “Going Home in High Spirits” (2022), acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 inches (photo AX Mina/Hyperallergic)

GODZILLA: Echoes of the 1990s Asian American Arts Network

In 1990, artists Bing Lee and Ken Chu and art historian Margo Machida formed the Godzilla Asian American Arts Network as a community of support in the art world. Spread across Eric Firestone Gallery’s two locations in Soho (4 Great Jones and 40 Great Jones), Godzilla: Echoes from the 1990s Asian American Arts Network gathers work from artists in the group, including Hung Liu’s “Cookie Queen” (1994) a painting of a woman with fortune cookies, and Ik-Joong Kang’s “Happy World” (2011–14), with a decaying gold Buddha backdropped by tchotchkes and mini paintings. The show also features archives of the original Godzilla newsletter, including their historic letter protesting the lack of representation in the 1991 Whitney Biennial. —AX Mina

Eric Firestone Gallery (ericfirestonegallery.com)
40 and 4 Great Jones Street, Soho, Manhattan
Through March 16

Aki Sasamoto Press Image
Installation view of Aki Sasamoto: Point Reflection at the Queens Museum (photo by Hai Zhang, courtesy Queens Museum)

Aki Sasamoto: Point Reflection

I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. There’s virtually no blotch or blemish this mysterious sponge cannot undo. In Aki Sasamoto’s solo exhibition, partially based on her installation at the 2022 Venice Biennale, you’ll encounter a playful assortment of Magic Erasers, snail shells, water bottle caps, kitchen cutting boards, and other objects performing a dance over industrial sinks. Through this quirky ensemble, Sasamoto reflects on our fragile existence in this mad world, and her little place in it. The exhibition and an accompanying series of performances by the artist will put a smile on your face, but don’t be surprised if a contemplative mood slowly sets in, making you wish a Magic Eraser existed for past mistakes and poor choices. —Hakim Bishara

Queens Museum (queensmuseum.org)
Grand Central Parkway and Van Wyck Expressway, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens
Through April 7

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