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Art Break: Abstraction at Simon Lee and Marianne Boesky Galleries; Firelei Báez at the Schomburg Center; and Photography at Aperture

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, July 23, 2018

Art Break is featuring four shows this week that represent some of the best of the NYC summer gallery scene. Two highlight the abstract art movement: Simon Lee Gallery showing Roy Newell, one of the earliest proponents of the style, and Marianne Boesky Gallery with a reappraisal of the movement as seen and understood in a feminist framework. Keeping with a feminist approach, the Schomburg Center and the Studio Museum in Harlem present the work of Firelei Báez. Her art uses the historical record to find and give credit to women of color for their accomplishments in culture and society. Finally, the Aperture Gallery is holding their annual open submission event show. This year’s display focuses on the current moment, be it cultural, political, or social. Tomorrow’s stars of fine art photography often get their start here, making this show a valuable resource for collectors.


Roy Newell: Untitled, 1969; signed, dated verso; oil on board 31.8 x 42.2 cm (12 1/2 x 16 5/8 in.); courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.

Simon Lee Gallery: Roy Newell (June 27 – August 19) features one of the original members of the American abstract art movement – although you wouldn’t necessarily make that connection from the paintings on view. With geometric forms and a painting style that makes color a physical presence, this rare showing of Newell’s work is a highlight of the summer gallery scene.

Roy Newell: Entrance I, 1973 -1983; signed, dated, titled verso; oil on board; 12.4 x 80.6 cm (4 7/8 x 31 3/4 in.); courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery.

Simon Lee Gallery
26 East 64th Street, 2nd Floor
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-6
Admission: Free


Amy Sillman: SK56, 2018; acrylic, ink and silkscreen on paper; 40 x 26 inches, 101.6 x 66 cm; courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels / Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Marianne Boesky Gallery: The Mechanics of Fluids (June 21 – August 3) continues the theme of abstract art, with this show approaching the topic from a feminist viewpoint. Using examples from Lynda Benglis, Elisa Breton, Helen Frankenthaler, Melissa Gordon, Jacqueline Humphries, Lisa Oppenheim, Laura Owens, Charlotte Posenenske, Josephine Pryde, Eileen Quinlan, Amy Sillman, and Mika Tajima, curator and artist Melissa Gordon creates space for dialogue regarding the progress and acceptance (or non-acceptance) of women artists in this global movement.

Mika Tajima: Art d’Ameublement (Raiford), 2018; spray enamel on acrylic; 24 x 18 inches, 61 x 45.7 cm; courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter, New York; photo: Charles Benton / Marianne Boesky Gallery

Marianne Boesky Gallery
509 West 24th Street
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10-6
Admission: Free


Bubblegum Club: Langa Mavuso, 2017: photo: Bubblegum Club / Aperture Gallery

Aperture Gallery: Aperture 2018 Summer Open: The Way We Live Now (June 28 – August 16) is the result of an annual open-submission event to encourage new and established photographers. This year’s theme was to define some moment of change in the world today, regardless of topic or content. Come to the Aperture Gallery to see what curators Brendan WattenbergSiobhán Bohnacker, Marvin Orellana, and Antwaun Sargent have chosen to illustrate this fascinating idea.

Vincent Hung: Untitled, 2017; photo: Vincent Hung / Aperture Gallery.

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
Hours: Mon – Thur: 10-5:30, Fri: 10-2, Sat: 10-5:30
Admission: Free

Maria Sturm: Patricia, Mescal and Frankie, 2017; photo: Maria Sturm / Aperture Gallery.


An exhibit from Firelei Báez: Joy Out of Fire; photo:Jonathan Blanc/Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Schomburg Center: Firelei Báez: Joy Out of Fire (May 1 – November 24) is a collaboration between the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Part of the museum’s inHarlem project series, artist Firelei Báez draws on extensive historical materials from the Center to describe the groundbreaking achievements of women of color.

Schomburg Center
515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th Street and Malcolm X Blvd)
Hours: Mon: 10-6, Tue – Wed: 10-8, Thurs – Sat: 10-6
Admission: Free

An exhibit from Firelei Báez: Joy Out of Fire; photo: Jonathan Blanc/Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.


For ZEALnyc‘s complete list of New York City art and museum exhibitions and shows click here.

For the latest news in New York City art, museums and galleries click here.


Cover: Eileen Quinlan: ‘Neo Fahrenheit,’ 2017; digital chromogenic print mounted on Dibond 50 x 40 inches, 127 x 101.6 cm; edition of 3, with 2 AP; courtesy the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York / Marianne Boesky Gallery.


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