If you are visiting New York in the summer months, you may have already been told that the art world goes to sleep, hibernating during the long, humid days of July and August. While it's generally true that there are fewer gallery shows to see on a given day, the art world is still very much awake. If anything, air-conditioned exhibitions can be the best places to spend hot summer days. And the art isn't bad either.
Here are my picks for gallery and museum shows to visit in the muggy, New York summer:
1. Taryn Simon, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII at the Museum of Modern Art
After travelling through a series of European museums, this body of work has finally landed in the United States. It is, without question, one of the most moving, affective, and thorough art projects I've seen in a long time. Simon, a photographer known for her formal presentation and elaborate research into the worlds of the "unseen," does not disappoint in these MoMA galleries. Following eighteen "chapters" made over a four-year period, Simon systematically documents members of specific families, or "bloodlines," whose history has been fraught with conflict or dispossession. Her subjects include genocide victims in Bosnia, the "living dead" in India, and children in a Ukrainian orphanage. The exhibition runs through September 3, 2012. For more information, visit moma.org. And check out this great slideshow if you can't make it to NYC.
Installation Shot, People Who Work Here, David Zwirner Gallery, New York.
2. People Who Work Here at David Zwirner Gallery
The title of this group show is to be taken quite literally: each of the seventeen artists in this exhibition are, in fact, full time employees of the gallery. To boot, the show is being curated by Rawson Projects, a small Brooklyn-based gallery that is run by another two members of the Zwirner staff. It's a homegrown operation. It's rare to see a gallery celebrate and champion the art of their own workers, and in the case of a blockbuster gallery like Zwirner, it's practically unheard of. The exhibition runs through August 10, 2012. more information, visit davidzwirner.com.