5 NYC Art Shows Alexander Hankin Can't Wait To Visit This Spring

by Alexander Hankin · January 21, 2021

    With everything going on in the world, art has become my escape. Luckily for all of us museums, galleries and institutions have reopened and we can now see art again in person!

    Supporting the arts is very important to me, as I hope is evident from my work as a member of the MAD's Board of Trustees and Co-Chair of the MAD Luminaries, and as a member of the Whitney Contemporaries Executive Committee, The Serpentine Future Contemporaries Committee, and more. Despite the chaos everywhere, art is thriving, and lots of new, innovative, exciting exhibitions are taking place that you absolutely cannot miss.

    Currently on display at Friedman Benda is Split Personality. A must-see for design-lovers, this show features reimagined furniture pieces that deliver a sensory overload. Emma Fague’s puff pastry-looking chair is an airy delight when juxtaposed against the immersive work of Nobukho Nqaba, who examines the plight of refugees using those plaid plastic bags you see everywhere. My favorite work, however, is a whimsical chair by Jonathan Trayte – complete with orange fur, a pink sea-like light and hidden ice bucket to keep your champagne on ice while you unwind. It should be noted that Trayte will also have a solo show at Benda this year which I’m equally as eager to attend!

    It’s no secret that I absolutely fan girl out for Daniel Arsham. His new show at Perrotin – Time Dilation is just unreal! Spanning three floors, Arsham's work shows both large and small-scale sculptures in his signature future relic style, which seeks inspiration from everywhere from Greco-Roman antiquities to Pokémon. The second floor is basically like walking into an ancient artifact, decorated with box resin sculptures of everyday objects in a variety of bright colors. But the most impressive thing about Time Dilation? The large-scale paintings Arsham has displayed throughout.

    Starting on March 18th (for members only) my beloved Whitney Museum will open the Julie Mehretu show. It’s certainly something to be excited about as it's Mehertu’s first show of this sale, not to mention the first show the museum's 5th floor has hosted since the pandemic shutdown. The exhibition will showcase current and past works of both the artist's paintings and works on paper. What I like best about Mehretu is how she manages to create dramatic, abstract works that convey both political and social change. 

    I can’t wait for April 2nd when Julien Nguyen’s Pictures of the Floating World will be opening at the Matthew Marks Gallery. I love Nguyen’s work. His style is very modern renaissance – he paints in a style that somehow feels old and lost and yet also contemporary. I’ve been such a fan since Ex Forti Dulcedo at Modern Art in London in 2018. Even more recently, his paintings have graced the fashions on the runway for Ottolinger, which I personally think has made him even more relevant. I read somewhere that Nguyen is “painting for those who have eyes,” and I could not agree more with that sentiment. 

    Looking ahead to May, MAD will have the first major museum exhibition of life partners, displaying the works of painter Carrie Moyer and sculptor and fiber artist Shelia Pepe. Tabernacle for Trying Times will be an abstract show dealing with activism and identity (think: giant yarn jungle with paintings and sculptures.) Through vivid colored fibers, paintings, and design elements the artists will tackle social issues in what will definitely be a very thought-provoking and of-the-moment exhibition for us.

    Lastly, I'm excited for the prospect of Frieze New York happening in-person this year –  let’s hope for the best and keep our well-manicured fingers crossed! I always look forward to seeing what White Cube, Sean Kelley, Victoria Miro, Matthew Marks, and Karma will be showing. 

    Oh, and I’m also so excited to share that MAD Luminaries Live! will continue to offer monthly programs throughout 2021. Our first show of the year is Thursday, January 28th at 6:30pm ET with Kristin Simmons, Pop Artist Extraordinaire. 

    The show is FREE to everyone! To register, just email patrons@madmuseum.org.

    [Photos courtesy Alexander Hankin, Matthew Marks Gallery]