Shows to See Across the US This September

From a survey of African fashion at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, to Florian Krewer’s animalistic oil paintings at Aspen Art Museum

BY frieze in Critic's Guides , Exhibition Reviews | 08 SEP 23

‘Africa Fashion’

Brooklyn Museum, New York

23 June – 22 October

Papa Oppong, Takari Tee, 2021, acrylic wool blend, smock, tulle, sequins. Courtesy: the artist

Co-curators Ernestine White-Mifetu and Annissa Malvoisin have selected more than 300 items – from textiles, jewellery, music and photography to video, sculpture, books and magazines, drawn both from the museum’s collection and further afield – to create a vibrant dreamscape on the ground-floor galleries. The first survey of its kind in North America, with seemingly more room to breathe than in its previous iteration at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the show captures the global impact of fashion from the African continent between 1950 and the present day. At the entrance, a timeline charts the independence of various nations between 1847 and 2011; the respective flags of the continent’s 54 countries appear opposite this timeline with a description of each. Yet, despite featuring works by more than 40 designers from 20 African countries across eight sections – including ‘Vanguard’, ‘Cutting Edge’ and ‘Global Africa’ – this ambitious exhibition still feels surprisingly digestible. – Mebrak Tareke

Florian Krewer

Aspen Art Museum

25 May – 24 September


A mostly black and white painting of a white dog between the legs of a man in black
Florian Krewer, nice dog, 2019, oil on canvas, 2.2 × 1.7 m. Courtesy: © Florian Krewer and Aspen Art Museum

You can smell Florian Krewer’s paintings before you get a close look at them, so thickly layered are they with oils. It’s not hard to imagine the scent of sweat wafting from their roiling, nocturnal scenes of male camaraderie and confrontation. The painter’s first US solo museum exhibition, ‘everybody rise’, opens with several such works, completed not long after he graduated from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he was mentored by Peter Doig. The influence of the older artist is easy to see in Krewer’s de-skilled figuration, submerged beneath raw, youthful aggression. The connection is often stressed in press accounts of Krewer’s ascent from house painter in the working-class suburbs of North Rhine-Westphalia to art-market darling, such that it’s tempting to approach his display in one of North America’s toniest small-town museums with a degree of cynicism; but something far stranger and more ambiguous is at work here. – Evan Moffitt

Michael Snow

The School (Jack Shainman Gallery), Kinderhook, New York

21 May – 16 December


A video projection of waves overlaid with what look like windows in a dark room with many folding chairs
Michael Snow, WVLNT: WAVELENGTH for those who don't have the time: Originally 45 minutes, Now 15!, 2003 / 2023, installation view. Courtesy: © Michael Snow and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; photograph: Dan Bradica

It was after-hours at Jonas Mekas’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, then in the basement of the Wurlitzer building in midtown Manhattan, that Canadian artist Michael Snow presented his 45-minute film Wavelength (1967) to a small group of friends, including Richard Foreman, Ken and Flo Jacobs, and Nam June Paik. Wavelength – which distinctively featured a fixed camera’s slow zoom onto a photograph of ocean waves, hung on the wall of a SoHo loft, amid a death scene – became a sensation, and remains an icon of avant-garde cinema.

For that reason, I was thrilled at the opportunity to see the work in person, projected in its original 16mm format, in ‘Michael Snow: A Life Survey 1955–2020’ at Jack Shainman Gallery’s The School in Kinderhook, New York. Much to my annoyance, however, I encountered instead Snow’s later rendition, WVLNT (Wavelength for Those Who Don’t Have the Time) (2003). This abridged, digitized version superimposed 15-minute segments of the original to create a fragmented, almost illegible revision. A wisecrack response to a generation sans attention span, it ironically only grabbed me for a few minutes before I moved on (a moment I read as part of the intended joke). –Terence Trouillot

Sarah Miska

Night Gallery, Los Angeles

8 July – 9 September


Sarah Miska, Juddmonte, 2023.
Sarah Miska, Juddmonte, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 101.6 × 76.2 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Night Gallery; photograph: Nik Massey

With bettors’ odds of tremendous gain or major loss, competing in a sport as dangerous as horse racing can be life changing – and in some cases, life ending. In Sarah Miska’s exhibition ‘High Stakes’hyper-realistic acrylic paintings use the adrenaline-inducing event to explore risk, reward and control. Images of graphic and energetic moments the artist collects through digital research and social media are replicated, enhanced and edited, resulting in canvases that are at once intimate and engulfing, detailing moments too dangerous to get close to and too compelling to look away from. – Clare Gemima

Daniel Shieh

The Arts Center at Governors Island, New York

6 May – 1 October


A grey concrete half round structure with a person in it
Daniel Shieh, Sheltered Sky, 2023, installation view. Courtesy: the artist and LMCC; photograph: Martin Seck

As information about pressing issues such as global inequality and climate change mounts to the point that it overwhelms more than it informs, artists have increasingly taken up pedagogical duties through affective means. Tania Bruguera’s 10,148,451 (2018) at Tate Modern, for instance, attempted to stimulate empathy for migrants through, among other measures, a tear-inducing compound. Fresh among these practitioners is Daniel Shieh, a Taiwanese-born installation artist who probes themes of immigration and national identity. His multimedia exhibition at The Arts Center at Governors Island, ‘Where Time Runs Backwards’, examines, as stated in the press release, ‘what becoming American entails’, and evinces some of the promises and challenges that come with making art of this kind. – Jasmine Liu

Main image: Florian Krewer, pride, 2021. Oil on linen, 2.9 × 2.4 m. Courtesy: © Florian Krewer and Aspen Art Museum


Contemporary Art and Culture