5 Must-See Solo Gallery Shows in New York Right Now

Spring has sprung in New York—and so has the art world’s busy fair season. Whether you’re a local or in town to visit the more than half dozen fairs alighting in the city this May—including Frieze, NADA New York, and TEFAF, as well as newcomer Esther—you’ll also want to make room on your calendar (and take advantage of the spring weather) to also visit some of the gallery shows debuting this month.

From a New York-native artist taking over a gallery space with site-specific installations to a painter bringing the culture of Aboriginal Australia to a wider audience, these five artists starring in solo shows across the city are not to be missed.

1. Daniel Walbidi, “Yurlupirti: Forever Without End (eternal)
D’Lan Contemporary, through May 31

Daniel Walbidi, Winpa (2023). Courtesy of the artist and D’Lan Contemporary.

Hailing from the Northwestern coast of Australia, Daniel Walbidi (b. 1983) is a Mangala/Yulparitja artist whose practice is centered around learning about and expressing both his culture as well as the natural landscape of his community’s ancestral homeland. A rising star within Australian First Nations artists, the exhibition features 10 recent works by Walbidi that are larger in scale than his previous (and sold out) exhibition with D’Lan Contemporary in May 2023. Employing his signature, meticulous brushwork and vivid color palettes, Walbidi’s paintings illustrate his own deep connection with the coastal desert environment and convey it to a broader international audience.

2. Rachel Eulena Williams, “Dream Speak
Canada, through June 1

Rachel Eulena Williams, Soul on Ice (2024). Courtesy of the artist and Canada.

Marking her second solo exhibition with the gallery, “Dream Speak” sees Rachel Eulena Williams (b. 1991) continue her pursuit of “making painting literal.” Breaking down painting to the essentials, Williams reconstructs these elements (like color, light, texture, and perspective) by using diverse—and sometimes surprising—materials. Colorful fabrics, canvas, rope, fiberboard, hooks, and wire all symphonize, and let viewers explore her distinct artistic vernacular; this includes symbols and iconography that tap the pictographic language of the Bono People, Andinkra, recognized for its ability to concisely express concepts and maxims, as well as pagan symbology.

3. Ronny Quevedo, “Composite Portals
Alexander Gray Associates, through June 15

Ronny Quevedo, El valle de la periferia (The Valley of the Periphery) (2023). Courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates.

Ronny Quevedo (b. 1981) maintains a practice that consistently draws sharp focus on the intersections and dichotomies between personal and collective histories, dominant and marginalized cultures, and how ideas around identity are shaped. In his newest body of work, Quevedo uses Andean textiles as a starting point to examine pre and postcolonial realities, and in his work literally weaves materials such as paper sewing patterns, metallic leaf on muslin, and carbon copy paper into geometric patterns. The result are works that are deceptively straight forward, full of clues and references that promise to reveal their origins with close and careful looking.

4. Saraha Longe, “Sugar
Timothy Taylor, May 2–June 15

Sahara Longe, Good Times / Bad Times (2024). Courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor.

In “Sugar,” Sahara Longe (b. 1994) reconsiders art history and its canonic perspectives to generate new compositional and figurative possibilities. Tapping traditional allegorical motifs—such as Adam and Eve or the reclining Venus—Longe creates entirely new visual interpretations and arrangements, resulting in works that are haunting and timeless. Across all 13 works on canvas in the show, Longe’s deft handling of line and color are brought to the fore, and her use of raw pigments and thick-grain linen make these new works appear from a time gone by, recalling historic modes such as Symbolism or the Bauhaus.


5. Hugh Hayden, “Hughmans”
Lisson, May 2–August 2

Hugh Hayden, American Gothic tool skeletons (wall) (2024). Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery.

For his second solo exhibition with Lisson this year, Hugh Hayden (b. 1983) creates a site-specific installation for the gallery’s New York space. Employing recognizable materials and motifs in his work, Hayden engages with widely relatable personal themes such as intimacy and desire within a physically explorable context. The show is timed with his 10-year survey exhibition at the Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis, Missouri, and precedes another major solo exhibition opening this fall at the Rose Museum of Art at Brandeis University, together denoting an important moment in the artist’s career.

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