June's Must-See Exhibits
Spooky horse sculptures, a painter's spin on your favorite bears, and an excuse for a ferry ride.
See Saw's Gallery Guide is a monthly column that covers all things in the art world and exhibits to see, powered by the leading gallery guide app, See Saw.
Welcome to the art corner of Byline, where each month, I’ll bring you art news and stats fueled by See Saw: everyone’s favorite gallery guide app. I’m not an art critic, I’m not in art sales, I’m not an artist. What I am is an art lover with a knack for seeking out great shows wherever I go. I also happen to be the Social Media Editor at See Saw, and one of my favorite things to do is act as an art concierge for my friends – both online and IRL.
Each month, I’ll bring you show recommendations, tips for discovering new artists, stats on which shows are the most popular (according to See Saw), and anything else related to the art world in New York, LA, London, Paris and Berlin.
For our inaugural list of must-see shows, I went straight to the top. Ellen Swieskowski, founder of See Saw, started the gallery listing app in 2014 in her free time after graduating NYU and working for artist Lawrence Weiner. She has seen A LOT of art. Recently I was sitting with her in the sales office at Petzel Gallery where she told the director, “Don’t tell me, let me guess,” and then went around the room and accurately guessed the artist for each piece hanging on the walls. She knows her stuff. And she’s made recommending gallery shows an art of its own.
“When you run a gallery guide app, people often ask you what exhibitions they should go see. The Editor’s Picks section of See Saw is basically a running list of everything I want to see that’s currently on view, so I usually direct people there for recommendations,” she told me.
Ellen said, “The only hard part is convincingly promising that I don’t mean to be dismissive — ‘I don’t know, just check the Editor’s Picks’ can sound a lot like ‘I don’t know, just Google it’ — but with so many exhibitions constantly cycling through the app, it’s a pretty convenient way to keep track of things.”
And how does a show qualify for the list?
“Some shows get added as Editor’s Picks because the preview image looks great or the press release sounds interesting, others are recommended by friends, sometimes I know or am a fan of the artist. Maybe the artist just has an extremely cool name? There are a lot of reasons an exhibition can be listed as an Editor’s Pick.”
Luckily, I got a sneak peek of her Editor’s Picks coming up in June — with a quick caveat:
“There’s decent evidence for the idea that the farther you travel to see art, the more you’re going to like it. Everyone preferred Frieze on Randall’s Island. Getting to the Chichu Museum in Naoshima requires multiple trains, a boat, and an e-bike. People keep going to Marfa.” Ellen explains.
“To put that to the test, here are three (relatively) far-flung, destination exhibitions in New York that I don’t want to miss this month."
Photo courtesy of The Ranch gallery.
1. Lena Henke at The Ranch
Artist: Lena Henke
Show: Nature Wills It
Duration: Through June 14
We’re covering the Hamptons on See Saw this summer, so I’m looking forward to making a trip at some point. I’d really like to get out to Montauk in time to see Lena Henke’s exhibition at The Ranch. Her spooky-sexy, absent-present horse sculptures are on view in a barn directly across from active stables and were inspired by the site.
Photo courtesy of Meredith Rosen gallery.
Artist: Tina Braegger
Show: I Met Your Needs in the Bar Down the Street
Duration: Through June 17
My stance on the Grateful Dead is that if you can like the music without caring about the graphic design, you can also like the graphic design without caring about the music. I’m a fan of the graphic design, and I love seeing Tina Braegger’s years-long, seemingly endless riffs on the dancing bears as empty vessels through which to explore painting.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Barney Studio.
3. Matthew Barney at Matthew Barney Studio
Artist: Matthew Barney
Duration: Through June 25
Some selling points for this one: a new Matthew Barney work; the chance to visit his Long Island City studio before they relocate; one-hour runtime. Take the ferry!
To download See Saw, visit: seesawmap.com/download