Gallery Hop-New York City

Through October 21st, 2023 and January 15th, 2023 Recommendations and Review

Once or twice a year, with my husband or any art-loving friend I can coerce into going with me, I go to a few shows in New York City that I (or we) are interested in seeing.

So, on a recent Saturday, my friend Elizabeth C. and I hopped on Metro North’s Hudson Line down to New York City to see a few shows on my list. On the way down, along the beautiful river, a treat in itself, we added Elizabeth’s must-sees to my own. Elizabeth suggested walking downtown as it was a beautiful day to boot.

Usually, I would take the subway as close as possible and walk from the stop; however, Elizabeth wanted to walk from Grand Central on 42nd St. and get on the High Line outdoor elevated park at 30th St.

After hitting the public restroom for ticket holders in Grand Central’s Station Master’s office on the main level (men’s rooms below the first floor), we went through the main waiting room, out the front door, quickly found Madison Avenue, and strolled down to 30th St. At 30th we hung a right to go west and could see the leafless neon pink tree which currently marks one of the entrances to the High Line.

Most of the galleries we wanted to visit were near the High Line between 20th Street and 22nd Street.

The elevated park was full of French and Italian families enjoying some of the most perfect late summer weather New York City has to offer. It was crowded but not unpleasantly so.

We went down the steps around 20th Street and walked uptown on 10th Avenue to West 22nd Street for our first stop.


Miles McEnery Gallery 511 West 22nd Street -Jacob Hashimoto: The Disappointment Engine, through October 21st, 2023

Jacob Hashimoto’s work has drawn me in from the first time I saw it.

His sculptural compositions, ranging from small wall pieces to enormous public installations in airports and office buildings, are built around the circular shapes and wood framework of Asian kite forms. Some installed works are solid black or white, and some are decorated with intricate layered patterns. They hang in drifts like clouds, or sea shell mobiles, or tautly strung and tied in layers attached to a framework of wood dowels.

In his own words, Hashimoto’s inspiration draws from a wide range of sources, including video games and virtual worlds, abstracted landscapes, handcraft, bamboo and paper kites, and modernism.

In the show at Miles McEnery, the viewer climbs a few steps to enter the gallery underneath a large installation of these forms, primarily blank translucent white on circular natural wood “kite” frames strung together all of one size, punctuated with a few black disks, installed in a site-specific composition. All of the disks are strung together with black thread. The show takes its name from this piece, The Disappointment Engine.

Although I walked quickly through the piece and on to the more colorful layered wall pieces, easier to sink into, the installation drew me back for several minutes on the way out, looking for patterns and reason among the strings of disks. I left, feeling that I had been walking through a cloud.

This show doesn’t disappoint and deserves a trip. I have to ask, why go to a museum when you can see stellar work like this for free? (I’ll answer that question later.)

Miles McEnery Gallery has exhibits currently on view by other artists at three addresses close by and has had several other shows this year that I would have liked to see.


ACA Galleries: 173 10th Ave -Kandy G. Lopez : Situational Identity. New Works in Fiber through October 21st, 2023

This show wasn’t on our list for the day, but we walked by it with interest. Someone stopped us to tell us we should see it before entering the Hashimoto show. We went back to look.

The works in the show are larger-than-life portraits of friends and family, stitched of yarn on rug hooking canvas backing. From a distance, you see almost camera-like realism. Up close, the treat is understanding the magic created with abstracted yarn stitching. The portraits capture the spirit of the person or people who posed for them. Abstract yet concrete at the same time.

It’s a small show of 8-10 pieces hung in three large easily-accessed rooms and worth a visit.


Cavin-Morris Gallery 529 West 20th Street, 3rd Floor, 3W-The Cosmic Cartographies of Shane Drinkwater, through October 21st, 2023

Shane Drinkwater is an Australian artist whose work I discovered on Instagram several years ago. He is now represented in New York by the Cavin-Morris Gallery and has a solo show of his painted works on paper in one room. It was my first opportunity to see his work in person. Cavin-Morris is on the third floor of a building with several other noteworthy galleries.

Shane’s work has long held interest for me. The pieces in this show are typical of his work, in a relatively square format, painted on paper, mounted to show the edges of the work, and framed behind glass. Some have handpainted collaged additions to the composition.

They evoke abstract maps of the cosmos, as the show’s title suggests. To me, they also have the feeling of Australian Aboriginal Dream Time works. They give a glimpse of the order of the universe, just one that a person can’t quite put their finger on. Composed of abstract planets in relationship to each other, lines, and numbers, they play with the idea of the universe’s composition in an abstract, almost childlike way yet are sophisticated beyond a child’s thought process. I find them fascinating.

I was curious to see if the pieces were as absorbing in person as they appear as photographed by the artist. I think interest in Shane’s work will continue to grow.

Cavin-Morris is also currently showing Japanese textiles in a second gallery room.


After a few other shows, including a worthwhile one of antique African-American quilts and Japanese, boro-stitched quilts next to Cavin-Morris, Elizabeth and I stopped for some tea at one of the nearby coffee shops and restaurants lining 10th Avenue.

At this point, she deserted me, having recently been to my next stop: The Whitney Museum of Art, just off 13th Street on Gansevoort Avenue. I came around from the meat packing area on the northwest side. I found this juxtaposition amusing.

The Whitney has never been my favorite New York Museum for some reason, though I have loved every show I’ve been to, even when the collection was in its concrete bunker uptown. Their permanent collection alone is worth a stop, but today I was on a mission to see a current show.


Whitney Museum 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Street (just below 13th Street)-Ruth Asawa Through Line, through January 15th, 2024

The show is on the 8th floor of the museum, easily accessible by elevator from the gallery lobby. This museum has a formidable entry fee of $30 for a non-discounted ticket, but I feel this show is worth the entrance fee. An art lover will definitely get their money’s worth by spending the day seeing the permanent collection and other rotating exhibits.

Ruth Asawa was a 20th-century Japanese-American sculptor working when it was unusual in the art world both as an Asian American and a woman to gain recognition. This show focuses primarily on her sketching and drawing abilities and her development as an artist. Schoolwork done independently and under the tutelage of teachers such as Joseph Albers, Buckminster Fuller, and Merce Cunningham at the Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, is on display, as well as later experimental ink pieces and sketches of family, friends, and bouquets she received during her lifetime.

Many of her early works relate to textile design using repeating forms. She wasn’t afraid to change mediums whenever it suited her envisioned work. I felt most attracted to her work with pen and ink, with which she attained an incredible mastery.

Several folded-paper works are in the show, each exhibiting a different painted pattern, rendering them as individual compositions though folded alike. Above these, a film showing her folded sculptures alternating between costume and set design in collaboration with Merce Cunningham’s dance students is playing.

The show has three of her sculptures, each exhibiting a different character, including one of the hanging wire forms she became most known for.

I highly recommend this show.


After this show, saturated with art experiences, I took the subway uptown to 42nd Street, stopping at my favorite bookstore, Kinokuniya, on 6th Avenue behind the New York Public Library and Bryant Park. Alas, they were out of mango frappes in their second-story cafe that day, but the mango pudding was good, and I overheard an amusing conversation about anime character weapon choices while sitting next to the manga section.

Reflecting that I could have also taken the S train across to Grand Central Terminal rather than aggravating my now overwalked feet, I walked the three blocks to the station, where I missed my train home by one minute and waited an hour for the next one.

Luckily, I had bought a new book at the bookstore, so I had an extra hour of reading time, a luxury.

If you visit New York before mid-October, I hope you will see one or more of these shows if art is on your list!

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