Must-See Art | May 2017 Must-see art exhibitions in New York right now


By Nicole Bray, Contemporary Art Consultant |


Anselm Kiefer
Transition from Cool to Warm
May 5, 2017 – July 14, 2017
Gagosian Gallery
522 West 21st Street, New York

A breathtaking presentation of Kiefer’s watercolors, paintings and books fill the 21st Street gallery end-to-end. Kiefer, who’s literary influences have played a critical component throughout his oeuvre, from the new and old testament to Paul Celan to Ingeborg Bachmann, these authors manifest themselves into gently, touched watercolors as vibrant as the sun and his renown canvases reflective of a melancholic and mournful post-war Germany. Central to the exhibition are more than forty unique artists’s books, their pages painted with gesso to mimic marble, displayed in an installation of glass vitrines. Erotically charged female nudes and faces emerge from the pages. Run don’t walk to see this stunning show.

Alexander Calder | Joan Miró
Calder | Miró Constellations
April 20, 2017 – May 26, 2017
Acquavella Gallery
18 East 79th Street, New York

Alexander Calder | Joan Miró
Calder | Miró Constellations
April 20, 2017 – June 30, 2017
Pace Gallery
32 East 57th Street, New York

Pace Gallery and Acquavella Galleries jointly present Calder / Miró: Constellations, featuring the Constellations series of Alexander Calder and Joan Miró, respectively. The distinct yet complementary presentations illuminate the startling affinities between the two artists, who at the time the series were created, were separated by the Atlantic during World War II and unable to communicate. Presenting approximately 60 sculptures, paintings and works on paper in dialogue with one another, these shows highlight the varied formal, social and political concerns that informed the significant series—neither of which were actually named Constellations by the artists themselves.

Mira Dancy
Call NOW
April 28, 2017 – June 2, 2017
Chapter NY
249 East Houston Street, New York

Mira Dancy’s provocative and visually stunning show takes place across two locations at Chapter NY and Chapter NY at 83 Pitt Street. Dancy’s practice engages the historical trope of woman-as-subject in painting, seeking to recalibrate expectations of how a body can or cannot behave within a narrative and symbolic construct. In her signature color-palette and looseness of brushstroke, rather than repress her image, this fraught sense of autonomy is explored across various media, architecture and atmosphere. She reaches beyond the canvas, to become the catalyst for the artist’s underlying layered approach. Split between defiant self and lingering shadow, this figure’s essence permeates Dancy’s declarative visual campaign, “Herfume” – a demand for outrage and respect, consent in the face of danger. Whether colloquial queen, distant mother or other, Dancy’s materialized matriarch encompasses the many facets of performed and projected womanhood.

artREAL contributor Nicole Bray is the founder of Mercer Contemporary and guides private and corporate clients through each step of acquiring, selling, managing, and displaying artwork. She received her Masters in Contemporary Art (Hons.) from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York. She was the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Emerging Curator Fellowship 2015, and has worked at both an Auction House and for a distinguished private family. If you would like to contact Nicole, or if you are interested in starting your own collection, please email her at or visit

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