These are the must-see Art shows in NYC in August/September

4 amazing options.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Aug 21, 2021

New York never disappoints when it comes to the plethora of art shows one can see. I can’t think of a better way to escape the suffocating heat of the city than to hide out at these museums and galleries and check out these shows now on view.


Coby Kennedy: Kalief Browder: The Box

Through September 19 at Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

“In 2010, Kalief Browder was arrested for a robbery he did not commit. The seventeen-year-old teenager was subsequently imprisoned without trial for over three years at the Robert N. Davoren Center on Rikers Island, a facility known for its culture of violence. During this period, Browder was subject to torturously long segments in solitary confinement—over 700 days in total—as well as physical and mental abuse by prison guards and inmates. […] Artist Coby Kennedy felt compelled to bring this injustice to light, by creating an eight-by-ten-by-six-feet sculpture that replicates the exact dimensions of a solitary confinement cell. Framed by steel, the glass surfaces are etched with line renderings of the bed, barred window, and toilet that sparsely furnish the inhumane settings.”


Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well

Through October 11 at MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, Queens)

“Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well is a personal and singular record of an artist who has been living with HIV for more than half of his adult life. Born in Brooklyn in 1964 and raised mostly in Queens, Bordowitz transformed his art practice in the mid-1980s in response to the AIDS public health crisis. Working with New York’s ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and several video collectives that he co-founded, he organized and documented a number of protests against government inaction, and advocated for health education and harm reduction.”


JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film

Through September 2 online and at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street, Midtown East, Manhattan)

“North America’s largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema returns for its 15th edition as an online and in-person hybrid event! Following last year’s entirely online edition, this summer’s festival offers 14 days of unique access to the best new films from Japan for audiences across the United States—including studio films, independent gems, documentaries, shorts, avant-garde works and more—through Japan Society’s virtual cinema. Additionally, JAPAN CUTS is thrilled to welcome back New York City festival goers to Japan Society’s auditorium for an exciting and diverse selection of Japanese cinema on the big screen!”


Wu Tsang: Anthem

Through September 6 at Guggenheim Museum (1071 Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

“Wu Tsang’s new commission, Anthem (2021), was conceived in collaboration with the legendary singer, composer, and transgender activist Beverly Glenn-Copeland and harnesses the Guggenheim’s cathedral-like acoustics to construct what the artist calls a “sonic sculptural space.” This site-specific installation revolves around an immense, eighty-four-foot curtain sculpture suspended from the oculus. Projected onto this luminous textile is a “film-portrait” Tsang created of Glenn-Copeland improvising and singing passages of his music, including original a cappella melodies and his rendition of the spiritual “Deep River.” Conjuring an alluring and reverberant aura, Anthem weaves Glenn-Copeland’s music into a larger tapestry of other voices and sounds placed throughout the museum’s circular ramp, building a soundscape that wraps around the space.”


Photo via Guggenheim