“White River Fish Kill” (2017) by Nina Chanel Abney.


PROSPECT.4 OPENS TO THE PUBLIC on Saturday. The international triennial features major exhibitions and inventive installations by more than 70 artists, including prominent artists of African descent, the late Barkley L. Hendricks, Derrick Adams, John Akomfrah, Hank Willis Thomas, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kahlil Joseph, Odili Donald Odita, and Kara Walker, among them. November also marks important new openings for Kehinde Wiley, who is presenting maritime paintings in London; Ellen Gallagher, who is mounting her first-ever exhibition in Los Angeles; Mark Bradford, who is showing his largest work to date in his first Washington, D.C., exhibition; Sam Gilliam, whose work is on view in New York for the first time in nearly 25 years; and Nina Chanel Abney (above), who is showing at Jack Shainman and Mary Boone galleries in New York. A selection of exhibitions opening this month follows:


SAM GILLIAM, “Carousel Change,” 1970 (acrylic on draped cotton canvas), Installation view at Mnuchin Gallery. | Photography Tom Powel Imaging. Artwork © Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam: 1967-1973 @ Mnuchin Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Nov. 2-Dec. 16, 2017

Sam Gilliam’s first New York City exhibition in nearly 25 years features works made between 1967 and 1973. Known for his experimentation with color and technique, the Washington-based artist is presenting works from two seminal series, his Beveled-edge and Drape paintings. A fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.


ELLEN GALLAGHER, “Whale Fall,” (oil, acrylic, ink and paper on canvas). | © Ellen Gallagher, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo by Ernst Moritz

“Ellen Gallagher: Accidental Records” @ Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles | Nov. 4, 2017-Jan. 28, 2018

For her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Ellen Gallagher is presenting a new series of paintings and drawings that invokes themes of geography, portraiture, performance, and marine and whaling history. The works “extend her exploration of the complex histories of the Black Atlantic and the afterlives of the Middle Passage.” Gallagher splits her time between New York and Rotterdam, Netherlands. A fully illustrated catalog documents the exhibition.


Installation view of “Analogous to the Flag,” 2015 (fired clay, molten glass, mineral oxide, acrylic pain), by AISHA TANDIWE BELL | via Welancora Gallery

“Aisha Tandiwe Bell: Conjure” @ Welancora Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y. | Nov. 4, 2017-Jan. 14, 2018

Working in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, performance, video, sound, drawing, and installation, Aisha Tandiwe Bell pursues myth and ritual. For this exhibition, curated by artist Derrick Adams, she utilizes cardboard, cloth, clay, and canvas and draws on composites of her mental archive of gazes and gestures to create portraits and personifications that explore code switching and the African and Indigenous ideas of ‘the trickster.’” A catalog accompanies the exhibition.


ANDRES SERRANO, “Semen and Blood III,” 1990 (photography). | via Red Brick Art Museum

“Andres Serrano: An American Perspective” @ Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China | Nov. 5, 2017-Feb. 25, 2018

New York-based Andres Serrano is presenting his first solo exhibition in China. The show features his recent Made in China series and key works from earlier years. More than 50 photography works and 16 major video series by Serrano are on view, including “Piss Christ” (1987), his most controversial work to date.


Detail of MARK BRADFORD, “Politically and socially, we are at the edge of another precipice. And those of us who are artists must charge into the fray,” 2017 (mixed media). | Photo by Joshua White, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

“Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge” @ Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. | Nov. 8, 2017-Nov. 13, 2018

“Pickett’s Charge” is Mark Bradford’s largest work and first-ever exhibition in Washington, D.C. Composed of eight paintings, the abstract work confronts U.S. history and addresses contemporary political issues. The title of the site-specific commission references a Confederate general’s failed charge against Union troops in 1863. It spans nearly 400 linear feet, utilizing the entire expanse of the inner ring of the Hirshhorn’s cylindrical, third-floor gallery.


DERRICK ADAMS, “Figure in the Urban Landscape 3,” 2017 (acrylic, graphite, ink, fabric on paper, grip tape, and model cars on wood panel). | via Tilton Gallery

“Derrick Adams: Figures in the Urban Landscape” @ Tilton Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Nov. 8, 2017-Jan. 6, 2018

New York-based Derrick Adams “examines the forces of popular culture and the media and their effects on the perception and construction of self-image.” For his latest exhibition, he is presenting a new series of mixed-media works on paper and wood. Inventive interpretations of portraiture, the works explore dimension and spacial construct, blending figuration with references to the urban landscape.


NINA CHANEL ABNEY, “Black and Blues,” 2017 (acrylic and spray paint on canvas). | © Nina Chanel Abney, Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery

“Nina Chanel Abney: Seized the Imagination” @ Jack Shainman Gallery, West 20th Street, New York, N.Y. | Nov. 9-Dec. 20, 2017

Following her first solo museum exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Nina Chanel Abney is presenting her first exhibition with Jack Shainman. She joined the gallery in December 2016. Blending figuration and abstraction, New York-based Abney favors disjointed narratives that reflect the chaos of the current political climate. The exhibition features new paintings the consider “the tumultuous relationships between exterior and interior, conventionality and acquiescence, anger and fear.”


NINA CHANEL ABNEY, Installation view of “Safe House” at Mary Boone Gallery, From left, “In the Land Without Feeling,” “Fanny Pack,” “Non Action Satisfaction,” and “Request One Zero One” (all 2017, acrylic on canvas). | via Mary Boone Gallery

“Nina Chanel Abney: Safe House” @ Mary Boone Gallery, New York, N.Y. | Nov. 9-Dec. 22, 2017

Presented in conjunction with “Seized the Imagination” at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York-based Nina Chanel Abney is showing eight paintings that explore themes of safety, protection, and refuge from the law. Resembling propaganda posters and executed in her signature style mixing figuration with abstraction, the works “offer sincere portrayals that counter how black life is represented in the mainstream media. The decision intentionally explores black joy as a means of resistance.


NICK CAVE, “Architectural Forest,” 2011 (bamboo, wood, wire, plastic beads, acrylic paint, screws, fluorescent lights, color filter gels, and vinyl, 136 x 372 x 192 in.). | Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography

“Nick Cave: Feat.” @ Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tenn. | Nov. 10, 2017-June 24, 2018

Chicago-based Nick Cave is presenting an exhibition of works that “speak to issues of racial and social justice and the need for more time and space in contemporary society to cultivate individual dreams and aspirations.” The survey features a “runway” of 10 soundsuits, “Blot” a multimedia video installation, and an immersive “Architectural Forest” composed of thousands of dangling strands of colorful bamboo, all presented in a gallery wrapped with “Buttonwall” fabric. An inventive catalog accompanies the exhibition. It will be produced as “a large tapestry made of durable, weather-resistant material, that, unfurled, can potentially serve an array of functions—wall art, a picnic blanket, a tablecloth—depending on the user’s imagination and preference.”


MELVIN EDWARDS, “Steel Life (After Winter),” 2017 (welded steel). | via David Winton Bell Gallery

“Melvin Edwards: Festivals, Funerals, and New Life” @ David Winton Bell Gallery, List Art Center, Brown University, Providence, R.I. | Nov. 11, 2017-Feb. 11, 2018

“Broadly concerned with European neocolonialism, histories of race, labor, violence and African diaspora,” Melvin Edwards’s three-dimensional works are composed of re-purposed industrial steel, chains, and machine parts. For this exhibition he is presenting sculptures, prints, and installations produced over the past four decades, from the 1970s to 2017.


Installation view of “GARY SIMMONS: Balcony Seating Only,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles. | Image via Regen Projects

“Gary Simmons: Balcony Seating Only” @ Regen Projects, Los Angeles | Nov. 11-Dec. 22, 2017

Multidisciplinary artist Gary Simmons considers issues of race, history, politics, class, and sports in his practice. Inspired by the history of cinema and black cultural production, he is presenting new works rendered in his semi-abstract erasure technique. The Los Angeles based artist’s latest exhibition “signals a return to the painterly and features a series of billboard-sized canvases that depict the names of silent and early ‘talkie’ film titles along with the names of their African-American stars.”


MAYA STOVALL, “Liquor Store Theatre, vol. 3, no. 4” (2016). Pictured performers include Biba Bell and Mohamed Soumah along with the artist. | Courtesy the artist and Todd Stovall via Cranbrook Art Museum

Maya Stovall: Liquor Store Theatre Performance Films @ Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. | Nov. 17, 2017-March 11, 2018

Detroit-based Maya Stovall dances in front of liquor stores in her McDougall-Hunt neighborhood. The area has few other storefronts, so the liquors stores have become de-facto gathering places providing a range of products including groceries and electronics. Along with a few other dancers, she performs a “meditative style of ballet and jazz.” The intervention disrupts daily routines, invites curiosity, collaboration and exchange. Cranbrook is presenting a series of films dating from 2014, documenting her performances, some of which were featured at the 2017 Whitney Biennial earlier this year, along with a new film from summer 2017.


“Basquiat in the apartment,” 1980. | Photo by Alexis Adler via MCA Denver

“Basquiat Before Basquiat: East 12th Street, 1979-1980” @ Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. | Nov. 17, 2017-March 11, 2018

Before he gained recognition as an artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat lived for a year with Alexis Adler, a friend and graduate student, on the Lower East Side. This exhibition presents a cache of materials from that time (the apartment was a virtual canvas), and photographs Adler took of Basquiat, documenting his creative concepts and performances as he explored ideas, music, and writing, before definitively pursuing painting. The accompanying catalog is fully illustrated with Adler’s photographs.


MANUEL MATHIEU, “Eternal Flowers,” 2017 | via Tiwani Contemporary

“Manuel Mathieu: Truth to Power” @ Tiwani Contemporary, London | Nov. 17-Dec. 22, 2017

Manuel Mathieu’s large scale paintings engage abstraction and figuration. The Haitian-born, Montreal-based artist’s “interest in deconstructing the human figure addresses the history of Haiti in relation to ideas of dehumanization and resistance. Mathieu recently joined Tiwani Contemporary, where his is showing new works inspired by the father/son dictatorships of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier.


HANK WILLIS THOMAS, “History of the Conquest,” 2017, Installation view at Prospect.4, Jazz Museum, New Orleans. | © Mike Smith

“Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp” @ Various Venues, New Orleans | Nov. 18, 2017-Feb. 25, 2018

Trevor Schoonmaker is artistic director of the fourth iteration of Prospect New Orleans. More than 70 artists have been invited to participate, bringing international perspectives while presenting works that resonate with New Orleans and the American South. Presented in a broad range of venues, the latest citywide triennial takes its title from the lotus plant, which sprouts from swamp mud, suggesting “the possibility of overcoming arduous challenges. It reminds us that, from the depths of difficulty and desolation, art brings the invisible to light.”


WADSWORTH JARRELL, “Heritage,” 1973 (acrylic, metal foil, cotton canvas). | The Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund, 2016.268. © Wadsworth Jarrell

“Heritage: Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell” @ Cleveland Art Museum | Nov. 19, 2017-Feb. 25, 2018

This show presents the work of husband and wife artists Wadsworth and Jae Jarrell, who helped co-found AfriCOBRA, the Chicago-based black artist collective, in 1968. He is a sculptor, painter, and printmaker. She is known for her fashion and textile designs. Featuring 15 works dating from the 1960s to present, this exhibition was inspired by the museum’s recent acquisition of “Heritage,” a 1973 painting by Wadsworth Jarrell.


KEHINDE WILEY, “In Search of the Miraculous,” 2017 (film still). | via Stephen Friedman Gallery

“Kehinde Wiley: In Search of the Miraculous” @ Stephen Friedman Gallery, London | Nov. 24, 2017-Jan. 27, 2018

Known for his portraits, Kehinde Wiley is charting new territory, creating works inspired by seascapes and maritime painting. The exhibition presents nine new paintings and the artist’s first three-channel film. Based in Brooklyn and Beijing, Wiley’s latest body of work “interweaves the canon of art history with present day politics to investigate key subjects of migration, madness and isolation in contemporary America.”


EL ANATSUI, “Horizon,” 2016 (bottle caps). | via Goodman Gallery

“El Anatsui: Meyina” @ Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa | Nov. 25-Dec. 20, 2017

For his first-ever solo exhibition in South Africa, El Anatsui is presenting works produced between 2014 and 2017. The Ghanaian-born, Nigeria-based artist’s complex assemblages transform simple materials—discarded metal found at alcohol recycling stations—into elegant, sculptural tapestries. The works “engage with and comment on African history, post-colonial conditions, as well as the daily realities and experiences on the continent.” CT


TOP IMAGE: NINA CHANEL ABNEY, “White River Fish Kill,” 2017 (acrylic and spraypainton canvas). | © Nina Chanel Abney, Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery


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