SOLO EXHIBITIONS dedicated to Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Awol Erizku, Sam Gilliam, Chase Hall, and Christopher Myers are among the must-see gallery shows currently on view in New York. Spanning three generations, the artists represent an array of practices and mediums, from painting, sculpture, and neon to stained-glass and quilting. Akunyili Crosby, who has exhibited her layered and collaged paintings internationally and is represented in countless museums, is presenting her first-ever solo show in New York:


CHASE HALL, “The First Day of Summer (Initiation),” 2023 (acrylic and coffee on cotton canvas; diptych, overall: 71 3/4 x 119 1/2 x 1 3/8 inches / 182.2 x 303.5 x 3.5 cm). | © Chase Hall, Courtesy the artist and David Kordansky Gallery

Chase Hall: The Bathers @ David Kordansky Gallery, 520 West 20th Street (Chelsea), New York, N.Y. | Sept. 5-Oct. 14, 2023

Chase Hall makes figurative scenes with a blend of acrylic paint and brewed coffee on cotton canvases. The combination visually defines his work and is heavy on symbolism, referencing race, labor, subjugation, and power. Born in St. Paul, Minn., Chase lives in New York. His latest exhibition features a new body of work that explores ongoing themes central to his practice: the complex histories and contemporary experiences of Black people with nature, bodies of water, outdoor adventure, and public space. A concurrent exhibition, “Chase Hall: Melonoidin” is on view at Pace Prints through Oct. 7.


Installation view of “Awol Erizku: Delirium of Agony,” Sean Kelly Gallery, New York (Sept. 8–Oct. 21, 2023). | Photo by Adam Reich, Courtesy the artist and Sean Kelly, New York/Los Angeles

Awol Erizku: Delirium of Agony @ Sean Kelly Gallery, 475 Tenth Avenue at West 36th Street (near Hudson Yards), New York, N.Y. | Sept. 8-Oct. 21, 2023

A Nefertiti bust clad in a mosaic of mirrored tiles and suspended from the ceiling in the manner of a disco ball. Three basketball hoops stacked one on top of the other and a trio of gigantic marble, granite, and quartz dice produced in the red, black, and green palette of the Pan African flag. A postcard of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1503) framed behind bulletproof glass. Two fantasy coffins made in collaboration with Paa Joe, the renowned Ghanaian coffin maker. Neon works, photography, and paintings are also on view. For his first exhibition with Sean Kelly since joining the gallery in September 2022, Awol Erizku is presenting imaginative works as varied as his influences. A nexus of cultural symbols and iconography, the works are informed by hip hop, sports, and art history. Born in Ethiopia, Erizku is based in Los Angeles.


NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY, “Ejuna na-aga, ọ kpụlụ nkọlikọ ya; New Haven (Enugu) in New Haven (CT),” 2022 (acrylic, colored pencil, charcoal, and transfers on paper, 95 5/8 x 111 inches / 242.9 x 281.9 cm). | © Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Courtesy the artist, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen

Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Coming Back to See Through, Again @ David Zwirner, 519 West 19th Street (Chelsea), New York, N.Y. | Sept. 14-Oct. 28, 2023

Working with acrylic paint, collage, and photographic transfers, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates layered images, scenes of everyday life that reflect her experiences in Nigeria, where she was born and grew up, and Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works. Featuring new and recent works, the paintings capture family connections, domestic spaces and immersive, often abstracted depictions of plant life. The exhibition debuted in Los Angeles in May. The New York presentation is Akunyili Crosby’s first solo show in the city. A new limited-edition screenprint was produced on the occasion of the exhibition and is available through the gallery.


SAM GILLIAM, “Lilly,” 2022. | © Sam Gilliam / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Sam Gilliam: The Last Five Years @ Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street (Chelsea), New York, N.Y. | Sept. 15-Oct. 28, 2023

Pace Gallery is showcasing paintings produced in Sam Gilliam’s final years (2018-2022), beginning with a series of highly regarded beveled-edge works by the late artist. Published in October, a new catalog documents the show. When Gilliam died, he was represented by Pace and David Kordansky Gallery. The exhibition is presented in two parts, with a forthcoming companion show featuring Gilliam’s inventive drape paintings at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles (January 2024). Born in Tupelo, Miss., Gilliam lived and worked in Washington, D.C., throughout his half-century career.


CHRISTOPHER MYERS, “The Hero Slept,” 2023 (stained glass lightbox, 85 5/8 x 146 x 5 inches / 217.5 x 370.8 x 12.7 cm). | © Christopher Myers, Courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery

Christopher Myers: Sing to Me of Many Turns @ James Cohan, 291 Grand Street (Lower East Side), New York, N.Y. | Sept. 21-Nov. 4, 2023

Known for his picturesque quilt works, Brooklyn artist Christopher Myers is presenting a series of episodic works exploring Homer’s “Odyssey” through a new lens. Myers visualized the ways in which contemporary journeys of international migration have shaped the Lower East Side, the neighborhood where James Cohan gallery is located. The exhibition features all new works spanning appliquéd textiles, stained glass, and sculpture. CT


Awol Erizku’s exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery coincides with the newly released volume “Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax,” the first monograph of the artist. Forthcoming next month, “Sam Gilliam: The Last Five Years” documents the artist’s current show at Pace Gallery and features text by Lowery Stokes Sims. “Sam Gilliam” was published to accompany a solo exhibition of the artist at Pace Gallery in 2021. Also consider “Sam Gilliam: The Music of Color: 1967–1973” and “Sam Gilliam: A Retrospective.” “Chase Hall: The Close of the Day,” the first monograph of the artist’s painting practice, is published on the occasion of his first institutional exhibition at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Ga. Christopher Myers illustrated several children’s books, including “Harlem” and “Jazz” with his late father Walter Dean Myers, and “Lies and Other Tall Tales,” which features stories collected by Zora Neale Hurston. In 2024, David Zwirner is publishing a major monograph of Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Previous publications include “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: The Beautyful Ones,” “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Predecessors,” and “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: I Refuse to be Invisible.”


Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.