Art world summer is upon us, when galleries keep hours that make it all but impossible for people with normal jobs to see their exhibitions, which in turn are either loosely thematically linked inventory-clearing efforts, or conceptually-driven group shows that won’t get the attention they deserve. But there is one area in which New York City galleries really step up their game in the summer: Naming exhibitions. Here are this summer’s 10 best group exhibition titles.
10. “Friends With Benefits,” June 28-August 10 at Lehmann Maupin: Gallery artists Tony Oursler, Angel Otero, Tim Rollins, Mickalene Thomas, and Nari Ward select New York-based artists they feel deserve recognition.
9. “The Mystery Trend,” June 28-August 3 at Wallspace: Works by five non-gallery artists — John Henderson, Ron Nagle, Noam Rappaport, Ricky Swallow, and Patricia Treib — selected and organized according to some mystery trend.
8. “To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel,” June 29-July 7 at Gowanus Ballroom: Some 50 artists — including Kiki Smith, Tom Otterness, Swoon, Duke Riley, Dustin Yellin, and The Bruce High Quality Foundation — based near the Gowanus Canal.
7. “Seriously Connected Old Greyhair,” until July 29 at HD:Projects: Works by John Henderson, David Ostrowski, Jon Rafman, Neil Rumming, and Samara Scott, curated by Christopher Crescent.
6. “Buy My Bananas,” through August 2 at Kate Werble Gallery: A group show in the Far West Village gallery’s new annex space curated by Julia Trotta.
5. “Someone Has Stolen Our Tent,” through August 4 at Simon Preston Gallery: Works by Steven Baldi, Frank Heath, Zak Kitnik, and Damien Roach, curated by Paula Naughton, whose title refers to an anecdote from a Sherlock Holmes story known as “The Tent Joke.”
4. “Marxism,” June 29-August 3 at 303 Gallery: Curators Jacob and Jens Hoffman examine the influence of the Marx Brothers by showing their work alongside that of five visual artists — Marcel Duchamp, Jack Goldstein, Rodney Graham, Tim Lee, and Richard Prince.
3. “Group Shoe,” June 28-July 30 at Gavin Brown’s enterprise: Joe Bradley curates this possibly footwear-themed 15-artist exhibition including works by Leon Golub, Carroll Dunham, John McCracken, and Robert Smithson.
2. “Viva la Rasberries,” June 28-August 17 at Harris Lieberman Gallery: Evan Holloway organized this exhibition titled after a line of dialogue from the Andy Warhol film “The Loves of Ondine” (1967), and including works by Joan Brown, Roy Dowell, Evan Holloway, David Hughes, Rebecca Morris, Ron Nagle, Matt Paweski, Suzan Pitt, and Linda Stark.
1. “Hot Tub Time Machine,” through July 22 at Canada: Per the gallery’s announcement regarding this 11-person exhibition of artists from New York, Los Angeles, and the Czech Republic, “Other than being made up of art we like there is no reason for this show to exist.”
— Benjamin Sutton