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Three to see: New York

In celebration of Women's History Month, we look at three shows by female artists

by The Art Newspaper  |  3 March 2017
Three to see: New York
Alice Neel's Two Puerto Rican Boys (1956) and Ron Kajiwara (1971) at David Zwirner Gallery
A selection of Alice Neel's portraits of the citizens of New York is on show at David Zwirner. Alice Neel, Uptown (until 22 April) includes around 30 paintings and drawings of people she encountered when she lived in uptown Manhattan, first in Spanish Harlem (where she moved in 1938) and later on the Upper West Side, where she lived from 1962 until her death in 1984. The portraits—which include depictions of two Puerto Rican boys and the Japanese-American designer Ron Kajiwara—reflect the diversity of those neighbourhoods. The show's curator, the New Yorker critic Hilton Als, writes that Neel "was attracted to a world of difference and painted that. Still, her work was not marred by ideological concerns; what fascinated her was the breadth of humanity that she encountered in her studio, on canvas."

Georgia O'Keeffe's carefully crafted public image is the subject of a show at the Brooklyn Museum. Along with a few paintings, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern (3 March-23 July) includes selections from her wardrobe and posed photographs of the painter by artists such as Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz and O'Keeffe's husband, Alfred Stieglitz. It opens with a section demonstrating how O'Keeffe designed her own clothing as a high school student and also includes a summary of her interest in Eastern aesthetics. “This exhibition reveals O’Keeffe’s commitment to core principles associated with modernism—minimalism, seriality, simplification—not only in her art, but also in her distinctive style of dress,” Lisa Small, the show's coordinator, said in a statement. The exhibition is organised by Wanda Corn, a professor of art history at Stanford University.

Vija Celmins is having her first show of new work in seven years at the Matthew Marks gallery (until 15 April). The exhibition of 19 works (paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints) explores two themes she has long been interested in: the ocean and the sky. Also included are sculptural pairs of found objects presented with materials fashioned to look like them. For example, a stone is shown alongside a bronze and bronze and alkyd oil reproduction of the same stone. With each work in the show, Celmins reveals her fascination with fastidious production and materiality. It is her first solo show at the gallery.

• Click here for a complete list of previously recommended New York shows

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