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These major NYC art galleries are reopening with new exhibits this week

The contemporary art world is beginning to get real again, with social distancing measures in place.

Written by
Howard Halle
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As Phase 3 of reopening kicks off, NYC art museums remain largely shuttered, although the Metropolitan Museum of Art just announced the official date on which it will welcome back visitors. While MoMA and other institutions are likely to follow suit, seeing art remains a virtual experience for now, with one major exception: New York's gallery scene.

Galleries have been a step ahead in emerging from the Pause because, technically, they were allowed to reopen during Phase 2, though most venues chose not to. Starting this week, however, numerous galleries are getting back to business, though mainly by restarting shows cut short by the lockdown. Some, however, are kicking off their post-quarantine season with brand new exhibitions. But as with everything in the new normal, certain restrictions apply.

For one thing, though galleries are keeping regular hours, viewers are required to book appointments ahead of time, though it's just as likely that you'll be waved through if you show up without one. Masks are required, and will be provided if you don't have one. You'll be expected to maintain the usual six feet apart from gallery staff and other visitors. Hand sanitizer will be on hand with the expectation that you will avail yourself of it.

So, if you've been longing to commune with artworks IRL, now's your chance. You'll find a few of the exhibits below, with images of what awaits you.

Leo Amino, "The Visible and the Invisible" at David Zwirner through July 31

This midcentury artist born in Taiwan was the first in the United States to utilize plastics as a principal material to create abstract sculptures with biomorphic brio.

Galleries, David Zwirner, Lehmann Maupin, Kasmin Gallery, Metro Pictures
Photograph: Kerry McFate, courtesy David Zwirner

"AND/ALSO: Photography (Mis)represented" at Kasmin Gallery, through Aug 21

The six artists in this group exhibition push the boundaries between photography and sculpture, architecture, painting, drawing, media and computer graphics. The gallery is also opening a solo show of the figurative painter, William N. Copley, on July 14.

Galleries, David Zwirner, Lehmann Maupin, Kasmin Gallery, Metro Pictures
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin Gallery

Catherine Opie, "Rhetorical Landscapes" at Lehmann Maupin, through Sept 26

Heavy on political subtext, these works by the noted Los Angeles artist include photos of swamps (as in Drain the…) and animated digital collages featuring all of your favorite players from the Trump Era. A show by another Angeleno, painter Lari Pittman, picks up where it left off when it was forced to close in March (through Aug 28).

Galleries, David Zwirner, Lehmann Maupin, Kasmin Gallery, Metro Pictures
Final Print FilesPhotograph: © Catherine Opie, courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul

Gary Simmons, "Screaming into the Ether" at Metro Pictures, through Sept 19

Deconstructing racial stereotypes in the media (especially in old Hollywood cartoons) has been this African-American artist's métier since the 1990s. His latest efforts continue in the same vein executed in his signature "erasure" painting style.

Galleries, David Zwirner, Lehmann Maupin, Kasmin Gallery, Metro Pictures
Photograph: Courtesy Metro Pictures

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