Kara Walker at the Met: After the Deluge is following the Mining the Museum theme Fred Wilson did with the Maryland Historical Society collection, but on a much smaller scale. It's a post-Katrina exploration of race, class, have and have not, with a nice series on the Middle Passage. I love Walker's large lithographs. Also at the Met, Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh: a show of art and objects from the reign of the 18th Dynasty's female pharaoh. The sculpture reminds me of Inca or Miyan work. Another exhibit, Samual Palmer: Vision and Landscape, has a few gorgeous, brown watercolors with gum arabic solution. The watercolor arabic combination creates a fabulous deep mysterious brown. It doesn't take a special exhibit to get me to the Met: I could walk around for days enjoying the permanant collection.
Way down in Soho, the Drawing Center has a show of 150 Eva Hesse drawings from 1936 to 1970. More drawings at Deitch Projects, with a small selection of Basquiat. That makes for a segue to Pace Wildenstein Gallery in Chelsea for an exhibit examining the connection of Basquait to Dubuffet; I always made that jump, this show makes it quite clear. At Pace's 22nd Street location is a real treat, Alex Katz: The Sixties. I think it's his best period, a real Matisse influence.
I think George Condo has a great imagination, which is evident in his new work at Luhring Augustine Gallery. Jenny Holzer uses declassified government documents, painted on large canvases, for her show at Cheim Reid. They're mysterious and chilling, with large swatches of black-outs included. Peter Allen Hoffman's landscapes at Freight+Volume remind me of the paintings of Balthus. Nathalie Djurberg's animated videos at Zach Feuer are hilarious!
My last stop in Chelsea was to the Joe Fig Exhibit of recreations of artist studios with recorded conversations with the artist: extended for two more weeks at Plus Ultra. The show is a hit with artists: we're always curious to see how other artists set up their spaces.
Through June 16th Alexandre Gallery has a fantastic show of watercolors by Arthur Dove. This exhibit is part of a benefit for the Arthur Dove/Helen Torr Cottage and Study Center.
And last but not least, Free Arts NYC put on a splendid party/auction at Phillips de Pury. A lot of money was raised for a great organization doing wonderful things, helping kids at risk with healing arts programs.