This week officially kicks off la rentrée for the art world. With the opening of the 2023 Armory Show (the reason for the season) and the meticulously curated Independent 20th Century—in its second edition, but already an insider favorite—alongside Photofairs, Art on Paper, and the Spring Break Art Show, September in New York feels like a head-spinning throng of the very best contemporary art on offer. “Back to school” for galleries also brings an embarrassment of riches, particularly when it comes to meaningful presentations of work by female artists. This special Armory edition of Duly Noted is here to cut through the noise and bring you the five shows you need to know about this weekend and beyond.
If you only have time for one show, make it Anna Kenneally’s cerebral, hyper-painterly "Nocturnalia" at Fredericks & Freiser. Here, the London-based artist serves up goth romanticism at its finest. Her new paintings rework 19th-century Impressionism for 2023, amping up acidic hues and attenuated forms to superb, tumultuous effect. For example: “The Ghost of Vincent Blackshadow assimilates the color and composition of Moulin de la Galette by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, an artist heavily influenced by the Impressionist movement and who frequented Paris cabarets,” says Kenneally. “While Impressionism behaved as a vehicle to convey the atmosphere of the outer world, my painting claims the space for a new central figure. Unlike the women painted by predominantly male 19th-century Impressionists, the women in my paintings are not objects to behold. They are complicit in the action.” Indeed, Kenneally’s subjects exist within a complex matrix of sex, money, power, and class. At the Armory Show, don’t miss her at the Fredericks & Freiser booth (always a hot one) alongside other artists high on my watch list, like Cristina de Miguel and Hannah Lupton Reinhard.
"Nocturnalia" will be on view from September 8 through October 21, 2023 at Fredericks & Freiser.