5 Standout Shows at Galleries across the Globe This August


Artsy Editorial

Aug 8, 2023 10:17PM

Installation view, “ear to the ceiling, eye to the sky” at Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. Courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery.

Installation view, works by Panorammma, in “Entanglement” at MASA Galeria, Mexico City. Courtesy of MASA Galeria.

In this monthly roundup, we shine the spotlight on five stellar exhibitions taking place at small and mid-size galleries in five cities worldwide.

MASA Galeria, Mexico City

July 3–Sept. 3

Installation view, MARROW, Lamp n°25, 2023, in “Entanglement” at MASA Galeria, Mexico City. Courtesy of the artist and MASA Galeria


MASA’s program hits a sweet spot in the interstices of art and design. In the young Mexico City gallery’s current group exhibition, “Entanglement,” works vary in their functionality, but are united by their exploration of themes of time and memory—often expressed through references to the body.

Among the alluring objects on view are a metallic chair by Panorammma, the design project of artist Maika Palazuelos; and a hanging lamp in the shape of bone fragments by MARROW, the duo of Rafael Prieto and Loup Sarion. Sarion, a French-born, New York–based artist, also has solo work in the show, including a whimsical aluminum nose sculpture with a seductively shiny surface. Dante Medina’s paintings, meanwhile, draw viewers in with their monochromatic red palette, revealing emotive scenes of sexual repression and discovery.

MASA is in the middle of a banner year, having recently opened its first permanent space after five years of nomadic programming. The gallery is on summer holiday through August 20th, but “Entanglement” will be on view after it reopens, through September 2nd.

—Olivia Horn

Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto

July 29–Aug. 26

Installation view, “ear to the ceiling, eye to the sky” at Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. Courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery.

In “ear to the ceiling, eye to the sky,” four rising contemporary artists—Shannon Bool, Marlon Kroll, Élise Lafontaine, and Kristine Moran—present abstract works that tap into transcendence. The show is inspired by the connections artists have long forged with spiritual philosophies, such as Rudolf Steiner’s theosophical and anthroposophical texts that spoke to both Hilma af Klint and Wassily Kandinsky. Here, this quartet of artists furthers such traditions through their own distinctive abstractions.

Much of the work on view is inspired by mystical architectural spaces. Lafontaine’s otherworldly oil paintings were inspired by the feelings the artist had upon visiting Steiner’s Goetheanum, a space intended to encapsulate anthroposophical thought. Bool’s silk paintings also play with architecture, using digital tools and grids to turn structures into mesmerizing visions.

These artists collectively explore not just the connection between art and spirituality, bodies and spaces, but also the emotions these links elicit. The exhibition’s title suggests a yearning for something beyond the structures of reality that feels particularly resonant now: an escapist sentiment that is palpable throughout the works on view.

—Casey Lesser

Elliott Gallery, Amsterdam

Aug. 2–Sept. 30

Soviet sanatoriums are the subject of this solo presentation of the British artist Jason Oddy at Amsterdam’s Elliot Gallery. In 1999, the British artist traveled between Odessa and Yalta, Ukraine, to explore more than 2,500 sanatoria—healthcare institutions that were the Soviet equivalent of spas.

Depicting dilapidated architecture, empty swimming pools, and eerie interiors, Oddy’s photographs capture a world that is both distant and familiar; an ominous reminder of a not-too-distant past.

“Twenty years on with Ukraine front and center in the news, and with a sense that the old Soviet order perhaps never went away, these pictures have taken on a new resonance,” the artist said in a statement last year.

—Arun Kakar

Ed Cross Fine Art, London

Aug. 10–Sept. 16

The phrase “Black joy” is often used to describe the experiences of Black people taking space, time, and comfort in their own company: a radical act in a society where racism is still pervasive. It’s an apt characterization of the subject matter of painter Sola Olulode. The British Nigerian artist creates gestural portraits of women and nonbinary people embracing one another, which draw on her Yoruba heritage, evoking Adire textiles in their style.

For her new show at Ed Cross Fine Art’s London space, Olulode continues to portray the queer community that she is a part of. This new series of yellow-hued works depicts queer women falling in love. The warmth of feeling in these paintings is palpable: In The Bubble Of Your Love (2023), for instance, shows a couple dancing, enthralled and radiant in each other’s company.

Intimate gestures and contentedly closed eyes are scattered throughout these canvases, creating rare positive representations of the strength and ease of Black queer relationships.

—Josie Thaddeus-Johns

“Where Land Meets Sea”

Stroll Garden, East Hampton, New York

Aug. 12–Sept. 4

YoonJee Kwak, Patterned Memories No. 1, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Stroll Garden.

Eun-Ha Paek, Plate on Foot, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Stroll Garden.

This summer, the Los Angeles gallery Stroll Garden extends its program—known for its fresh focus on sculpture, design, and especially ceramics—to East Hampton with a pop-up group show, “Where Land Meets Sea,” featuring the works of six Korean artists, curated by ceramicist Jane Yang-D’Haene.

In her own practice, Yang-D’Haene honors and builds upon the form of traditional Korean moon jars to create fresh, experimental ceramic vessels. The artists of “Where Land Meets Sea”—which includes some 20 sculptures by Yoonjee Kwak, Jaiik Lee, Re Jin Lee, Eun-Ha Paek, and Jinsik Yoo, plus photographs by Peter Ash Lee—similarly respond to their Korean heritage. “Transferring generational memories and culture through their very fingertips, the artists in the show reframe traditional Korean arts within a contemporary context,” Yang-D’Haene said in a statement.

Set in the former home of Abstract Expressionist painter Adolf Gottlieb, the show promises not just conceptual and material rigor, but ambiance, too.


Artsy Editorial

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