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Five Shows Jerry Saltz Really Wants to See

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“Alix Pearlstein: The Drawing Lesson”   

And We’re Also Anticipating

“Eric Yahnker: Virgin Birth n’ Turf”
Because his epically scaled drawings of models with hair in their eyes have been a painstaking two years in the making. The Hole; Sept. 4–Oct. 6.

“Susan Philipsz”
Because the Turner Prize winner’s soundscapes are so lush and evocative they have no problem filling an empty room. Tanya Bonakdar; Sept. 6–Oct. 20.

“Toxic Beauty: The Art of Frank Moore”
Because the extraordinarily intricate realist-allegorical paintings of this artist—another lost in his prime to aids—delve into biogenetics, the environment, and his own declining heath. Grey Art Gallery; Sept. 6–Dec. 8.

“Guido van der Werve: Nummer veertien, home”
Because this intruding Dutchman’s film weaves together Alexander the Great, swimming, biking, and the strange tale of an attempt to smuggle Chopin’s heart from Paris to his native Poland. Luhring Augustine; Sept. 7–Oct. 20.

“Toba Khedoori”
Because this idiosyncratic visionary specializes in quasi-disembodied images of fences, furniture, chimneys, and walls floating in monumental expanses of barely smudged but otherwise blank paper, producing quiet storms of awe, elegance, and Socratic visual poetry. David Zwirner Gallery; Sept. 7–Oct. 27. 7

“Alix Pearlstein: The Drawing Lesson”
Because a video artist who mixes behavioral psychology, modern dance, art history, comedy, drama, and a wicked sense of voyeurism makes viewers squirm, wondering what’s real and what’s feigned in these handsome wraparound projections. On Stellar Rays. Sept. 9–Oct. 21.

Thomas Hirschhorn: “Concordia, Concordia”
Because the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia—its tacky furnishings evoked in this gallery installation—makes a perfect analog for “too big to fail.”Barbara Gladstone Gallery; Sept. 14–Oct. 20.

“Izhar Patkin: The Messiah’s glAss”
Because the Israeli-born eighties art star returns with an installation of new sculpture and his signature painted veils in advance of a 2013 Mass MoCA retrospective. The Jewish Museum; Sept. 14–Nov. 11.

“Ferdinand Hodler: View to Infinity”
Because—although you may not know his name—without this Swiss-born Symbolist, we might not have had Klimt or Schiele. Neue Galerie, Sept. 20–Jan. 7.

“Tatzu Nishi: Discovering Columbus”
Because the Bloomberg administration is letting Nishi loft a living room 70 feet in the air, bringing us all nearly eye-to-eye with the overlooked sculpture of the explorer. Columbus Circle; Sept. 20–Nov. 18.

“Walid Raad”
Because this artist’s blends of Borgesian fiction, performative smarts, user-friendly political theory, and sneaky-punch savvy deployed in videos, diagrams, and sculpture reveal layers of artifice, hypocrisy, and irony. Paula Cooper Gallery; Sept. 22–Oct. 27.

“Ahmed Alsoudani”
Because the Iraqi-born artist’s haunting mural-size abstractions evoke the chaos and violence of an oppressive regime. Haunch of Venison; Oct. 4–Nov. 3.

“Natalie Frank: The Governed and the Governors”
Because her ambitious magical-realist canvases fuse figuration with abstraction, and The Exorcist with the Ballets Russes. Fredericks & Freiser; Oct. 4–Nov 3.

“Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955–1972”
Because this Polish sculptor, who died at 47, blazed paths that might now be called post-Pop appropriation, pre-Koonsian, and really interesting. Museum of Modern Art; Oct. 7—Jan. 28.

“Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop”
Because it’s something that Edward Steichen and John Baldessari have in common. The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oct. 11–Jan. 27.

“Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980”
Because the sociopolitically charged work of David Hammons and Betye Saar is still potent and topical today. Plus those Afros! MoMA PS1; Oct. 21–Mar. 11.

“Lee Friedlander: Nudes”
Because his intimate, little-known nudes will be shown alongside those of Bill Brandt and Edward Weston. (A second Friedlander show, “Mannequin,” will be upstairs at Pace/MacGill at the same time.)Pace Gallery; Oct. 26–Dec. 22.

“Guillermo Kuitca: Diarios”
Because the Soho museum is reopening, amid much anticipation, with the Argentine artist’s “Diarios,” discarded canvases that he repurposed as painterly Post-its. They bear doodles, jotted-down addresses and phone numbers, and other remnants of his life and studio practice. The Drawing Center; Nov. 3–Dec. 9.6

“Fore”
Because previous iterations of the emerging-artist series have jump-started the likes of Mickalene Thomas, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and Shinique Smith. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Nov. 8–Mar. 10.

“Tokyo: 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde”
Because the wild and experimental artistic output that came out of Tokyo’s postwar era rivaled New York’s own. Museum of Modern Art; Nov. 18–Feb. 25.

The High Line Art Program
Because this series enhances the already wonderful spot where New Yorkers love to promenade and see the city from higher ground. This fall will bring world-class artists like El Anatsui, Virginia Overton, and Thomas Bayrle, headliners who should shine over our heads and before our grateful eyes.


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Plus: What to Do Every Day This Season
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