Art This Week in Culture

Looking to Escape the New York Heat? Here Are 9 Must-See Shows Upstate Perfect for a Day Trip

Mark Milroy, Snow Plow, 2024. Image courtesy of the artist and Pamela Salisbury Gallery.

Welcome to This Week in Culture, a weekly agenda of show openings and events in major cities across the globe. From galleries to institutions and one-of-a-kind happenings, our ongoing survey highlights the best of contemporary culture, for those willing to make the journey.

"Just The Thing" by Mark Milroy
Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson 
When: June 22 - July 21
Why It's Worth A Look: Mark Milroy’s portraits are described as “expressionist” and “sensual” pieces that hinge upon mood and emotion. His paintings, which are poetic and rife with metaphor and meaning, capture moments of humor, oddness, frustration, joy, wonder, and pain in his subjects.
Know Before You Go: The works on display range from sweet still lifes to more opaque depictions of alien abductions and masked, tattooed characters. 

Mario Schifano: Germinal” 
Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring
When: March 23 - August 9
Why It's Worth A Look: This expansive show features key pieces created by Mario Schifano between 1960 and 1970, a decade marked by significant upheaval in society, the economy, politics, and art, in which the postmodern Italian artist was a ready chronicler. Magazzino is also organizing a diverse program of activities aimed at community engagement and education surrounding the show. These include movie showings, academic sessions, talks, a cycling event, and a concluding musical perfomance.
Know Before You Go: According to curator Filippo Fossati, "In these years, with his abundant charisma and exuberance, [Schifano] became one of the most popular artists in Italy and a renowned figure abroad, creating art that he envisioned as being for everyone, and not just for an elite."

Tune It or Die!” by Nathan Young
Art OMI, Ghent 
When: July 6 - September 3
Why It's Worth A Look: At the core of Nathan Young's latest project is a fresh collection of event scores titled "Tune It Or Die!” Motorcycles and dirt bikes are transformed into musical instruments, their roaring engines used to create a novel sound composition. It builds on the interdisciplinary artist's ongoing exploration of Indigenous sound-making power and disquieting tones that carry revolutionary possibilities.
Know Before You Go: The piece is named after a patch allegedly donned by La Monte Young, a pioneering minimalist musician. Brian Eno once referred to him as a "father figure for all of us."

NON Objectified
KinoSaito, Verplanck 
When: May 11 - December 15
Why It's Worth A Look: This exhibition showcases a dynamic group of female artists working in abstraction, challenging traditional notions of non-objective art. Curated by Kathy Battista, it features works spanning different generations and styles, from gestural expressionism to geometric abstraction, exploring themes of female empowerment and resistance to objectification.
Know Before You Go: In the education center, visitors are invited to touch and shape new clay works, an ongoing exploration of Jamie Diamond’s "touch" series, where the sculptures’ final shapes are manipulated by the public.

Fred W. McDarrah, Craig Rodwell, founder of Oscar Wilde Memorial Library, 1969. Image courtesy of the artist and CPW.

Pride & Protest: Photographs by Fred W. McDarrah"
Center for Photography at Woodstock, Kingston 
When: June 1 - September 1
Why It's Worth A Look: This exhibition offers a compelling visual chronicle of LGBTQ+ history in New York from 1959 to 1993. Curated by renowned photography critic Vince Aletti, it features 61 works by Village Voice photographer Fred W. McDarrah, capturing key moments and figures in the gay rights movement, including the Stonewall Uprising and AIDS crisis protests.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition includes portraits of influential queer artists and writers like Andy Warhol, Susan Sontag, and Tennessee Williams, contextualizing the cultural impact of the LGBTQ+ community beyond political activism.

Other Places” 
Bill Arning Exhibitions, Kinderhook 
When: June 29 - August 11
Why It's Worth A Look: This group show features work by a heterogeneous cadre of artists, each bringing a unique perspective to the concept of place. Roberto Juarez's pieces, influenced by his travels and Latinx heritage, fuse vibrant colors and multicultural motifs, creating rich, emotional landscapes. Jeff Fleming's whimsical sculptures and Cobi Moules's explorations of identity through self-portraiture add layers of personal and cultural narrative.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition is a part of the fifth edition of Upstate Art Weekend—an annual event celebrating the cultural vibrancy of Upstate New York. This year's festivities will take place July 18 through July 21.

Carrie Mae Weems, Family Pictures and Stories: Welcome Home, 1978-1984. Image courtesy of the artist and Hessel Museum of Art.

Remember to Dream” by Carrie Mae Weems
Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-On-Hudson
When: June 22 – December 1
Why It's Worth A Look: This major exhibition offers a fresh perspective on Carrie Mae Weems's influential career, showcasing lesser-known works that trace significant moments of racial reckoning in the United States. From intimate family portraits to large-scale installations, the show provides a powerful through-line from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter, as seen through Weems's lens.
Know Before You Go: The exhibition includes recent pieces such as Painting the Town, 2021, which addresses the 2020 protests, and Leave, Leave Now!, 2022, a video installation telling the story of Weems's grandfather's escape from the Jim Crow South.

Uluso: Against the Dark Sky
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie
When: June 22 - September 8
Why It's Worth A Look: This display offers a unique glimpse into South African beadwork culture, featuring both traditional costumes and large-scale color photographs by Bobson Sukhdeo Mohanlall. The exhibition highlights the religious and ceremonial significance of beadwork in Zulu and Xhosa communities, showcasing the art form's brilliance and cultural importance.
Know Before You Go: The title "Uluso" is an isiZulu word meaning "against the dark night sky," emphasizing the luminous quality of beadwork.

Alexander Gray Associates, Germantown 
When: June 28 - August 31
Why It's Worth A Look: "Groundswell" brings together an intergenerational group of artists who use landscape to explore alternate, yet familiar worlds. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and photographs that blur the lines between reality and fiction. It captures the delicate balance between ruin and regeneration, offering a poignant reflection on our current environmental and sociopolitical climate.
Know Before You Go: Each artist offers a distinct take on contemporary landscape art, from urban interventions to reflections on flora and fauna. One of Anders Hamilton’s latest sculptures, Obelisk, for example, entombs the ashes of twigs, leaves, and flowers collected from around his studio.