8 Must-See Solo Gallery Shows in February 2024
From Brian Rochefort’s ceramic sculptures at Van Doren Waxter in New York to Loie Hollowell’s new bas-relief paintings at Jessica Silverman in San Francisco, these shows are not to be missed
Rounding up the best gallery exhibitions across the United States each month, from New York and Chicago to Los Angeles and San Francisco, these are the top solo shows for February.
1. Andreas Eriksson at Stephen Friedman Gallery, New York
Painting intuitively, with one action leading to the next, Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson creates sublime abstractions that look like giant maps without words. Inspired by the nature surrounding his rural studio, his large-scale paintings evolve organically. Communing with paint and canvas in the way that one might observingly walk through a forest or by a lake, he marks his path with his what he sees, internally and externally. Exploring color and form, Eriksson paints both light and dark canvases, which could be read as day and night or expressions of opposing moods. Making his brushwork visible, as if to let the viewer deconstruct the action, the seasoned artist (Eriksson has had more than 60 solo shows since 2001, including representing Sweden in the 2011 Venice Biennale) exposes his process while keeping his intentions meditatively veiled.
Through February 17
2. Brian Rochefort at Van Doren Waxter, New York
An inventive Los Angeles-based sculptor best known for his abstract ceramics that bubble with vibrant colors and organic textures, Brian Rochefort sculpts clay in the way that time has shaped the earth. Constructing volcano-like forms with overflowing craters, he simulates their energetic nature through fire, glazes and clay. Presenting seventeen dynamic ceramic sculptures—including some of his largest works to date—embedded with glass fragments, which after firing add smoother textures and even more lively colors to the raw nature of the works, and three engaging ceramic relief paintings that simulate impasto brushwork and assemblages of experimental forms, Rochefort’s third solo show with the gallery joyfully exposes the artist at the pinnacle of his craft.
Through March 2
3. Cathleen Clarke at Margot Samel, New York
Poetically exploring the spirit of youth, Cathleen Clarke makes paintings of ghostly children at play and in moments of dreamlike repose. Rendering fading figures with feathery brushwork, The Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based painter taps into memory, mortality and the passing of time, in her gatherings of costumed trick-or-treaters and conversing young girls floating atop a cloud-like bed during an overnight slumber party. Capturing the tween moment when kids are still children yet anticipating who they will become as adults, Clarke appealingly paints a fuzzy otherworldly realm, where confusion emotionally mixes with hope. Tomorrow might be a lifetime away for her haunting subjects, but they can hardly wait for it to arrive.
Through February 24
4. Xiyao Wang at Perrotin, New York
Impressively making her American solo show debut, artist Xiyao Wang offers us a first look at her large-scale abstractions that gesturally simulate the tradition of Asian landscape painting. Born in China and now living and working in Berlin, the young artist uses the immersive white plain of canvas, as a platform for marks that reference a wide range of thoughts and actions—ranging from dance movements and musical rhythms to electronic scans tracking patterns of thought. A masterful colorist, she paints with the fervor of Georges Mathieu, but with slower, more considered mark-making. Employing oil stick and charcoal in many of the momentous paintings in the show and only charcoal in others, she takes Chinese parables and calligraphy as points of departure, while creating a sublime style of painting through gestural moves that are completely her own.
Through February 17
5. Matt Magee at The Mission Projects, Chicago
A painter, sculptor and printmaker living and working in Phoenix, Arizona, Matt Magee spent his formative years in a nomadic existence and nearly 20 years of his adult life working for Robert Rauschenberg, while continuously exhibiting his own artwork. Creating a visual language based on abstract forms shaped from such upcycled materials as plastic detergent bottles and aluminum drink cans, his categorizing assemblages seem to owe more to accompanying his geologist father on rock classifying missions than Rauschenberg’s combines and mixed media paintings. Magee’s paintings, too, follow a different path, where he skillfully mixes taxonomy with minimalism to achieve a compelling result.
Through February 24
6. William Wright at Sea View, Los Angeles
Taking inspiration from daily existence in and around his home and studio, William Wright makes straightforward paintings that are more complex that their subjects reveal. Painted with a muted palette in multiple layers of oils, which have been sanded down and reapplied over long periods of time, his canvases say what they need to say in a very precise, deadpan manner. Focusing on still lives for his first solo show with the gallery, which provides a strikingly designed domestic setting for his whimsical work, the British artist depicts fish tanks, flowers, phones and food like they are his favorite, most precious things. And, by lovingly doing so, he makes us believe that they actually are.
Through February 17
7. Celia Paul at Vielmetter, Los Angeles
Born in India and raised in England, Celia Paul studied at Slade School of Fine Art in London, where she met Lucien Freud, who had been a tutor. Paul had a 10-year relationship with her mentor, who bought her the studio where she continues to live and work. Painting with the same intensity of Freud, the artist mixes a form of impressionism with other modernist styles to render haunting views of seascapes (she grew up in Devon, near the sea), people and the world within her studio and the views of the British Museum and its courtyard from her windows. A painter’s painter, she is best known for her powerful portraits of her close family and herself and this show definitely delivers in that department. As an added plus, there’s a haunting portrait of her longtime muse, Gwen John, a Welch artist and lover of Auguste Rodin who painted anonymous sitters in an equally otherworldly style.
Through March 9
8. Loie Hollowell at Jessica Silverman, San Francisco
Blurring the boundary between abstraction and figuration, Loie Hollowell has been exploring the female body in her biomorphic paintings, drawings and pastels for the past 10 years. The subject of a current survey at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the New York-based artist returns to her home state of California for her first solo show at the gallery, where she is exhibiting a striking series of bas-relief paintings. Presenting 10 new three-dimensional canvases of women’s bellies shaped like the earth with each belly radiating a glowing energy, Hollowell paints in a spiritual style, related to such celebrated women artists as Georgia O’Keeffe and Judy Chicago and the recently rediscovered Agnes Pelton and Hilma af Klint. Transitioning between various shades of color, the central spheres evolve as a dot below them increases in size, marking the evolution of the embryo and our related time on Mother Earth.
Through March 2