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4 Surprises in New York Galleries This Summer

Summer is the “off season” for the contemporary art galleries, which means weekend closures, group exhibitions, and surprising gems! Here are 4 exhibitions worth cutting out of work a couple hours early:

Portia Munson & “Made to Be Broken” at P.P.O.W Gallery

A double-exhibition at P.P.O.W. Gallery offers a great solo exhibition and access to a space the public has never before entered. On the main floor, an exhibition by Portia Munson titled “Bound Angel” features sculptures composed of hundreds of white objects that the artist collected from second-hand stores, yard sales, and flea markets – primarily porcelain angels, but also “classic nudes,” sexualized gag gifts, and more. Visually connected by their whiteness, they’re also literally bound by the cords of the lamps and additional string. The effect is beautiful, fun to explore, and darkly unsettling. The gallery produced this 5-minute studio-visit video with the artist worth 100% of your time.

The gritty basement exhibition “Made to be Broken” curated by artist Corey Durbin is on view Thursday andFriday through July 29th. You must ask the front desk to see the basement exhibition, and someone (the curator if you’re lucky) will escort you downstairs and through the rarely-seen storage area (it’s worth walking slowly), and into a wonderfully gritty basement space filled with an intriguing group exhibition of equally bold artists. “Made to Be Broken” includes work by Daniel Barragán, Caroline Boreri, Corey Durbin, Yves B Golden, Carly Mandel, Hayley Cranberry Small, and Cameron Spratley. My personal favorite was the ceramic work by Brooklyn-based artist Hayley Cranberry Small, whose vessels echo the body’s natural beauty and imperfections (see more of her work, including her “pierced” ceramics on her website).

Portia Munson “Bound Angel” is on view on the main floor of P.P.O.W. Gallery (392 Broadway, New York) through August 19th. “Made to be Broken” curated by Corey Durbin is on view in the basement Thursday-Friday from 4-6pm through July 29th.