Stuck in the city this August? Fear not! Team Elephant have selected the key shows to visit this summer, with messages of love and peace—and one set in the idyllic grounds of the New York Botanical Garden.

Robert Colescott, Walking Man and Woman (After Hours in a California Art Studio), March 1982. Courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery

After Hours in a California Art Studio at Andrew Kreps Gallery

The life of the artist might have been glamourized to the point of ridicule, from the macho excess of the abstract expressionists in the 1950s to the sensitivities of the social media-addled “woke” art bro of today, but it is rare to see life behind the scenes documented by artists in the work itself. The artist’s studio is a site of fascination for many largely due to its off-limits nature, while the power dynamics of the relationship between artist and assistant are largely kept hush-hush. This exhibition at Andrew Kreps Gallery shines a light on the ways in which artists have reflected on the culture of the studio, as well as the persona of the artist, in often humorous and self-effacing ways. After Hours in a California Studio playfully takes its title from a painting by Robert Colescott, in which the often corrupt entanglement of art and life is fully laid bare. Other artists featured include Roe Ethridge and Frances Stark. (Louise Benson)

Until 22 August

JR at Perrotin, New York

JR: Horizontal at Perrotin

A gargantuan cut-out figure peers inside the expressive facade of Perrotin’s equally mammoth new gallery space on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Known for his site-specific installations in which monochromatic giants (or a pair of leering eyes) careen over contested or precarious semi-public space—from the US-Mexico border to the scaffolding of various buildings, JR’s solo debut in New York is no different. Inside the three floors of gallery space, which have been masterfully redesigned by New York practice P.R.O. Office, JR’s photographs, installations and new video work are a natural fit (don’t miss the gaping eye in the stairwell). You can read more about the artist in our current issue. (Alice Bucknell)

Until 17 August

Installation view: Thomas Bayrle: Playtime at the New Museum, New York, 2018. Photo by Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio

Thomas Bayrle: Playtime, at the New Museum

Eighty-year-old Pop pioneer Thomas Bayrle’s work looks like what you might have imagined as the future, if you grew up in an era before computers. In fact, Bayrle works very much like a computer, with the obsessive grid-like structures that visually define his “superforms”. This retrospective show at the New Museum is his first major survey show in the US, with over 115 works, ranging from carpets to clothing. It may look like Legoland, with its dominant primary colours, but Bayrle’s analogue ideas paved the way for our digital mentality, and look at their freshest in 2018, long after they were made. (Charlotte Jansen)

Until 2 September

Eckhaus Latta, Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy Eckhaus Latta.

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed at the Whitney Museum

Founded in 2011 by RISD grads Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, this LA and New York-based fashion label dexterously melds art and fashion for cross-disciplinary consumers. Known for their frequent collaborations with artists, musicians and designers, Eckhaus Latta are part of a new generation of labels that consciously engage with the tropes and structures of the fashion industry; their exhibition at Whitney critiques the surface appeal and minimalist advertising that’s part of their “life brand”. And in true entrepreneurial millennial spirit, the core of Possessed is a functional retail environment in which visitors can touch, try on and buy clothing and accessories made specifically for the exhibition.

Today until 8 October

Nobuyoshi Araki, Colourscapes, 1991, C-print. Museum of Sex Collection

The Incomplete Araki at the Museum of Sex 

The first major American retrospective of the notorious Japanese photographer encompasses some 400 books, 150 prints and 500 polaroids—proving his prolific output. Araki garnered international fame for his intimate, sexually explicit and often controversial images of women, and he has recently been criticized by his long-term muse Kaori, for what she terms emotional, financial and power abuses throughout their partnership. This exhibition gives audiences the opportunity to engage with his expansive practice and to explore his distinctly male gaze. (Holly Black)

Until 31 August 

Malick Sidibe, Love Power Peace, 2018

Malick Sidibe: Love, Power, Peace at Jack Shainman

Once underrated, now very familiar, Malick Sidibe’s ubiquitous black and white portraits of post-independent Mali are unforgettable, joyful and empowering: yet this exhibition, Sidibe’s seventh, shows there is still more to see of the late artist. While his works from the sixties and seventies of nightclub revellers and visitors to his studio, his peers and his people, are well-documented, Love, Power, Peace connects Sidibe with the new generation, both within his native Mali and abroad: a series of portraits of Chris Ofili, taken in 2014 and never seen before, establishes a relationship between the two artists that many might not know about. Another series of works from 2004 of Bamako babies, turns the camera on the future in a very direct way—and not without Sidibe’s usual panache. (Charlotte Jansen)

Until 10 August

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  • Installation view, The Ashtray Show at Fisher Parrish Gallery, 2018

The Ashtray Show at Fisher Parrish

It’s often a fine line between art and design, and it can be difficult to define exactly which camp an object falls into. Is something a work of art if it presents a solution to a practical problem? The latest show at Fisher Parrish in New York raises the dilemma, with more than eighty ashtrays on display that blur the line between form and function. The exhibition opens up a dialogue between a wide range of artists and designers, whose contributions flit from crudely made ceramics, with hints of folk and outsider art, to delicate sculptural pieces that all but disguise their use. Emmett Moore has constructed her piece entirely from cigarette butts set in resin and glass, while Diana Rojas’s creation is a Balenciaga trainer rendered in ceramic and enamel, and big names like Tom Sachs have built fantasy bar accessories to go with their ashtray. As the playful exhibition notes mordantly announce: “Smoking is back en-vogue and we can all finally start accessorizing again!” (Louise Benson)

Until 9 September

Installation view: Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i

Georgia O’Keeffe, Visions of Hawai’i at The New York Botanical Garden

Although she is better known for her images of more traditional flora and New Mexican landscapes, Georgia O’Keeffe produced twenty paintings of native Hawaiian plants while on a nine-week trip at the invitation of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. The results are fantastical and alien, but rooted firmly in reality. An exhibition of the paintings, along with a living display of the depicted subjects, is currently on show at the New York Botanical Garden. (Holly Black)

Until 28 October

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