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Summer gallery focus 2014

"About a Mountain" exhibition through August 15, Asya Geisberg Gallery
"About a Mountain" exhibition through August 15, Asya Geisberg Gallery
Don Dixon, Neverness, 1988. Acrylic and gouache on illustration board, 18.5" x 14.5".

This summer is already in full swing and so are the season's gallery shows. Quilted creatures, wacky watercolors, poetic paintings, and celebratory installations define the next two months' worth of exhibitions. Lively and full of color and craft, every item you'll find in the galleries this summer will brighten your day and put a spring in your step. Here are some of the top exhibitions:

The Women of Sugar Hill. An exhibition of works by Andrea Arroyo. On view until August 10 at the Sugar Hill Building, West 155th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. Arroyo is a feminist visual artist whose newest site-specific installation is part of the If You Build It exhibition that combines her works with those of Virginia Ayress and Ella Perez-Gabriel. Arroyo's artwork, mixed media of mermaid-like women seemingly swimming through the air, in and around a curtain of white fabric cloud, long hair flying behind them, "is inspired by the Women of Sugar Hill past and present, from the indigenous women of the Algonquin Nation and the female visionaries of the Harlem Renaissance to the present-day women of all backgrounds who make upper Manhattan such a diverse and vibrant community."

Dubuffet | Barceló. An exhibition of paintings by French postwar artist Jean Dubuffet and and Spanish artist Miquel Barcelo. On view through September 19 at Acquavella Galleries. The exhibition will show the influence that Dubuffet has had on contemporary artist Barcelo, who enjoyed Dubuffet's poetry since he was young. The similar materials and painting style used by the two artists will be obvious in the show.

Quilts from Nature. An exhibit of quilted works by Barbara McKie. On view until August 16 at the ArtQuilt Gallery NYC. Featuring creatures from forests and beaches, gardens and ponds, this exhibition is fun and enticing. A former biology major, McKie "starts with white fabric, which [are] either printed or dyed to create designs. [She] often combines abstraction and realism in [her] work, but often with a bit of whimsy."

John M Armleder - Jean Carzou. A duo exhibition of mixed media paintings. On view until August 23 at Galerie Richard. French artist Carzou (born in Syria and grown up in Egypt) became know for his opera set designs and his "sharp graphic style" in the 1950s and '60s, but his works are largely unknown today. Armleder, born in Geneva, is a modern artist whose works in this exhibition take their inspiration from Carzou. Curator Cécile Calé notes two prominent works: "John Armleder has chosen to show in this exhibition the little known “Circles and Squares” of the young Carzou along with his own “Pour and Puddle” paintings. The “Circles and Squares” pieces are meta paintings- images of abstraction from the 30’s, carefully made by the artist. They share a temporal space with the calm fury of the splendid “Pour and Puddles” paintings ... stretched canvasses laid on the floor onto which the artist pours paint, lacquer and varnish."

Leaps into the Void: Shamanism, Meditation, Transcendence, Oblivion. An exhibition of works by Gwyn Joy, Sky Kim, Michael Maxwell, Joe Nanashe and Phoebe Rathmell. On view until August 19 at Garis & Hahn. This group show explores the idea of meditation in art, from both Western and Eastern philosophies. "The works included are directly influenced by each artist's own spiritual practice and, or in addition to, techniques and subject matter that directly references diverse perspectives of spirituality."

About a Mountain. An exhibition of works by Alejandro Almanza Pereda, Vincent Como, Don Dixon, Gerhard Frommel, Elisa Lendvay, Rachel Niffenegger, and Anonymous. Curated by Holly Jarrett. On view until August 15 at Asya Geisberg Gallery. Using the book of the same title by John D'Agata, "this exhibition digressively explores metaphysical tropes of human existence, disaster, time, and our ongoing existential crisis." D'Agata writes about the "relationship to mortality through cultural desensitization" and the artists showing works here provide commentary on that.

Check out these and other exhibitions this summer at your favorite galleries! Let us know what your favorite exhibition is, or if you found a particularly unique work that spoke to you - comment about it in the space below!