The Best Art Shows to See This May


And just like that, it’s May.

Yes, you heard correctly. If you’ve neglected your new year’s resolution to see more art this year, now is the time to start. There are many great art shows coming to a gallery near you this month, so whip out your phone calendar and get typing. Promise it’ll be worth it.

Alicia Mozqueira, Tulips

Alicia Mozqueira, Chalk Horse

Fall into the heady work of Alicia Mozqueria at her upcoming solo exhibition at Chalk Horse. Crisp camellias, twisting tulips and plush peonies are painted together in vibrant intimacy, their colours melding and petals curling together against the darkness of a black canvas. Light is thrown and shadows are cast, as if illuminating a thriving flower bed at nightfall. The show opens on May 12 and continues through to 4th June.

Del Kathryn Darton, women who fell to earth, 2022, Roslyn Oxley9

Del Kathryn Barton, the women who fell to earth, Roslyn Oxley9

Presenting her first solo exhibition in three years, Del Kathryn Barton’s the women who fell to earth is an epic deep dive into love, desire and the dichotomies of life. Featuring never-before-seen artworks from 2009 – 2022, these modern artefacts are shown alongside the artist’s foray into sculpture, fine art and written word—amounting to an artful cornucopia of creative expression. Against a background of crimson pink, be immersed in the world of one of Australia’s best contemporary painters until 28 May 2022.

Matthew Clarke, ‘gone with wallabies,’ Firstdraft

Matthew Clarke, Ryan Andrew Lee, Shireen Taweel and Marian Abboud, Firstdraft

Firstdraft has brought together a suite of four new exhibitions by four superb emerging artists. Downstairs, Matthew Clarke’s Born To Draw brings the artist’s monochrome line drawings from Warrnambool, South West Victoria into direct dialogue with the city. Ryan Andrew Lee’s Temples Of Doom sees haunting drone footage investigate the impending threat to pagoda rock formations and sacred First Nations rock-art sites in the recently announced Gardens of Stone Conservation area of the Greater Blue Mountains.

Ryan Andrew Lee, Temples Of Doom, 2022, Firstdraft

Shireen Taweel’s Shoe Bathers explores the intimate rituals that take place in bathhouses through themes of body, spirit, and kinship. In sister +++++ familial formations, Marian Abboud looks at the act of collecting, capturing, constructing, charting, ordering, relocating and deconstructing a family. Get down to see them all until 12 June, 2022.

eX de Medici, East India Trading Co., 2021. Watercolour on paper, Photography by Robert Little. Sullivan+Strumpf.

eX de Medici, Double Double Crossed, Sullivan+Strumpf

Bridging the gap between art and science, eX de Medici will reveal a new exhibition, Double Double Crossed, at Sullivan+Strumpf. As talented as she is elusive, this series of intricate watercolours depict machine-moth hybrids, inspired by her relationship with the Entomology Division at the CSIRO’s Black Mountain Research Facility that has spanned over 20 years. Seductive yet macabre, de Medici states her case in glaring detail—a technique mastered thanks to her background in tattooing. While examining rare species of Microlepidoptera (small moths), some of which live for no more than two hours, the works also draw attention to the invasive potential of political and environmental impacts that may render nature indivisible from human forces. The exhibition will be available to view in the gallery and online from Thursday 19 May 2022, closing Saturday 11 June 2022.

Anna Pogossova, Jerico Contemporary, 2022

Anna Pogossova, Ø (Portals) Soft Magic, Jerico Contemporary

Return to the otherworldly worlds dreamt up by Sydney crowd-favourite Anna Pogossova at her new exhibition Ø (Portals) Soft Magic, at Jerico Contemporary. Known for her practice that effortlessly interweaves sculpture and photography, prepared to be dazzled by a moody suite of memorable visuals from someplace else. The exhibition opens on Thursday 19th May and continues until Saturday, 11 June.

Fabian Ramírez, COMA

Fabian Ramírez, An Eye Turned In, COMA

Mexican artist Fabian Ramírez will bring a new body of work, An Eye Turned In, to COMA. Known for painting dreamscapes, the artist conjures ghostly images of vegetation, domestic interiors and other surroundings, concealed in a barrage of expressive colour and chaotic brushstrokes that hint at places and moments in time. Opening Friday 27 May, the show will continue through to 2 July 2022.

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