While the holidays in New York are often associated with shopping and ice skating under the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, several galleries have engaging exhibitions on view that are well worth a visit. Whether you’re a New Yorker staying local or a tourist in town on vacation, these seven shows across the city will add a refreshing dash of culture to the holiday season.
Anton van Dalen: Doves Where They Live and Work, PPOW, through January 28, 2023
For PPOW’s third solo show with Anton van Dalen, the gallery is showcasing a rich selection of paintings and works on paper that demonstrate the artist’s skilled draftsmanship. The show spans several decades, including large paintings from the late 1980s and color drawings that explore life during the pandemic from 2020.
Throughout his over 60 years working as an artist, van Dalen has used art to engage with social and political issues. Displayed in crisp, sometimes narrative scenes of urban life, the artist has for decades shone a light on critical topics such as war and public health. Included in the show are humorous representations of imagined lives of doves, an interest that began appearing in his work in 1989. In one gouache on matboard, two cartoonish doves are seen standing on human-like legs as they fight one another. In another, the beak of the dove morphs into a hammer, alluding to a job in construction.
Like many of van Dalen’s work, these doves serve to address larger societal issues, including capitalism and the daily drudge of modern life. Compared to some of his more overtly critical, cynical works like the scenes of army trucks and combat planes shooting rockets through a burning city in The War Comes Home (1982), these doves are lighthearted and comical. Embracing the connotations of doves as symbols of hope, love, and community, the paintings even imbue a sense of optimism despite the heavy, dark issues addressed.
The exhibition is on view in PPOW’s new second floor space just a few doors down from their existing Tribeca location. A staple in the art world for four decades, PPOW has supported some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art.