Five Things to Do in New York’s Art Scene July 17-22

From a round-trip bike ride to Edward Hopper’s birthplace to one of MoMA PS1’s celebrated EDM events, there's a lot going on this week.

Welcome to Things to Do, our weekly roundup of happenings in the ever-buzzing New York art scene. Here, we present an expertly curated list of the best goings on that don’t require an invite—but might require that you reserve a spot in advance.

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Wednesday July 19

Opening: Darling, Your Head’s Not Right

A metal sculpture
Jessi Reaves, Warming Rails Extended (Towel Rack), 2022. Metal, hardware, sawdust, wood glue, 58.5 x 27 x 27 inches (148.6 x 68.6 x 68.6 cm.). Courtesy François Ghebaly gallery

François Ghebaly gallery, 391 Grand St., 5 to 8 p.m.

This group show’s title quotes The Strokes, and its press release begins with an epigram by the poet and critic John Yau, so we’re off to a strong start. Curated by the artist Danica Lundy, it features the work of Kaari Upson, Oda Iselin Sønderland, Lucas Blalock, Julian Alexander, ASMA, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Dana Lok, Hannah Rawe, Jessi Reaves and Philip Seibel focusing on “notions of slippage, the uncanny, and porous subject-object relationships to explore how artists and artifacts adopt, misplace, and ultimately transform meaning.”

Opening: Spotlight: Joel Mesler

Balloon letters reading 'Burn Baby Burn' in front of panted greenery
Joel Mesler. Untitled (Burn Baby Burn), 2023. Pigment on linen, 80 x 70 x 1 1/4 inches (203.2 x 177.8 x 3.2 cm). Courtesy the artist and David Kordansky Gallery. Photography by Dario Lasagni.

FLAG Art Foundation, 545 W 25th St., 9th floor

Who amongst us does not enjoy a Joel Mesler? The dealer-turned-painter has been having a surge in popularity in recent years and is now the subject of FLAG’s Spotlight series, which includes a new or never-before-exhibited artwork accompanied by a commissioned piece of writing. This iteration pairs Mesler’s Untitled (Burn Baby Burn), 2023, with a text by art writer and curator Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer.

Friday July 21

Opening: Heji Shin, The Big Nudes

MRI scans of a head
Heji Shin, Work in progress, 2023. © Heji Shin

52 Walker Gallery, 52 Walker, 6 to 8 p.m.

The eighth show at David Zwirner’s 52 Walker space celebrates the photographic practice of the New York-based Heji Shin, who creates “images that challenge judgments of taste vis-à-vis fashion, celebrity, and sexuality.” A recent series of hers, Big Cocks, captured screaming roosters with such care that you almost forget the whole thing was obviously conceived as a bit. The best art is made this way, though… as a bit.

MoMA PS1 Warm Up

Two people dancing in a city
PS1’s EDM series is back for summer. Ryan Muir

22-25 Jackson Avenue Long Island City, Queens, 5 to 10 p.m.

MoMA PS1’s celebrated, DJ and electronic music series returns to the museum this Friday, with a new stage design by Raque Ford, who was featured in the institution’s Greater New York show of 2021. The 2023 inaugural lineup is stacked and features Frankie Bones, Kiki Kudo, Word of Command and Dreamcrusher.

Saturday July 22

The Whitney’s Hopper Bike Ride

A line drawing of a man riding a bicycle
Inspired by Edward Hopper’s Study of a Man in Hat on Bicycle, 1895–1899. Courtesy The Whitney

The Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St., 7 a.m.

Join the Whitney on a round-trip bike ride to Edward Hopper’s birthplace of Nyack, New York, on what would have been the artist’s 141st birthday. That’s around 60 miles round trip, so only skilled bikers or major Hopper heads are advised to participate. You could also celebrate this event in a more low-key way by eating at the space that served as the inspiration for the diner in Nighthawks and now makes really good ramen.

Reminder: Check StubHub, SeatGeek and Craigslist for ticketed events that may have sold out thanks to our promotion. People in the art world are often double booked and love secondary markets. Have an upcoming event that may be worth our readers’ time? Drop Dan an email at with Things to Do in the subject line.

Five Things to Do in New York’s Art Scene July 17-22