Chelsea’s Fall Art Season is in Full Swing! Here’s 4 Shows to Start With:

Image of people gathering around Francois-Xavier Lalanne's exhibition, Sheep Station, which is a gas station reverted into a fenced in grassy pasture with sheep.

The Chelsea gallery district–roughly: 19th to 28th Streets, between 10th and 11th Avenues–is home to one of the greatest concentrations of contemporary art on the planet. And this September it seems as if the always-busy fall season has exploded as never before, with almost a hundred new exhibitions opening these past few weeks alone. I haven't come close to seeing to everything yet, but here are four I enjoyed one recent afternoon. 

Close up image of the sheep at Francois-Xavier Lalanne's Sheep Station.

Francois-Xavier Lalanne: Sheep Station  

This is likely the biggest crowd-pleaser of the season. Stroll up to the corner of 24th and 10th and, where until very recently stood a working Lukoil gas station, is now home to a rolling meadow filled with grazing (concrete) sheep! The structure of the gas station–the pumps, the roof, the signage–is all still in place, but instead of a dozen taxis fighting for gas there's grass, shrubbery, a white picket fence, and 25 Francois-Xavier Lalanne sculptures of sheep. I stood there for almost an hour the other day as they installed the piece–it's a collaboration of the Paul Kasmin Gallery and developer Mark Shvo, who's building a condo on the site, but will stage art exhibitions there throughout the construction process–and every person who came by immediately started smiling, chuckling, taking pictures. It really is quite a sight, not to mention slightly apocalyptic, but in a happy way. A limited number of people will be admitted onto the meadow at a time. Through October 20.

Image of a man walking across the room of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #564 at Paula Cooper, which is a bright, colorful wall with geometric shapes painted on it

Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawing #564, at Paula Cooper 

I tend to enjoy Sol LeWiit's ideas more than I'm engaged by his actual work: basically, LeWitt precisely maps out his often huge drawings and murals, and his assistants create the physical piece of art… as, theoretically, could anyone else who had the instructions, or, to put it in musical terms, the "score". Sol LeWitt now has a massive work at Paula Cooper, called Wall Drawing #564, which he conceived for the Venice Biennial of 1988 and, until now, has not been recreated since. And even though I as usual am not entirely convinced by LeWitt's colors and composition, the scale of Wall Drawing #564 is tremendous, and the viewing experience impressively visceral. Definitely worth checking out. Through October 12. Paula Cooper is on 21st Street.

Man standing in front of Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #564 at Paula Cooper, which is a bright, colorful wall with geometric shapes painted on it

A wall with large white font which is part of Robert Montgomery installation at Gallery C24

Robert Montgomery at C24 Gallery

I'm a sucker for art that's essentially giant type used in different ways, and Robert Montgomery covers all the bases with his solo exhibition at C24 Gallery. There's a huge fabric banner filled with type, there are multiple lighted signs, there are some cool white-on-white designs, and there's one piece which Montgomery set on fire, displayed here post-burning. Montgomery has done a lot of great street art in the past, with an emphasis on repurposing billboards with his poetry, but his work translates nicely to a gallery setting as well. Through October 19. C24 Gallery is on 24th Street. 

Lit up neon sign at Robert Montgomery's gallery that says "The Slow Disappearance of meaning and truth"

Image of Greg Haberny's Lyons Wier Gallery exhibition which has elaborate sculptures and framed drawings on the wall

Greg Haberny: Burn All Crayons, at Lyons Wier Gallery 

Greg Haberny isn't for everyone: he's messy, he's rude, he's crude… and, I think, he's very funny. I love Haberny's energy, and the way his works always seem on the verge of exploding, or that the whole room has already exploded, and this is the debris. Not for the easily offended, but for a certain sensibility, this wild exhibition at Lyons Wier Gallery is a must. Through October 6, located on 24th Street. 

Greg Haberny's art with pencils coming out of a McDonald's french fries box

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