This Fall in New York, Crystals Become a Favorite Medium

Above detail image courtesy of Alteronce Gumby and False Flag Gallery, New York, NY, 2021.

By Alexandra Goldman

I give and receive crystals as gifts. I believe in their energetic power for channeling different qualities into and out of our lives. Whether it’s love, openness, abundance, strength, clarity, protection, release…they’re magical.

What I hadn’t expected to see, was a profusion of crystals in contemporary art and its exhibitions culminating in one New York moment. By this I mean Art with a capital A, at major museums, art fairs, and galleries. My recent viewing experiences have led me to believe the moment for crystals in Art has arrived.

Medieval artists evoked divinity through religious art, magnificent cathedrals and stained glass windows. Romantic artists explored the sublime in nature. Later 19th and earlier 20th century painters like Hilma Af Klint and Agnes Pelton channeled spirituality through abstract forms.

It’s no wonder that following the apocalyptic despair of 2020, multiple artists today are either consciously or subconsciously eager to incorporate a material into their work that traditionally possesses properties for spiritual connectivity and otherworldly transcendence. While that overarching idea feels clear to me, each artist’s decision to include crystals in their work also has nuanced meaning specific to that work, so I encourage paying attention to what makes each unique in its context as well.

Within this past month, I came across four unrelated NYC-based art exhibitions that each incorporate crystals, which compelled me to take notice and write this brief article. The following is a photo essay of these beautiful – and wonderfully diverse – examples of artwork currently (or recently) on view featuring crystals in New York City. You can still catch many of them on view this week, for a serving of culture with a side of soul healing.

Alteronce Gumby at False Flag Gallery, The Armory Show 2021 (No longer on view)

Artwork and detail images courtesy of the artist and False Flag Gallery, New York, NY, 2021.

Deana Lawson, “Centropy” at The Guggenheim (On view until October 11th)

Installation images of “Deana Lawson: Centropy” courtesy of the artist and Artifactoid, New York, NY, 2021.

Alison Elizabeth Taylor, “Future Promise” at James Cohan Gallery (On view until October 23rd)

Artwork and installation images from “Alison Elizabeth Taylor: Future Promise” courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY, 2021.

“This End the Sun”, a collaborative exhibition by artists Maryam Hoseini, Rindon Johnson, and Jordan Strafer at The New Museum (On view until October 3rd)

Installation images of “This End the Sun” courtesy of the artists and Green Art Gallery, New York, NY, 2021.

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