Art

Art galleries, exhibitions and reviews of the latest and best art in New York

Art

Outsider Art Fair

The 23rd annual Outsider Art Fair hosts 50 international galleries from 27 cities representing 8 countries

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Get your fill of cat pictures at the Japan Society

The Japan Society to present purr-fect show of cat prints this spring

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The 10 best art shows coming in 2015

We look ahead to art in 2015—from a 14-year survey of Kehinde Wiley's career, to Björk's most anticipated retrospective

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Art

"El Greco in New York"

Romantics and Modernists alike treasured the old master El Greco (1541–1614) for the skewed perspectives and strangely distorted figures that fill his paintings—that is, when they weren’t blaming those aesthetic quirks on drugs, madness, or astigmatism. For the 400th anniversary of his death, three New York institutions have gathered their substantial holdings of the painter’s works—at 19 paintings, more than anywhere outside of the Prado in Madrid!—in two concise exhibitions. While “El Greco at the Frick Collection” comprises three canvases, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “El Greco in New York” features contributions from the Hispanic Society of America, as well as its own collection. The larger Met show allows us to trace the artist’s trajectory. Born Domenikos Theotokopoulos in Crete, then a Venetian possession, El Greco painted Byzantine icons before leaving to study in Italy. The early Christ Healing the Blind, ca. 1570, a fairly typical late-Renaissance religious scene, shows the influence of his artistic training in Venice in its impressive if imperfect approximation of the modes of artists such as Veronese. In 1577, El Greco moved permanently to Spain. Subsequent devotional pictures show the artist’s increasing mastery of Renaissance idiom. Christ Carrying the Cross, ca. 1580–85 (watery-eyed, but with a perfect manicure), and The Holy Family, ca. 1585 (the Madonna charming, with an up-do and a gauzy mantilla; the nursing baby Jesus beady-eyed, with an oddly shaped h

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Art

Yael Bartana

Inspired by the replica of Solomon’s Temple built by evangelical Christians in Brazil, Yael Bartana’s video Inferno opens with a menorah and the Ark of the Covenant being helicoptered over São Paulo, followed by a multiracial rainbow of men, women and children flocking to the temple to receive priestly benediction. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, an earthquake shatters the proceedings, and the temple bursts into flames. Is it divine retribution for monumental hubris? For the blasphemy of a high priest in drag? Or it is for the truly unforgivable sin of white-robed congregants wearing Carmen Miranda headpieces made of fake fruit and flowers? Regardless, a denouement shows the temple reduced to an ersatz Wailing Wall, complete with souvenir vendors and worshippers happily praying and dancing. We might expect something meaty in an Israeli artist’s riff on cross-cultural translations of religious faith, as well as the tenacity of an ancient Semitic cult in the face of millennial catastrophes. But Inferno just seems silly, its medium-budget production generating little heat, especially after Eve Sussman’s The Rape of the Sabine Women and Francesco Vezzoli’s Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s Caligula have essayed sword-and-sandal reenactments to much greater effect. A second video, True Finn, finds a group of immigrants gathered in a snowy retreat to debate questions of national authenticity. The earnest documentary draws too-obvious analogies with other multicultural societie

Time Out says
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Must-see art exhibitions

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Top art this week

With an art scene as prominent and ever-changing as New York’s, you don’t want to miss these essential exhibitions.

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Time Out's picks

The best art shows in New York, as chosen by Time Out's critics.

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Best free art in NYC

Looking for some free things to do, art enthusiasts? Thought so.

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Current art exhibition reviews

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Entang Wiharso

An Indonesian artist who splits his time between his homeland and Rhode Island, Entang Wiharso explores social, cultural and political issues in a variety of mediums. Since 1995, Wiharso has exhibited his work internationally, which has cropped up with greater frequency in the last several years at such prestigious events as the 2013 Venice Biennale. For his first solo show in New York, Wiharso presents a solid selection of figurative paintings, sculptures and metal reliefs, all blurring boundaries between expressionism, surrealism and traditional storytelling. One large painting from 2014, Double Protection: Invisible Threat, depicts a man and woman coupling at the center of a nightmarish whirl of levitating bodies, severed heads and machinery with tubes snaking out of them, suggesting some sort of medical equipment. His massive 2013 aluminum relief, My Heart Is Bigger than You Think, connects contorted figures, weapons and word balloons (with texts like your brain is very delicious) into a modern-day version of Hieronymus Bosch’s hellish 16th-century masterpiece, The Garden of Earthly Delights. While these works recall the oppression that Wiharso’s family suffered while the artist was growing up in Jakarta during the regime of former Indonesian strongman Suharto, his life-size sculpture from 2014, Inheritance, offers a different vision. A family portrait, it shows Wiharso with his American wife and child around a table, which is surmounted by a gigantic carp. Magical but th

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Art

Kenny Rivero, "I Can Love You Better"

Garbage accumulates like repressed urges in Kenny Rivero’s show “I Can Love You Better,” where paintings with assemblage elements are installed alongside sculptures made from discarded debris. The former blends collage, Surrealism and folk art into cartoonish compositions, while the latter piles shards of glass, bits of broken records and scraps of paint into quasi-shamanistic objects. In both, art history is treated like a trash can to be picked through. Rivero, a Yale MFA graduate, grew up on the mean streets of Washington Heights in the 1980s, and memories of life there provide a theater where psychologically charged narratives play out. In three large paintings, It Happened on the Corner, El Pique and The Fire Next Time (all from 2014), confrontations, beatings and fires dissipate into pictorial snippets. Sidewalks are transformed into sacrificial altars, slabs on which figures are dismembered. But Rivero also employs a comic touch that blunts the impact of his images. He mixes body parts, architectural fragments, letters and numbers to create a playful confusion, complicating our relationship to urban brutality. Evocations of violence within the aesthetic realm are nothing new; they informed the figurative mutations of early modern art. But Rivero understands that actual assault isn’t symbolic or a mere transgression of someone’s space: It can leave wounds that are mortal. Rivero links the shedding of blood on the pavement to the smearing of paint on canvas and in doin

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Art

"Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground"

Assembled from MoMA’s holdings of work by Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), this beautifully realized exhibition illustrates how Dubuffet’s rebellion against conventional good taste and artistic hierarchies was enacted through his materials and techniques. Comprising pieces from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, “Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground” includes wonderful figurative sculptures assembled from slag and tree roots, as well as paintings and drawings depicting people—wandering through deserts, packed into subway cars—crudely scratched into thickly impastoed canvases or inked paper. But its primary focus is on Dubuffet the printmaker, using the medium as “an incomparable laboratory and an efficacious means of invention.” Central to the show is a selection of lithographs from Dubuffet’s series “Phenomena” (1958–1962), a compendium of 362 allover compositions, created by scuffing, scratching and staining lithographic stones, sometimes with stuff like fruit peels and tapioca. Often, he would cut up the finished results to produce new works. For the most part, Dubuffet’s recycled prints are representational. In the collage Black Earth (1955), the three figures occupying a nocturnal patch of gray and black landscape are fashioned from the same white-spattered paper as the starry sky above. Elsewhere, characters such as The Sleepwalker and Carrot Nose (both from 1961) sport hats and clothes seemingly made out of cosmic dust. But other pieces are more confounding: paintings with phra

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Art

"The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World"

A dispiriting show that doesn't do its participants any favors, “The Forever Now” brings together 17 painters, the youngest born in 1986 and the oldest in 1955. All are current market favorites. Commendably, over half of them are women. Organized by MoMA’s Laura Hoptman, the exhibition is premised on the notion that our culture is characterized by the reprise and the mash-up and that contemporary painting follows suit (The show’s catalog essay quotes science fiction writer William Gibson and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, among others, on the end of progress and the atemporality of modern cultural artifacts in the digital age.) In support of this contention, Hoptman subjects some very good artworks to reductive readings while including too many mediocre examples. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t any terrific pieces on view. German artist Michaela Eichwald’s newly scaled-up abstractions—particularly a long horizontal work in which fetus-like forms and painterly passages in dirty whites, yellows, pinks and reds march across a matte black ground—are some of the best things in the show. Hoptman suggests that Eichwald is referencing Abstract Expressionism, completely missing the artist’s origins in the 1980s Cologne art scene, where doubts about historical relevance mixed with deliberately awkward painting—a approach that was also employed by Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Michael Krebber and other members of that milieu. Elsewhere, a wall is given over to Joe Bradl

Time Out says
  • 1 out of 5 stars
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Upcoming art exhibitions

Art

"On Kawara—Silence"

Over the 40 year span of his career, On Kawara has been best known for his “Today” series of paintings, one created each day in a single day and bearing, simply, the date of its making. Starting in 1966, he’s maintained this daily practice even while traveling, marking the location of each place a painting was created by covering the back of the canvas with the front page of the local newspaper from the same day. However, as this Guggenheim retrospective demonstrates, he’s undertaken other projects as well, some involving postcards or maps. But all share the same deep commitment to concretely taking the measure of time and place. The survey is the first full presentation of his work ever undertaken.

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Art

"Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic"

Wiley has made his name as a painter by limning portraits of African-Americans (some recruited by the artists from off the streets) in a grandiloquent style worth of the Old Masters. While his approach is ostensibly meant to undermine the artistic biases of Eurocentric culture and white privilege, this 14-year survey of his career demonstrates that the real pleasures of his baroque style lie in his evident technical skills and in his frequent use of richly patterned backgrounds meant to recall opulent wallpaper or tapestries.

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Art

"2015 Triennial: Surround Audience"

Since its 2009 inception, the New Museum's Triennial has been touted as a competitor of the Whitney Biennial, though it hasn't quite received the same level of media attention. That's just as well, since the Triennial to date has proven to be as rambling and inchoate as your typical Biennial. But the New Mu extravaganza departs from the Whitney's signature showcase for a number of reasons: It's smaller (because its Bowery home is smaller than the Whitney's MePa bastion); it's more international (since the New Mu, unlike the Whitney, doesn't have "American Art" in its name); it limits itself to artists who are roughly 35 and under. The Triennial is also organized around a theme. This year's edition gathers 51 artists from 25 countries under the vaguely threatening title, "Surround Audience," and is meant to conjure the omnipresent, 24/7 digital realm that defines our globalist world. It's not a new idea, and the work isn't all that different from the stuff featured in previous Triennials. But if nothing else, you can catch the rookie outings of some of the artists who'll become stars.

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Art

Björk

MoMA celebrates the multi-faceted career of the Icelandic alt diva with a retrospective encompassing the many mediums she’s worked in: Music of course, but also art, costume design and video, among others. The installation includes an immersive “experience” in sound and film created especially for the show.

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Best art stories

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Q&A: Philip Taaffe

Taaffe’s latest paintings are inspired by the war in Syria and Matisse

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NYC’s top 25 Picassos

TONY rounds up the top Picasso paintings and sculptures that call New York City home.

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Art

Marina Abramovic interview

Audience participation gets kicked up a notch in the performance-art diva’s new piece

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A brief history of the vagina in art

Forget Eve Ensler and Naomi Wolf: When it comes to the vagina as a subject, art was there first. We snatch some examples from history to survey the persistence of pussy in art through the ages.

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Best art galleries in New York

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Best Chelsea galleries

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Best art galleries on the Lower East Side

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Best photography galleries

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Best art galleries on 57th Street

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Latest art news

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Win an original screen print of Lena Dunham

The star of this week’s issue of Time Out New York, Lena Dunham, has become one of the city’s biggest pop culture icons. So it was only fitting that she get...

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In this week’s issue of Time Out New York, we’re all about Lena Dunham

  At age 19, Lena Dunham wrote in to Time Out New York's sex columnist to ask about losing her virginity. Nine years later, there doesn't seem to be...

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This photography exhibition of hands painted as animals will blow your mind

Guido Daniele is putting his hands up. Way up.  The Italian artist is presenting his collection of astonishingly realistic hand paintings 70-stories up at...

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Craig Salstein on why he started Intermezzo Dance Company

This weekend, Craig Salstein, a soloist at American Ballet Theatre, presents his Intermezzo Dance Company at the Miller Theatre (at Columbia University). The...

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New York art in pictures

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The 10 best art shows of 2014

The absolute best of New York’s art shows and exhibits from 2014.

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Art

NYC’s art world: The Mad Men years (slide show)

In art as in advertising, the ’60s were tumultuous and transformational.

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Art

A guide to the Italian Futurism art movement

From its radical beginnings to its fascist incarnation, Italian Futurism shocked the world.

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Preview: Chuck Close, “Nudes 1967–2014”

Going beyond his famed portraits, Close directed his work to areas below the neck, too.

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Best museums in New York

Museums

Whitney Museum of American Art

Like the Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum is set apart by its unique architecture

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Museums

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hang out in an Egyptian temple, gawk at period costumes and take pictures on the gorgeous rooftop garden

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Museums

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum is as famous for its landmark building as it is for its impressive collection and daring temporary shows

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Museums

The American Museum of Natural History

No matter which wing you wander through or where your curiosities lie, it’s hard to explore without being awestruck

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