Art

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

Things to do

Tour artist Alex Da Corte's haunted house exhibition, "Die Hexe"

Take a digital tour through the eerie rooms of Da Corte's lush, mysterious installation

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Blog

Artist renders state pols as New York kitties

Bet you've never pictured a New York politician as a cat

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Art

New Museum Triennial preview

This year’s edition is titled “Surround Audience.” Here are some of the artists to look out for when the show opens.

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Blog

Guess what? Women are still underrepresented in the art world

We know from Patricia Arquette's impassioned acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress at Sunday night's Oscars that women are given the short end of the stick in Hollywood

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Art

Kehinde Wiley talks about portraiture and going for baroque

Kehinde Wiley’s brand of hip-hop portraiture blows up at the Brooklyn Museum

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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

Art

"Santu Mofokeng: A Metaphorical Biography"

Since 2011, the New York outpost of Germany’s Walther Collection has been an important showcase for modern and contemporary African photography. Case in point: this excellent minisurvey of the work of Santu Mofokeng, titled, “A Metaphorical Biography.” It positions him as both a photojournalist and an artist concerned with questions of meaning and representation. Born in Johannesburg in 1956, Mofokeng began his professional career in the mid-1980s as a member of the photo agency Afrapix. In the turbulent decade leading up to apartheid’s end, he produced photo essays on South African townships, offering a more complex view of their inhabitants’ lives than the coverage found in the global media. Taken between 1988 and 1994, the pictures include a wonderful image of a solemn man seen in a mirror while eating, and another of a golf game being played on scrubland. During the 1990s Mofokeng began to collect late-19th- and early-20th-century studio portraits of middle-class black South Africans. These became his 1997 slide show, The Black Photo Album/Look at Me: 1890–1950, in which intertitles provide biographical information on some of the subjects, while also questioning what their real-life experiences might have been. Another series on South Africa’s sacred Motouleng caves includes a 2004 photograph of a man wearing a vest, leather work coat and hat with ear flaps. His eyes are closed, but he’s fiercely present. The picture is actually a portrait of Mofokeng’s brother, a traditi

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Art

Claudia Comte, No Melon No Lemon

While Claudia Comte’s solo debut at Barbara Gladstone demonstrates her talent for handsome installation, the young Swiss artist gets bogged down in style quotes. She begins by covering the walls in yellow stripes, a pattern similar to one used by Sylvie Fleury two years ago at Salon 94—a show that itself was channeling the work of French Conceptualist Daniel Buren. Comte doesn’t stop there. She divvies up the space with burnt-wood partitions, incised with wavering vertical lines that bring to mind Frank Stella’s Black Paintings. These are hung with bar-shaped panels, stacked one above the other in a manner recalling Donald Judd’s ascending columns of boxes. They’re also fronted by organically abstract wooden sculptures that cheekily revamp everyone from Constantin Brancusi to Barbara Hepworth. One resembles a cat climbing a post. Comte uses the gallery’s high ceiling to maximum effect, creating an immersive environment that’s both vivid and subtle. The sculptures are mounted on benchlike pedestals cut from the aforementioned dividers. Jutting out into the room, they leave voids that set off or frame the objects in a seamless interface of art and display. Missing in all of this is Comte’s artistic individuality. Her sense of humor is apparent, and some, if not enough, of her sensibility comes through in the handworked quality of the sculptures and the wonky imperfection of the partitions. But mostly her piece is a hit parade of art-historical references, absent an argument for

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Art

Matthew F Fisher, "Black Water Don’t Shine Like the Moon"

Even at first glance, Matthew F Fisher’s show of ink drawings is long on charm and quirk. Hung in a single row in this modest space aptly named Sardine, the 30 works on paper feature meticulously limned scenes of nature. Fisher’s renderings limit the natural world to only a few motifs, stylized to the point of eccentricity. Bent grasses assume calligraphic forms. Crashing waves, striated like tresses of hair and made effervescent by tiny collaged bubbles, break in several directions at once, often framing a celestial orb. As in the Surrealist André Breton’s notion of “convulsive beauty,” the world in Fisher’s images shapes itself into a kind of writing. Fisher’s often humorously literal line recalls cartoons, and his ornamental treatment of natural phenomena brings to mind certain strains of folk art. But these drawings also evoke the abstracting love for nature’s vitality shared by early American modernists like Arthur Dove and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as an oddball mysticism. Quietly cultivating an idiosyncratic vision, Fisher’s work becomes nothing short of visionary.—Joseph R. Wolin

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Art

Mike Nelson, Gang of Seven

Compared to the ambitious nature of British artist Mike Nelson’s previous installations (e.g. the four conjoined Airstream trailers in his last show), his latest sculptures made of scrap material are something of a letdown, though they don’t lack for imagination. Inspired by sci-fi, the works are presented as part of a story, a tale about a postapocalyptic colony of amnesiacs who make art from junk washed up along the shore near their bleak North Sea home. The resulting cobbled-together totems are equally funny and sad, a grim reminder of what we’re doing to the planet. While Nelson’s narrative is evocative, it isn’t served by the gallery’s environment, in which battered objects jarringly contrast with the immaculate white-cube interior. Rather than evoke a story, the sculptures appear stranded within a space that seems overcrowded. There are, however, a few standouts: One piece inventively transforms charred driftwood and shredded traffic cones into a beach bonfire; another turns nautical rope into a serpent. Figurative forms dot the proceedings with gallon milk jugs for heads; one guy even wears a car’s floor mat for a cape. Tasked with rebuilding civilization, Nelson’s characters seem poised to repeat its mistakes. Pathetically tattered flags, for example, carve out competing territories. Still, as a whole, the show speaks to the unstoppable urge to create. In the end, it’s rather upbeat, an optimism expressed by a message in a bottle attached to one sculpture that rea

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

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

"The Hugo Boss Prize 2014: Paul Chan, Nonprojections for New Lovers"

The work of Paul Chan, this year's winner of The Hugo Boss Prize, is hard to characterize, but his multimedia installations all seem to share an haunted, enigmatic quality and a predilection for representing presence with absence. His piece here, for example, consists of a circular arrangement of running projectors that project nothing, while getting their power from worn shoes repurposed as electrical outlets.

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Art

"Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection"

MoMA is doing a total overhaul of its contemporary art galleries with a new installation of works in all mediums by 40 artists from around the world. Taken from the permanent collection, the offerings—some never exhibited before— were all made during the past 30 years, and reflect in different ways "the political, social, and cultural flux that have shaped the current global landscape."

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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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Most popular art stories

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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

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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Art

Q&A: Philip Taaffe

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

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Marina Abramovic interview

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

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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

Blog

New York is thinking about storm-proofing against the next Sandy: Good Idea!

Along with floodwaters and blackouts, 2012's Superstorm Sandy brought with it the sudden realization that New York City was highly susceptible to going the way of Atlantis in this age of global warming

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Condo sellers asking $150 million for penthouse because in filthy rich New York, they can

The rich! They're just like us, except with, you know, a lot more money. Lots more

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Blog

Artist doesn't have go far to get to his show; his bedroom is in the gallery

Let's face it: Life in the age of smart-phones and social media has become one long exercise in over-sharing

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MoMA PS1 announces winning design for this summer’s Warm Up installation

MoMA PS1’s summer Warm Up series has always been more than an artsy rave, flowing with cold beer and presided over by some of New York’s premier DJs

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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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Art

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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