The top five New York art shows this week

Check out our art critic's suggestions for the best art exhibitions you don’t want to miss



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With an art scene as prominent and ever-changing as New York’s, you don’t want to miss these essential exhibitions. From the best photography and art galleries to shows at NYC institutions like the Met, MoMA and the Guggenheim, Time Out rounds up the top five art shows of the week.

Monday, October 27–Sunday, November 2

Duane Hanson, Security Guard, 1990

Duane Hanson, Security Guard, 1990 Robert McKeever

Duane Hanson

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Often lumped in as part of the 1960s–1970s Photorealism movement, Duane Hanson's figurative sculptures went way beyond the snapshot verisimilitude practiced by painters associated with the movement. His works, whose subjects were mostly ordinary, even schlubby, Americans, achieved a waxwork perfection so uncanny that it was easy to mistake them for living human beings. Custodians, construction workers and tourists in loud Hawaiian shirts were all given the Hanson treatment. The show at Gagosian's funky storefront venue on the Upper East Side consists of a lone sculpture of a security guard with eyes gazing at the floor in a somewhat dejected expression. Together, object and space create an urban purgatory amidst the tony precincts of Park Avenue.

  1. Gagosian Gallery Park & 75 821 Park Ave, at 75th St, 10021
  2. Thu Oct 30 - Wed Dec 3
More info
Jean Dubuffet, Wall with Inscriptions (Mur aux inscriptions), 1945

Jean Dubuffet, Wall with Inscriptions (Mur aux inscriptions), 1945 Kate Keller

"Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

MoMA reflects on a crucial period for Dubuffet (1901–1985) which spanned the early 1940s to the mid-1960s. During that time, he introduced such radical innovations as mixing sand, gravel and other foreign materials into paint to create thick, roughened textures that enhanced the brutal expressionism of his figurative and abstract work. The examples here are drawn from MoMA's extensive Dubuffet holdings and included prints, drawing and collages in addition to paintings.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Until Thu Mar 5
More info
Hans Haacke, The Business Behind Art Knows the Art of the Koch Brothers, 2014, detail

Hans Haacke, The Business Behind Art Knows the Art of the Koch Brothers, 2014, detail Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery

Hans Haacke

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Born in Cologne, Hans Haacke became a fixture of New York's Postminimalist/Conceptualist scene, emerging in the early 1960s with works that examined ephemeral phenomena like water condensation, or the effects of a fan on a balloon. He was interested in systems, not only natural but social, which led to his turning sharply political in the late 1960s, when he began to question the relationship between art and art institutions and the powerful moneyed elites who supported both. As a result, he became one of the pioneers of Institutional Critique. This show presents works spanning his 50-year career.

  1. Paula Cooper Gallery 521 W 21st St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Until Sat Nov 22
More info
Tommy Hartung, The Bible, 2014, video still

Tommy Hartung, The Bible, 2014, video still Courtesy On Stellar Rays

Tommy Hartung, The Bible

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Hartung's video based on the titular text is a surreal, sci-fi mélange of news footage and handmade sets populated by dolls, mannequins and all manner of detritus, which together are used to recast biblical stories through current events.

  1. On Stellar Rays 1 Rivington St, at Bowery
  2. Wed Oct 29 - Sun Nov 30
More info
Francesco Vezzoli, True Colors (A Marble Relief Head of a Goddess, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D.), 2014

Francesco Vezzoli, True Colors (A Marble Relief Head of a Goddess, Roman Imperial, circa 1st Century A.D.), 2014 Courtesy Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Private Collection

Francesco Vezzoli, "Teatro Romano"

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The sculptural aesthetics of both the Renaissance and Neo-Classical art were in large measure inspired by a fallacy: that statues from ancient Greece and Rome were crafted in dazzlingly white marble. That much is true, for the most part. However, both the Greeks and Romans polychromed finished statuary for a more realistic effect, using natural skin and hair tones along with more vivid colors for details such as clothing. Working with archaeologists, conservators and specialists, Vezzoli, an Italian artist whose work often touches upon the subjects of beauty and glamour, has restored a series of Roman busts to their condition when initially created in the 1st and 2nd centuries—bringing, essentially, the lifelike back to life.

  1. MoMA PS1 22-25 Jackson Ave, at 46th Ave
  2. Thu Oct 30 - Sun Mar 8
More info

Users say

Jeff W
Jeff W

Cocktail gallery reception in Tribeca tonight for my work..for those interested.