With New York's art scene being so prominent yet ever changing, you'll want to be sure to catch significant shows. Time Out New York rounds up the top five art exhibitions of the week, from offerings at the best photography and art galleries in NYC to shows at renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim.
Monday, July 18–Sunday, July 24
Never-seen photos from the first seven years of Arbus’s career have been collected for this show, featuring more than 100 images by one of photography’s most iconic and provocative figures. Though Arbus (1923–71) began taking photos around 1941, she did so intermittently until 1956, when she began to pursue her craft in earnest, and her style shifted from taking images of the on-the-fly encounters with individuals to creating penetrating psychological portraits of subjects who were knowing participants in the process. The period also represents half of Arbus’s total output before her death. Taken in such locations such as Times Square the Lower East Side and Coney Island, and left undiscovered until years after she died, these images demonstrate that Arbus’s vision was unique even early on.
Diane Arbus, Taxicab driver at the wheel with two passengers, N.Y.C. 1956
Photograph: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Miriam’s semi-abstract, broadly brushed nudes twist this way and that, following their own logic of proportionality with body parts shifting in scale from one part of the painting to the next. They’re enigmatic but also share too much of themselves, as if Miriam were updating the odalisque for the social media age.
Jay Miriam, Sweeping the Broom Closet, 2016
Photograph: Courtesy the aritst
From a distance you might mistake Benning’s colorful cartoon primitive paintings for quilts, as her images are rendered on wood panels incised in areas of shallow relief that conform to the contours of the works’ pictorial elements. Spread out over two galleries (one in midtown, the other on the lower east side), Benning’s figures, landscapes and quasi-abstract compositions, are imbued with an aggressively off-kilter whimsy that feels vaguely disquieting.
Sadie Benning, Mayflower Now, 2015
Photograph: Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery and Callicoon Fine Arts
Using a figurative style that recalls a mix of Chicago’s Hairy Who and Basil Wolverton’s cartoons for Mad Magazine, Monaghan cracks wise on the vicissitudes of life in a way that is as madcap as it is bleakly absurd. His latest paintings deliver more of the same.
Keegan Monaghan, Security, 2016
Photograph: Courtesy On Stellar Rays
At first blush, White’s atmospheric paintings—draped with multi-colored fishnets and embellished with rail-cloud icons of the type you’d find on your smartphone (along with eight-byte valentine hears and other other, more obscure images)—appear to be a pure product of Los Angeles. But White is Connecticut native and her show (which includes sculpture) is really about an elusive California dream of skateboard and surf culture as imagined by someone from outside the West Coast. That distance is measured in the exhibit’s title, which isn’t a reference to the actual NoCal paradise, but to a skateboard company located there.
Wendy White, Pleasure!, 2016
Photograph: Jenny Gorman