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, December 15–Sunday, December 21

Yasumasa Morimura, Las Meninas renacen de noche V: Drawn by a distant light, awaken to the darkness, 2013

Yasumasa Morimura, Las Meninas renacen de noche V: Drawn by a distant light, awaken to the darkness, 2013 © Yasumasa Morimura

Yasumasa Morimura, "Las Meninas Renacen de Noche (Las Meninas Reborn in the Night)"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Morimura has been referred to as the Cindy Sherman of Japan, going so far as to pose as one of Sherman's signature photographs. But there are differences between the two, beyond the obvious one that Morimura creates his work as a man dressed as a woman. Sherman is interested in female stereotypes; Morimura is fascinated by art-historical and pop-cultural icons. This show deals with the former in a new series of photos based on Velázquez's 1656 masterpiece, Las Meninas, which depicts the artist in his studio limning himself within a group portrait of the Spanish royal family posing before a gigantic mirror. In his version, Morimura impersonates Velázquez and other subjects in the painting, while the studio gives way to the actual Prado gallery housing Velázquez's canvas. Morimura thus transforms the Spanish Old Master's perceptual challenge—of creating a scene that's not the image itself but its reflection—into a disquisition on identity and the way drag acts as a mirror of society.

  1. Luhring Augustine 531 W 24th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Sat Dec 13 - Sat Jan 24
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Amy Sillman, Still Life 2, 2014

Amy Sillman, Still Life 2, 2014 John Berens; courtesy the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.; New York; © 2014 Amy Sillman

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

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Though tedious arguments persist that painting is dead, the medium has been happily thriving where it counts most: in the hands of artists. But while there's plenty of painting around to compete with the installation and conceptualist fare stuffing galleries these days, many contemporary painters have either internalized the painting-is-dead position in some way or rely on installation strategies to contextualize their work. Sometimes they do both. Also, thanks to the demise of the avant-garde, contemporary painting drives backward more than forward, because the latter gear no longer exists; mixing and matching historical styles has come to dominate the medium. Nevertheless, there's still a lot to enjoy, as MoMA sets out to prove in this roundup of 17 recent artists representing the panoply of millennial painting.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sun Dec 14 - Thu Mar 5
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Michael Wang, detail from Rivals, 2014

Michael Wang, detail from Rivals, 2014 Charles Benton; Courtesy the artist and Foxy Production

Michael Wang, Rivals

  • Critics choice
  • Free

You might describe Wang's installation as a shopping mall of corporate capitalism. A series of shelves filled with consumer goods creates a face-off between competing products (e.g., Coke versus Pepsi; Nike versus Adidas). They’re for sale, and if purchased, Wang will be paid in shares from the relevant company's stock—upwardly valuing the items, as it were, through the mechanism of the art market before investing the profits back into the concerns that created them.

  1. Andrea Rosen Gallery 544 W 24th St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
  2. Sat Dec 13 - Sat Jan 24
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Attributed to John Scholl, The Wedding of the Turtle Doves, 1907-15

Attributed to John Scholl, The Wedding of the Turtle Doves, 1907-15 Courtesy the Barbara L. Gordon Collection

"A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America"

  • Free

The museum gathers selections from the Barbara L. Gordon Collection of folk art for this presentation of superb works—stilllifes, landscapes, allegorical and portrait paintings, and one-of-a-kind examples of homemade commercial art—created in rural regions of New England, the Midwest and the South between 1800 and 1920.

  1. American Folk Art Museum 2 Lincoln Sq, Columbus Ave, at 66th St
  2. Sun Dec 14 - Sun Mar 8
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Tom Sachs, I.S.S., 2013

Tom Sachs, I.S.S., 2013 Courtesy the artist and Salon 94

Tom Sachs, "Chawan"

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Fans of the artist may recall that his immersive, NASA-themed installation, Space Program: Mars, at the Park Avenue Armory in 2012, contained the accroutrements for a Japanese tea ceremony. Missing, however, was the traditional bowl used for the ritual, the chawan. The oversight is corrected in this show, which features the artist's versions of the cup in glazed English porcelain, branded with the NASA logo. Tea minus 10 seconds and counting, indeed.

  1. Salon 94 12 E 94th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves
  2. Until Fri Dec 19
More info

Users say

Jeff W
Jeff W

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