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, May 2–Sunday, May 8
Created in the mid-1990s, Kelley's shaped paintings marked the artist ’s return to the medium after a prolonged spell of focusing on performance and installation art. They also coincided with his magnum opus of the period: A sprawling tabletop sculpture titled Educational Complex. An agglomeration of architectural models representing each of the schools Kelley had attended, the piece explored of the social and psychological constraints imposed by formal training, especially in the field of art. Indeed, as a student, Kelley had to reckon with the reality of radical styles like Abstract Expressionism being imposed as academic canon. As he himself put it, “My education must have been a form of mental abuse, of brainwashing.” The work here delves into some of the same issues, particularly in a series of ovals in which Kelley deconstructs various modernist tropes—such as Hans Hofmann’s “push-pull” theory of color—by filtering them through images culled for childhood memory.Read more
Controversy has sometimes dogged the work of this Romanian sculptor and installation artist. She caused a stir, for example, with a life cast of herself naked, except for sneakers, sprawled on the floor like a dead body at a crime scene crushed underneath an unseen weight. The figure was also covered in white, waxy blobs—a reference to bukkake porn that was unmistakable. Ursuta’s work often deals marginalized groups—women, minorities, refugees—and the relatively low value placed on their lives by society at large. Dark irony and a taste for the abject are hallmarks of her art.Read more
The Whitney combs through its collection for this look at one of art history’s oldest genres with a selection of works spanning the first half of the 20th-century to today.Read more
A full-scale vintage camping trailer serves as a theater for a puppet show featuring marionettes performing an opera and/or otherwise acting out different scenes—including a rather self-reflexive one of puppet-maker in his workshop. Viewers can walk around the vehicle, taking in the various tableaux playing out through the windows. Taken as a whole, the work offers a sort of outdoor expedition through the uncanny valley.Read more
The third exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative series, this show surveys some of the trends in contemporary art in Middle East and North Africa, as well as the work of artists from those regions who are now scattered around the world. On tap are installations, photographs, sculptures, videos and works on paper from a broad range of artists whose works ofter reflect the conflicts of the region.Read more