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The best free art exhibitions in NYC

Discover New York City’s top free art exhibitions and gallery shows in our roundup of critic’s picks

Photograph: Luca-Mercedes Stemer, courtesy Austrian Cultural Forum

Looking for some free art, culture vultures? Thought so. Which is why we found a bunch of gratis art shows at galleries and museums in NYC that won’t cost you a cent. Visit well-known institutions like the Pace Gallery and David Zwirner and still have money in your pocket for lunch at one of the best restaurants in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to free things to do in NYC

Best free art exhibitions in NYC

James Gregory Atkinson, Hypersensitive (Blowing things out of proportion) III, 2018
Photograph: Courtesy the artist and Lubov Gallery
Art, Contemporary art

Riley Hanson and James Gregory Atkinson, “Rawr means I love you in dinosaur”

icon-location-pin Lubov, Two Bridges

Every generation has a subculture it can feel embarrassed about, whether it’s hippies or punks, or, as the case of millennials, those emo kids who used to mope in the back of the class during the 1980s and ’90s. This two-person showcase, featuring Philly painter Riley Hanson, and Frankfurt, Germany based multimedia artist James Gregory Atkinson, evokes the era of sackcloth and eyeliner with Hanson portraits of period scenesters and Atkinson’s closeup photos of teary eyes wearing “novelty” contact lenses.

Simone Leigh, Brick House, 2019
Photograph: Timothy Schenck, courtesy the High Line
Art, Outdoor art

Simone Leigh, “Brick House”

icon-location-pin High Line Plinth, Upper West Side

Simone Leigh’s 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a black woman takes its title from the 1977 Motown hit by the Commodores, and portrays its subject as a monumental head crowned by an Afro atop a domed-shaped body resembling a hut. With Brick House, Leigh salutes the strength and fortitude of women in the African Diaspora.

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