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Photograph: © Gerhard Richter 2019, courtesy Museum Ludwig, Cologne

The best art shows and exhibits in NYC

Check out our suggestions for the best art exhibitions you don’t want to miss, including recently opened shows and more

By Howard Halle
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With New York’s art scene being so prominent yet ever changing, you’ll want to be sure to catch significant exhibitions. Time Out New York rounds up the the best art shows and exhibits in NYC, 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.

RECOMMENDED: The best museums in NYC

The best art shows and exhibits in NYC

Rachel Feinstein, Icicles, 2018
Rachel Feinstein, Icicles, 2018
Photograph: Jeff McLane, © Rachel Feinstein

1. “Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone”

Art Contemporary art

The female figure and its place in art history, religion, fantasy and fairy tales is the primary focus of Rachel Feinstein’s hybrids of painting and three-dimensional form. The feminist undercurrent in her work is given a flamboyant spin with style cues taken from Baroque art, kitsch, and other styles that lean in on theatricality or sentimentality.

Amy Sillman, The Shape of Shape, 2019
Amy Sillman, The Shape of Shape, 2019
Photograph: Heidi Bohnenkamp, © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art

2. “Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape”

Art Contemporary art

On view are 75 works from MoMA’s collection chosen by the painter Amy Sillman to elucidate the role of shape in the creation of art. Jasper Johns, Kiki Smith and Marcel Duchamp are among the names included in this selection, which is presented in a kind of modified salon-style installation.

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Jordan Casteel, Fallou, 2018
Jordan Casteel, Fallou, 2018
Photograph: Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York

3. “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach”

Art Contemporary art

The figurative painter’s first solo museum exhibition in New York City showcases the indelible sense of presence she imbues to subjects who are often overlooked in life.

Megalith, Kaolack region, Senegal, 8th–9th century
Megalith, Kaolack region, Senegal, 8th–9th century
Photograph: Antoine Tempé, courtesy Musée de l’Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire, Dakar, Senegal

4. “Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara”

Art Arts centers

Encompassing modern day Senegal, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, the African region known as the western Sahel lies just south of the Saharan Desert, and it was there that a succession of mighty empires rose and fell between the Second and 19th centuries. Made wealthy and powerful by a network of trade routes that ran through the area, these dominions developed a rich visual culture which is now being given a showcase in this selection of 200 objects that includes sculptures in wood, stone, fired clay, and bronze; objects in gold and cast metal; woven and dyed textiles; and illuminated manuscripts.

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Kenneth Noland Trans Shift, 1964
Kenneth Noland Trans Shift, 1964
Photograph: © 2019 The Kenneth Noland Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

5. “The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting”

Art Painting Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side

By the late 1950s Abstract Expressionism had run its course, while its core tenet—that painting through gestural brushwork constituted a kind of existential theater with the artist as star—had hardened into orthodoxy. Representational styles like Pop Art emerged in reaction, but there remained a group of painters committed to abstraction who looked for a fresh approach. They found it through an emphasis on color achieved by soaking thinned pigments into the canvas instead of slathering it on the surface. Variously called Lyrical Expressionism or Color Field painting, the style was championed by New York art critic Clement Greenberg (whose previous writings on Pollock, De Kooning, et al. were instrumental in boosting AbEx) though its impact was largely confined the early 1960s. This exhibition revisits that period with works by key figures of the time such as and Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski.

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