Whitney Biennial 2022
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York

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

Shaye Weaver
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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 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.

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The best art shows and exhibits in NYC

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If you have ever wanted to get inside an artist's head and understand where they were coming from, "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" will be the closest thing you'll experience to that. This major exhibition at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea has an advantage that many other shows do not have—it was organized and curated by Basquiat's family (with famed architect David Adjaye and design firm Pentagram), who have done a painstaking job of showing both the famous artist's intimate side and his genius. The exhibit, which features more than 200 rarely seen works, isn't merely Basquiat's work hung on walls, it immerses viewers in creatively designed spaces to give a sense of place and context.

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The Whitney Biennial has been a long time coming. Originally meant to open in 2021, the 80th edition combines three years of planning as well as 63 artists and collectives to present an event that has been described as both "dynamic" and timely by its curators. "Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept" is broken up into two experiences on the fifth and sixth floors of the Meatpacking District building. Each one presents a completely different atmosphere—on the sixth floor is a cavernous, labyrinth-like gallery, and on the fifth floor is an open and airy room where works are displayed together. The exhibition mimics the range of emotions we felt during the past two years, from fear and pain to joy and hope, and everything in between. Artworks—even walls—will change and performance will "animate" the galleries and objects. The changing nature of the exhibition reflects these uncertain times.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is back with part two of this year’s flagship exhibition “In America” with “An Anthology of Fashion,” and the new iteration of the show is an even more expansive look at what has defined American fashion over the years. It is a visually splendid tour through hundreds of years of this country’s history told through clothes designed and worn by its citizens. Building on last year’s spartan, intellectually rigorous presentation of garments categorized by the expression of various themes, this year’s show explodes across most of the American Wing of the museum.

Looking for more art exhibits?

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The best art walks in NYC
The best art walks in NYC

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