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.
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The best art shows and exhibits in NYC
Born in 1961 with Downs Syndrome, self-taught artist Walter Mika has been producing his drawings (one each day) since 2002, when he enrolled at Pure Vision Arts, a program providing studio and exhibition space for the developmentally disabled. Inspired by cartoons and comic books, Mika works with oil pastels on large sheers of paper, filling his compositions almost to the edges with primitivistic figures whose full frontal impact recall Willem De Kooning’s Abstract Expressionist paintings of women. Vigorous marks and toothsome grins create a creepy clown vibe, putting these characters on a spectrum between cuteness and mania.
By his own admission, this Canadian-born, L.A. artist is a failed rock star, which is just as well, since his collaged send-ups of existential angst always make inventive use of trash and trash-cultural references. Here, he populates paint-splattered, glitter-bombed canvases with refuse, including upside track paints brought to life with the help of cue-balls shoved into their pockets to create glowering “eyes.” The show’s title “Waiting for the Next Nirvana,” conveys a plaintive middle-age complaint: “Why hasn’t there been any decent music since Kurt Cobain died?” The pants certainly seem pissed about it.
An Italian artist originally associated with the avant-garde Arte Povera movement of the 1960s and ’70s, Salvo started out by making conceptual art, but switched to painting around 1973—a move initially inspired by the Old Masters. This show focuses on the enigmatic landscapes and city scenes that he did during the ’80s. Painted in colors that seem simultaneously acid and pastel, Salvo’s vistas manage to be both intense and subdued.
Cut down in his prime, Noah Davis was only 32 when he died of cancer in 2015, but he left behind a significant body of figurative paintings. Employing soft sensuous brushwork, Davis portrays African-Americans engaged in daily routines—slices of the everyday that seem dream-like or trapped in limbo. Quiet yet also vaguely ominous, Davis’s work takes an understated approach to capturing the insidious presence of racism in the lives of ordinary black people.
All-over painting, 21st-century-style, is Jackie Saccoccio’s métier, and her latest efforts don’t disappoint. Her canvases are bold, vibrant and imposing, and are made by repeatedly turning or rotating the canvas while the colors are still wet. Layers of paint drip down and crisscross, as if applied by Jackson Pollock in slow motion. This two-venue exhibition is titled “Femme Brut,” an allusion to “Art Brut,” a termed coined by the postwar French painter Jean Dubuffet to describe outsider art, whose practitioners are driven by unbridled energy. The said could be said of Saccoccio, who calls her work “abstraction at full throttle.” Jackie Saccoccio, “Femme Brut” is also on view at
Van Doren Waxter, Jan 22–Mar 14