The top 12 art shows in NYC this fall

Looking for the top art shows in NYC this fall? You can find them on our list of fall exhibitions at New York museums.
Photograph: © Yasumasa Morimura
By Howard Halle |

Things always get a little sleepy in New York’s art world during the summer, when museum exhibitions enter their final months, and galleries go on break in August. All of that changes, of course, shortly after Labor Day, when the city’s art scene comes roaring back to life with new shows. This fall is no exception, with exciting offerings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Guggenheim and other places. To find out more, check out our picks for the 12 must-see art exhibits in New York City this fall.

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Top art shows in NYC this fall by date

Rendering for “Arlene Shechet, Full Steam Ahead”
Photograph: © Madison Square Park Conservancy
Art, Contemporary art

“Arlene Shechet: Full Steam Ahead”

icon-location-pin Madison Square Park, Flatiron

For this outdoor installation, the artist is arraying a series of quirky abstract sculptures in porcelain, wood and cast iron around Madison Square Park’s central fountain, which has been drained for the occasion. The installation’s title is taken from a famous order given by Admiral David Farragut, whose statue stands nearby, at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. When his squadron began to withdraw after one of its ships was sunk, he ordered it to reverse course and charge the harbor. “Damn the torpedoes,” he said, using period nomenclature for mines, “full speed ahead!”

Bruce Nauman, Human Nature/Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Know, 1983
Photograph: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art, Contemporary art

“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

icon-location-pin Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West

Both MoMA and its Queens satellite devote space to this unpacking of the work of Bruce Nauman in the biggest retrospective of his career. A Conceptual Art pioneer who led the development of practices such as performance, video and installation art during the 1960s and ’70s, Nauman emphasized process over product, pushing the boundaries of the artist’s role while aggressively interrogating the human condition with pieces that were noted for their piquant psychological insights.

Rochelle Feinstein, Love Vibe, 1999-2014
Photograph: © Adam Reich, courtesy the Artist and Stellar Projects
Art, Contemporary art

“Rochelle Feinstein: Image of an Image”

icon-location-pin Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Bronx

As an art professor at Yale between 1994 and 2018, Feinstein nurtured the talents some of the most familiar names in contemporary art today. Now it’s her turn to shine in this retrospective of her socially-charged abstract paintings.

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych, 1962
Photograph: Tate, London, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art, Contemporary art

“Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again”

icon-location-pin Whitney Museum of American Art, Meatpacking District

In a certain sense, this retrospective of the career of Andy Warhol (1928–1987) is somewhat redundant. After all, if you want to see his work, just look around you: Warhol anticipated our free-market cultural landscape of short attention spans and narcissistic social media engagements. But he also represented a classic example of American self-invention, going from a skinny, nerdy kid from Pittsburgh to the world’s most famous artist. This show, the first major Warhol survey since 1989, takes the measure of his achievements.

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