Art venues across the country have shut down because of the coronavirus and that includes all of New York City's museums. But the thing about works of art is that while you can never duplicate the experience of standing in front of one, they travel well online. Which is why museums both here and elsewhere are providing virtual tours of their collections. The same is true of some contemporary art spaces.
NYC galleries are now creating online viewing rooms that either explore current shows in greater depth, or offer specially curated presentations that are web-only. Artists and critics are also starting to self-organize, mounting online showcases that are unaffiliated with any specific gallery. Want to know more? Here are some examples of this trend you can check out now.
Zwirner is one of the biggest players in the art world, so it's no surprise that they have the resource to go all-in online, with a viewing room that is the virtual equivalent of museum-quality. Posted are videos and images with wall label style annotations. Check out its current offering, "James Welling, Pathological Color," which features the artist’s psychedelic photos inspired by the ’60s counterculture.
This mega-space is right behind Zwirner in offering museum-quality experiences online, including a presentation of watercolors by veteran color field painter and lyrical abstractionist, Sam Gilliam
Gagosian Gallery has 18 (!) locations around the world, and their online viewing room allows a virtual visit to every one of them that's hosting a current exhibition. At the moment, you'll find shows that are in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris and Rome.
The New Museum's site features digital art created specifically for the web. Right now you'll find a browser-base game that takes you into a "labyrinthine world populated by iconic female characters from video game history," and also, a PSA on the evils of capitalism starring the Night King from Game of Thrones.
One of the art world's go-to websites for news and auctions, Artsy also features curated online viewing rooms. Currently, Artsy is saluting Women's History Month with a series of shows of women artists selected by other, better established, female artists.
Curated by writer Barbara Pollack and curator, writer and artist agent Anne Verhallen, How Can We Think of Art at a Time Like This? calls itself "an exhibition without walls" and a "platform for free expression during a time of crisis." While the work on view—by artists such as Zhao Zhao, Kathe Burkhart and Judith Bernstein—doesn't specifically address coronavirus, it does offer piquant social commentary that plays into the cultural changes being wrought by the pandemic.