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Pantone Artechouse
Photograph: Courtesy ARTECHOUSE

11 must-see exhibitions we're looking forward to in 2022

2022's slate of exhibitions will feature famous artists, intriguing artifacts and immersive installations.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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The NYC art scene will see some pretty incredible exhibitions in 2022 at its best museums and event spaces, from an immersive exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat's work to the long-awaited Whitney Biennial.

No doubt, these will be some of the best exhibits and must-see attractions in NYC in the next year that you'll want to check out by yourself, with friends or family, or even if you're just visiting the city. 

Scroll down to read about 11 exhibitions we're most excited for in 2022.

RECOMMENDED: 22 things we're looking forward to in 2022

Exhibitions we're looking forward to in 2022

  • Art
  • Midtown West

Another multisensory experience is coming to The Shed from February 11 to April 17, 2022. "Tomás Saraceno: Particular Matter(s)" features a 95-foot-diameter installation commissioned for The Shed called "Free the Air: How to hear the universe in a spider/web, that will fill the soaring 17,000-square-foot McCourt space that will emit vibrations from the movement of particles in the air and a spider’s entangled webs. The music is performed by "arachnid players, spider diviners, and atmospheric and cosmic matters, captured via recording devices in collaboration with the Arachnophilia community and amplified in the installation."

A survey of the artist's work will also be found in The Shed’s Level 2 and Level 4 Galleries. Combined, the exhibition totals approximately 25,000 square feet. Through floating sculptures, interactive installations, and an artistic process that centers collaboration, Saraceno proposes a situated knowledge of climate justice informed by the various perspectives of human and nonhuman lifeforms that have been disregarded, such as the air, spiders and their webs, and communities impacted by inequitable environmental policies and practices.

"Close your eyes, cover your ears, and sense felt vibrations…Gravitational waves resounding the cosmic web, yet to be felt. Infinite sensing of the world, life-forms weave constellations."

  • Art
  • Gramercy

Get a glimpse inside New York photographer and director Jerry Schatzberg's studio from the 1960s, where he shot some extraordinary portraits of icons such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Sharon Tate, Catherine Deneuve and Carmen De Lavallade. The studio was set up in 1957 a few steps from Fotografiska at 333 Park Avenue South and became the setting for Schatzberg's playful portraiture that "betray his unquenchable, almost maniacal search for glamour, for glimmers that elevate the geniuses of his time out of their accomplishments and into a pictorially extraordinary ordinary."

Jerry Schatzberg, born in the Bronx, has had his work published in VOGUE, McCall’s, Esquire, Glamour, and LIFE magazines and he has photographed many of the leading artistic personalities of the 1960s including The Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, and Faye Dunaway. Schatzberg later started a career in filmmaking. In 1970, Schatzberg directed his first feature film Puzzle of a Downfall Child which starred his former girlfriend Faye Dunaway. Schatzberg continued to direct more than a dozen feature films, including The Panic in Needle Park in 1971 with Al Pacino, Scarecrow in 1973 with Gene Hackman and Pacino and No Small Affair in 1984 with Demi Moore.

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Whitney Biennial
Photograph: Courtesy Ben Gancsos

Whitney Biennial

One of New York’s biggest art events, the Whitney Biennial, generally takes place every two years but, after being postponed a year due to Covid, the massive cultural festival hasn’t taken place in the city since 2019. Now, America’s premier survey of contemporary art is coming back in a big way and will be held in the city’s Meatpacking District from April to August. The event also marks the 80th edition of the Biennial.

  • Art
  • Art

A new exhibition featuring 200 never-before-seen and rarely seen works by Jean-Michel Basquiat called “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure” is set to open in early Spring 2022 at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea. The exhibition will feature a wide range of mediums including paintings, drawings, multimedia, ephemera and artifacts to provide larger context to the work of one of the world’s most famous artists. Alongside that theme of a greater intimacy, the exhibition was actually conceived by the artist’s sisters Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux, who run The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat along with their stepmother Nora Fitzpatrick.

 

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This year's Pantone Color of the Year is Very Peri, which is blue with red undertones. The soft, almost purple-y color will show up next year across ad campaigns and in fashion, Pantone predicts. In fact, it'll be the subject of a new digital art show at Chelsea's ARTECHOUSE in the new year. The show will evoke the emotion and feel of the color and offer a customized cocktail menu from the gallery's newly opened XR Bar. We're excited to be awash in this calming color and see a new trippy art show to start our 2022 off right.

  • Art
  • Midtown West

After more than a two-year absence, the Met Gala returns in 2021 to celebrate the opening of the brand-new Costume Institute exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Once again, one of the best museums in NYC will be dedicating a new exhibition to delving into the larger social and aesthetic context of a singular fashion theme. This time around that theme is American fashion. However, there are a number of things about the exhibition that are quite different than past Costume Institute shows.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

The Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center is taking a "walk on the wild side" with the first large-scale exhibition featuring previously unseen and unheard work from Lou Reed’s archive. Opening on what would've been Reed's 80th birthday on March 2, 2022, "Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars" is a chance for fans to see how influential the musician was up close with never-before-displayed material across Reed’s creative life from his 1958 Freeport High School band, The Shades, to his final performances in 2013. Audio and video of performances and interviews, photographers’ original prints and contact sheets, handwritten lyrics, personal correspondence, studio notes, album proofs, press, tour posters and Reed’s personal book and record collections and even a selection of Reed’s guitars and stage equipment will be on display from the Lou Reed Archive as well as the newly acquired Salvatore Mercuri Velvet Underground Collection.

  • Art
  • Red Hook

Watch a newly commissioned video by Charles Atlas that was inspired by Pioneer Works’ space. Unified by a single musical score, the immersive multimedia work flickers across a 110-feet-wide by 34-feet-tall wall, simulating the ways in which neurons trigger thoughts within the human psyche. Pulling segments from his extensive archives, the exhibition will become the site of a dynamic roster of public programs while paying tribute to the artist’s five-decade career, which has defined and altered contemporary art’s relationship to video and performance.

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  • Art
  • Chelsea

Learn about the many ways that Tibetan Buddhist artworks and practices have served as roadmaps to well-being. This new exhibition juxtaposes objects from the Rubin Museum’s collection with stories from Himalayan Americans that show various ways these living traditions are transformed and adopted for today’s world, especially in times of crisis. Organized around the central themes of "prevent," "heal" and "longevity," over 25 objects from the Rubin Museum’s collection will highlight traditional and contemporary Himalayan practices—such as rituals, visualization techniques, physical exercises, prayers, meditation, and medicinal treatments—for healing physical, mental, and emotional ailments. Artworks will be paired with stories and ephemera from Himalayan Americans who will share their own experiences with healing, both spiritual and secular, over the last two years.

  • Art
  • Murray Hill

This will be the first major U.S. exhibition dedicated to the art of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543), who created captivating portraits of courtiers, merchants, scholars, and statesmen in Basel, Switzerland, and later in England and served as a court painter to King Henry VIII (1491–1547). The Morgan’s display will feature around 60 objects from over 20 lenders across the globe, including 31 paintings and drawings by Holbein himself. His work was detailed with inscriptions, insignia, and evocative attributes, conveying truthful likenesses but also celebrating the individuals’ identities, values, aspirations, and achievements. Exclusive to the Morgan’s exhibition is Sir Thomas More (1527)—one of the masterpieces of
Holbein’s first stay in England—depicting the philosopher, statesman and humanist at the height of his political career. More sat for Holbein shortly before he was promoted to Lord Chancellor, the highest-ranking office in Tudor England. Holbein presents his sitter as an authoritative statesman, prominently adorned with a golden chain of office.

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The Arts of Buddhism at The Brooklyn Museum
Photograph: courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

The Arts of Buddhism at The Brooklyn Museum

As of January 21, the Brooklyn Museum will have a new gallery dedicated to the Arts of Buddhism collection. It'll juxtapose artwork with nearly 70 objects from 14 countries dating from the second century C.E. to the early 2000s. Many of the works on display will be sculptural depictions of Buddhas and other enlightened figures, as well as ritual tools and ornaments made for use in Buddhist temples and a small selection of paintings. Among the objects newly on view are several of the Museum’s masterpieces, including a rare eighth-century image of the goddess Tara from Odisha, India; a Chinese silver reliquary dedicated by a Buddhist monk and his mother; and a gilt-bronze seated Buddha from southern China. There are also at least nineteen objects that have never before been on display at the museum. In addition, as part of the inaugural installation of the gallery, a pair of important Japanese mandala paintings, dating to the fourteenth century, will be on view for the first time in twenty-five years.

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