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Spring is on the horizon, and we are loving the art exhibitions on view in the city now. From a gallery in Chelsea to the city’s top museums, venues across Manhattan are showcasing groundbreaking art. Here’s what to see.
New York’s image has changed considerably since the heydey of the East Village art scene, but the impact of that scene still resonates today. The difference is now the artists, curators and performers who worked there have graduated from dingy basements to the hallowed halls of MoMA. In this exhibit, luminaries such as Keith Herring, Ann Magnuson, and Klaus Nomi speak to us from the legendary Club 57, showing off the kitschy, raw, and effortlessly provocative art that once existed only at the fringe of the art world. The show pays special attention to the interdisciplinary nature of art created in Club 57, showcasing paintings and zines, video shorts and street flyers. Get full details here.
11 W. 53rd St.
Through April 1
In this exhibition of Vietnamese-Danish artist Danh Vo, the Guggenheim presents an all-too-timely meditation on identity, borders, migration and nationhood. Vo sees the United States from the outside, presenting us an image of ourselves that is simultaneously new and familiar. He shares intimate family heirlooms, letters home, and other personal ephemera that would seem to have no meaning to others. Recontextualized inside one of the greatest museums in the world, these quotidian objects take on the power to tell us about the world we live in, a world defined by shifting power and populations — but also by the beauty of art and human connection. Full details here.
1071 5th Ave
Through May 9
This new exhibit at the Met Breuer—the modern art annex of the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art — is centered on the larger-than-life (and slightly terrifying) painting for which Leon Golub is most famous: Gigantomachy II. Like Picasso’s Guernica for the modern age, this monumental painting encapsulates the dehumanizing horrors of war. The exhibit demonstrates Golub’s tendencies—unique to masters of late 20th-century art — toward expressionism, figures, and themes of human rights. The early paintings and works on paper that round out the exhibit use historical people and events to explore these themes. The expert curation at the Met Breuer means that these historic examples speak to the present day in surprising and insightful ways. Get full details here.
945 Madison Ave
Through May 27
The art critic David Rubin once famously said that Ellsworth Kelly was “a color painter who considers black and white to be colors.” FLAG Art Foundation, which has become a mainstay among the ever-more-competitive Chelsea gallery scene, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a show that puts Kelly’s alarmingly monochromatic color-play on full display. Kelly’s huge canvases have become go-to examples of postmodern abstraction, and this exhibit doubles down on those themes, showing viewers how Kelly experimented and evolved across his career. The exhibit includes never-before-seen paintings, sketches, photography, and sculptures inspired by the artist’s upstate home and his trips to the shores of France. Find more info here.
545 West 25th Street
Tel (212) 206-0220
Through May 29