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Art Exhibitions

Art Exhibitions in New York: What’s on?

Discover what's going on in New York's art scene with our guide to the city's top art exhibitions and find out more about the best of contemporary American art.

By Tim Halliday | 17 May 2021

New York City has long had a reputation for being the artistic capital of the United States, with world-class galleries such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim dominating the scene. For fans of everything from photography to sculpture, NYC has it all.

Whether you’re a native New Yorker trying to get to know your city better or a visitor who wants to experience the city’s creative scene, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite exhibitions showing today. Remember that New York is a busy place, so if there’s an exhibition that catches your eye you should book in advance to avoid disappointment. 

 

Group Show – UNRAVELED: Confronting the Fabric of Fiber Art (The Untitled Space)

Image courtesy of Orly Corgan and Untitled Space Gallery

The Untitled Space may have been founded only recently in 2015, but it is known for exhibiting some of the best emerging and established contemporary artists in New York today. They focus on intriguing concepts and pushing boundaries, with all kinds of mediums featuring in their shows, from printmaking to painting.

UNRAVELED showcases a range of different fibre and textile artworks from female-identifying artists. Using this traditionally feminine medium, artists present figurative and abstract pieces that challenge patriarchal ideas and explore diverse themes such as race, religion, gender and sexuality. The exhibition is deeply political in nature and a must-see for anyone looking to understand the psyche of the New York art scene today.

 

Yayoi Kusama – Cosmic Nature (New York Botanical Garden)

Image courtesy of Yayoi Kusama and Colossal

If you’re looking for an outdoor space to safely enjoy artworks, then the New York Botanical Garden is the perfect setting to do just that. Located in the Bronx Park, the gardens are best known for their large greenhouses and impressive array of plant life, but they also put on a variety of different educational and cultural events.

Yayoi Kusama is one of the world’s most famous artists. She gained fame for her uniquely surreal style characterised by vibrant colours and polka dot patterns, which she says are an exploration of her struggles with mental health and a means of coping with trauma. 

Kusama’s Cosmic Nature exhibition is one of her best yet, inspired by her lifelong fascination with the natural world and plants. Wander through the gardens and take in the weird and wonderful world of Kusama, with giant pumpkins sitting inside greenhouses and giant, octopus-like structures that dominate the lawns outside.

 

KAWS – What Party (Brooklyn Museum)

Image courtesy of KAWS and The Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn has emerged as one of the most exciting areas of New York City, and all types of creatives from visual artists to musicians have recently flocked there. The Brooklyn Museum is the area’s most important cultural institution, and the third largest museum in New York City, where you’ll find everything from historical artefacts to contemporary art.

No artist would be better suited to a show at The Brooklyn Museum than KAWS. KAWS moved to New York City in the 1990s to explore his passion for street art and graffiti, and nowadays lives and works from Brooklyn. His art embodies everything that Brooklyn is about, taking a cool sense of street style and mixing it with elements of popular culture and commerce.

The What Party exhibition is the artist’s first major New York survey, and a great opportunity to see rarely seen works ranging from graffiti drawings to paintings and furniture. You might have spotted his cartoonlike characters dotted around the city, known as “Companions”, and sculptures of these also feature in the exhibition. The exhibition is both vibrant and thought-provoking, raising questions about individuals and relationships within a consumer society.

Don’t miss out on these exhibitions and book ahead to avoid disappointment! In the meantime, if you’re looking to discover new artists online or to purchase artworks, make sure to take a look at our collection. Use the search filters to narrow down according to style, medium, price, and more.

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