This is an incredibly busy weekend for art-lovers in New York City. Not only do we have a great collection of gallery shows going on, but we also have the famous Armory Show in town. If you can only choose one of these, make it The Armory Show, but the others are a must-see as well this Spring.
City as Canvas
I have always been a huge fan of street art, and New York City is filled with some of the best. If you’re like me, and you’re still bemoaning the death of the Five Pointz art collective, then this may be the best place to get your new fix. The City as Canvas exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York features 150 graffiti art pieces by collector Martin Wong. This includes works by the likes of Keith Haring, Lee Quinones, LADY PINK, and FUTURA 2000. Wong’s incredible collection is basically a time capsule to graffiti’s early days in NYC. It includes both original works and photographs of graffiti that has since been erased.
NYC graffiti art has always been transient- it disappears and then reappears in new shapes, colors, and images. Martin Wong did a great service however by keeping these pieces for permanent display, allowing us all to enjoy them as he once did.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10029
Exhibit until Aug. 24
Michel Majerus is an artist whose work resembles graffiti, but who is considered to be more Pop Art and Minimalist. Nevertheless this new exhibit of his work at Matthew Marks Gallery is an impressive trove. A large selection of small-canvas works adorns the gallery walls with a certain eye-catching pop and color.
Majerus, a Berlin-based artist, died tragically in a plane crash in 2002. This will be the first exhibit of his work in the United States since his death.
The exhibit will include over 25 paintings and multimedia installations. Often compared to Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat, Majerus’ work takes pop culture images/brands and reworks them into something completely new. Even when he uses reoccurring images, Majerus still manages to make each piece unique and intriguing. The works in this exhibit are great to examine up close, but also to step back and take in as a whole.
Matthew Marks Gallery
522, 526, and 502 W. 22nd St.
New York, NY 10011
Exhibit until April 19
The Armory Show
How could I discuss art in NYC without mentioning The Armory Show? This staple of the NYC spring art scene has been around for 100 years already. Running until Sunday only at Piers 92 and 94, this is something you really should not miss. Hundreds of galleries representing hundreds of artists will be showcasing their collections here. The art ranges in both historic and modern pieces, meaning there will be something to interest everyone.
There are multiple other art fairs occurring in the area as well- but the admittance fees are extra. While The Armory is the centerpiece of the weekend, the other fairs may be worth checking out as well if you have the time. The experience of immersing yourself in the “art world”- with buyers, collectors, and artists, for just one day is bound to give you a certain thrill you won’t find anywhere else.
The Armory Show
Piers 92 and 94 (12th Ave. and 55th St.)
New York, NY 10019
Show until March 9