One of my multiple New Year’s resolutions this year is to see more artwork in New York City. I want to go to more gallery shows and museums, and in a city like this, there’s really no end to the opportunities. To start the New Year off right, here are some of the best shows happening right now:
Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution
This is a not-to-miss show. The New York Historical Society is revisiting the famous 1913 Armory Show, aka the International Exhibition of Modern Art. This was one of the American public’s first introductions to European avant-garde art, heralding major cultural and social changes in the U.S.
There will be major works by Duchamp, Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh on display here, totaling about 100 works from the original show. It’s a pretty incredible collection, and the exhibit does a great job showing the immense impact these works had on the U.S.
The one setback to this wonderful opportunity is timed ticketing. In order to see the exhibit, visitors must buy advanced tickets for specific time slots up to 30 days in advance. So while you can’t drop in whenever, the exhibit is still worth finding the time for.
New York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Exhibit until Feb. 23
Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China
Ink Art is an exploration of China’s historic use of ink in painting and calligraphy. Displaying modern ink art, from the 1980s to the present, the exhibit shows how contemporary Chinese artists have transformed ink work in a new era.
The exhibit also shows how traditional ink art continues to influence modern expressions. This is typical of Chinese culture- where old customs are reinterpreted for cultural renewal.
Ink Art features a diversity of mediums, including painting, calligraphy, photographs, woodblock prints, video and sculpture. In all there are about 70 works by 35 artists. While I am not particularly familiar with Chinese art and culture, this exhibit is a great insight into one important slice of the pie.
It is worth noting there are multiple Ai WeiWei pieces on display here as well. That alone should be a motivation to go see this.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10028
(212) 535- 7710
Exhibit until April 6
I’m a big fan of fashion exhibits- especially ones with historical costumes. This really exciting show at FIT examines fashion trends throughout history and where those trends originated. Displaying 100 objects from the museum’s permanent collection, the show looks at fashion trends from the past 250 years. Inspirations for the trends include urban street style, art, music, film, and socio-political movements.
The trends are really diverse spanning through the decades, and you can see many original designs from people like Dior and Chanel. The designs are incredibly beautiful and inspiring themselves, and you will walk away from this exhibit with a desire to learn much more about fashion history.
From the FIT website: “Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier aptly points out that ‘designers are the catalysts of their time; their role is to translate the changes, the mutations, the evolution of society.’ As culture continues to evolve, so, too, do trends in fashion.”
Fashion Institute of Technology
7th Ave. at 27th St.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 217- 4558
Exhibit until April 30