Our editors and writers scour the city each week for the most thoughtful, relevant and exciting new exhibitions and artworks on view at galleries, museums and public venues across all five boroughs of New York. This week we recommend:
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And
Until 18 July at the Brooklyn Museum
At 86-years-old, the US artist Lorraine O’Grady is receiving her first major museum retrospective, which represents four decades of the artist’s work. O’Grady began making art in her mid-40s, and her multimedia practice—which spans performance, collage, video, and more—is a beacon of rigorously honed cultural and institutional critique, that remains both fiercely smart and full of play and ebullience. O’Grady’s most well-known project is her Art Is... intervention from 1983, where she took gold frames to a parade in Harlem and encouraged pedestrians to pose within them to see themselves as works of art. It has been referenced frequently throughout pop culture in recent years, from presidential campaigns to the Met Gala. The retrospective hosts new work by the artist as well as diving deep into her oeuvre, showing work and ephemera from a number of her series including the Mlle Bourgeoise Noire trilogy and Miscegenated Family Album.
Christian Lemmerz: The Last of Us
Until 27 June at the Faurschou Foundation, 148 Green Street, Brooklyn
The second exhibition of the Faurschou Foundation’s sprawling New York outpost is a solo presentation by the German artist Christian Lemmerz, who has populated one room of the building with a series of arresting marble sculptures that coalesce Classical and Digital Age elements. Lemmerz produced the phantasmagoric sculptures using an innovative technique that involves 3D scanning of human models in movement, digital manipulation and machine drilling. The visceral works aim to “redefine the potential of the ancient material of marble”, which is “no longer a pure and timeless material, having been contaminated with and through art history, kitsch and myth”, the artist says. The foundation, a 12,000 sq ft space in the otherwise art-starved Green Point neighbourhood in Brooklyn, is an enterprise the Danish collector Jens Farschou launched in 2019 and complements spaces in Beijing and Copenhagen, as well as a biannual pop-up space in Venice.
Carol Bove: The Séances Aren’t Helping
Until November at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan
The Brooklyn-based artist Carol Bove says she had to consider “every inch” of the Met’s architecture, even as she realised she would have to challenge its Beaux-Art forms, when she was commissioned to create its second annual façade commission, which was unveiled earlier this week after a months-long postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The four colossal sculptures, made of sandblasted, crumpled stainless steel tubes with reflective aluminum disks, are “kind of impolite” but also “very respectful”, she said in a previous interview. Evoking Modernist styles like Abstraction and Art Deco, the sculptures’ varying orientations within the four niches yield a rhythmic pattern that invites the viewer to reflect on the building’s design and how tradition can be rethought and subverted. Bove says the title was spurred by the idea that “an architectural revival is like séance because it’s a bringing back to life”, but that “it’s not meant to be literal—it’s about engaging with the past, and it’s about a sort of frustration with it”.