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New Museum

The Best 25 Shows of 2015

by The AFC Staff on December 31, 2015
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2015 was great for art. For all the bitching that went on about art fairs, the dominance of the market, and sub-par museum shows (cough, cough Björk), I saw more great shows than I have in my ten years working as a critic in New York. Rather than try to whittle our picks down to a few select shows, we wrote up every show we thought was truly exemplary.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Spooooky Edition

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 26, 2015
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Halloween is here! The art world’s favorite holiday. If you aren’t busy working on a last minute costume, head to American Medium Tuesday night to see AFC’s friend Brenna Murphy and pick up her new book, Domain~Lattice. Wednesday night, go to the New Museum’s insanely fun Halloween party.  Then on Thursday, head to Bortolami, where Tom Burr’s installations and photographs serve as a haunted house channeling the ghosts of Chelsea’s gayer, sleazier past. But really, the scariest thing in New York City this week is the NSFW flyer for Nolan Hendrickson’s Halloween, uh, opening at Ramiken Crucible. 

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This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Superstar Pee

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on October 5, 2015
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Plan to spend at least part of your time at major exhibition openings in New York this week. This Wednesday the New Museum opens their Jim Shaw exhibition, an artist who has been referred to as the posterboy for “junk shop sublime”. (He incorporates a lot of second hand work into his sculptures and installations.) Come Sunday the quinquennial survey show everyone loves to hate—Greater New York—opens at MoMA PS1. No artist list has been released, but we’re sure this show will be better than the last if for no other reason than the bar was set so low. Critic Christian Viveros-Faune, when complaining of the pains the 2010 show took to be politically correct hilariously concluded, “No matter—black Jesus floating down from on high with a strap-on would not improve this disaster of an assembly one iota.” We’re hoping an artist has made that work for this exhibition.

The rest of the week’s events include a talk by artist, writer, lawyer and teacher Sergio Munoz Sarmiento which will focus on property through the lens of the law and art and Taner Ceylan’s opening of hyper-realistic borderline gay porn paintings. The most promising opening, though, is a solo show of work by Brigid Berlin, a Warhol Superstar who once boasted about a daily routine that involved throwing her coat off on the floor, dropping her pants and pissing. Can’t wait to see what’s in that show!

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This Week’s Must-see Art Events: Bask in the Obscure

by Michael Anthony Farley on August 31, 2015
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Skip the blockbuster museum shows and blue chip galleries; what makes New York so great is access to the under-exposed. Tonight, hear a lecture at Asia Art Archive in America about the little-known influence of Seattle modernists on the career of art star Yayoi Kusama. Tuesday, go check out poetry and art at Outlet—part of an exhibition I’m convinced is on the cutting edge of a sea change regarding artists’ relationship with place. Wednesday, traverse a secret garden for a chance to see a performance by Otion Front Studio artist in residence La Martelle, which will be performed for just two groups of twelve people at a time. Thursday, go play a quick game of basketball with the New Art Dealers Association. Then, head to Rhizome for a lecture about the emerging ontology of digital painting or hop on the F train to check out off-the-beaten-path art spaces in DUMBO’s First Thursday Gallery Walk. Friday night, head to Tender Trap in Greenpoint, where bi-coastal gallery Superchief is throwing a pop-up exhibition of Penelope Gazin’s trippy horror-pop illustrations. And Saturday, load up on affordable multiples and zines from DIY presses from across the East Coast at The Silent Barn. Some of the most talented young artists aren’t Instagram celebrities, they’re distributing their work with Xerox machines and silk screens.

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At NEW INC Demo Day 2015, a Cheery Future for Art and Tech

by Corinna Kirsch on July 22, 2015
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When art mingles with tech, there can be a rush to mass-market artsy/techy products; in the early days of new tech, those products can sound terribly goofy, and they often aim at self-improvement. Take, for example, from 1969, artist Thomas Tadlock’s “Archetron,” a color synthesizer that turned black-and-white signals on a TV into colorful psychedelic imagery. It ended up being sold as a “prophecy, meditation, and healing machine” at a new age center in New York. That product never really caught on; and we tend to remember Tadlock more for his art contribution than a commercial one.

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Islamic State and the Reinvention of Iconoclasm

by Corinna Kirsch on June 1, 2015
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Art gives power to the already-powerful. But when the powerful are dethroned, their art usually comes tumbling down with them. That’s political iconoclasm: the destruction of statues, monuments, and images by those newly in power. Out with the old, in with the new.

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