Beyond the Armory Show, Independent 20th Century, and other art fairs taking place this week in New York, the city’s top institutions have turned their galleries over to a range of historical and contemporary exhibitions of note. Below is a list of five must-see museum exhibitions currently on view across the city.
“Africa Fashion” at the Brooklyn Museum
With more than 300 works of fashion, visual art, and music from the 1950s through the present, this exhibition highlights the importance of a cultural renaissance that has taken place across Africa since the mid-20th century. “Africa Fashion” is organized in seven parts exploring the work of more than 40 artists and designers from 20 African countries who have contributed to this revolution. It is on view through October 22.
Lauren Halsey at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Lauren Halsey’s site-specific installation commissioned for the Met’s roof explores connections between the iconography and infrastructure of ancient Egypt and those of the artist’s hometown, Los Angeles. In a behind-the-scenes interview with the Met, Halsey, said, “I get to build the worlds I wish I lived in, to create new opportunities that are about uplift, that are about togetherness.” Halsey has expanded on this to create a prototype installation for “producing a temple on a main boulevard in Los Angeles.” Visitors are encouraged to traverse the structure through October 22.
Ilana Savdie at the Whitney Museum
“In the studio, I’m an exposed nervous system,” Ilana Savdie explained in an interview with ARTnews. Mulling a United States that recently saw Roe v. Wade get overturned and anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation get passed, Savdie captures a pervasive feeling of collective dread and anxiety through her vibrant mixed-medium paintings and black-and-white drawings. In that same interview, she said she sought to envision “a very tumultuous way of existing.” Her Whitney solo show, titled “Radical Contractions,” is on view through October 29.
“Only the Young” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim
Billed as the first North American museum exhibition dedicated to Korean experimental art, “Only the Young” features 80 works from South Korea made during the 1960s and ’70s. In seeking something new, the artists who produced these works grappled with the aftermath of a recent war and new forms of liberty. The exhibition’s avant-garde performances, installations, photography, and videos do not aspire to a single aesthetic; they collectively attest to a burst of creativity. The exhibition is on view through January 7.
Ed Ruscha at the Museum of Modern Art
Ever since the late 1950s, when he began producing small collages composed of words and images that he drew from advertisements, Ed Ruscha has exhibited a sense of humor quite unlike anyone else’s. His funny, monumental oeuvre of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, artist’s books, and installations is now being given the MoMA retrospective treatment. The show, titled “ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN”, is on view in New York through January 13 before it travels to LACMA in Los Angeles, the city where Ruscha has long been based.