City Guides

New York's Must-See Exhibitions: Downtown

Downtown Manhattan

VIEW OF DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN FROM THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, PHOTO FROM PEXELS

This month, be sure to make time for a number of highly celebrated shows throughout Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. Here are our picks for what to see, when to go, and what to do from Chelsea to the Bowery.


Zoe Leonard: Survey at The Whitney Museum of American Art

Zoe Leonard, Niagara Falls no. 4

ZOE LEONARD, NIAGARA FALLS NO. 4, 1986/1991, GELATIN SILVER PRINT, 37 3/4 X 25 5/8 IN.

Zoe Leonard’s keen observations of daily life exude from work charged in questions of vision and form. The Whitney presents the first large-scale survey of the New York-based artist’s work. Zoe Leonard: Survey explores themes of gender, sexuality, loss, migration, displacement and the urban landscape through photography, sculpture and installation.

Insider Tip: With the days getting longer, take advantage of the weather and connect to/from the Armory Show via the High Line which runs from the Whitney Museum of American Art to Hudson Yards, passing through Chelsea, a neighborhood rich in accessible restaurants and contemporary art galleries.

The High Line

THE HIGH LINE CHELSEA, FLICKR, PHOTO TAKEN BY ELVERT BARNES


Chitra Ganesh at the Rubin Museum of Art

Chitra Ganesh, Dakini Eclipse

CHITRA GANESH, DAKINI ECLIPSE, 2018, MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER, COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh responds to the Rubin Museum’s year-long program The Future is Fluid with her collection of film, animation, drawings and collages. Exhibited in disparate and seemingly incongruent spaces within the museum of Tibetan and Buddhist art, the contemporary work juxtaposed with classical Tibetan and Himalayan thankas is a feast for the senses. In the 2nd and 3rd floor galleries, five large-scale animations from Ganesh’s new series The Scorpion Gesture build on the artist’s longstanding investigation of South Asian mythology, imagery, and narrative, while her series of works on paper - Face of the Future - in the theatre reconsider how visual languages of science fiction and fantasy multiply through global popular culture.

Insider Tip: Interested in the Performing Arts? Check out the Joyce Theater next door; the Theatre is responsible for staging some of the most progressive and renowned modern dance works in the city.


Alexandra Pirici: Co-Natural at the New Museum

Alexandra Pirici, Aggregate

ALEXANDRA PIRICI, AGGREGATE, 2017

PHOTO BY ADRIAN PARVUESCU

Alexandra Pirici’s new project for the New Museum takes the form of an ongoing action with live performers and a holographic image. With Co-natural, the Bucharest-born artist uses in-situ performance and choreography to define bodily presence in both real and virtual space, focusing in particular on its growing dispersion.

Insider Tip: Need to refuel before the next stop? Check out Freemans, between Bowery and Chrystie Streets. This hidden-away spot located at the end of a brick alley was designed as a clandestine colonial American Tavern but don’t fret, the food is delicious and the vibe is very homey.

David Bowie is at the Brooklyn Museum

David Bowie

PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE ALBUM COVER SHOOT FOR ALADDIN SANE, 1973.

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN DUFFY. PHOTO DUFFY © DUFFY ARCHIVE & THE DAVID BOWIE ARCHIVE

The acclaimed exhibition of the life and work of the late British artist David Bowie, whose impressive art collection was sold last year at Sotheby’s London, has arrived on US shores at the Brooklyn Museum after a major global tour over the last five years. With 400 objects drawn primarily from the David Bowie Archive including the artist’s original performance costumes, handwritten lyric sheets, original album artwork, photographs and music videos, David Bowie is provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive into Bowie’s artistic journey.

Insider Tip: With the winter weather unrelenting, escape the cold in the indoor tropical gardens of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, only a few blocks away from the Brooklyn Museum. Open year-round, the Botanic Garden nurtures over 18,000 species of plants from all over the world each season. Be sure to mark your weekend calendars for the upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri, at the end of April. With over 60 events and performances to celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual festival is a great reason to revist the neighborhood.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN, PHOTO FROM NYCGO

Edmund Clark: The Day the Music Died at the International Center of Photography

Edmund Clark, Child's bedroom in home of former Guantanamo detainee

EDMUND CLARK, CHILD'S BEDROOM IN HOME OF FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEE

FROM THE SERIES GUANTANAMO: IF THE LIGHT GOES OUT, 2009, © EDMUND CLARK

The award-winning British photographer Edmund Clark’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States is on view at the International Center of Photography with photographs, videos and installation works from Clark’s extensive research at Guantanamo Bay. The probing investigation of measures taken by the United States following 9/11 is still timely, many years on.

Insider Tip: Only a short walk away, the Grey Art Gallery at NYU presents the extraordinary drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, in the exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Featuring approximately 80 of Cajal's drawings, these astonishing depictions of the brain are still in wide use within the scientific community today.

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