5 Art Shows Not to Miss in New York

Courtesy of Swiss Institute

Your weekend plans for the next few weeks.

Despite the ascendance of L.A.’s art scene, New York is still the acknowledged center of the fine art world. The Hollywood Reporter has tagged a few soon-to-close spring exhibitions in the Big Apple right now that aficionados would be remiss to miss.

"Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact"

See It Before: April 10

Where: Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave.

Why: Because curator Robert Rubin has placed artifacts from Hollywood history (such as a pressbook for 1969’s The Wild Bunch and the set design blueprints for the Bates Motel sign from 1970’s Psycho) next to work by contemporary artists that deal with classic film in some way. These include a life-sized sculpture of director Melvin Van Peebles by Isaac Julien and "Godfather Viewing Station" by Tom Sachs, which is a sculpture with a TV inside made for doing just that, done in the artist’s signature humorously shambolic handcrafted manner.

Hollywood Ties: Contemporary works that reference film meet actual archival pieces from film productions. Plus, the show’s title, "Walkers," refers to the moniker for the zombies on The Walking Dead.

Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin

See It Before: April 16

Where: Andrea Rosen Gallery, 525 W 24th St.

Why: Because Fitch/Trecartin is one of the most important duos in contemporary art today, having created works for the 55th Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, and the Whitney. This, their first solo show at Andrea Rosen in New York, is composed of several sculptural environments in which to view their high-energy video work.

Hollywood Ties: Actresses Alia Shawkat, Jena Malone, Nathalie Love and Aubrey Plaza have made appearances in Fitch/Trecartin films, which are in the collections of most major American museums, including LACMA, MOCA, the Guggenheim and the Whitney.

Barkley L. Hendricks

See It Before: April 23

Where: Jack Shainman Gallery, 524 W 24th St.

Why: Because Hendricks has been making masterful portraits of black figures since the 1960s. He’s a legend at this point, and his new works are worth a look — particularly the painting of the man in the pink suit in front of a pink backdrop.

Hollywood Ties: Hendricks’ work has been spotted on Fox’s musical drama, Empire, along with other black artists like Mickalene Thomas, Kerry James Marshall and Kehinde Wiley.

Laura Poitras, "Astro Noise"

See It Before: May 1

Where: Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevort St.

Why: Because Poitras’ work is always important. "Astro Noise" is no different. Taking the title from which Edward Snowden gave to an encrypted file that contained the evidence of NSA mass surveillance, the show expands Poitras’ oeuvre from documentary filmmaking into installation work and immersive environments. Poitras’ artworks — mainly using video as a structure — tackle heavy subjects like national security, drone strikes and torture.

Hollywood Ties: Poitras won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Citizenfour, about Snowden’s initial leak, in 2015.


See It Before: May 19

Where: Swiss Institute, 18 Wooster St.

Why: Because each piece in the show deals with mass media in some way. For instance, artist Mel Chin formed a collective called the Gala Committee whose main goal was to place works of contemporary art on the set of Melrose Place (1992-99) as it aired. The resulting video, called "In the Name of the Place," is a cut of all the paintings and sculptures they were able to get into the show as props over a two-year period. It’s mind-boggling and hilarious, and the work often bent the dialogue of the show in weird and wonderful ways. Other artists in the exhibition — including Alex Israel, Cindy Sherman, Casey Jane Ellison and Jamian Juliano-Villani — deal with everything from sci-fi to soap operas to porn in an equally compelling way.

Hollywood Ties: Apart from Melrose Place, the pieces in the show include material sourced from a wide breadth of films and TV shows, including The Maltese Falcon (1941), Torn Curtain (1966), Teorema (1968), Xanadu (1980), 9 1⁄2 Weeks (1986), The Princess Diaries (2001), The Twilight Zone (1959-64) and The X-Files (1993-2002).