Gallery Shows

Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition – MoMA

This fall, MoMA presents Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition (October 30, 2022 – March 4, 2023), an exhibition featuring over 180 pieces from a career spanning 50 years, employing a wide range of styles, techniques, and mediums. Best known in art history for two small Surrealist sculptures created in 1936: Object (“Breakfast in fur”) and “My nurse”, Oppenheim could have easily continued to do similar work, but chose to be independent of labels and movements in order to have artistic freedom. In fact, her only consistency was her omnivorous intellect, expressing itself through paintings, sculptures made and altered with found objects, and performance art, on subjects ranging from self-identity and gender issues to mythology and the natural world.

MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, Hours: Sun – Fri: 10:30-5:30, Sat: 10:30-7, Admission: Adults: $25, Seniors 65+ (with valid ID): $18, Visitors with disabilities: $18 (accompanying caregivers receive free admission), Full-time Students (with valid ID): $14, Children 16 years of age and under: Free, Members: Free. On the first Friday of the month, from 4-8 pm, admission is free for NYC residents. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT FACIAL MASKS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED WHILE VISITING THE MUSEUM, REGARDLESS OF VISITOR VACCINATION STATUS.

Threads of Power: Lace from the Textilmuseum St. Gallen – Bard Graduate Center

The unusual versatility of lace takes center stage at Threads of Power: Lace from the Textilmuseum St. Gallen (September 16, 2022 – January 1, 2023), with samples from the 16th to 21st centuries on display, along with historical background, fabricating equipment, and patterns to give a well-rounded picture of this enduring textile. Mainly crafted by women of various backgrounds and status, lace was worn by royalty, nobility, and the wealthy, in addition to decorating ecclesiastical garments and objects. Even today, people from all walks of life find it fascinating, admiring both the design and effect it produces when used in garments and accessories. The curatorial team of Emma Cormack, associate curator, Bard Graduate Center; Ilona Kos, curator, Textilmuseum St. Gallen; and Michele Majer, assistant professor, Bard Graduate Center, have done a magnificent job of selecting examples and providing detailed explanations on creation, historical context, and social meaning behind the textiles. In addition, the BGC website has an outstanding online version of the exhibition, with images and interactive features that can be used before or while visiting the show.

PLEASE BE ADVISED OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY TO BGC: Full vaccination plus booster (if eligible) is required to enter the building. Please be prepared to show proof of vaccination when requested. Masks are to be worn at all times while in the building. Capacity for entry is strictly limited via timed ticketing and social distancing is required.

Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Street, Hours: Wed: 11-8, Thur – Sun: 11-5, Admission: Adults: $15, Seniors and Students (with valid ID): $12, complimentary admission for people with disabilities and their caregivers.

Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorbikes and Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue – Poster House

This fall, Poster House presents two exhibits with radically different approaches to challenging the status quo of their accidental and intended audiences, while also being powerful graphic statements worthy of attention.

In Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorbikes (September 9, 2022 – February 12, 2023), posters are torn, redefined with superimposed imagery and language, reassembled, painted over, fragmented, blurred, and altered in ways that change both the original intention of the advertisement as well as the viewer’s perception of it. The result is not just street art but a refined and thoughtful set of responses to consumerism, marketing, and societal changes (or lack thereof). Curator RJ Rushmore’s selections are shown to great effect by the exhibition design team of Ola Baldych and Mihoshi Fukushima Clark, who give the wide variety of images enough space to be appreciated. In addition, the wall labels strike the perfect balance of context and meaning for each work, as well as providing background information on the artists, something many visitors will find helpful as they navigate the show.

The downstairs gallery of the museum features Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue (September 9, 2022 – February 12, 2023), a charmingly presented exhibit on one of international advertising’s most successful mascots. The cheeky joy of ‘the Rogue’ or the Maharaja as he came to be known, is as much due to the roly-poly shaping of his figure as it was to the brilliant silliness of the character’s shenanigans across the globe. Rescuing an Australian mermaid from rough surf, admiring can-can dancers in Paris, dressing as a Playboy Bunny serving drinks to nightclub patrons – there was no end to his adventures or the visual cultural references of various countries that Air-India’s graphic design team could insert him into. Curators Carly Johnson, Sophia Williamson, and Sanjay Kapoor have gathered a wonderful variety of original posters as well as their art references, along with information on the Maharaja’s impact in India’s advertising culture, tourism industry, and even international relations. The colorful backdrops and stunning wall collage design for the entrance area of the show is the work of exhibition design team Ola Baldych and Mihoshi Fukushima Clark and matches the cheerful energy of the Maharaja to perfection.

Poster House, 119 West 23rd Street (between 6th and 7th Aves), Hours: Thurs – Sun: 10-6, Admission: Adults: $12, Students and Educators (w/ valid ID): $8, Veterans: $8, Seniors 60 years and older: $8, Visitors w/ disabilities: $8 (accompanying caregivers receive free admission), Children under 18 years of age: Free, Members: Free. On Fridays, admission to the museum is free for the entire day.


Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle – Museum of Arts and Design

Spectacular may be too mild a description of Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle (September 10, 2022 – February 19, 2023), an exhibition that celebrates the multi-faceted designer and performance artist. Known for his design work for drag queens, dancers, and Taylor Mac, whose musical extravaganza, Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (2016), used his costuming to great effect, Machine Dazzle’s creations pull triple duty as stage props, set design, and embracing the kaleidoscope qualities of queer maximalism aesthetic. Along with garments, the exhibit immerses visitors in Machine Dazzle’s cultural influences, designs, ephemera, material samples, performances, photography, and video. The result is a bewildering, stunning whirlwind of high/low culture, colors, shapes, and textures celebrating a glorious variety of bodies, identities, and ideas with joy and love.

Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, Hours: Tue – Sun: 10-6, Admission: General admission: $18, Seniors (65 years and older): $14, Students (with valid id): $12, Children (18 years and younger): Free, Members: Free. Tickets may be purchased in advance here, walk-ins are welcome. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT FACIAL MASKS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED WHILE VISITING THE MUSEUM, REGARDLESS OF VISITOR VACCINATION STATUS.

Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic – The Museum at FIT

More than any other wardrobe item, shoes have a mystique and meaning that go beyond their basic function. Think of certain fairy tales, portraits of historical figures, modern celebrities – all of them use the visual power of footwear to advance their agendas and set themselves apart from others. Cinderella’s glass slippers aren’t just custom-made: they act as the equivalent of an AirTag for the prince to find her after the ball, while the embroidered satin shoes of Louis XIV emphasize his status as king by being completely impractical for walking anywhere but the marble corridors of power, Lady Gaga wearing her Pleaser heels/platforms that literally raise her above any crowd of superstars; all prove that one of the best ways to be noticed and remembered is to pay attention to your footwear. Not convinced? Then head on over to The Museum at FIT to see their latest exhibit Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic (September 1 – December 31, 2022), a stunning collection that touches on three concepts where design and storytelling merge to create iconic brands and looks that define eras, individuals, and fashion styles. The context of certain shapes and materials has also changed over time, moving some footwear into mainstream fashion, creating less demand for more traditional shoes while encouraging the desirability, fantasy, or magical imaginings by the consumer. The result is a thought-provoking examination of shoes as object, psychological motivation, and social signifier.

The Museum at FIT, 227 West 27th Street, Hours: Wed – Fri: 12-8, Sat – Sun: 10-5, Admission: Free. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN IN THE BUILDING AND EXHIBTION SPACES. Proof of vaccination is no longer required for entry.

Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars – NYPL for the Performing Arts

The latest offering from the New York Public Library exhibition program is Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars (June 9, 2022 – March 4, 2023), based on the extensive collection of the Lou Reed Archive donated in 2017.

This deep dive into the life and career of Reed, a founder of The Velvet Underground as well as the author of the classic rock songs ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and ‘Perfect Day’, is curated by Don Fleming (archivist for the Lou Reed Archive) and Jason Stern (Technical Director and Archivist for Lou Reed during his lifetime). Their selections of audio and video material, memorabilia, photographs, and writings are fascinating, illustrating his collaborations, friendships, and creative process for both his music and writing.

The imaginative exhibition design from the Performing Arts Museum staff uses the gallery space with flair, and although crammed with material, it never feels too crowded. The Lou Reed Listening Room and content design was done by Raj Patel at Arup, providing visitors with a comprehensive audio selection of Reed’s work and influences. The exhibition site also provides information on a ‘Listen Like Lou’ playlist on Spotify, a reading list, and a link to the Lou Reed Archive.

NYPL for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (face the opera house, then walk to the right, library is located at end of plaza area) or 111 Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets, Hours: Mon – Sat: 10:30-6, Admission: Free. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT FACIAL MASKS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED WHILE VISITING THE GALLERY, REGARDLESS OF VISITOR VACCINATION STATUS.