There is never a shortage of art to see in New York City — the challenge is finding the time to see it all. In an effort to help you whittle down your list of exhibitions to see in the first few months of 2020, we’ve rounded up the shows our arts-obsessed editors can’t stop talking about.
Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection
Jan. 24. to Sept. 13
The Brooklyn Museum is staging a follow-up to its 2019 exhibition “Half the Picture,” which culled pieces from the institution’s vast collection according to how the works confronted gender, race and class inequalities. “Out of Place” follows a similar framework, teasing out connections between feminist media from a variety of art movements and mediums that may have eluded the previous exhibition.
The show is organized around three themes: the role of museums and galleries in providing — and withholding — a platform for feminist art; work made outside the mainstream art world; and a focus on the domestic sphere and art hierarchies. More than 40 artists will be featured in the show, including Joan Snyder, Louise Bourgeois and Emmi Whitehorse.
Other Points of View
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
Feb. 8 to May 17
This exhibition functions as both a tribute to and an exploration of View magazine. From 1940 to 1947, the art and literary publication produced in-depth and eccentric coverage of the avant-garde and surrealist movements. While many of its contributors are remembered as luminaries in their fields (William Carlos Williams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Henry Miller and Marshall McLuhan, to name a few), this show attempts to highlight the forgotten artists whose work disappeared from mainstream retellings of its history, such as Eugene Berman, Morris Hirshfield and Wilfredo Lam.
Viewers can peruse magazine covers, poetry, other writings, visual art and more from the publication’s fleeting yet influential presence on the literary scene.
José Parlá: It’s Yours
Feb. 26 to Aug. 16
Parlá began his career painting on walls as a child in Miami, a habit that may not have endeared him to his parents, but nonetheless helped provide a foundation for his abstract and gestural paintings.
“It’s Yours,” which marks the artist’s first solo exhibition, is a deeply political show. Through a series of pieces, the artist lambasts the redlining policies and waves of displacement imposed by gentrification and structural racism while raising questions about ownership of New York City’s changing landscape.
New-York Historical Society
Feb. 28 through Aug. 30
How have women organized to fight for their rights and the rights of others? To commemorate the centennial of women’s suffrage, the New-York Historical Society is hosting an in-depth retrospective that focuses on collective action and the many different ways women have leveraged community to propel social causes forward, starting with the 19th Amendment.
Sure to be a joy for policy wonks and history buffs, the show makes use of video, photography and other archival materials to highlight how women have triumphed in securing necessary freedoms, while also underscoring the injustices women still struggle against.
Studio 54: Night Magic
March 13 through July 5
Try as nightclub promoters might, there is no replacing or replicating Studio 54. The legendary venue rose to prominence amid a nationwide Civil Rights movement and in an area of the city where low rents attracted makers and creators of all types. Behind the velvet rope, it was a place where people from different sexual, political and financial classes commingled freely and without inhibition — or at least, that’s its reputation in the American imagination.
This show (our second pick from the Brooklyn institution) focuses on the aesthetics of the nightclub scene, while also contextualizing the venue’s success with the sociopolitical realities of New York City. Organized chronologically, the show traces Studio 54’s opening in 1977 and follows the story through to the nightclub’s closing just 33 months later, with a look at its enduring influence in popular culture today.
Making the Met, 1870-2020
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
March 30 to Aug. 2
The famed upper east side institution celebrates its 150th birthday this year. Aside from a number of events to celebrate the occasion, the Met is hosting a long-running exhibition that looks inward, mining the museum’s past and pulling out artifacts from significant moments and transformational milestones. More than 250 pieces of art will be shown as part of this effort, all of which attempt to tell a story about the museum and the artists who have been fortunate enough to find their work in its hallowed halls.
Top Image: "Grand Concourse and 149th Street," Courtesy of Bronx Museum and José Parlá