See this in Metro New York published March 14, 2014
Springtime in the art world means Blockbuster Group shows surveying artists from WWII to our present political era strife with international military conflicts. Group shows are an engaging way to experience history as multiple artistic minds coalesce to survey a wide spectrum of ideas during a distinct moment in time. Adding an informative layer to an aesthetic object transforms art into an archival marker that is both thought-provoking and exciting for the eye.
Group shows are concise visuals documenting how this past century has pushed boundaries in medium-diversity. Painting, sculpture, installation and new media all play equal roles in enlightening viewers so do not search for visual similarities between artists—common themes in group shows will be unifying historical contexts rather than artistic techniques.
What better way to document the times than through visual art that stimulates historical awareness through creativity. This springtime is the perfect chance to catch-up on the past while viewing world-renowned artists critiquing the social, political and economic factors defining our current epoch. Reading about history is one thing, but looking at provocative art transforms the past into a group experience—not to mention a visually stimulating one.
1. Whitney Biennial 2014 at The Whitney through May 25, 2014
The 2014 Whitney Biennial is a survey of over 100 international artists chronicling the vast contemporary art world today. Three curators from outside of the Whitney each oversee one floor of the museum creating a fun experiment documenting different viewpoints and distinct curatorial methodologies. Keep eyes peeled for German-born, L.A.-based ceramic-installation artist Sterling Ruby and Chicago-based artist Carol Jackson’s surreal mixed media sculptures.
2. Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937 at Neue Galerie through June 30, 2014
This major U.S. museum exhibition is devoted to the display of modern art by the Nazis in the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. The term “degenerate” was adopted by the National Socialist regime as part of its campaign against modern art—many works were seized from museums and private collections as artists fled to neutral territories for safety. On view are Expressionist masterpieces whose haunting paintings explore the traumatic psyche during this turbulent period.
3. Other Primary Structures and Mel Bochner: Strong Language at The Jewish Museum through August 3, 2014
The 1960s makes a comeback in two shows dedicated to this politically charged decade. Other Primary Structures revamps the Jewish Museum’s canonical 1966 exhibition of the same name to reexamine the heyday of Minimalist art through an international—versus a Eurocentric—lens. Text-based artist Mel Bochner receives a well deserved survey showcasing his provocative dematerialized art career that launched Conceptual art.
4. Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island May 9 – 12, 2014
Frieze mounts its annual New York art fair on Randall’s Island this year May 9-12 with over 190 international galleries participating and showcasing over 1,000 cutting-edge artists. This international fair—along with the curated projects, tours, education programs and VIP parties coinciding with this booming weekend—is the perfect chance to peruse world-renowned artists outside of the confines of a museum. Take the Frieze Bus or the Frieze Ferry to the Island and enjoy the springtime air while embarking on an al fresco day of contemporary art.
5. Group Show Cologne/New York 1984-1989 at David Zwirner Gallery May 7 – June 14, 2014
David Zwirner creatively curates a group exhibition geographically spanning two major art centers during the 1980s era of Neo-Expressionism. Check out sculptures by Jeff Koons and Robert Gober in style and attend the Gallery Opening—sipping champagne while viewing million dollar artworks ready for sale is as high-brow as NYC gets.