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Art Break: Must-sees at New York City’s New Museum, Eldridge Street and a ‘Fine, Bright Day’ at The LGBT Center

New York City's New Museum of Contemporary Art

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, June 18, 2018

This week, Art Break shines the spotlight on the must-sees at New York Citys New Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Bowery. Since its founding in 1977, the institution has given New Yorkers a front row seat to the international contemporary art scene, applying postmodern and critical theory analysis to exhibitions, and producing a wide range of educational programs for all to access. Their summer shows, featuring the work of John Akomfrah and Thomas Bayrle, reflect this mission. These two artists put ideas about history and social forces at the center of their art, making an interesting dialog engaging the visitor. Never dull, always challenging, the New Museum is the place to go if you want to see what art can do today.


New York City's New Museum of Contemporary Art

John Akomfrah: The Unfinished Conversation (2012); three channel video installation, 7.1 sound; 45 minutes 48 seconds;  © Smoking Dogs Films;  courtesy Lisson Gallery / New Museum.

New Museum: John Akomfrah: Signs of Empire (June 20 – September 2) and Thomas Bayrle: Playtime (June 20 – September 2) are two shows this summer that are a must-see. John Akomfrah is a British artist, born in Ghana, who has explored the history and experience of the African diaspora. In the 1980s he made a series of films with Black Audio Film Collective, challenging and educating the public about the history of Black Britons. Thomas Bayrle is a German artist deeply influenced by the cross pollination of cultural/religious/political events, seeing patterns and connections most could not. Much of the work looks very much like digital imagery, except it was all done by hand at the time.

New York City's New Museum of Contemporary Art

Thomas Bayrle: Tassenfrau (Milchkaffee) [Cup Woman (White Coffee)], 1967; silkscreen print on plastic, 77 1/8 x 55 1/8 in (196 x 140 cm); photo: Wolfgang Günzel; courtesy of New Museum.

New Museum of Contemporary Art
235 Bowery
Hours: Tues – Wed: 11-6, Thur: 11-9, Fri – Sun: 11-6
Admission: Adults: $18, Seniors: $15, Visitors with disabilities (accompanying care partner receives free admission): $15, Students with current id: $12, Children 15-18 years of age: Free, Children 14 and under (accompanied by an adult): Free, Members: Free. On Thursday evenings from 7 pm – 9 pm, admission is pay-what-you-wish (suggested admission is $2)


New York City's New Museum of Contemporary Art

Raul Guerrero: Pre-Columbian Lovers (1985); oil on canvas; 56.5 x 35 inches (143.5 x 89 cm)​; courtesy of artist / Ortuzar Projects.

Ortuzar Projects: Raul Guerrero (June 21 – July 27) is a California-based artist with a strong interest in exploring his Mexican-American identity. He has worked in just about every medium an artist can use, and this rare East Coast show is sure to be fascinating.

New York City's New Museum of Contemporary Art

Raul Guerrero: The Rotating Yaqui Mask (1973); motorized mask rotating at 15 rpm, foot pedal 18 x 20 x 15 inches (45.7 x 50.8 x 38.1 cm); courtesy of the artist / Ortuzar Projects.

Ortuzar Projects
9 White Street
Hours: Tues – Sat: 10-6
Admission: Free


Museum at Eldridge Street

Kiki Smith: Homecoming; courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street.

Two shows that caught our attention this week feature women artists working within restricted frameworks to produce innovative results. Below the Horizon: Kiki Smith at the Museum at Eldridge Street (April 12 – October 10, 2018) is a collection of 50 artworks complimenting Smith’s 2010 commission for the stained-glass window. Using all three floors of the museum for display, the vibrant pieces honor the history of the building and its congregation, while being contemporary in outlook.

Museum at Eldridge Street

View of interior of Museum at Eldridge Street; photo: Peter Aaron.

Museum at Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge Street
Hours: Sun – Thur: 10-5, Fri: 10-3
Admission: Adults: $14, Seniors and students with current id: $10, Children 5-17 years of age: $8, Children under 5 years of age: Free, Members: Free. On Mondays during opening hours, admission is pay-what-you-wish


Staten Island Historical Society

E. Alice Austin: Mrs. Snively, Julie & I in Bed; glass plate negative; August 29, 1890; courtesy of Staten Island Historical Society / The Center

Alice Austen: Fine, Bright Day at The Center (May 15 – August 31) is a selection of images from the Alice Austen House, located in Staten Island. Austen was a pioneering female photographer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, documenting the lives of the rich and poor in New York City. She was also a lesbian and lived openly with her partner, Gertrude Tate, at a time when such relationships rarely received support or approval. The exhibit at The Center celebrates this groundbreaking New Yorker as part of their mission to empower the LGBT community. To learn more about Alice Austen House click here.

Staten Island Historical Society

E. Alice Austen: Trude & I Masked, Short Skirts; glass plate negative; August 6, 1891; courtesy of Staten Island Historical Society / The Center

The Center
208 West 13th Street
Hours: Mon – Sat: 9 am-10 pm, Sun: 9 am-9 pm
Admission: Free

Alice Austen House
2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island (directions here)
Hours: Tues – Fri: 1-5, Sat – Sun: 11-5
Admission: Suggested admission is $5, all proceeds go towards upkeep of the museum

Staten Island Historical Society

E. Alice Austen: The Darned Club; glass plate negative; October 29, 1891; courtesy of Staten Island Historical Society / The Center.

Click here for ZEALnyc’s complete list of New York City art and museum exhibitions and shows.

Click here for the latest news in New York City art, museums and galleries.


Cover: Thomas Bayrle: ‘American Dream’ (1970); silkscreen print on paper, 16 1/2 x 31 1/8 in (42 x 79 cm); edition of 25; photo: Wolfgang Günzel; courtesy of New Museum.


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