Here are some one-of-a-kind, eye-catching exhibits in the city that have recently opened and are featuring different, intriguing forms of art that you don’t usually see every day.
1) Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty
March 26–July 24
The Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St.
New York, NY 10019
Although Degas is well-known for his paintings of the ballet, this exhibit explores his work and experimentation in the mid-1870s with the monotype process, which involved drawing ink on a metal plate that was then run through a press producing a single print.
The display includes around 120 of Degas’ monotypes, which have scarcely been seen before. It will also include 60 paintings, drawings, pastels, sketchbooks and prints. These pieces, according to the museum’s website, “…show Degas at his most modern, capturing the spirit of urban life; depicting the body in new and daring ways; liberating mark-making from tradition; and boldly engaging the possibilities of abstraction.”
2) Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology
May 5-Aug. 14
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10028
If you’re into fashion, then this is right up your alley. The Costume Institutes’ spring 2016 exhibition will be shown in the Robert Lehman wing of the museum. This exhibit explores, through showcasing more than 150 costumes from the early 20th century to present-day, how designers of fashion are accepting the balance between the machine-made and handmade in producing haute couture (the creating of fashionable, high-end clothes by major fashion houses) and avant-garde ready-to-wear.
The exhibit will confront the establishment of haute couture in the 19th century, during the invention of the sewing machine, and the rise of the contrast between the machine (machina) and the hand (manus) at the arrival of mass production. The goal of this exhibit is to investigate this continuous dichotomy of these conflicting tools of the hand and the machine, and it will also question the difference and connection between ready-to-wear and haute couture.
3) Cally Spooner: On False Tears and Outsourcing
April 27-June 19
New Museum Of Contemporary Art
New York, NY 10002
Cally Spooner of Ascot, UK, will be having her first institutional presentation here in the states with her new installation in this museum. This installation of hers will be presented in the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery. According to the museum’s website, the exhibit will include a succession of “architectural additions to the gallery space” and will also include dancers. That’s right, live dancers, who will be dancing as part of Spooner’s unconventional artwork.
The installation will have a long glass wall, which will be the central feature, that isolates the Lobby Gallery from the New Museum Lobby. These dancers, trained by a movie director and rugby players, will be reacting to discordant choreographic directions: they must stay extremely close to one another, intimately, and yet stay “fiercely separate.” The dancers will be taught a set of strategies taken from on-screen romance, management techniques and contact sports. Spooner will give them simple duties that they will have to react to with efforts to defend, seduce and self-organize through a devised series of movements.
Spooner will use to her advantage the gallery’s high-visibility setup to review the features of museum and corporate architectures through emphasizing and dramatizing specific facets in the gallery by using background noise, daylight bulbs and soft acoustic panels. By Spooner’s interchange of architectures and bodies of management, she will evaluate how power portrays itself when interacting with the human body.
4) Dreams in Dust: The Pastels of Lucas Samaras
May 6-Aug. 21
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10016
This exhibit of American artist Lucas Samaras (originally from Greece) displays 48 of his artworks as both a gift from himself and from his dealer, Arne Glimcher, to the museum. These pieces date from 1958 to 1983, and are diverse in subject matter, such as still life, nudes, interiors, self-portraits and dreamlike seascapes.
Samaras focused on using pastel to create intimate and small works that investigated themes that were already addressed in his well-known installations, sculptures and paintings. He was lured to use this medium due to it being unpopular in postwar art and by its shimmering quality and array of vibrant colors.