At Large  December 7, 2022  Rebecca Schiffman

5 NYC Exhibitions to See December 2022

 Senga Nengudi performing Air Propo at Just Above Midtown, 1981, Courtesy Senga Nengudi

New York City will always be a global art center with institutions, public projects, museums, and galleries that offer a breadth of artists and artworks that changes constantly. This December, there are so many fun and exciting exhibitions open, and we’ve rounded up the must-see shows to check out this holiday season.

Museum of Modern Art: Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

In 1974, Linda Goode Bryant opened Just Above Midtown (JAM), an art gallery and laboratory that foregrounded African American artists and artists of color. It was a place of peace and solace for Black artists, offering them early opportunities to flourish and grow their artistic practices. JAM was open only for twelve years, closing in 1986, but its legacy remains powerful, a story worth telling. The exhibition at MoMA attempts to restage the vibrating energy of JAM, complete with works by artists and artworks previously shown at JAM in a wide range of mediums, alongside archival material from the original gallery.

Through February 18, 2023

Photo: Shahar Azran

Ronald S. Lauder in his home, 2022.

Neue Galerie: Ronald Lauder Collection

Walking down Museum Mile on a weekend in December, you might encounter a line out the door of the Neue Galerie, a small but mighty museum for German and Austrian art. The Neue Galerie is celebrating its twentieth anniversary season with an exhibition of Ronald S. Lauder’s Collection. Featuring over five hundred artworks that were collected over sixty-five years by Lauder, this exhibition spans centuries – from a second century BCE head of a Hellenistic Greek goddess to Renaissance masterpieces by Italian and German artists. Though interestingly, the works are not organized by date in the galleries. Instead, they are displayed through the museum’s two floors just as they appear domestically in Lauder’s own home. 

After your visit to the Lauder Collection exhibition, be sure to get some kaffee und kuchen at Café Sabarsky, a traditional Austrian cafe located on the Museum’s ground floor. 

November 11, 2022 - February 13, 2023

Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery

Richard-Jonathan Nelson, Forest bathing was too costly, to far too heavy a burden to carry, 2022, Jacquard Woven Cotton Digital Collage, Hand Woven and Hand Dyed Cotton, Embroidered Beads, Sewn Appliqué.

Yossi Milo Gallery: A Laquered Egress

Yossi Milo Gallery always has exciting exhibitions that change the way you see the world. Richard-Johnson Nelson’s tapestries that combine Afrofuturism and fantasy is no exception. Opening On December 15th, Yossi Milo Gallery will host Nelson’s debut solo exhibition in NYC and his first with the gallery. Nelson works primarily in fabrics: he grew up in Savannah, Georgia, where his mother and grandmother taught him how to sew. From this, Nelson was able to stitch together new worlds and ideas through his fabric creations. The textiles seek to create new psychic spaces for queer Black men to inhabit. Tender images of Black men combined with the flora and fauna of tropical climates frame the feeling of openness and vulnerability.

December 15, 2022 - January 28, 2023

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Tradition

Cubism, long defined as an art movement that displayed the whole structure of objects without making them look realistic, gets a radical revamp in the Met Museum’s latest exhibition, Cubism and the Trompe l’Oeil Tradition. The exhibition explores the notion that the qualities of Cubism were in fact, exploited by trompe l’oeil: a flat picture place, the “real” world invading the image, interest in materiality, and the coded references within them. Showing Cubist paintings, sculptures, and collages by Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Pablo Picasso, the show compares these works to canonical trompe l’oeil paintings from the 17th-19th centuries.

October 20, 2022 – January 22, 2023

Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery

Paweł Althamer, Emissaries of Light, Hermes (detail), 2022, Metal, papier-maché, 77 1/8 x 74 x 35 7/8 inches (196 x 188 x 91 cm).


Anton Kern Gallery: Paweł Althamer: Polish Sculpture

Polish sculptor, performer, and collaborative artist Paweł Althamer continually questions his status as an author-artist, but also the ecology of the art world itself. For his first gallery exhibition in the United States, Althamer has put together four bodies of sculptures that intersect and interact with each other on the gallery floor. All created in Warsaw in the past year and a half, the works all seem to dance with one another, an unspoken choreography that relates them together. Inspired by Matisse’s Dance that Althamer saw on a class trip in high school at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, dance has always been on the artist’s mind, creating numerous works of the subject. 

October 27 - December 17, 2022

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