Greater New York Takes Over MoMA PS1
Grand museum retrospectives of a single artist's work are invaluable for those of us who like to take a deep dive into a career and, if the artist in question is a brand name, ensure instant blockbuster status for the institution. It's what NYC's great museums (as opposed to our great galleries) really do best. Except when they offer grand group shows, offering in a single afternoon an overview of "the art world now" (however that's defined), such as the Whitney Biennial, the New Museum Triennial, and, recently opened at MoMA PS1, Greater NY. These shows take years of planning and take full advantage of a museum's curatorial muscle to gather together a wide range of artists and works from a vast array of public and private collections. We are fortunate to live in a city with so much cultural might, and Greater NY at PS1 is a terrific example of exactly that.
Welcome To MoMA PS1's Greater New York
This is the fourth iteration of the Greater NY exhibition–it happens every five years–a broad survey of artists living and working in New York City at the moment of creation. In the past the PS1 curatorial crew have focused on emerging (which mostly means "young") artists, but this Greater NY casts a much wider net, with many long-established, often quite famous names in the mix. And so among the 157 artists here, represented by more than 400 different works in almost every medium imaginable–painting, sculpture, video, performance, dance, mixed–you'll find the likes of Kiki Smith, David Hammons, Red Grooms, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Lizzie Borden. Needless to say, the MoMA PS1's Greater NY exhibition takes over the entire museum. Definitely plan on spending at least a couple of hours here and remember, you can always refuel on the excellent M. Wells Dinette on the first floor.
What To Expect From The Greater New York Exhibition
As you would expect from such a wide survey, your personal response to the hundreds of works on display will be mixed. But as a whole the exhibition is terrific, I thought, with a huge percentage of instantly engaging pieces. A few favorites of mine would include Lutz Bacher's toppled-over Magic Mountain Foam; the gallery filled with photographs, taken by Henry Flint, of the hilarious SAMO tags that were everywhere downtown in the late 1970s (at the time there were three people putting them up: Al Diaz, Shannon Dawson, and the soon-to-be mega-famous Jean-Michel Basquiat); Tony Matelli's life-like naked-people, both casually standing on their heads, in the huge, accessible, and fun sculpture gallery on the third floor; Mira Dancy's purple neon Call From Violet; and the amusing and/or sad and/or infuriating stories written by native New Yorker Glenn Ligon, printed on canvas and in his installed as Housing In New York: A Brief History, in which the artist tells anecdotes from all of the apartments in which he's lived from 1960 through 2007.
For More Information on Greater New York
Greater New York will be at MoMA PS1 through March 7, 2016. PS1 is open from Thursday through Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and is free for all NYC residents