10 Awesome Exhibitions to See During Winter Break
December 17, 2019 by Danielle Peters
Installation view of "Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape," on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Installation view of “Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape,” on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York from October 21, 2019, through April 12, 2020. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art.

Credit: Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

Winter break is the perfect time to duck out of the studio and get creatively inspired—and what better way to do so than by taking in some world-class art around the city? To get you started, we’ve rounded up 10 exhibitions currently on view around town, covering a wide range of artistic mediums and cultural influences. Even better, admission to some of them is free with your SVA ID! So without further ado, here are our top 10 picks sure to pump you up this winter break. Enjoy!


Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue

Through September 20

In a densely populated city like New York, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the unique existence of each of its 8.5 million people. This exhibition creates art out of data to illuminate and humanize the statistics of a vast population. Featuring work by contemporary artists and designers as well as data analysts and demographers, this exhibition tells the stories of millions and connects them to New York’s historical continuum.

A bronze sculpture of a sitting figure

Sculpture on view at The Met, Fifth Avenue. The Seated II, 2019, Wangechi Mutu.

Credit: By Wangechi Mutu

The Facade Commission: Wangechi Mutu The NewOnes will free Us

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue

Through June 8

Considered to be one of Kenyon American artist Wangechi Mutu’s most essential and notable bodies of work, this installation features four bronze sculptures that reflect her experimentation and research into the relationship between power and culture. The statues occupy the formerly empty niches in the Met’s exterior, and are the first works to appear in an annual series of commissions intended to animate the museum’s public entrance.


John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal

The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue

Through January 12

Regarded as one of the greatest portrait artists of his time, John Singer Sargent turned to charcoal drawings in 1907 after working in paint for many years of his life. This exhibition explores his works in the new medium as well as the relationships he made that affected his career.


Installation view of "Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape," on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp

Installation view of “Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape,” on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York from October 21, 2019, through April 12, 2020. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art.

Credit: Photograph by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape

Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street

Through April 12

“Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape” features 75 works from the museum’s permanent collection—many of them rarely seen—selected by SVA alumnus Amy Sillman (BFA 1979 Fine Arts). The exhibition’s tiered shelving design provides a unique staging for a wide range of pieces such as prints, zines, animations and architecture that together express the expansive ways in which art can be created.


Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit, 1977-1987

The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse

Through March 8

American photographer Henry Chalfant is recognized as one of the most significant documentarians of street art, particularly of the wild-style graffiti art of the 1970s and ′80s. This exhibition features the work of many famous names of that time, including Dondi, Futura, Lady Pink, Lee Quiñones, Zephyr, as well as Bronx legends Blade, Crash, DAZE, Dez, Kel, Mare, SEEN, Skeme, and T-Kid, together with other images and ephemera capturing the birth of hip hop in the borough.

A black and white image of many people standing on and around an overpass.

On view at the Brooklyn Museum. JR (French, born 1983). The Chronicles of New York City, 2018–19 (detail).

Credit: Artwork by JR

JR: Chronicles

Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn

Through May 3

“JR: Chronicles” is the first major exhibition in North America of works by JR, a French-born artist known for his collaborations with the late filmmaker auteur Agnès Varda. This multimedia photography and street art show showcases JR’s collaboration with the communities he visits and his determination to honor the voices of the everyday people he encountered.

 

Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift

Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street

Through March 14

Featuring different mediums of works, such as paintings and sculptures, this exhibition delves into the history of abstract and concrete art forms from South American countries such as Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay in the mid-20th Century.

A painting done on cloth with silk brocade.

On view at the Rubin Museum of Art. Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears; Kham Province, southeastern Tibet; late 19th–early 20th century; pigments on cloth with silk brocade, gift of Dr. Michael Henss, Zurich.

Masterworks of Himalayan Art

Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street

Through March 23

This regularly changing exhibition at the Rubin Museum explores the various developments made in Himalayan art. Covering over 1,000 years, this exhibition is organized geographically to showcase the diverse regional traditions of Tibet and Bhutan in relation to their neighboring areas.

 

Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island)

El Museo, 1230 Fifth Avenue

Through March 22

This first museum retrospective of Zilia Sánchez features over 40 works of various mediums such as paintings, sculpture and illustration, spanning from the early 1950s to the present. This show traces the artist’s life and artistic journey from her days in Cuba to her travels in Europe and New York and finally, Puerto Rico where she currently resides.


Noguchi: Body-Space Devices

The Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd

Through May 3

This two-part exhibition is an installation of works selected to reflect Isamu Noguchi’s interest in transforming sculpture into a societal practice. Through March 8, 2020, “Body-Space Devices” will be reconfigured as the site of “Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release,” a dance performance exploring the interplay between the body and objects.