7 Can’t-Miss New York Museum Shows to Check out During Armory Week 2022

Mark your calendars for these important shows.

James Rosenquist, Sightseeing, (1962). © James Rosenquist Foundation / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Used by permission. All rights reserved

It’s Armory Week. That means that if you’re traveling to New York (or even just live here and need a refresher), you’re probably looking for a handy round-up of exhibitions to see while you’re in town.

From Robert Colescott at the New Museum to James Joyce at the Morgan Library, here are seven must-see shows on view now in New York.


Raphael Montañez Ortiz: A Contextual Retrospective
El Museo del Barrio
Through September 11, 2022

Raphael Montañez Ortiz, <i>The Memorial</i> (2019). Courtesy of El Museo del Barrio.

Raphael Montañez Ortiz, The Memorial (2019). Courtesy of El Museo del Barrio.

This exhibition is the first in more than 30 years dedicated to the artist, educator, and founder of El Barrio, Raphael Montañez Ortiz. From painting to photography to assemblages, Ortiz’s work traces the peaks and valleys of American life through the lens of his Puerto Rican upbringing.

El Museo del Barrio is located at 1230 5th Avenue, New York; suggested general admission is $9.


The Clamor of Ornament: Exchange, Power, and Joy from the Fifteenth Century to the Present
Drawing Center
Through September 18, 2022

Artist Unknown, Moyō hinagata miyako no nishiki / [henshū Yamanaka Kichirobē] : [volume 1], (1886). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries.

Call it maximalism or “cluttercore,” but ornamentation is all the rage right now, as even this century-spanning exhibition at the Drawing Center acknowledges. From Pennsylvania Dutch drawings to Navajo textiles and architectural drawings by Louis Sullivan, more is always more.

The Drawing Center is located at 35 Wooster Street; admission is free.


New York: 1962–1964
Jewish Museum
Through January 8, 2023

Andy Warhol, Empire (1964), film still. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, ©the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

Andy Warhol, Empire (1964), film still. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, ©the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

This exhibition traces a three-year period of seismic cultural and political shifts in New York and beyond. Using the tenure of Jewish Museum director Alan Solomon as a starting point, and the museum itself as an epicenter for “New Art,” the show features work by influential artists who helped define the Big Apple’s art scene.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 5th Ave at East 92nd Street, New York; general admission is $18.


One Hundred Years of James Joyce’s Ulysses
Morgan Library and Museum
Through October 2, 2022

A portrait of James Joyce by Patrick Tuohy, ca. 1924. Courtesy of the Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.

Re-Joyce, Ulysses fans, for the Morgan Library has devoted an entire exhibition to the Irish poet and the making of his magnum opus. Through archival material, proofs, and manuscripts, the show explores Joyce’s lived-experiences and rich imagination.

The Morgan Library and Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue at East 36th Street, New York; general admission is $22.


Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott
New Museum
Through October 9, 2022

Robert Colescott George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook (1975). Image courtesy Sotheby's

Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook (1975). Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

Robert Colescott’s satirical perspectives on race, the American dream, and beauty are on full display in this long-overdue exhibition that originated at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.

The New Museum is located at 235 Bowery, New York; general admission is $18. 


Bernd and Hilla Becher
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through November 6, 2022

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Water Towers (1965-1997). Courtesy Phillips.

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Water Towers (1965-1997). Courtesy Phillips.

Artists Bernd and Hilla Becher scoured the landscape of Western Europe and North America with a single mission: to document the rapidly disappearing architecture of pre-Industrial eras. Their serialized photographs—which foreshadow a generation of Minimalist and Conceptual artists—straddle the line between record-keeping and fine-art.

The Met is located at 1000 5th Avenue at East 83rd Street, New York; general admission is $30.


Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe
Brooklyn Museum
Through January 1, 2023

Nellie Mae Rowe, What It Is (1978–82) © 2022 Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: © High Museum of Art, Atlanta).

New Yorkers will get to experience this show, which debuted at the High Museum in Atlanta last year, and which shines a spotlight on the self-taught Georgia artist. Explosively colorful works on paper and a recreation of Rowe’s house, dubbed the Playhouse for its whimsical landscaping and decor, will be on view.

The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York; general admission is $16.

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