The One Must-See Art Event in New York This Week: Opening of the New Whitney Museum

Our editors choose their top pick.

View of the Whitney.
Photo: Billy Farrell Agency/Billy Farrell.

We’re all too busy during the week to do all the great things we plan and hope to do. So if you can only commit to one arty event this week, here’s what you should not miss!


Inaugural Public Opening of the New Whitney Museum Downtown 

The big unveiling has finally arrived: the Whitney publicly inaugurates its new building in the heart of the Meatpacking District (see Brian Boucher’s 10 Reasons To Be Excited About the New Whitney Museum). Almost fifty years after setting up camp on Madison Avenue in 1966, the Whitney now overlooks the High Line and the Hudson River on Manhattan’s southwestern tip. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, whose portfolio includes the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, and  the expansion and renovation of the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, the museum will offer vast exterior and interior exhibition spaces to house its 19,000 piece permanent collection (see Does the New Whitney Museum Herald a Golden Age for New York Institutions?).

As we (hopefully) move towards sunnier days, enjoy the outdoor cafes and 13,000 square feet of outdoor gallery space. The museum also boasts an enlarged study center, conservation lab, research library, classrooms and a modern theater space (see New Whitney Ready to Take on MoMA).

The opening show, “America Is Hard to See,” offers over 600 works by roughly 400 artists (see Whitney Museum’s Inaugural Show in New Home Spans John Sloan to Yayoi Kusama and Jeff Koons). Curated by Donna De Salvo, the show projects 23 thematic threads, including American landscape works, the influence of Greenwich Village, and artists inspired by Cubism and Expressionism (see Whitney Announces the 407 Artists Included in Inaugural Permanent Collection).

The show’s contemporary offerings—see The Whitney’s Hidden Gems: 10 Masterworks Not to Miss in the New Building—include works by Ed Ruscha, Mike Kelley, Carroll Dunham, and Nam June Paik.

We are excited!

Purchase advance tickets here.

The Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, 10:30 AM—10 PM. 


For the intrepid, here are a few other exciting happenings around town:

Panel discussion with Natalie Frank on The Brothers Grimm fairy tales at the Brooklyn Museum 
In conjunction with The Drawing Center’s exhibition “Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm,” the Brooklyn Museum presents a thoughtful panel with the artist, senior curator at the Drawing Center Claire Gilman, art historian Linda Nochlin and fairy tale expert Jack Zipes (see Natalie Frank Explores Gruesome Side of the Grimm Fairy Tales in New Drawing Center Show). The evening will also include animated Grimm’s tales readings by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham, choreographer Bill T. Jones and essayist Ariel Levy. Got Grimm Fever? Join Natalie Frank after the event for a book signing of Tales of the Brothers Grimm, published by Damiani.
The Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, Thursday, April 30, 7 PM. 

Panel discussion “Duologues: On Kawara – Visual artist Alfredo Jaar and art historian Tom McDonough” at the Guggenheim
Curator Jeffrey Weiss brings to life On Kawara within an interdisciplinary world context (see What On Kawara’s Analog Wisdom at the Guggenheim Has to Offer a Digital World). Artist and activist Alfredo Jaar and critic Tom McDonough discuss themes of war and the Situationist model of socio-cultural critique in relation to their own projects. Tickets are $12 and $8 for members.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Avenue, Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 PM. 

Gallery openings: Kazuo and Fujiko Shiraga at Fergus McCaffrey, Thursday, April 30, 6—8 PM (see Why Is Gutai Member Kazuo Shiraga’s Market Soaring?). Tony Oursler at Lehmann Maupin, Wednesday, April 29, 6—8 PM. Jeff Atwood, Kazuya Morimoto, Shiho Sato, “NYCscapes” at skrl art prjct (Treehouse Theatre Gallery Space), Wednesday, April 29, 5:30—7:30 PM. Elyse Defoor, “Relics of Marriage” at Umbrella Arts, Thursday, April 30, 6—8 PM.


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