Home Magazine 5 Must-see shows in New York City during TEFAF week

With TEFAF New York just around the corner (November 1-5), New York City will soon become the center of the art world, at least for a week. In anticipation of the art world congregating in the city for all that TEFAF has to offer, plenty of galleries, museums and institutions have organised incredible exhibitions that are certainly not to be missed if you happen to find yourself in New York City. Here are 5 of them.

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Betye Saar, Black Girl’s Window, 1969 © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Betye Saar, Black Girl’s Window, 1969© 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Digital Image © 2018 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.


The newly renovated Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopened this week with temporary exhibition that include Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl's Window (showing until January 4, 2020). This show is an absolute must-see as it's dedicated to the 93-year-old artist's work as a printmaker, displaying over 40 rare works on paper. The highlight of show, Black Girl's Window (1969), is an autobiographical work featuring a silhouette with vibrant blue eyes crowned by nine symbols adducing mysticism and Saar's African-American background. Saar famously created the work using repurposed wood, paint, collaged print and paper, a daguerreotype, and a lenticular print and a plastic figurine. All works on display have been acquired by MoMA and are part of its permanent collection, as per their recent commitment to boost the representation of works by African-American artists. 


Duane Michals, The Illuminated Man, 1968. Gelatin silver print. © Duane Michals, Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York.


Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at the Morgan Library and Museum (showing until 2 February 2020) is the first retrospective for the New York-based artist, who is famous for his "fictionettes", or inscribed conceptual photo sequences. The massive exhibition shows over six decades of Michal's career, spanning several series including photographs, objects, books and other works of art from the museum's collection. Some of the show's highlights include images from Michal's book A Visit with Magritte (1981), when he captured the summer he spent with the artist in Brussels, and Goethe's quill pen as well as illustrations by William Blake. The museum also announced that it will be showing a series of Michal's short films, including his latest works, during the exhibition. 

‘Artistic license: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (until January 12). An exhibition with displays that different artists selected from a museum's collection are always as interesting to see as they are revealing of the artists themselves. In this exhibition, six artists: Cai Guo-Qiang, Paul Chan, Richard Prince, Julie Mehretu, Carrie Mae Weens and Jenny Holzer, guided by pre-selected themes, have chosen, and curated a ramp each, turning the museum's vast collection inside out. This novel approach to museum curation warrants multiple visits to the Guggenheim as it brings together both well-known and rarely seen works from the turn of the century to 1980. 

Rachel Harrison: Life Hack at the Whitney Museum of American Art is an excellent exhibition that sharply critiques male privelege and its role in history and art. While this has been the center of Harrison's work during the past two decades, this exhibition puts together some of her best works that include painting, drawing, photography, and sculptures. Harrison's satirical approach to found objects push her commentary onto subjects ranging from Donald Trump to Marcel Duchamp's readymades. This mid-career survey at the Whitney shows Harrison's impressive full range and her fierce approach so far. 


Installation view of Nicolas Party: Pastel at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2019. Photography by Steven Probert.


"Pastel", by Nicolas Party at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea is an impressive two-floor exhibition by the Swiss artist (on view until February 15, 2020), that transforms FLAG into a rose-colored stage set for a suite of four soft pastel, Rococo-inspired murals that serve as a backdrop to a selection of pastels from the 18th century to present day. Works on display come from a vast selection of artists like Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Louis Fratino, Loie Hollowell, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Wayne Thiebaud and others. 


Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.