The temperatures are finally rising (70°F, don’t you dare abandon us), and here at TTS we celebrate by strolling through the halls of the city’s many museums and popping into neighborhood galleries — we also stop for bottomless mimosas brunch along the way, but that’s another conversation. Both NYC and LA are cosmopolitan areas that offer a wide array of art forms and expressions. Paintings and installations, national and international, microscopical and gigantic. You name it, you’ve got it. We’ve all heard of the MoMA, Met, or LACMA (unless you live under a rock), but what about the small and not-so-known galleries around the city? They are equally amazing and sometimes even better, because they are free and you don’t have to deal with rubbing elbows with tourists.
In the spirit of soaking up inspiration wherever you are, we’ve listed the coolest exhibits for you to visit this month in the East AND West Coast. One of our kick-ass LA contributors, Liana Cabrera from Curated Agency, introduced us to Anne Marie Taylor, Director of Evergreen Studio, and she shared the must-see exhibits and galleries that are currently going on in LA. So instead of wandering around the beautiful aisles of Barneys, pause the shopping game for the weekend (your wallet will appreciate it) and become an art connoisseur (your mom will be proud) with these fun exhibits. Grab your friend, have your phone ready (or Instagram ready, to be specific), and put on some comfy kicks to walk around the mecca of art.
The Chelsea art district in New York is one of the most important and influential art districts in the world. Extended between West 18th to West 27th Streets and 10th to 11th Avenues, this area is home for over 350 galleries exhibiting works of art from contemporary artists. One of our favorite new exhibitions is Anarchitecture, in Jane Lombard Gallery, by the English artist Shezad Dawood. Alongside the new textile paintings representing the connection between Eastern and Western culture, there are two wall-mounted neon sculptures (yes, neon; love it already?). Insider tip? Walk around Chelsea on a Thursday night to pair the art-viewing with free wine and cheese.
Where: 518 W 19th St
Hours: Tues – Fri from 10 AM to 6 PM, Sat from 11 AM to 6 PM
Heading down to Nolita, there’s GR Gallery, presenting a retrospective of the Italian artist and art pioneer Alberto Biasi. Featuring over thirty of his most famous works, one of our favorites is eco-Shadows in the back of the gallery. This interactive installation uses phosphorescent paint and black lights to create seemingly magical shadows. If we measure the success of an exhibition by its Instagram-worthiness, eco-Shadows is the major winner (how many Boomerangs from the wall have you seen already?)
Where: 255 Bowery
Hours: Tues – Sat from 12 PM to 7 PM
Okay, this may not be a gallery per se, but it’s certainly art — and art that every New Yorker should see. Why? Because it’s basically a park full of giant lit-up rabbits, and who doesn’t love that? The Intrude installation by Australian artist Amanda Parer features seven sculptural rabbits, each sewn in white nylon, inflated and internally lit. “People see the work and initially see the rabbits as cute,” Parer told Boston magazine. “Then they approach the work and might feel a little bit of fear because they’re so big and giant… I wanted them to look like they’ve just hopped into—or intruded into—the space.” Located in Brookfield Place in Battery Park, the exhibition is open until April 30th, so make sure to visit it this week before it’s too late. Follow the white rabbit…
Where: 230 Vesey Street
Hours: Mon – Sat from 12 PM to 9 PM, Sun from 12 PM to 7 PM
We’ve all been to the Met Museum at least once and got lost into the worlds of Egypt, China, Africa, or the Roman Empire, amiright? Anyways, we are telling you, you have to go back. Why? Because there’s an amazing installation atop The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor roof garden (take into account that the view is rad too). The artist Cornelia Parker is exhibiting Transitional Object, a barn installation based on the mansion from Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho. The domestic-style house made up of two facades propped up by scaffolding contrasts with the backdrop of New York’s skyscrapers, and it looks ah-mazing.
Where: 1000 5th Ave
Hours: Sun – Thur from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Fri – Sat from 10 AM to 9 PM
Where: 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
Hours: Tues – Fri from 11 AM to 5 PM, Sat – Sun from 11 AM to 6 PM
David Kordansky is a gallery right off of Miracle Mile, currently exhibiting the work of Christ Martin in “Saturn Returns” which occupies both exhibition spaces, including the facade of the building. Painted brick walls, cacti, and rainbow paintings? Yes, please.
Where: 5130 W. Edgewood Pl. Los Angeles
Hours: Tues – Sat from 10 AM to 6 PM
Freedman Fitzpatrick is a great resource for viewing contemporary art coming out of Europe, particularly from artists who are based in Berlin. Although a bit unorthodox, the location of the gallery is part the allure– you can find it in the back corner of Gower Plaza, next to the smoke shop.
Where: 6051 Hollywood Blvd, #107, Los Angeles
Hours: Tues – Sat from 12 PM to 6 PM
LACMA could be considered the Met Museum of LA; everyone knows it, everyone has been there. But currently going down is the work of Robert Mappelthorpe, and it’s highlighted in two companion exhibitions, presenting work that ranges from his famed sexual fetishism portraits, highlights from his artistic relationship with Patti Smith, and exquisite flower photographs.
Where: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
Hours: Mon – Tue – Thur from 11 AM to 5 PM, Fri 11AM to 8 PM, Sat – Sun from 10 AM to 7 PM
Feature image via Brookfield Place