Art in Bloom: Top 5 Art Picks this Spring

Carol Jackson at the Whitney Biennial

Carol Jackson at the Whitney Biennial

See this in Metro New York published March 14, 2014

Springtime in the art world means Blockbuster Group shows surveying artists from WWII to our present political era strife with international military conflicts. Group shows are an engaging way to experience history as multiple artistic minds coalesce to survey a wide spectrum of ideas during a distinct moment in time. Adding an informative layer to an aesthetic object transforms art into an archival marker that is both thought-provoking and exciting for the eye.

303 Gallery, Florian Maier-Aichen, "Untitled," 2013, C-Type Print, 68" x 92" at Frieze New York 2014

303 Gallery, Florian Maier-Aichen, “Untitled,” 2013, C-Type Print, 68″ x 92″

Group shows are concise visuals documenting how this past century has pushed boundaries in medium-diversity. Painting, sculpture, installation and new media all play equal roles in enlightening viewers so do not search for visual similarities between artists—common themes in group shows will be unifying historical contexts rather than artistic techniques.

What better way to document the times than through visual art that stimulates historical awareness through creativity. This springtime is the perfect chance to catch-up on the past while viewing world-renowned artists critiquing the social, political and economic factors defining our current epoch. Reading about history is one thing, but looking at provocative art transforms the past into a group experience—not to mention a visually stimulating one.

1. Whitney Biennial 2014 at The Whitney through May 25, 2014

The 2014 Whitney Biennial is a survey of over 100 international artists chronicling the vast contemporary art world today. Three curators from outside of the Whitney each oversee one floor of the museum creating a fun experiment documenting different viewpoints and distinct curatorial methodologies. Keep eyes peeled for German-born, L.A.-based ceramic-installation artist Sterling Ruby and Chicago-based artist Carol Jackson’s surreal mixed media sculptures.

2. Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937 at Neue Galerie through June 30, 2014

This major U.S. museum exhibition is devoted to the display of modern art by the Nazis in the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. The term “degenerate” was adopted by the National Socialist regime as part of its campaign against modern art—many works were seized from museums and private collections as artists fled to neutral territories for safety. On view are Expressionist masterpieces whose haunting paintings explore the traumatic psyche during this turbulent period.

3. Other Primary Structures and Mel Bochner: Strong Language at The Jewish Museum through August 3, 2014

The 1960s makes a comeback in two shows dedicated to this politically charged decade. Other Primary Structures revamps the Jewish Museum’s canonical 1966 exhibition of the same name to reexamine the heyday of Minimalist art through an international—versus a Eurocentric—lens. Text-based artist Mel Bochner receives a well deserved survey showcasing his provocative dematerialized art career that launched Conceptual art.

4. Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island May 9 – 12, 2014

Frieze mounts its annual New York art fair on Randall’s Island this year May 9-12 with over 190 international galleries participating and showcasing over 1,000 cutting-edge artists. This international fair—along with the curated projects, tours, education programs and VIP parties coinciding with this booming weekend—is the perfect chance to peruse world-renowned artists outside of the confines of a museum. Take the Frieze Bus or the Frieze Ferry to the Island and enjoy the springtime air while embarking on an al fresco day of contemporary art.

5. Group Show Cologne/New York 1984-1989 at David Zwirner Gallery May 7 – June 14, 2014

David Zwirner creatively curates a group exhibition geographically spanning two major art centers during the 1980s era of Neo-Expressionism. Check out sculptures by Jeff Koons and Robert Gober in style and attend the Gallery Opening—sipping champagne while viewing million dollar artworks ready for sale is as high-brow as NYC gets.

Boers-Li Gallery, Zhang Peili, "Untitled," 2008, 5 Channel Video Installation at Frieze New York 2014

Boers-Li Gallery, Zhang Peili, “Untitled,” 2008, 5 Channel Video Installation at Frieze New York 2014



  1. litadoolan · March 21, 2014

    Interesting that the Whitechapel in London are exhibiting collage by the late Hannah Hoch who (at the risk of oversimplifying her genius) used visual art to stir public opinion against the rise of fascism and it looks like NYC has some similar retrospectives. Wish I could enjoy your list in person!

  2. Angela · March 21, 2014

    Def going to see the Degenerate Art exhibit. I just read Rescuing Da Vinci. So glad I saw this.

  3. psychologistmimi · March 23, 2014

    there are cool! going to try to go to the Frieze Art Fair

  4. Peter Giles · April 7, 2014

    Carl Jackson seems to nonchalantly epitomise the power of art; I am simultaneously attracted and repelled by his piece here. I suppose that is what art is for… to move you.

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