Alternative Art to See This Fall: NYC Art for New Yorkers


There is no doubt that New York City is one of the great art capitals of the world.  With all of the art sites to see in the city, it’s common for NYC residents to feel overwhelmed with options or to limit themselves to big name museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met).  While these are both incredible museums housing some of the most influential art ever created, the city is also filled with hundreds of lesser-known art institutions that show works by tremendously talented photographers, sculptors, painters and performance artists who aren’t quite as famous as Picasso or Warhol…yet.  This fall, local museums and galleries, some located only blocks away from Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), will display some exciting new must-see exhibitions.  So, the next time you’re in the mood to see art, try something different and visit one of these alternate art spaces.

Chelsea Gallery District

Chelsea is home to over 300 art galleries featuring paintings, sculptures and photographs from the most acclaimed contemporary artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns to promising up-and-comers fresh out of art school.  The  architecture of the gallery buildings is a sight to be seen in itself, the interior and exterior of each one flawlessly designed to display the visual art treasures found inside.  The Mary Boone Gallery on 24th Street, for example, has an incredibly intricate exposed wooden ceiling and skylights that allow natural light to stream onto the artworks.  Most of the galleries have stark white walls, polished cement floors and plenty of open space for visitors to wander between pieces.

Unlike almost everything in NYC, admission is free.  Many of the galleries appear non-descript from the outside, without any sign or indication that the public is welcome, but don’t be fooled—anyone can walk right in and browse. This was done purposely in an effort to keep out tourists and become a place where Manhattan residents can take advantage of the city’s culture without the crowds.  Only a few feet away from the Highline and within walking distance to several inexpensive restaurants, the Chelsea Gallery District is an ideal area for college students on a budget to spend the day.

Chelsea Gallery District
Where: Start at Gasser Grunert Galley, 524 W. 19th St., and wander into the many different galleries between 10th and 11th Avenues all the way up to 18th Street.
Price: FREE
More Info:
Must See This Fall: “Burning, Bright” at Pace Gallery, 545 W. 22nd St.; Several well known contemporary artists take the ordinary, everyday light bulb and turn it into art.  Runs through Nov. 26, 2011.


P.S. 1

This formerly abandoned public elementary school in Long Island City, Queens, is now a restored contemporary art annex of the MoMA, and is a playground for the world’s newest and most innovative artists.  Starting Nov. 13, artist Clifford Owens will present his first New York exhibition, “Anthology,” which will incorporate photography, video installations and live performance art.

P.S. 1 is also home to some surprising site-specific exhibitions, including Selbstlos im Lavabad (Selfless in the Bath of Lava), a video installation by artist Pipilotti Rist, implanted into a two-inch hole in the floor of the museum’s lobby.  Past exhibitions include Laurel Nakadate’s “Only The Lonely,” a collection of videos and photographs she created while visiting the homes of strangers as she traveled across America.  P.S. 1 is only a train ride away from FCLC, making a visit to this museum the perfect excuse to explore New York outside of the borough of Manhattan.

P.S. 1
Where: 22-25 Jackson Ave., at 46th Ave., Long Island City
Price: $5 With Student I.D.
More Info:
Must-See This Fall: Anthology; Artist Clifford Owens presents his first New York exhibition featuring photography, video installations, and live performance art.  Runs Nov. 13 through March 12, 2012.

International Center For Photography (ICP)

Located within walking distance from FCLC, ICP holds an eclectic collection with past exhibitions including works by famous 1940s photojournalist Ruth Gruber, as well as a compilation of photographs of Amelia Earhart from the 1930s.  From now until Jan. 8, 2012, the museum’s main show is a five-part multi-artist exhibition commemorating the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.  The exhibition, titled “Remembering 9/11,” includes photographs from Francesco Torres and Eugene Richards, a five-channel video installation by Elena del Rivero and Leslie McCleave and an excerpt from a larger, well known collection by anonymous photographers titled “Here is New York: a Democracy of Photographs.”

The museum is currently offering two other exhibitions, including “Signs Of Life,” the black-and-white works of Peter Sekaer, a photographer who worked closely with the U.S. government during the Great Depression. The third is a compilation of photos from renowned fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, most known for its unrivaled photography spreads shot by prominent names such as Peter Lindberg and Karl Lagerfeld.

ICP also has a school across the street, which offers full time programs, as well as one-week workshops in both film and digital photography during Fordham’s winter break.

International Center For Photography
Where: 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd St.
Price: $8 With Student I.D.
More Info:
Must-See This Fall: “Remembering 9/11;” A collection featuring works of dozens of photographers that capture the recovery efforts in New York City after the Sept. 11th attacks. Open now until Jan. 8, 2012.