The Very Best of NYC Art

Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage, Killer Heels, The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec and Much More!

A brand new exhibition at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Irreverent: A Celebration of Censorship, opens Feb 13 and runs thru mid-April. Inspired by the creative and activist responses to the censorship of Robert Mapplethorpe’s art in the ‘80s and ‘90s (and the more recent withdrawal of David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery), this exhibition explores how sexuality has been, and continues to be, used as a tool to censor and prohibit LGBTQ cultural artwork.

The New-York Historical Society is home to Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage, an extraordinary collection of photographs that you may not ever have expected to see. Celebrated portrait photographer Leibovitz has not only shot big-shot celebrities and the world’s most influential people, but she’s also photographed dramatic landscapes, building interiors and objects she believes to be talismans. This brilliant display is on view thru Feb 22.

The Brooklyn Museum has extended its exhibition Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe and it’s easy to see why: it’s killer! Celebrating the sexiest of all footwear, the high-heeled shoe, more than 160 examples of beautiful high heels are on display—everything from stilettos to platforms—by top designers such as Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and countless others. 

Toulouse-Lautrec was the quintessential artist of Belle Epoque Paris who became internationally renowned for his famous prints, posters and illustrations. The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec is a carefully curated exhibition at MoMA that explores five subjects which create a collective portrait of late 19th century Paris through the artist’s work. It closes soon, so make an effort to catch it if you love Post-Impressionism and early Art Nouveau.

Speaking of Paris, want to meet Madame Cézanne? You have only until Mar 15 to see this stunning exhibition at the Metropolitan, featuring a collection of 24 of the 29 known portraits Paul Cézanne painted of Marie-Hortense Fiquet, his artist’s model and longtime mistress who later became his wife and the mother of his only son.

Fast-forward to the here and now. At MoMA, see the work of 17 diverse artists who are contemporary but refuse to be defined by our time in The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World. These painters’ works collectively and individually reflect the concept of “atemporality”. On view thru Apr 5.

Also at MoMA, a year-long exhibition This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good launches in mid-Feb; it explores design concepts in the digital age—and, interestingly, questions whether contemporary design experiments are truly for everyone.

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion at the New-York Historical Society explores the vast history of trade and immigration between China and the U.S.—a history that involved New York ports from its earliest beginnings—and asks the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” It opened in the fall and will be on view thru Apr 19.

You still have a few more months to see Chitra Ganesh: Eyes of Time at the Brooklyn Museum, an amazing site-specific installation in the Herstory Gallery. Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh has been using the iconography of mythology, literature and popular culture to bring to light feminist and queer narratives for more than a decade, and this work is no exception. Thru July 12.

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