While February may be the shortest month, there is no shortage of museum exhibitions opening in New York. Our favorite solo, retrospective and group exhibitions opening this month feature abstraction, figurative works, participative performance art and sculptural installations. Below, check out our picks for NYC museum highlights in February.

Brooklyn Museum: “One Basquiat”

January 26 through March 11, 2018

Brooklyn Museum will present “One Basquiat,” an exhibition on Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988).

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled, 1982,” a landmark painting made during his breakout year, will be on display for the first time at the Brooklyn Museum. Featuring a crowned spectral head and painted with ferocity, the work is representative of Basquiat’s vigorously expressive style. The exhibition continues Brooklyn Museum’s presentations of the late Brooklyn-born and raised artist’s work.

The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238. www.brooklynmuseum.org.

Click here for exhibition details.


"Untitled" by Jean-Michel Basquiat,1982. Acrylic, spray paint, and oil stick on canvas, 72⅛ x 68⅛ inches. Collection of Yusaku Maezawa. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Licensed by Artestar, New York.


Museum of Arts and Design: “Derrick Adams: Sanctuary”

January 25 through August 12, 2018

Museum of Arts and Design will present “Derrick Adams: Sanctuary,” featuring work by the multimedia artist.

Based on “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” an annual guidebook of safe spaces for black American roadtrippers published during the Jim Crow era, Derrick Adams’s “Sanctuary” reimagines the idea of safe destinations for black American travelers during the mid 20th century. The installation consists of 50 works of mixed-media collage, assemblage on wood panels, and sculpture. Adams, whose work is rooted in deconstructivist philosophies such as the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, reflects on the plight of working class black people before and during the Civil Rights movement, as well as their determination to pursue the same American Dream afforded to others.

MAD Museum is located at 2 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019. www.madmuseum.org.

Click here for exhibition details.


"Beacon" by Derrick Adams, 2017. Courtesy Derrick Adams Studio.


MoMA: “Tania Bruguera: Untitled (Havana, 2000)”

February 3 through March 11, 2018

MoMA will present “Tania Bruguera: Untitled (Havana, 2000),” performance art by the Cuban-born artist and activist.

Performance artist Tania Bruguera creates work that aims to provoke the political. Her “Untitled (Havana, 2000)” was a performance installation for the 7th Havana Biennial in 2000 shown originally in the Cabaña Fortress, a military bunker that jailed prisoners of conscience during the Cuban Revolution. The work combined milled sugarcane, video footage of Fidel Castro and live performance presented in near darkness to suggest the contradictions of life following the Cuban Revolution. Brought to MoMA, the exhibition will look back at the artist’s work in the early 2000s as an important turning point in her oeuvre, in which she moved from working primarily with her body to active audience engagement. The exhibition will include nude live performers, uneven footing, limited visibility and artificial fragrance.

MoMA is located at 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019. www.moma.org.

Click here for exhibition details.

RELATED: "MoMA Presents Tania Bruguera’s Banned Cuban Performance Installation" by Pat Rogers. Published February 1, 2018.


Video still from "Untitled (Havana, 2000)" by Tania Bruguera, 2000. Sugar cane bagasse, video (black and white, silent), and live performance. 164 x 39 ¼ x 13 1/8 feet. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Casey Stoll.


The Met Breuer: “Leon Golub: Raw Nerve”

February 6 through May 27, 2018

The Met Breuer will present “Leon Golub: Raw Nerve,” an exhibition showcasing the wide variety of Leon Golub’s work.

Leon Golub (1922-2004) was an artist who was committed to social justice, the depiction of the figure, expressionism and the fusion of modern and classical sources. Attesting to Golub’s incisive perspective on human catastrophes and his critique of brutality and belligerent masculinity, the exhibition will feature Golub’s monumental and terrifying “Gigantomachy II” alongside works from his most important series, including “Pylon,” “Riot” and “White Squad.” The exhibition will also include early Golub paintings that reflect his study of antiquity, his series of unsettling portraits of the Brazilian dictator Ernesto Geisel, and works on paper rendered in a raw, visceral style depicting subjects from political figures and victims of violence to nude forms and animals.

The Met Breuer is located at 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021. www.metmuseum.org/met-breuer.

Click here for exhibition details.

Guggenheim Museum: “Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away”

February 9 through May 9, 2018

The Guggenheim Museum will present “Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away,” the first comprehensive survey of the work by Danh Vo in the United States.

Featuring an overview of the Vietnamese-born, Danish artist’s work from the past 15 years, as well as new work created for the show, the exhibition shows how Danh Vo’s work dissects power structures, cultural forces and the private desires that shape our experience of the world. The exhibition will include early conceptual works, such as Vo Rasasco Rasmussen (2003-05)—when Vo married and divorced acquaintances to add their last names to his own—and recent sculptural hybrids of classical and Christian statues. Interweaving installations, photographs and works on paper, the exhibition shows how Danh Vo deals with the legacy of colonialism, the fraught status of the refugee, and the European and U.S. influences in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Depicting the narratives of the “tiny diasporas of a person’s life,” the artist addresses themes of religion, colonialism, capitalism and artistic authorship through processes of deconstruction and recombination, found objects, documents and images as latent histories and sociopolitical fissures.

The Guggenheim Museum is located at 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128. www.guggenheim.org.

Click here for exhibition details.


"She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene" by Danh Vo, 2009. Mixed media, 96.5 x 54.5 cm. Collection Chantal Crousel. Photo: Jean-Daniel Pellen, Paris.


New Museum: “2018 Triennial: Songs For Sabotage”

February 13 through May 27, 2018

The New Museum will present “2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage,” a group show questioning how individuals and collectives around the world might effectively address the connection of images and culture to the forces that structure society.

The New Museum’s fourth triennial will bring together approximately 30 artists from 19 countries, the majority of whom are exhibiting in the United States for the first time. Through a wide range of mediums and forms, the artists explore interventions into cities, infrastructures and the networks of everyday life, proposing objects that might create common experience. Examining structures linked to the entrenched powers of colonialism and institutionalized racism that magnify inequality, the artists will exhibit painted allegories for the administration of power, sculptural proposals to renew (and destroy) monuments, and cinematic works that engage the modes of propaganda that influence mankind more and more each day. Featuring work by Tomm El-Saieh, KERNEL, Claudia Martínez Garay, Lydia Ourahmane, Wong Ping, among others, the show provides models for reflecting upon and working against a system that seems doomed to failure.

The New Museum is located at 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002. www.newmuseum.org.

Click here for exhibition details.


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