New Museum on the Bowery

The grand opening of the New Museum of Contemporary Art last night was calm and civilized. I was expecting lines and crowds. I half expected friend K and I turning around and going to the Mars Bar and hanging out with the antithesis of the cultural set instead, but we did not!

We had free entry tickets courtesy of Target for the monumental 48 hour grand opening of the “Unmonumental” show at this uber mega modern European style building built by Japanese architects, Sejima & Nishizawa. It's located next to the Sunshine Hotel and one block down from the Rivington Housing Projects on the Bowery. Not sure if the Sunshine Hotel (one of the last Bowery flop houses) is still operating or they just left the sign up for ironic appeal. The front of New Museum is made up of stacked tiered boxes, it is said that it changes with the light during the day but we were there at night and got to see the “Urban Outfitters” style “Hell Yes!” neon sculpture on the fa├žade instead. By the way, which came first? Urban Outfitters or the latest crop of contemporary artists? Sometimes it’s really hard to tell.

Anyway, the interior was as expected, big and white. Lots of space, not a lot of art. I saw it as wasted space but then again, I am not a minimalist and I understand that the curators wanted to have sort of an “underwhelming” vibe as they did name the show “Unmonumental”! The art was fairly low tech with poorly constructed (on purpose) sculptures and assemblages made with found objects. No paintings at all so the walls were completely bare, all the art was scattered around on the floor with lots of space in between. Despite K and I’s mocking commentary on everything in the show (while viewing some crumbled up construction paper lying on the floor..K: “what is this cleanup time in kindergarten?”) I think that in the future they will probably do some really great things here, in January they will start a music series called Get Weird! put together by The Fader Magazine that seems like it might be cool. And I also heard that they will be filling it up with more art in the next couple weeks.

It’s free on Thursday nights if you want to check it out for yourself without investing any coin. Free candy on the 7th floor courtesy of Target who are sponsoring many events here.

***ALSO!*** A reminder that F.I.B is curating an artshow to be hung at Freddy's Backroom. Some really cool artists are participating but I NEED MORE (remember I am not a minimalist!) Check this out for more info.

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