Calling All Art Enthusiasts! 10 Best Art Exhibits to Check Out This Summer in NYC

We know what you did last summer!

You know that time you got super antsy and called off from work pretending to be “sick?” Well get ready to take another day off.

So far we’ve shared everything from outdoor concerts, free movies, and festivals going down this season, and we have yet another solution to beat the heat.

How about attending an amazing art exhibit this summer?

Living in New York City, we are quite fortunate that we are challenged each day with thought-provoking art.

Whether it be a public art piece, street art, modern, contemporary or experimental art... the possibilities are truly endless this season.

1. “67 68 69” - James Turrell (until June 18th)

Pace Gallery is displaying a two-venue exhibition of James Turrell’s landmark light projections and schematic drawings from the late 1960s, highlighting the artist’s investigation of color, light, and space.

Artist Turell uses light and indeterminate space—not objects or images—to extend and enhance perception. The exhibition also features Afrum, Turrell’s first projection of a cube floating a corner.


In regards to “67,68, 69," Turrell said, “My work has no object, no image and no focus…you are looking at what you are looking.” 

2. “The Back Door” - Martin Creed (until August 7th)

Want to have a ball this summer? Of course you do! And guess what? The latest exhibit by Turner Prize-winning British artist Martin Creed will surely do the trick.

His artistic piece, “The Back Door,” on “display” at the Park Avenue Armory presents his ongoing exploration into rhythm, scale, and order in his largest installation in the U.S. to date. Discover some of his minimal moments to extravagant, larger-than-life installations.

This playful exhibition makes use of both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building. Creed reimagines the space by creating a whimsical environment, including a slamming piano, opening and closing doors, curtains, and balloons, among other new works.

3. “In Practice” - Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New (until August 1st)


“In Practice” is an annual open-call exhibition for emerging artists that highlights the production of new work.

The title of this group show, taken directly from Freud's lecture on dreams, examines the idea of creative process and how the mind can only regroup elements from already existing sources.

The showing focuses primarily on the purpose of recreating fantasies of one’s psychic life. Composing different scenes, each artist unravels the question of being by proposing fantastical places or narratives that are differentiated by distinct material approaches.

Each element in the art show serves as a reminder that visual representations are mental acts of transformation, distortion, and abstraction of our many thoughts, memories, and desires.

4. “Graphic Doodle” - Justin Teodoro (until August)


Catch the latest “Graphic Doodle,” or art bomb mural by NYC artist Justin Teodoro. The young illustrator and formerly trained fashion designer is showcasing his mural from the NYCxDesign week at the Blackbody Showroom in SoHo.

Enter into a world brim with black and white illustrations of figures, lines and shapes. Each figure intertwines to tell a complex story and to capture expression and emotion.


This exhibition is free unless you end up buying one of their OLED lights, and it will run until the end of the summer.

5. “Weaving the Courtyard” - Escobedo Soliz Studio (until August)


MoMA’s PS1 courtyard is presenting an installation by Mexico City-based architecture firm Escobedo Soliz Studio called “Weaving the Courtyard.”

This winning project is also the temporary urban landscape for the 2016 Warm Up summer music series. The architects describe this year’s display as “neither an object nor a sculpture standing in the courtyard, but a series of simple, powerful actions that generate new and different atmospheres.”

“Weaving the Courtyard” is a textured, colorful canopy and reflected wading pool. Architects have weaved a textured canopy suspended over the courtyard, or a “cloud” made of contrasting yet colorful ropes.

While the reflective wading pool will stand at the back of the courtyard allowing visitors to cool off in fresh water. Using the courtyard’s concrete walls to generate both sky and landscape, the site-specific architectural piece invites viewers to embark in a refreshing and colorful journey this summer.


6. “Solar Grow Room” - Meg Webster (until June 24th)


Artist Meg Webster presents “Solar Grow Room,” at the Paula Cooper Gallery, an exhibition of new work that emphasizes the use of metal, glass, and organic elements.

At first glance, the “Solar Grow Room” looks like a futuristic greenhouse bathed in hot pink light that reflects off the metallic wall coverings. The combination of solar panels installed on the gallery’s exterior and the light reflected helps cultivate the raised planters with grass, moss, flowers and other vegetation.


With this exposition, Webster achieves to demonstrate the power and beauty of nature. She draws awareness to the ever-evolving phases of nature, despite mankind's heedless concern towards the destruction of earth’s energies and resources.

7. “Reality or Illusion?: Giants are a State of Mind” - Ferruccio Laviani (until August)

Don’t miss out in discovering the phenomenon of reality or illusion this summer!

In celebration of New York Design Week 2016, Ferruccio Laviani has created an installation for the Foscarini Showroom. The installation challenges the mind and begs the question: what is reality and what is illusion?

The multicolor patterns displayed across surfaces, inspire the feeling of perspectives and wonder. Overall, the results of this presentation are trippy...revealing a state in which objects and people might seem larger or smaller than they are in reality.

8. “DIS-PLAY / RE-PLAY: Parallax City” - Brian O'Doherty (until September 5th)


DIS-PLAY / RE-PLAY is showcasing a series of installations by six international artists that respond to the striking character of the architecture of the Austrian Cultural Forum in NYC.

Each artist creates a dialogue between the works, the building, and the viewer. For instance, artist O’Doherty’s new "rope drawing #125" transforms the ACFNY's main gallery into an immersive field of color and surfaces, in which the geometric lines of rope and wall-paintings are set in motion through the viewer's movement.

Legendary artist O’Doherty successfully exhibits the importance of line, color and perspective with “Parallax City.”

9. “Arrow of Time” - Tatsuo Miyajima (until October 2nd)


Feel like you’re running out of time this summer?

Well no worries because a new light-based installation entitled “Arrow of Time” by Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima is now on view at The Met Breuer. Inspired by his study of Buddhist philosophy and modern physics, Miyajima’s work concentrates on the concept of infinity.

“Arrow of Time” describes the irreversibility of time. By utilizing approximately 250 digital light-emitting diode (LED) counters, the artist achieves to display this concept and immerse viewers in a shower of light.


How you’ve asked? Miyajima programmed each of these devices to count from one to nine repeatedly, then go dark momentarily, and then repeat the sequence. 

According to Miyajima, the cyclical repetition of numbers, along with the recurring momentum from light to dark, represents the unending “time of human life.”

10. “Sleepwalker” - Tony Matelli (until March 2017)

They say our city never sleeps, but apparently a sleepwalker has invaded our streets, specifically the High Line.

That’s right! The sculptor and NYC-based artist Tony Matelli has done a superb job creating an amusing and hyper-realistic painted bronze sculpture. The results is a somnambulant man lost and adrift in the world, wandering around in a deep sleep.

P.S. This public art piece is not to be confused with your drunk friend, no matter how closely it resembles them.

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[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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