It's Lit AF! 10 Agreeably Dope Art Exhibits You Won't Wanna Miss in NYC This January

There’s a great deal of weight to have a good time once the new year kicks in and after a rough 2016, can we really blame ourselves?

We set out to make new year resolutions or follow good luck superstitions just for the sake of a new and exciting chapter, but does it ever really work?

This year, don’t settle for a brutal heartache. Instead start the year refreshed with optimism, hope and some really dope art.

If there’s one thing about New York City, is that in the mist of darkness there’s still that hint of vibrancy and color.

From immersive digital billboard installations, to museums, gallery and outdoor exhibits, you can be sure to discover thought-provoking and compelling art pieces all over NYC.

We know it’s tempting to stay indoors, but you won’t want to miss these amazing exhibits!

1. “Open My Glade” (Flatten) - Pipilotti Rist


Throughout the month of January, tourists and art enthusiasts can enjoy Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist latest project, “Open My Glade” (Flatten), an immersive display which will be screened on all 62 of the digital billboards surrounding Times Square.

Similar to how many New Yorkers may feel of Times Square and its bustling tourists, the disturbing and peculiar art piece features a woman’s face pressed up against glass, as if she were trapped and struggling to get out.


“Open My Glade” will be the latest feature of the Times Square Alliance’s “Midnight Moment” series, where an artist is invited to share a visual from 11:59 until 12:00 a.m. every day for a month.

So if you’re up for the challenge this winter and not afraid of being stuck in what sounds like the Twilight Zone...we suggest you really check it out!

2. “Distorted Room”


With over 450 hands-on exhibits, New York Hall of Science is like an adventurous playground for science lovers, and one of its many thrilling displays is the distorted room.

Just imagine the possibilities if you had the chance to experience a change of height. Well, this slanted-like classroom does the job by using forced perspective to create the illusion of a visitor looking bigger or smaller depending on where they are standing.

3. “Dream House” - La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela


La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela bring us “Dream House,” a space of tranquility brim with light and sound. The time installation is measured by a setting of continuous frequencies in sound and light.

Visitors are also given pillows so they can nap, meditate or simply unwind to enjoy the absolute peaceful bliss from the moment they arrive.

4. “Pixel Forest” – Pipilotti Rist (until January 15th)


We’re pretty sure you’ve seen “Pixel Forest” all over Instagram. You still have a chance to join the others and snap some pretty bedazzling and cool pictures too!


Occupying the three main floors of the New Museum, Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist’s “Pixel Forest” showcases her most extensive work in NY to date. Much of the exhibit reveals connections between the development of Rist’s art and the evolution of technology.


“Pixel Forest” includes work spanning the artist’s entire career, from her early single-channel videos of the 1980s that explore popular culture, as well as her recent video installations that evoke massive dreamlike environments enhanced by hypnotic musical scores.


Overall, by including an array of mediums, Rist’s work intertwines the natural with the electronic in the ecstasy of communication.

Note: Floors 2 and 3 (including the light installation #PixelForest) will remain on view until January 22.

5. “Ebo River and Early Works” - Keith Sonnier (until January 27th)

Pace Gallery is featuring a new series of works by artist Keith Sonnier. The talented artist utilizes unusual materials that had never been used before.

Sonnier has also experimented with various materials such as latex, satin, bamboo, found objects, satellite transmitters, and video. The most important and defining element of his work is the use of neon lights.


The linear quality of neon allows Sonnier to draw in space with light and color, while the diffuseness of the light enables his work to interact on various architectural planes. His architectural neon installations in public spaces have earned him wide acclaim internationally.

6. “Mastry” - Kerry James Marshall (until January 29th)


Kerry James Marshall’s “Mastry” at The Met displays nearly 80 works—including 72 paintings—that span the artist's remarkable 35-year career.


Marshall’s practice showcases the stereotypical representations of black people in society and reasserts the place of the black figure within the standard of Western painting. Marshall is known for his large-scale narrative history paintings featuring the African American experience.

Overall, the artist achieves to make the invisible visible.

7. “Max Beckmann in New York” - Max Beckmann (until February 20th)

The Met Museum reveals artist Max Beckmann’s special connection with New York City by featuring 14 paintings that he created while living in New York from 1949 to 1950, as well as 25 earlier works from New York collections.

The exhibition assembles several iconic works, including self-portraits, colorful portraits of women and performers, landscapes, and much more.

In fact, the poignant circumstance of the artist's death in NYC served as the inspiration for this exhibition. Beckmann was on his way to see his work at The MET when he suffered a fatal heart attack in December 1950 at the age of 66.

In the end, life in the city, energized Beckmann and resulted in some of his most powerful and prominent works that will last a lifetime.

8. “RED IN VIEW” - MPA (until February 27th)


Have you ever wonder what it would be like to be living in mars?


Well you’re in for a treat..the Whitney Museum is presenting an exhibit about the relationship between humanity and the red planet mars.

In this multi-part exhibition, artist MPA studies mars as a place for settlement and a resource for our own planet, as well as a site of possible human origin. The 4-part exhibition raises questions of militarism and patriarchy, prompting us to examine our own, often subconscious, colonizing behaviors.

9. “Rolling Stones Exhibtionism” (until March 17th)

The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism showcases the story behind the most influential rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a realm filled with design, music, fashion and the cultural influences that the band has had over these genres.