Journey Back to Bowery
New Museum - Come Closer
Founded in 1977, NYC’s New Museum has since resided firmly at the forefront of the city’s contemporary art scene, offering visitors a chance to view an always-unique cache of avant-garde modern works – even the building itself, home to the museum since 2007, an eye-catching, stacked-box sight to behold. From its very first exhibition, titled Memory and curated by founder Marcia Tucker, through to the present day, New Museum has exhibited the acclaimed likes of Allan McCollum, Jeff Koons, Ana Mendieta and Christian Boltanski, not to mention forayed into the realm of social commentary through engaging at-risk teenagers in contemporary art programs, and pioneering art-world responses to LBGT and AIDS-related issues in the 80s.
With such a rich history that so aptly reflects the evolution of its city in a time of great cultural change, it seems only appropriate that New Museum would be the gallery to stage its current Come Closer exhibition. Taking the Bowery area as its subject, the show examines the creative genius born of what deteriorated into a neglected hotbed of drugs, crime and squalor between 1969 and 1989. Via the original artwork, ephemera and performance documentation of more than 15 then locally-based artists including Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, and Keith Haring, the exhibition offers a touching insight into the spirit, diversity and sympathy that drove these artists and in turn shaped the area and the generations that followed them. Out with the old, and in with the New!