The New Museum is New York’s most daring contemporary art museum. I visit every time the exhibit changes, which is about every 4 months.
The museum has a funky vibe that actively rejects the institutional rigidity of other large art museums. Here, the artists may invite you to touch the artwork, or even take off your shoes and lie down on it! Some artists aim to shock, and the museum is infamous for showing controversial pieces. It’s a place where artists can be fearless, and you can feel that bold energy throughout the building.
The most impressive show I saw here was Pixel Forest by a Swiss artist named Pipilotti Rist, who filled the three main floors of the museum with art from her whole career. One room was filled with gauzy curtains, each with a different video clip projected onto it. As the viewers moved about the room, the curtains billowed between them, evoking the fleeting feeling of recalling a dream. Another installation was about the connection between our senses and our emotions: the room was filled with synapse-shaped beads that lit up in sync with scenes that played in a video. Its nearly indescribable, but you can see what it looked like from the photo above!
On weekends, the 7th floor rooftop is open to the public. From there, you get fabulous views of the Bowery, SoHo, and the Freedom Tower standing proudly amidst lower Manhattan.