The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition, Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings, exposes a different side of an artist typically known for painting brightly colored shapes on large canvases. Kelly, a native New Yorker who at one point grew corn in his studio in lower Manhattan, has an obvious appreciation for the natural world. All eighty drawings in the exhibit were drawn from nature observation, yet the sparse contour drawings of grape leaves, seaweed, and bean stalks (just to name a few) hover between realism and abstraction.
The Met exhibition is one of many in the city that showcases the intimate relationship between art and nature. There are numerous projects, parks, and shows currently on display that provide viewers with an interactive way to explore nature.
Our favorites include:
- On Saturday, July 28 ONLY, performance artist Chin Chih Yang will appear in front of the Queens Museum of Art for his interactive piece, “Kill Me or Change.” The piece features the dramatic drop of 30,000 aluminum cans onto the artist in a playful and provocative commentary on our culture of consumption.
- Ongoing Queens Museum exhibits include Ada Bobonis’ “Stages, Mountains, Water,” an installation inspired by the history and landscape of the Caribbean.
- “Cloud City,” a futuristic exhibit on the rooftop garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provides a unique opportunity to climb and explore in a modernistic playground while perched high above the city.
- “Monet’s Garden” at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx recreates scenes from some of Monet’s most famous paintings.
- Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens offers outdoor sculpture installations, kid-friendly workshops, film screenings, and performances.
- Isa Genzken’s 28-foot sculpture of a rose (Rose II) is currently on display outside of the New Museum. Inside the museum, check out the selection of artistic holograms in the exhibit “Pictures from the Moon.” If you make it to the New Museum, see if you can spot the Bowery Mission Rooftop Farm from the museum windows.
- “Reimagining the Waterfront: Manhattan’s East River Esplanade,” an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, highlights design proposals for the East River waterfront. Ideas include an innovative system of canals.
- See Wendy, a “pollution neutralizing sculptural installation” at MoMA PS 1, as well as their popular annual Warm Up series every Friday.
- If you’re antsy to get out of the city, there are many day trip options in the lower Hudson Valley. Only an hour north of NYC (accessible by Metro North), the Storm King Art Center includes rolling hills, scenic woods, and over 100 dramatic sculptures.
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art