The 10 Most Interesting Works From the New Museum’s Triennial
The New Museum’s Triennial opened today in New York. The exhibit, titled “Surround Audience,” is organized by the museum’s own curator, Lauren Cornell, along with Ryan Trecartin, a video artist known for creating manic videos and installations featuring him, his friends, and a seemingly limitless supply of face paint and props. Together, Cornell, Trecartin, and a number of curatorial assistants have assembled works by 51 artists from 25 countries that span sculpture, performance, painting, and in the case of an installation by the collective DIS, a hybrid kitchen-bathroom fabricated by the high-end appliance maker Dornbracht.
That’s right. A kitchen-slash-bathroom.
To outsiders, contemporary art can often feel remote or convoluted, and sometimes it is. In other instances, though—especially in a museum context such as the Triennial's—there’s a wealth of interesting, dynamic, and thought-provoking material waiting to be unpacked. Often it’s just a matter of knowing how to approach the work on display and what to look for when you see it.
At this year’s Triennial, which is jammed with an overwhelming amount of art, it’s easy to overlook some of the better works because there are so many vying for your consideration. Monumental interactive bunkers by the artist Nadim Abbas or a bright, looming installation by the artist Guan Xiao might grab your attention, but smaller works are the stars of the show. I’m thinking of a sound installation by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, or taut, weird paintings by Sascha Braunig, or a looped video installation by the comedian/ artist Casey Jane Ellison.
In an effort to make your visit as streamlined as possible, here’s a cheat sheet of 10 artists from this year’s Triennial to look for.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Detail of Tape Echo, 2013-14
Frank Benson, Juliana, 2015
Sascha Braunig, Chur, 2014
Antoine Catala, Distant Feel, 2015
DIS, The Island (Ken), 2015
Shadi Habib Allah, untitled video still
Casey Jane Ellison, It's So Important to Seem Wonderful II, 2015
Geumhyung Jeong, Fitness Guide, (2011)
Shreyas Karle, selection from the Museum Shop of Fetish Objects, 2012
Li Liao, Consumption, (2012)