Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in New York.
I’ve been laser-focused on the launching Urban Omnibus’s new website at the start of the month, so now that we are up and running, I am looking forward to an escapist November. That means escaping to exhibits across the city and even out of town, and some time travel to imagined environments of the past and future. But before we begin, what infrastructures can we rely on to spirit us out of and into the city speedily and safely? My first stop this month will be Trains, Tunnels and Trees, a lecture at the Museum of the City of New York, to check in on the state of Penn Station.
Then it’s off to The Cooper Union to see "Geostories," an exhibition of fantastic fictional environmental scenarios by the architects Design Earth. In case the future looks a bit bleak, I’ll want to seek refuge in futures past. So next on my itinerary is the Queens Museum (my favorite museum) for "Never Built New York," a compendium of structures and schemes that might have been. The exhibition extends onto the panorama of New York, while right outside is a chance to catch part of Ai Wei Wei’s citywide installation, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.
Speaking of Queens, it’s been an immense pleasure to be surrounded by Rafael Sperri’s idiosyncratic portraits of All the Queens Houses on view at The Architectural League, so I am looking forward to hearing him talk about them with the Queens photographer and urbanist Joseph Heathcott.
I’ll also make a foray to 1960s and 1970s New York City. The Bronx Museum’s retrospective "Gordon Matta Clark: Anarchitect" opens on November 8. And I am excited to see in person the original gouaches for artist Julia Jaquette’s graphic memoir, Playground of My Mind. It’s a gorgeous account of growing up in the city’s adventure playgrounds and the enduring influence of their geometric forms.
After so many exhibits, there’s a chance I’ll find myself overwhelmed and wondering what it’s all about. Luckily, critic and curator Mimi Zeiger is coming to town to talk about architecture and exhibitions, and I can’t wait to hear what she is planning for the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale next year. Venice… an even greater escape!