Favorite Art in New York City

Wonderful article today in the New York Times about three art critics favorite works of art in town, link here. Made me think about which are the works of art that I constantly return to, always make sure out-of-towners see, and make me blissfully happy to live in this great city. My list follows, divided into individual works and rooms/collections.

Specific Works:

Georges de La Tour (French, 1593–1652), The Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas, 52 1/2 x 40 1/4 in. (133.4 x 102.2 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art.
See my post on this work here to get the background on this beautiful work. The first paragraph of the post explains perfectly why I love this painting so much and mentions the New York aspect as well... Quoted from post, "As you may have guessed, I'm on a bit of a New York kick and am going to be posting about some of my favorite works that I was able to see while there. The Penitent Magdalen by Georges de La Tour was one of them, a painting I make sure to always visit when I am in the city. Its emotional resonance for me comes in the contemplative pose of the sitter and the deep shadows that seem to recall any night one has spent sitting alone, awake, lost in your own thoughts. A lifelong insomniac, there is much in this picture that speaks to me and I hope it will have some emotional pull for you as well."

Bronzino (Italian, 1503–1572), Portrait of a Young Man, c. 1530
Oil on wood, 37 5/8 x 29 1/2 in. (95.6 x 74.9 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art
What is there not to love in this arrogant young man? The beautiful technique, the smooth finish to the fabulous textures of his clothes, the whisper thin pages of his book and his condescending gaze. Aristocratic portraiture at its best, nonchalant and elegant down to his perfectly articulated fingertips...

Auguste Rodin (French 1840–1917), The Burghers of Calais, 1884–95, this bronze cast 1985
Bronze, 82 1/2 in. (209.6 cm.); W. 94 in. (238.8 cm.); D. 95 in. (241.3 cm.) Metropolitan Museum of Art.
What is there to say that I did not say in my post on them? I stand by this work as something that will always evoke a visceral response within me and its power has not waned with my almost constant exposure to its beauty and monumentality.

George Minne, Kneeling Youths, ca. 1898
Marble, 83 cm x 40 cm x 25.5 cm
Neue Galerie
These two (only one shown above) sit beneath the frame of one of the most famous paintings in New York, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, the shining gold portrait restituted to the heirs of the sitter after being stolen during the looting of Jewish art collections in World War II. These two small sculptures were similarly stolen and when given back to the Bloch-Bauer family years after the painting of Adele had been sold to the Galerie, the heirs gifted the sculptures to the Galerie to be shown beside the painting as they were in the Bloch-Bauer home before the war. The poignancy of the family's story and the vulnerable quality of the two small youths come together to make a powerful experience of memory and perseverance.

To Be With Art Is All We Ask...
Gilbert & George (British), Gilbert Proesch (British, born Italy 1943) and George Passmore (British, born 1942.)
1970. Triptych: Charcoal and wash on partially charred folding sheets of paper in cardboard box, Triptych (.a-c) installed: 110 3/8 x 320 3/4" (280.3 x 814.6 cm).
Museum of Modern Art
This is a newly discovered work for me and I absolutely fell head over heels in love with this poetic homage to art in three parts. I can not begin to explain the work and ask only that you go to see it. You must. Second floor of the MoMA in the contemporary exhibition space you enter to the left of the large, scandalous!, mural.
--> the MoMA does not have an image of this work on their website so I stole these from random pages on the web, sorry! And no, that is not me in the top image!


Cubist Room at the MoMA
This is the type of art I grew up with and the MoMA's small permanent collection is world class and absolutely stunning! Its a favorite place of mine to go when I feel homesick or just need to be challenged by the art I look in an esoteric and theoretical way instead of emotionally or academically.
Image: Georges Braque, Man with a Guitar, 1911-1912. Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 31 7/8" (116.2 x 80.9 cm). MoMA.

Egon Schiele at the Neue Galerie
I know I mention his name so much that you may wonder if I work for his PR firm, but his canvases give me an emotional jolt that I often need in the sometimes lonely isolation life in New York can resemble. His paintings strike at the core of human conditions of love, lust, and loneliness and his ability to show the beauty and grotesque aspects of human beings always renders me speechless. Plus, the Neue's presentation of the works with the objects of art, furniture, sculpture and other painters of the same period give such a phenomenal sense of the period and always transports me to another time and place.

That's all for now, I'm sure this list will grow as I remember more and more works I can't live in this great city without!


  1. Love de la Tour! Have you seen the version of "Magdalene" in the National Gallery here in DC?