Signification and the City

Published April 22, 2013

ABOVE: NATE LOWMAN’S CIAO BELLA #1, 2012. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND MACCA RONE, NY

In New York, the difference between making rent and ruling the market has never been so wide. This spring, Alex Gartenfeld, MOCA North Miami curator and former senior editor of Art in America and Interview online, communicates the city’s trials, tribulations, and excesses in “Empire State. Arte a New York Oggi” (“Empire State. Art in New York Today”), an intergenerational exhibition of 25 New York-based artists. Co-curated with Norman Rosenthal, former exhibitions secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the show opens at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome on April 23. “The exhibit follows 20 years of the re-urbanization of the Western world after a half century of suburbanization,” Gartenfeld says. “It asks, ‘How are artists approaching living in a city that is constantly redefining the way we see the world?’ ” Included is Keith Edmier’s monumental, site-specific sculpture that combines the baldachin at Saint Peter’s basilica with the original Penn Station, new “Antiquity” works by Jeff Koons, and Bjarne Melgaard’s racially charged remakes of Allen Jones’s “sex furniture.”