New York art exhibitions: what to see in 2023

As Frieze 2023 gets ready to touch down at The Shed, explore our ongoing guide to the best New York art exhibitions 2023 for your diary

Senga Nengudi, Sandmining B, 2020 (detail)Senga Nengudi, Sandmining B, 2020 (detail). Installation view at Dia Beacon, New York - best new york art exhibitions
Senga Nengudi, Sandmining B, 2020 (detail). Installation view at Dia Beacon, New York
(Image credit: © Senga Nengudi, 2022 Courtesy Sprüth Magers and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York)

In the 20th century, New York cemented itself as the home of Abstract Expressionism and subversive Pop Art. These days, the city is a canvas for a new school of artists pushing the boundaries of media and holding social justice as their primary message. 

World-renowned institutions such as MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, and the Guggenheim continue to draw tourists and art aficionados in equal measure, and leading commercial galleries such as Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, Pace, Perrotin and David Zwirner all occupy vast square footage, some with multiple locations.

With Manhattan’s art fairs – The Armory Show Frieze and Independent among them, New York is proving that it remains a powerhouse of creativity, originality, commerce, and connection. 

With Frieze 2023 landing at The Shed imminently, explore our ultimate guide to the top New York art exhibitions to see in 2023. 

Best New York art exhibitions: a guide for 2023

'Avedon 100'
Gagosian 522 West 21st Street
Until 24 June 2023


Nastassja Kinski, actor, Los Angeles, June 14, 1981

(Image credit: © The Richard Avedon Foundation Courtesy Gagosian)

Few figures could unite the likes of Hilton Als, Naomi Campbell, Elton John, Spike Lee, Sally Mann, Polly Mellen, Kate Moss, Chloë Sevigny, Taryn Simon, Christy Turlington, and Jonas Wood in shared admiration. But Richard Avedon has, albeit posthumously, in a new exhibition at Gagosian, New York. ‘Avedon 100’ invited almost 150 acclaimed cultural movers and shakers to select an Avedon photograph and share a personal story of their connection to the image and the artist on the centenary of his birth. 

Writer: Sophie Gladstone

‘Senga Nengudi’
DIa Beacon (until spring 2025)
Sprüth Magers (16 May – 28 July 2023) 

Senga Nengudi Dia Beacon best new york art exhibitions

Detail view of Sandmining B (2020), an installation with sand, pigment, car parts, nylon mesh and sound

(Image credit: Camila Falquez)

It's a big year for American artist Senga Nengudi, who has just opened two major shows in New York, and will be awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture 2023 in April. As recently featured in Wallpaper*, the artist's Dia Beacon show explores five decades of her multifaceted practice, which straddles the boundaries between performance and sculpture, turning mundane materials such as vinyl, water, nylon, sand, dry-cleaning bags, lint, paper, and tape, into something extraordinary.

‘Projects: Ming Smith’
Until 29 May 2023

Ming Smith, African Burial Ground, Sacred Space, from “Invisible Man.” 1991

Ming Smith, African Burial Ground, Sacred Space, from “Invisible Man.” 1991

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist. © Ming Smith)

In 1978, American photographer Ming Smith became the first Black American photographer to have a work acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Now, she is the subject of a significant solo exhibition at the same museum. Titled ‘Projects: Ming Smith’, the exhibition provides a comprehensive reintroduction to Smith's extensive oeuvre. Born in Detroit, raised in Columbus, and now based in Harlem, New York, where she has lived and worked since the 1970s, Smith has used her photographs and imagery to engage in the political, and blaze a trail for the generations of artists since. 

Writer: Pei-Ru Keh

Tilly is a British writer, editor and digital consultant based in New York, covering luxury fashion, jewellery, design, culture, art, travel, wellness and more. An alumna of Central Saint Martins, she is Contributing Editor for Wallpaper* and has interviewed a cross section of design legends including Sir David Adjaye, Samuel Ross, Pamela Shamshiri and Piet Oudolf for the magazine.