Opera Gallery New York is pleased to present ‘Muses: The City & The Artist,’ a group exhibition exploring the reciprocal influence of New York City on its artist community. From artists who’ve lived and died in the city, to artists whose relationship to the city was merely transient, this exhibition explores the personification of the city as a demanding and mercurial muse and ‘the artist’ as an assemblage of interwoven stories both real and imagined from the past and present.

The exhibition featured works by Mel Bochner, Alexander Calder, John Chamberlain, George Condo, Willem de Kooning, Niki de Saint Phalle, Shepard Fairey, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Alex Katz, Richard Prince, David Salle, Mickalene Thomas, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselman and Kehinde Wiley.

‘Muses: The City & The Artist’ examines broader themes of cultural currency and the artist’s economic and identity-oriented relationship to urbanism. The exhibition further explores the influence of fame, politics, wealth, education, technology and public policy on the development, destruction and/or disappearance of hallowed cultural ground in New York City. 

Reminiscing on the city’s complicated history–a history defined by the heroes and villains that laid the foundation for where we are today–allows us to celebrate both the progress and the setbacks, the artists and their ideals, and the exchange of ideas that continue to shape the very identity of the city today.

Truth seekers, outcasts and visionaries make up this assemblage of creative denizens who, through the sum of their parts, have contributed generously to this complex, sometimes brutal, yet utterly alluring city. In personifying New York City as a demanding and mercurial muse and ‘the artist’ as an assemblage of anecdotes and chronicles that have long defined art history in the city, we intentionally leave space for the untold stories and forgotten voices that continue to haunt and define this hallowed ground. 

As part of the exhibition’s programming, Opera Gallery will host a panel discussion on November 14th from 5-8pm moderated by Carlo McCormick featuring panelists Prudence Peiffer (Art Historian and Author of The Slip: the New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever and the Director of Content at MoMA, New York), Sean Corcoran (Senior Curator, Prints and Photographs at The Museum of the City of New York), and Michael Lorenzini (Archivist and photographer, formerly Curator of Photography & Deputy Director, NYC Municipal Archives and Editor at Aperture.)

Former alumni of Art Students League include Thomas Hart Benton, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombley, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and many more.