Free Museums in New York

“Greater New YorkLike the Whitney Biennial and the New Museum Triennial, MoMA PS1’s quinquennial “Greater New York” aims to capture that lightning in a bottle called the zeitgeist. That’s the hope anyway, since surveys of this type tend to be noisy affairs signaling—well, not nothing, exactly, but nothing terribly exciting, either, as the spirit of our age has been dispiriting for awhile now. Like the rest of their 0.01 percent cohort, collectors have been busily sucking up the world’s wealth, effectively reversing the revolution in culture, economics and politics that culminated in Modernism. Yet they still prefer artists who shellac their work with a gloss of radicalism—as long as it's hardened into convention. Looking for the latest thing, it turns out, becomes a mug’s game when progress itself has been retarded, which may be why this year’s “Greater New York” departs from its previous “focus on youth” to concentrate instead on the “intersection between emerging and more established artists across New York, while also exploring aspects of earlier histories of the city.” If you’ve guessed that the “histories” in question involve the edgy Gotham of the late ’70s and early ’80s, treat yourself to an egg cream from Dave’s Luncheonette. But then, nostalgia for the era has grown in direct proportion to the distance artists have had to travel to find affordable rents, so it’s no coincidence that the principal curator this year is Douglas Crimp, organizer of the legendary “Pictures” exhibition at

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