National Academy of Design

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1083 5th Ave New York, NY 10128


Drawn from the National Academy's members and the younger artists they've invited, the pieces at The Annual: 2012 plunge patrons into a wide cross section of work from established and emerging artists, including painting, sculpture, architecture, and video. Ellen Altfest's The Leg presents viewers with a nearly photorealistic vision of human anatomy, blurring the line between portraiture, still life, and takeout menus from tiger restaurants. Architectural studies by the likes of Jeanne Gang, Laurence Booth, and Rafael Viñoly draw out the experiential as well as the aesthetic aspects of their structures, and video installations by Joan Jonas, Carrie Mae Weems, and Kate Gilmore trace the medium's evolution through three generations and the casualty-ridden conflicts of the VHS versus Betamax wars. The exhibition takes place in the Academy's stately Beaux Arts mansion, creating an electric juxtaposition of gilded-age elegance and cutting-edge artwork.