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Martin Creed - Park Avenue Armory

You’re not the only one going on vacation – art is also taking the summer off. Art season is over and most New York galleries are straight up closed in August. So before switching to holiday mode and roasting under the sun, we suggest seeing one last exhibition. It’s playful, completely quirky, somewhat provocative.

Push open the heavy wooden doors of the Park Avenue Armory, this superb cultural institution in the posh Upper East Side. There is a long-awaited retrospective of the artist Martin Creed. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, just know that this contemporary English artist is most famous for his eccentricity.

Stepping into Martin Creed’s world is a little bit like entering a carnival. There is a room packed with balloons. 860 white balloons to be exact. A pool of balloons in which you’re allowed to dive for 15 minutes. Regressive pleasure and transgressive as your playground actually is a grandly decorated, late 19th century period room with artifacts along with gigantic portraits of army generals. In another room: a haunted grand piano whose lid lifts silently, then slams shut, over and over again. You might also bump into a real marching band that patrols the space constantly. The centerpiece of the exhibition is the impressive Drill Hall, a huge 55,000-square-foot space occupied for the occasion by a single giant screen… at the end of each projection, the loading dock gate opens, giving you a snapshot of Lexington Avenue. There is also a dark hallway filled with short videos, each one more surprising than the last (children and sensitive souls might want to skip some of them).

Go get yourself some culture before vacation! You have until August 7th to lose yourself in Martin Creed’s maze and daffy universe.


Park Avenue Armory
Martin Creed – The Back Door
643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side
Ticket $15, until August 7th

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