New Museum Takes Us Back To the 90s With "NYC 1993"

A look at 18 major works from the exhibition "NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set: Trash and No Star," open now through May 26, 2013.

There are a few seminal years that stand out in the history of art, like the early 1400s, when Brunelleschi, the Italian Renaissance painter who engineered the dome of the Florence Cathedral, invented perspective, or 1913, when the Armory Show in New York City, officially known as the International Exhibition of Modern Art, marked the very first time modernists like Picasso, Duchamp, Kandinksy, and Cézanne were shown in America in a highly controversial event that turned the art world this side of the Atlantic on its head.

The New Museum is proposing that New York City had another red-letter year in 1993, exactly eight decades later. That was the year the city elected Rudolph Giuliani mayor, a move that "spelled the beginning-of-the-end of 'old New York,'" according to Art Forum, which also describes the early '90s as a time when "people were weirder and partied more (and better). We all stayed out a little bit later … and everything was that much cooler."

Whether or not you took part in the late-night revelry (and whether or not you care), there are more than a few notable New York-centric art moments that indisputably took place in the '90s. A young, NYC-based Matthew Barney won the Europa 2000 Prize at the Venice Biennale. Seven Cooper Union students formed Art Club 2000 and staged their first show, which focused on another '90s media giant, the Gap. The work produced at this time—by artists like Cindy Sherman, Andrea Zittel, John Currin, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Byron Kim, Kiki Smith, and Paul McCarthy—also reflects major cultural and political movements, like the Middle East and the AIDs crisis. Much of this work remains iconic, but the New Museum's exhibition "NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star" also brings to light several lesser-known works that, according to museum curators, serve "as both artifacts from a pivotal moment in the New York art world and as key markers in the cultural history of the city."

Scroll through for a look at some of the major works from the exhibition, which runs through May 26, 2013.

Simpson _7Mouths_EHSS.jpg

Lorna Simpson, 7 Mouths, 1993.
Seven photo-linen panels. 61 x 16 in (155 x 40 cm).

Courtesy Salon 94


Wolfgang Tillmans, Moby lying, 1993.
Inkjet print. 47 x 71 in

Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery


Art Club 2000, Untitled (Conrans I), 1992–93.
Chromogenic print. 8 x 10 in.

Courtesy of American Fine Arts Co., Inc.


Andres Serrano, Infectious Pneumonia, from "The Morgue," 1992.
Cibachrome print, silicone, Plexiglas, and wood frame. 49 ½ x 60 in.

Courtesy of Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art.


Cheryl Donegan, Head, 1993.
Video still.

Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)


John Currin, Girl in Bed, 1993.
Oil on canvas. 38 x 48 in.

By Robert McKeever/Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery


David Hammons, In the Hood, 1993.
Athletic sweatshirt hood with wire. 23 x 10 x 5 in.

Courtesy of Tilton Gallery


Matthew Barney, DRAWING RESTRAINT 7, 1993.
Video Still.

Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery. Video: Peter Strietmann


Gary Simmons, Gangsta Bitch, 1993.
Latex on canvas, 96 x 96 in.

Courtesy of Metro Pictures


Jutta Koether, Antibody IV (All Purpose Substance), 1993.
Oil on canvas, 99 ½ x 79 ½ in.<

Courtesy of Bortolami Gallery, New York


Gillian Wearing, I'm Desperate, from "Signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say," 1992–93.
Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum, 17 ½ x 11 ¾ in.

Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Martinez _MuseumTags_EHSS.jpg

Daniel Joseph Martinez, Museum Tags: Second Movement (Overture) or Overture con Claque – Overture with Hired Audience Members 1993 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1993.
Metal and enamel on paint, 12 x 15 in.

Courtesy of Simon Preston


Gabriel Orozco, Isla en la Isla, 1993.
Silver dye bleach print, 16 x 20 in.

Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery

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Sarah Lucas, The Odd Couple, 1991.
Two chairs, wax, and false teeth. 34 ¾ x 15 ¾ x 15 ¾ in

Courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London


Jack Whitten, Fifth Gestalt (The Coal Miner), 1993.
Sumi ink and acrylic on canvas. 44 x 44 in.

Courtesy of A.G. Rosen


Nari Ward, Amazing Grace, 1993.
Installation shots.

Courtesy of New Museum and Lehmann Maupin Gallery


Nari Ward, Amazing Grace, 1993.
Installation shots.

Courtesy of New Museum and Lehmann Maupin Gallery


Nari Ward, Amazing Grace, 1993.
Installation shots

Photo by Jesse Untracht-Oakner/Courtesy New Museum

• • •

—Perrin Drumm (@perrindrumm), associate web editor at Details

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