In recent years, New York’s Museum of Art and Design (MAD) has become one of the most vital if somewhat undefined cultural institutions in the city. The museum has opened its doors to adventurous programming and has increasingly courted the design world as it has distanced itself somewhat from craft. Under the leadership of new director Glenn Adamson, the museum has embraced this messy vitality and further emphasized process over object. Its latest exhibition, NYC Makers: The MAD Biennale, celebrates art, design, and craft production across the five boroughs, including both artists and fabricators.
Curated by Jake Yuzna, the exhibition participants were crowd-sourced from a group of 300 nominators. Selection was based upon particular expertise in a highly specialized skill. Nearly 100 made the cut. The show is organized into a series of themed groupings that also serve as programmatic stages for workshops, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, and other activities that make the exhibition an exercise in display and production. Architects and designers in the exhibition include Lindsey Adelman, Aranda/Lasch, Boym Parnters, Flavor Paper, Ralph Pucci, SITU Studio, and UM Project. In a city increasingly defined by money and the leisure class, the show is a group portrait of New York’s still industrious creative producers. NYC Makers is on view through October 12.