Five New York shows explore the pandemic’s effects two years after the city’s first Covid-19 lockdowns
From Renate Aller’s touching photos of sidewalk gatherings to Uuriintuya Dagvasambuu’s vaccine-inspired Mongol Zurag paintings, artists are reflecting on the darkest days of the initial outbreak
25 March 2022
As New York passed the second anniversary of the initial Covid-19 lockdowns, galleries and museums throughout the city opened shows exploring how the pandemic has affected everyday life. Touching on themes of isolation, public health and the increasingly blurred boundaries between our digital and physical lives, these five shows offer a look at some of the artistic responses to life during the pandemic.
Cornered during confinement
Unexpected, dreamlike surprises await in Stephen Thorpe’s so-called “corner paintings”. Portraits of interior corners that the artist developed during isolation, the works weave in strange, out-of-place elements like arcade games and Audubon-esque birds. The wall colours, carpets and room contents differ in each work, but there is a sense of familiarity connecting all the paintings, as if each one depicts the same vantage point constantly reimagined. Thorpe’s corners represent all of the interior views that became our habitats during lockdown. They also, as the exhibition title indicates, mark physical boundaries as spaces of safety but also entrapment. That may sound bleak, but Thorpe’s works also exemplify the unbound potential of our own imaginations.
Stephen Thorpe: Boundaries of the Soul, until 14 April, Denny Dimin Gallery