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Two new Studio Museum art shows to see in Harlem (but not in its old 125th Street space)

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

The Studio Museum's old home on 125th Street may be closed while it builds its new David Adjaye-designed space, but that doesn't mean it's stopped putting out great art shows in the neighborhood.

Quite the opposite. The museum recently debuted two new exhibits featuring up-and-coming artists that will whet your appetite for its eventual return to a much larger home. Here's what's on and where to find each:

Chloe Bass next to one of her signs in "Wayfinding" in St. Nicholas Park

Daily 6am-10pm; through September 27, 2020

St. Nicholas Park, main entrance at W 135th St and St. Nicholas Ave

A series of signs lining three main paths in St. Nicholas Park, Chloe Bass's outdoor art project starts by asking three main thought-provoking questions. Here's just one: "How much of life is coping?" Etched on large, mirrored billboards, they're surrounded by smaller signs featuring mysterious cutouts of family snapshots and even tinier ones with statements such as "You might want so much more than you know." Pushing the observer to reflect on subjects like difficult family relationships, unwanted societal pressure and anxiety, the signs are a bit like a walk with a silent therapist. You're free to interpret them how you wish, just don't expect any easy answers.

Artist Dozie Kanu's new show, "Function," at Studio Museum 127

Thu-Sun noon-6pm; through March 15, 2020;

Studio Museum 127, 429 W 127th St between Amsterdam and Convent Aves

Sculptural chairs fill the Studio Museum's satellite space on 127th Street, but these are less utilitarian objects than reflections of the artist who created them: Dozie Kanu, a young Nigerian-American who was raised in Houston, Texas and currently lives in Portugal. He assembled "Chair [ix] (For Babies)" from a high chair frame found in Portugal and patterned metal from Nigeria, a country he first visited only a year ago. Another, "Chair [iii]," combines purple cement and protruding car rims typical of the customized car culture in Houston's African-American community. Together, these many juxtapositions create a fascinating portrait of the artist.

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