The New Museum Parties Like It’s 1993

by Lan Truong


Loads of great things happened in 1993: during the second day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported legal abortion in the most direct language ever used by a nominee, BUST Magazine was founded (!), and Chloë Sevigny (photographed above by Larry Clark) moved to New York and was dubbed one of the “coolest girls in the world” by The New Yorker. Loads of not-so-great things happened in 1993, as well: Representative Henry Hyde successfully defended his restrictions on federal Medicaid financing for abortion, Audrey Hepburn died of cancer at 63, and a blimp advertising a restaurant chain crashed on the roof of a building in Manhattan after deflating from a puncture.

A print by Art Club 2000

By looking at work created and shown in New York in 1993, the New Museum’s latest exhibition, “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star,” attempts to capture the intersection of art, pop culture, and politics at a specific moment in time. Not only was 1993 a cultural turning point in the United States, but it was a turning point abroad as well. Conflicts in Europe, the AIDS crisis, and debates on gay rights and gun control influenced the work of established and emerging artists of the time. The work of Karen Kilimnik, Cindy Sherman, Alex Bag, Kathe Burkhart, Art Club 2000, and more can be seen in “NYC 1993”. The show, which gets part of its title from a Sonic Youth album (FYI Chloë Sevigny was the face of X-Girl, the ’90s cult fashion label created by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and stylist Daisy von Furth), is on view at the New Museum now until May 26th.


A still from Karen Kilimnik’s 6-hour long video, “Heathers”


Photos via New Museum

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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