Skip to content

State of the Art: New York

9 April to 6 September 2009

State of the Art: New York showed a selection of contemporary art coming out of one of the world’s most exciting cities – New York: capital of the contemporary art scene and hot-bed of cultural creativity. With contributions from 16 artists (including four new commissions) the exhibition featured a suprising and somewhat unexpected collection painting, performance, video and installation. Peppered with political  social satire, works included Leon Reid IV’s True Yank (detailed below) and Matthew Lutz-Kinnoy’s autobiographical performance piece Welcome to the Story of my Life (shown below) as well as Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s Residential Erection, an animated take-off of the recent US presidential election process. Artist collective Forays also created work for an off-site space at Shudehill Bus Station, which showed waiting commuters their Hack Charts – plans which revealed how to explore and re-use the infrastructure of a city, specifically power stations in New York and Manchester. More at

Other featured artists included:


True Yank – Leon Reid IV

Visitors and passers-by were invited to look for a new artistic intervention on the streets of Manchester, which gave the city’s statue of Abraham Lincoln a modern-day blinged-up revamp, complete with baseball cap, medallions and rings. Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President, blockaded the export of raw cotton to Manchester in campaign to put an end to slavery. The statue, located on Brazenose St, commemorates the thanks offered by Lincoln to the people of Manchester for their support. Reid’s paid tribute to this story and highlighted the affection in which Lincoln is still held by African-Americans today.

The Story of My Life – Matthew Lutz-Kinoy

This semi-autobiographical piece fused dance, art, rock ballads and electro music in a humourous yet disturbing performance piece.

Media Release

Best of Manchester 08.pdf – click here to download State of the Art’s media release

Customer Comments

“I thought the New York State of the Art exhibition was brilliant.  Genuinely interesting pieces – lots of different media… thought the actions behind some of them were excellent and relevant to everybody – not just those interested in art”

“Enjoyed the NYC exhibition, it is nice to see contemporary art from one of the traditional centres of modern art”

“Excellent displays of very contemporary artwork.  Urbis is doing a great job with some excellent exhibitions.  Thanks again!  I love how you are involving internationally influenced pieces to bring some culture to Manchester.  Good job guys”

Press Comments

“The show inspired optimistic feelings within minutes…”

– Christine Wong Yap

“The Abraham Lincoln statue in Lincoln Square has had a hip-hop makeover that mixes humour and art, engages the audience and says something about America, Manchester and the artist”

– Christopher Brown, The Metro

%d bloggers like this: