Some of the world's most impressive museums and exhibits are in New York?including the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and (of course) the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the great things to do in NYC is to visit these spectacular collections. Whether you're a native New Yorker or here on vacation, NYC's museums have something new and interesting to offer everybody! Here is a list of what's going on this week at museums throughout New York City.
Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through April 15, 2012 -
Perhaps the greatest figure painter and landscapist of China's modern period, Fu Baoshi successfully integrated Western and traditional artistic influences to create haunting images that evoke a mood as much as a place or person. This exhibition will treat Fu's forty-year career with some seventy paintings, including many of the artist's recognized masterpieces, drawn from the preeminent holdings of China's Nanjing Museum. The exhibition, augmented by superb works from a New York private collection, will be the most comprehensive treatment of the artist's oeuvre ever presented outside of Asia. Co-organized with the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition will feature a richly illustrated catalogue.
Enrico David: Head Gas - New Museum of Contemporary Art
Through April 22, 2012 - New York
"Head Gas" is the first New York exhibition by Italian-born, Berlin-based artist Enrico David. Over the past twenty years, David has produced a body of work encompassing painting, drawing, sculpture, and collage that draws upon a rich variety of sources and expresses a range of complex emotional states. Although his work is highly celebrated throughout Europe--the artist was among the nominees for the 2009 Turner Prize, for example--David's work has rarely been exhibited in the United States. The figures populating David's work convey the struggle of adaptation, both physical and psychological, of the self and of the image. In his art, we see haunting, incomplete, and sometimes grotesque characters fighting against and merging into backgrounds comprising a personal lexicon of forms. These patterns are derived from craft, folk art, and twentieth-century design, as well as advertising, techniques of display, fashion, and art historical moments. Previously, David choreographed his figurative works to imply dramatic narratives, at times using the exhibition space as a stage. His exhibitions function as performances of self-analysis constructed and theatricalized specifically for public display. Through David's highly personalized iconography, the works act as mirrors, reflecting viewers' desires, fears, and vulnerabilities. In David's more recent work, the implications and strands of psychological tension are enacted within a more formalized, image-based corporeality. For his 'Studio 231' exhibition, David has created an entirely new body of work. The paintings and works on paper are part of a series of portraits rendered delicately in pencil and luminescent fields of acrylic paint applied with a sponge or caressing brush. David's imagery suggests bodies at the point of apparition or dissolution-beings that cannot be contained or consumed, perhaps only passed through, and reluctantly present. 'I imagine these images as the product of a conscious, physiological act of will. To exist despite the alienating and antagonizing nature of their surrounding environment-as if a precarious and utterly temporary agreement was struck between them and the molecular components of paint and canvas, lines and colors, even the space itself, threaten to engulf them,' says David. 'These conditions, as ridiculous and unlikely as they may sound, represent for me an experience that feels real, necessary to embrace, even optimistic.' 'Head Gas' also features a new series of hand-painted paravents. These folding screens, originally conceived by the artist for his own apartment, create an architectural intervention within the exhibition space, simultaneously connecting to the images occupying the gallery. Enrico David is the second artist featured in the New Museum's new 'Studio 231' series. The Museum inaugurated the series in October 2011, with a new installation and performances by London-based artist Spartacus Chetwynd. 'Studio 231' is a series of commissioned projects in the museum's adjacent, ground-floor space at 231 Bowery. This new initiative will give international, emerging artists the opportunity to realize ambitious new works conceived especially for the space. These projects at 231 Bowery also seek to foster a new relationship between the artists and the public by allowing artists to create work outside the confines of the main museum building and in closer proximity to the energy of the street and to the creative space of the artist's studio.
The Ungovernables - 2012 New Museum Triennial - New Museum of Contemporary Art
Through April 22, 2012 - New York
The 2012 New Museum Triennial will feature thirty-four artists, artist groups, and temporary collectives -- totaling over fifty participants -- born between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, many of whom have never before exhibited in the US. The exhibition title, "The Ungovernables," takes its inspiration from the concept of "ungovernability" and its transformation from a pejorative term used to describe unruly "natives" to a strategy of civil disobedience and self-determination. "The Ungovernables" is meant to suggest both anarchic and organized resistance and a dark humor about the limitations and potentials of this generation.
"The Ungovernables" is an exhibition about the urgencies of a generation who came of age after the independence and revolutionary movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Through both materials and form, works included in "The Ungovernables" explore impermanence and an engagement with the present and future. Many of the works are provisional, site-specific, and performative reflecting an attitude of possibility and resourcefulness. In the sculpture of Adrian Villar Rojas, monumentality is juxtaposed with transience. Rendered in clay, the works depend on cracks on their surfaces -- the inevitable failure of the object, of meaning, and the guaranteed transformation of all ideas and objects back to dust. But it is dust that is then repurposed, reimagined, and re-formed. When Danh Vo learned that the Statue of Liberty is simply a steel armature covered by a copper skin the thickness of two pennies, he researched the hammering process that gave her shape, then employed craftsmen to replicate the statue's skin for his work WE THE PEOPLE. Julia Dault manipulates materials of modernity such as Formica and Plexiglas in temporal arrangements that can never be repeated. In her works, the artist's labor is dependent on the conditions of a certain space, her strength to execute a work at a particular time, and the uncontrollable accidents her materials determine. House of Natural Fiber, a new media collective and alternative space, has recently combined microbiology and art to teach locals about safe ways to brew homemade fruit wine while amplifying and sampling the sounds of the distillation process to make electronic music. Jonathas de Andrade's Ressaca Tropical (Tropical Hangover) is an installation of over one hundred photographs linked to pages of a romantic diary found in the trash. In isolation, the components of Ressaca are historical documents. However, pieced together, they comprise a larger fiction of what a city is and can be -- how the past can remain alive, not through conservation, but instead through the invisible energy of living. The New Museum has initiated a series of residencies and public programs to support the production of new works for the Triennial to foster artistic investigation, experimentation, and exchange. Residencies began in February 2011, with Public Movement and Adri�n Villar Rojas focusing on research for Triennial projects. In June and July, the New Museum embarked on a concentrated period of activities with Wu Tsang as well as Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran of CAMP. On November 4 and 6, Public Movement presented Positions, a choreographed protest in which political and philosophical positions manifest into physical positions. Wu Tsang continued to develop his work Full Body Quotation with a performance on November 19, which will be the foundation of his installation in "The Ungovernables" exhibition. The Triennial is curated by Eungie Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs.
Rembrandt's World: Dutch Drawings from the Clement C. Moore Collection - Morgan Library & Museum
Through April 29, 2012 -
This exhibition focuses on artists who worked in their native Holland during the fertile period of the seventeenth century known as the Dutch Golden Age.
White Gold: Highlights from the Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain - Frick Collection
Through April 29, 2012 - New York
The Portico Gallery for Decorative Arts and Sculpture opens in late December with an inaugural exhibition of works drawn from Henry Arnhold's promised gift of 131 examples of Meissen porcelain from the early years of this Royal Manufactory's production. On view through April 29, 2012, White Gold: Highlights from the Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain will feature approximately seventy of these objects, presented along with a group of eighteenth-century sculptures by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1740–1828). Among the latter works is the full-length terracotta Diana the Huntress, a signature work at the Frick that returns to view having been recently cleaned and treated. It finds a permanent home in the new portico gallery, while the ongoing display of other sculptures and ceramics will rotate periodically.
Storytelling in Japanese Art - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 06, 2012 -
Japan has enjoyed a long tradition of narrative painting, one that continues even today with the popular contemporary Japanese cartoon (manga) and animation. This exhibition will offer particularly stellar examples of illustrated Japanese narrative works from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. Drawn from some of the foremost American collections as well as the Museum's own holdings, it will be the first exhibition devoted to this subject in the United States in more than twenty-five years. It will feature more than sixty-five exquisitely executed paintings in various formats: handscroll (emaki), album, book, hanging scroll, screen, and playing cards.
Duncan Phyfe - Master Cabinetmaker in New York - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 06, 2012 -
n the early 1800s, furniture from the workshop of New York City cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854) was in such demand that he was referred to as the "United States Rage." This exhibition—the first retrospective on Phyfe in ninety years—will serve to re-introduce this artistic and influential master cabinetmaker to a contemporary audience. The full chronological sweep of Phyfe's distinguished career will be featured, including examples of his best-known furniture based on the English Regency designs of Thomas Sheraton, work from the middle and later stages of his career when he adopted the richer "archaeological" antique style of the 1820s, and a highly refined, plain Grecian style based on French Restauration prototypes. The exhibition brings together nearly one hundred works from private and public collections throughout the United States. Highlights of the exhibition include some never-before-seen documented masterpieces and furniture descended directly in the Phyfe family, as well as the cabinetmaker's own tool chest. Organized chronologically, the exhibition will present the cabinetmaker's life and work through drawings, documents, personal possession, and furniture. Portraits of his clients and contemporary depictions of New York City street scenes and domestic interiors will provide a glimpse into Phyfe's milieu.
The Loving Story: Photographs by Grey Villet - International Center of Photography
Through May 06, 2012 - New York
Forty-five years ago, sixteen states still prohibited interracial marriage. Then, in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, a white man, and his wife, Mildred Loving, a woman of African American and Native American descent, who had been arrested for miscegenation nine years earlier in Virginia. The Lovings were not active in the Civil Rights movement but their tenacious legal battle to justify their marriage changed history when the Supreme Court unanimously declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation law -- and all race-based marriage bans -- unconstitutional. LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet's intimate images were uncovered by director Nancy Buirski during the making of The Loving Story, a documentary debuting on February 14, 2012 on HBO. The exhibition, organized by Assistant Curator of Collections Erin Barnett, includes some 20 vintage prints loaned by the estate of Grey Villet and by the Loving family.
Perspectives 2012 - International Center of Photography
Through May 06, 2012 - New York
Perspectives is an exhibition series that focuses on emerging young artists working in photography and video. The small group exhibitions in the series are nonthematic, highlighting the individual ideas and achievements of an engaging and eclectic group of new faces. Those presented within Perspectives have not been widely exhibited, inspiring conversations on contemporary art, broadening ICP's audience, and revealing work that may otherwise not be seen outside of a small gallery setting. Above all, Perspectives will highlight global contemporary artists who have not yet been shown in New York, and who may not conventionally be considered photographers. ICP Curator Christopher Phillips organized this second exhibition in the series, which includes work by Chien-Chi Chang, Greg Girard, and Anna Shteynshleyger.
Magnum Contact Sheets - International Center of Photography
Through May 06, 2012 - New York
Magnum Contact Sheets reveals how Magnum photographers have captured and edited their best shots from the 1930s to the present. The contact sheet, a direct print of a roll or sequence of negatives, is the photographer's first look at what he or she has captured on film, and provides a uniquely intimate glimpse into their working process. It records each step on the route to arriving at an image -- providing a rare behind-the-scenes sense of walking alongside the photographer and seeing through their eyes. Including both celebrated icons of photography and lesser-known surprises, the exhibition functions as an "epitaph" to the contact sheet, now rendered obsolete by digital photography. Through these fascinating and usually private images, the exhibition celebrates what and how photographers saw for nearly a century. Coinciding with the publication of Magnum Contact Sheets (Thames & Hudson), edited by ICP Curator Kristen Lubben, the exhibition includes a selection of some of the 139 contact sheets in the book.
Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857 - Japan Society
Through May 06, 2012 -
Delhi has served as a cultural center of North India for more than a millennium in different incarnations. This exhibition focuses on the 18th century to the mid-19th century, the crucial period when Delhi moved from being the heart of the late Mughal Empire to becoming the jewel in the crown of the British Raj. The exhibition examines Mughal artistic culture in the 18th and 19th centuries to highlight the interwoven nature of Mughal, European and regional patronage networks within which Delhi artists operated. Approximately 100 objects include works by Delhi-based court artists Nidha Mal and Chitarman, and less familiar works by artists such as Ghulam Murtaza Khan, Ghulam Ali Khan and Mazhar Ali Khan. In addition to Mughal miniatures produced under later emperors -- Muhammad Shah (reigned 1719-1748) up to Bahadur Shah "Zafar" (reigned 1837-1858) -- this exhibition highlights a selection of Company School paintings produced for Delhi-based personalities such as William Fraser, James Skinner and Thomas Metcalfe. Select photography, drawings and decorative arts are also included. William Dalrymple and Yuthika Sharma are guest curators of the exhibition.
John Chamberlain: Choices - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through May 13, 2012 - New York
This exhibition comprises nearly 100 works, from his earliest monochromatic welded iron-rod sculptures to the large-scale foil creations of recent years.
Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting - Frick Collection
Through May 13, 2012 - New York
An exhibition of nine iconic Impressionist paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, offering the first comprehensive study of the artist's engagement with the full-length format, which was associated with the official Paris Salon in the decade that saw the emergence of a fully fledged Impressionist aesthetic. The project was inspired by La Promenade of 1875-76, the most significant Impressionist work in the Frick's permanent collection. It explores Renoir's portraits and subject pictures of this type from the mid-1870s to mid-1880s. Intended for public display, these vertical grand-scale canvases are among the artist's most daring and ambitious presentations of contemporary subjects and are today considered masterpieces of Impressionism. On view only at the Frick, Renoir, Impressionism, and the Full-Length Format is a landmark exhibition, bringing together, with the Frick painting, several beloved masterpieces from around the world. Works on loan from international institutions are La Parisienne (1874) from the National Museum of Art, Cardiff; The Umbrellas (c. 1881 and 1885) from The National Gallery, London (first time since 1886 on view in the United States); and Dance in the City and Dance in the Country (1882-83) from the Musee d'Orsay, Paris. Works on loan from American institutions are The Dancer (1874) from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Madame Henriot "en travesti" (1875-76) from the Columbus Museum of Art; Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando (1879) from the Art Institute of Chicago; and Dance at Bougival (1882-83) from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition will be shown in the Frick's East Gallery. Renoir, Impressionism, and the Full-Length Painting is being organized by Colin B. Bailey, the Frick's Associate Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator.
John Chamberlain: Choices - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through May 13, 2012 - New York
John Chamberlain: Choices offers a comprehensive examination of the work of the late John Chamberlain and the first U.S retrospective since 1986. Comprising approximately one hundred works, the exhibition examines the artist’s development over a sixty-year career, exploring the shifts in scale, materials, and techniques informed by the assemblage process that was central to his working method. The exhibition presents works from Chamberlain’s earliest monochromatic iron sculptures and experiments in foam, Plexiglas, and paper, to his final large-scale foil pieces, which have never been shown in the United States. Chamberlain was first celebrated at the Guggenheim in a 1971 retrospective. John Chamberlain: Choices is organized by Susan Davidson, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue. This exhibition is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Leadership Committee for John Chamberlain: Choices, chaired by Larry Gagosian, is gratefully acknowledged.
Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through May 14, 2012 - Manhattan
Diego Rivera was the subject of MoMA's second monographic exhibition (the first was Henri Matisse), which set new attendance records in its five-week run from December 22, 1931, to January 27, 1932. MoMA brought Rivera to New York six weeks before the exhibition's opening and gave him studio space within the Museum, a strategy intended to solve the problem of how to present the work of this famous muralist when murals were by definition made and fixed on site. Working around the clock with two assistants, Rivera produced five "portable murals"?large blocks of frescoed plaster, slaked lime, and wood that feature bold images drawn from Mexican subject matter and address themes of revolution and class inequity. After the opening, to great publicity, Rivera added three more murals, now taking on New York subjects through monumental images of the urban working class and the social stratification of the city during the Great Depression. All eight were on display for the rest of the show's run. The first of these panels, Agrarian Leader Zapata, is an icon in the Museum's collection.
This exhibition will bring together key works made for Rivera's 1931 exhibition, presenting them at MoMA for the first time in nearly 80 years. Along with mural panels, the show will include full-scale drawings, smaller working drawings, archival materials related to the commission and production of these works, and designs for Rivera's famous Rockefeller Center mural, which he also produced while he was working at the Museum. Focused specifically on works created during the artist's stay in New York, this exhibition will draw a succinct portrait of Rivera as a highly cosmopolitan figure who moved between Russia, Mexico, and the United States, and will offer a fresh look at the intersection of art making and radical politics in the 1930s. MoMA will be the exhibition's sole venue.
Printin' - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through May 14, 2012 - Manhattan
Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Print/Out, Printin' takes as its starting point DeLuxe (2005), a tour de force portfolio of 60 works by Ellen Gallagher (American, b. 1965) that challenged traditional ideas of what a print could be. This technically complex work employs a veritable riot of mediums, unorthodox tools, and elements, from slicks of greasy pomade to plastic ice cubes. DeLuxe also offers a multivalent constellation of ideas, touching on such issues as portraiture, identity, history, advertising, commodity, and the disruption, translation, and recasting of space. Proposing a kind of technical dissection and conceptual unpacking of this portfolio, Printin' brings together work by more than 50 artists from multiple disciplines in a sweeping chronology that extends from the 17th century to the present day, to propose a free-flowing yet incisive web of associations that are reflected in DeLuxe. Encompassing prints, drawings, films, books, photographs, sculptures, videos, and comic strips, the exhibition features such artists as Vija Celmins, David Hammons, George Herriman, Robert Rauschenberg, Martha Rosler, and many others, forming a dense network of formal, technical, and conceptual connections and intersections.
Print/Out - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through May 14, 2012 - Manhattan
Over the last two decades, geopolitical borders have shifted and new technologies have forged channels of communication around the world. Printed materials, in both innovative and traditional forms, have played a key role in this exchange of ideas and sources. This exhibition examines the evolution of artistic practices related to the print medium, from the resurgence of traditional printmaking techniques -- often used alongside digital technologies -- to the proliferation of self-published artists' projects. Bringing together some 70 series or projects drawn substantially from MoMA's extensive collection of prints and books, with the addition of several important loans, the exhibition features major artists and publishing projects, such as Ai Weiwei, Trisha Donnelly, Martin Kippenberger, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lucy McKenzie, Aleksandra Mir, Museum in Progress, Edition Jacob Samuel, Thomas Schutte, SUPERFLEX, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Christopher Wool, among many others. Print/Out is the third in a series of large print surveys periodically organized by the Museum's Department of Prints and Illustrated Books in order to assess the evolution of the medium. The last two exhibitions were Printed Art: A View of Two Decades, organized by Riva Castleman in 1980, and Thinking Print: Books to Billboards: 1980�1995, curated by Deborah Wye in 1996.
Millennium Magazines - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through May 14, 2012 - Manhattan
This survey of experimental art and design magazines published since 2000 explores the various ways in which contemporary artists and designers utilize the magazine format as an experimental space for the presentation of artworks and text. Throughout the 20th century, international avant-garde activities in the visual arts and design were often codified first in the informal context of a magazine or journal. This exhibition, drawn from the holdings of the MoMA Library, follows the practice into the 21st century. The works on view represent a broad array of international titles within this genre, from community-building newspapers to image-only photography magazines to conceptual design projects. The contents illustrate a diverse range of image-making, editing, design, printing, and distribution practices. There are obvious connections to the past lineage of artists' magazines and little architecture and design magazines of the 20th century, as well as a clear sense of the application of new techniques of image-editing and printing methods. Assembled together, these contemporary magazines provide a first-hand view into these practices and represents the MoMA Library's sustained effort to document and collect this medium.
In the Company of Animals: Art, Literature, and Music at the Morgan - Morgan Library & Museum
Through May 20, 2012 -
Drawing from the breadth of the Morgan's collection, this exhibition will explore the ways in which animals have served as inspiration for and subjects of diverse creative works.
Rembrandt and Degas - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 20, 2012 -
Self-portraits made by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917) at the start of their illustrious careers are seen side by side, for the first time, in an exhibition that highlights the Dutch master's guiding influence on the young French Impressionist and offers an intimate look at their unique kinship.
Hanging Around: Necklaces from MAD's Collection - Museum of Arts & Design
Through May 21, 2012 -
For at least forty thousand years, in virtually all cultures, humans have worn objects of symbolic, decorative, and amuletic value around their necks. Ranging in length from chokers to rope necklaces that hang below the waist, and in form from simple pendants to elaborate sculptural collars and breastplates, necklaces are strategically positioned beneath the face to draw attention to themselves, enhancing the wearer's allure, power, or status and showcasing the maker's artistic skills. The unique works on display in Hanging Around are from the Museum of Arts and Design's jewelry collection. Dating from the 1960s to the present, these artistic creations encompass conceptual approaches ranging from the decorative to the provocatively political. Some of the necklaces on view feature precious metals and rare gemstones, but others derive their impact from materials as unconventional as pig intestines, gun triggers, mustard seeds, LED lighting, black coral, butterfly wings, phone directories, mirrors and lenses. The fabrication techniques employed by the artists are as different as traditional goldsmithing and cutting-edge digital prototyping.
Whitney Biennial 2012 - Whitney Museum of American Art
Through May 27, 2012 - Upper East Side
This year marks the seventy-sixth edition of the Whitney's signature exhibition. Closed Mon. & Tues. $18.
The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter! - American Museum of Natural History
Through May 28, 2012 - Upper West Side
The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter!, a perennial favorite visited by millions of children and adults, returns to the American Museum of Natural History. This popular winter attraction invites visitors to mingle with up to 500 iridescent butterflies fluttering among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation inside a free-standing, balmy, 1,200-square-foot enclosure.
The Coe Collection of American Indian Art - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 28, 2012 -
Drawn from works given and bequeathed to the Metropolitan during the past decade by Ralph T. Coe of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the exhibition will be comprised of some thirty objects made in natural materials from stone to animal hide. It will feature a wide range of Native American works that come from different times, different places, and numerous distinct peoples.
The oldest pieces in the Coe Collection date to some thousands of years B.C.E. The major part of the collection dates from the nineteenth to early twentieth century, a period of great contact between Native Americans and outsiders of all sorts, from traders to missionaries to the U.S. army. The peoples of the Great Plains are prominent during this time, and objects such as the impressive, personalized hide shirts of important Indian men have come to identify American Indians in the public mind. Representing contemporary work, an imposing sculpture of a Noble Woman by the Northwest Coast Haida artist Robert Davidson, dated to 2001, will be on view—the product of a long, deeply felt tradition for the carving of wood.
Question Bridge: Black Males - Brooklyn Museum
Through June 03, 2012 -
Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative video installation created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayete Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The four collaborators spent several years traveling throughout the United States, speaking with 150 Black men living in 12 American cities and towns, including New York, Chicago, Oakland, Birmingham, and New Orleans. From these interviews they created 1,500 video exchanges in which the subjects, representing a range of geographic, generational, economic, and educational strata, serve as both interviewers and interviewees. Their words were woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge, including family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society. The exhibition includes multiple screens playing videos of the interviews, edited so that it appears as if the men are having a conversation. The artists hope that the Question Bridge project will be a catalyst for constructive dialogue that will help deconstruct stereotypes about Black male identity in our collective consciousness. Museum visitors are also invited to visit the user-generated Question Bridge website, accessible on iPads throughout the gallery, which offers a platform to represent and redefine Black male identity in America.
The Steins Collect - Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through June 03, 2012 -
Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael, and Michael's wife Sarah were important patrons of modern art in Paris during the first decades of the twentieth century. This exhibition unites some two hundred works of art to demonstrate the significant impact the Steins' patronage had on the artists of their day and the way in which the family disseminated a new standard of taste for modern art. The Steins' Saturday evening salons introduced a generation of visitors to recent developments in art, particularly the work of their close friends Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, long before it was on view in museums.
Beginning with the art that Leo Stein collected when he arrived in Paris in 1903 -- including paintings and prints by Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Manet, and Auguste Renoir -- the exhibition traces the evolution of the Steins' taste and examines the close relationships formed between individual members of the family and their artist friends. While focusing on works by Matisse and Picasso, the exhibition also includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Manguin, Andre Masson, Elie Nadelman, Francis Picabia, and others.
The Deutsche Bank Series at the Guggenheim: Being Singular Plural - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through June 06, 2012 - New York
The Deutsche Bank Series at the Guggenheim: Being Singular Plural presents new film, video, and sound-based works by seven of the most innovative and visionary contemporary artists, filmmakers, and media practitioners living and working in India today. Expanding on its original 2010 Deutsche Guggenheim presentation, the exhibition presents eight projects dispersed among the museum?s Annex galleries, New Media Theater, and outdoors along the exterior ramp leading from Fifth Avenue down to the Sackler Center for Arts Education. The New York installation continues to focus on artistic production in South Asia including with works by: Desire Machine Collective (Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya), Shumona Goel and Shai Heredia, Amar Kanwar, and Kabir Mohanty and Vikram Joglekar. The exhibition is part of the Guggenheim?s Asian Art Program and is organized by Sandhini Poddar, Associate Curator, Asian Art. Accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, this exhibition is made possible by Deutsche Bank. The Leadership Committee for Being Singular Plural is gratefully acknowledged.
Glasstress New York: New Art from the Venice Biennales - Museum of Arts & Design
Through June 10, 2012 -
The Museum of Arts and Design is proud to present Glasstress New York: New Art from the Venice Biennales an extraordinary international gathering of glass sculpture created in Murano at the studio of entrepreneur and mentor Adriano Berengo. Berengo, the founder of Venice Projects, has engaged artists, architects and designers from such diverse countries as the United States, China, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, and Spain. The resulting works were originally commissioned for and presented at the Venice Biennials of 2009 and 2011. The pieces are dramatic and often provocative, ranging from independent sculptures to installations incorporating sounds and light to prototypes for production. The spirit of innovation and experimentation pervades the works in this exhibition; many of the artists and designers were given their first opportunity to work with this challenging medium, and in collaboration with the brilliantly capable master glass artisans assembled by Adriano Berengo.
Artists featured in the exhibition include: Jan Fabre, Michael Joo, Jaime Hayon, Patricia Urquiola, Tony Oursler and Mike + Doug Starn to name a few.
Harlem 1970-2009, A Study in Transitions by Camilo Jose Vergara - New-York Historical Society
Through June 10, 2012 - Upper West Side
This exhibition of photographs by Camilo Jose Vergara will be shown in two cycles: Harlem: The People and Harlem: The Place. Vergara's images serve as powerful and poignant witness to the changes that have occurred over the past four decades in one of the most famous neighborhoods of New York City. Known as the capital of black America, Harlem is a place that has been home to many in the civil rights movement. However, this dynamic part of the city north of Central Park is defined by not only its residents, but also by the physical environment; buildings, which, viewed repeatedly over time, have an organic quality of their own. The first installation (February 17 - June 10, 2012) is defined by the personalities and people of Harlem and the second cycle will focus upon the bricks and mortar; those buildings that tell their own stories.
Hero, Villian, Yeti - The Rubin Museum
Through June 11, 2012 - New York
Comic book storylines have drawn on Tibet's cultural and religious traditions for more than sixty years, mixing reality with myths and long-held stereotypes. Featuring more than fifty comic books from around the world, Hero, Villain, Yeti sheds light on global perceptions of Tibet as reflected in and informed by these diverse narratives.
Cindy Sherman - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through June 11, 2012 - Manhattan
Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954) is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary art. Throughout her career, she has presented a sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of the construction of contemporary identity and the nature of representation, drawn from the unlimited supply of images from movies, TV, magazines, the Internet, and art history. Working as her own model for more than 30 years, Sherman has captured herself in a range of guises and personas which are at turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting. To create her photographs, she assumes multiple roles of photographer, model, makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, and wardrobe mistress. With an arsenal of wigs, costumes, makeup, prosthetics, and props, Sherman has deftly altered her physique and surroundings to create a myriad of intriguing tableaus and characters, from screen siren to clown to aging socialite. Bringing together more than 170 photographs, this retrospective survey traces the artist's career from the mid 1970s to the present. Highlighted in the exhibition are in-depth presentations of her key series, including the groundbreaking series "Untitled Film Stills" (1977-80), the black-and-white pictures that feature the artist in stereotypical female roles inspired by 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, film noir, and European art-house films; her ornate history portraits (1989-90), in which the artist poses as aristocrats, clergymen, and milkmaids in the manner of old master paintings; and her larger-than-life society portraits (2008) that address the experience and representation of aging in the context of contemporary obsessions with youth and status. The exhibition will explore dominant themes throughout Sherman's career, including artifice and fiction; cinema and performance; horror and the grotesque; myth, carnival, and fairy tale; and gender and class identity. Also included are Sherman's recent photographic murals (2010), which will have their American premiere at MoMA. In conjunction with the exhibition, Sherman has selected films from MoMA's collection, which will be screened in MoMA's theaters during the course of the exhibition. A major publication will accompany the exhibition.
Francesca Woodman - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through June 13, 2012 - New York
Francesca Woodman, the most comprehensive exhibition in the U.S. of the artist’s work since Woodman’s untimely death in 1981 at the age of 22, will be presented at the Guggenheim Museum from March 16 through June 13, 2012. Spanning the breadth of her production, the exhibition includes more than 120 vintage photographs, artist books, and a selection of recently discovered and rarely seen short videos, presenting an historical reconsideration of Woodman’s brief but extraordinary career. Francesca Woodman is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). The exhibition has been curated by Corey Keller, Associate Curator of Photography, SFMOMA, where it opened in November 2011. The New York presentation of Francesca Woodman is organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The Leadership Committee for 2012 Exhibitions of Photography is gratefully acknowledged.
Raw/Cooked: Heather Hart - Brooklyn Museum
Through June 24, 2012 -
The fourth exhibition in the Raw/Cooked series presents the work of Bedford-Stuyvesant-based artist Heather Hart. Hart built a large-scale structure titled The Eastern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off the Mother for display in the Museum's fifth-floor rotunda. She describes the work as "an independent rooftop, removed from its house, and dropped from the sky to live its own life in a new context. A rooftop can refer to home, stability, or shelter, but in this context, it is also an action of reclaiming power." The work makes reference to the Museum's ancient Egyptian and African collections and to the Jan Martense Schenck House, a two-room structure built in 1676 that is Brooklyn's second-oldest example of Dutch-American architecture, and the oldest architecture in the Museum's period room collection.
Dan Flavin: Drawing - Morgan Library & Museum
Through July 01, 2012 -
Best known for his fluorescent light installations, Dan Flavin was also an avid draftsman. This first retrospective of his drawings will include over one hundred sheets representing every phase of his career: early abstract expressionist watercolors of the 1950s, studies for light installations, portraits and landscape sketches, and pastels of sailboats from the 1980s. In addition, the exhibition will feature nearly fifty works from Flavin's personal collection of drawings, including nineteenth-century American landscapes by Hudson River School artists, Japanese drawings, and twentieth-century works by artists such as Piet Mondrian, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt.
Ship-Shape: Nautical Scale Models - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Through July 08, 2012 - New York
"Ship-Shape: Nautical Scale Models," a new exhibition that examines the detailed process of building model ships at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and will be on display through Sunday, July 8, 2012. The exhibition consists of dozens of artifacts including model ships, vintage toy ships, a variety of antique model kit boxes, a mock-up of a modeler's workbench showing the building of a model ship being made in progress and illustrations that demonstrate how models are constructed. Among the highlights of the exhibit are models of the Battleship New Jersey, which served during WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam, and USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned vessel afloat in the world. The model USS New Jersey measures 112" W x 25" H x 15" D and the model USS Constitution measures 57" W x 43"H x 22" D. A modeler's workbench offers a peek at the tools of the trade, while World War II nautical toys illustrate children's fascination with ships. From wartime cardboard models to ships in bottles, the exhibit highlights the dexterity, ingenuity and artistry embodied in these popular collectors' items. "Ship-Shape: Nautical Scale Models" is made possible through the support of the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation and will be on display through Sunday, July 8, 2012. The exhibit is free with museum admission. For more information, visit www.intrepidmuseum.org.
Keith Haring: 1978-1982 - Brooklyn Museum
Through July 08, 2012 -
Keith Haring: 1978-1982 is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. Tracing the development of Haring's extraordinary visual vocabulary, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.
The exhibition chronicles the period in Haring's career from his arrival in New York City through the years when he started his studio practice and began making public and political art on the city streets. Immersing himself in New York's downtown culture, he quickly became a fixture on the artistic scene, befriending other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of the period. The critical role that these relationships played in Haring's development as a public artist and facilitator of group exhibitions and performances will also be explored. Pieces on view will include a number of very early works never before seen in public; seven video pieces, including Haring Paints Himself into a Corner (his first video piece) and Tribute to Gloria Vanderbilt; and collages created from cut-up fragments of his own writing, history textbooks, and newspapers.
Women in Aviation: World War II - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Through July 08, 2012 - New York
In 1910, Raymonde de Laroche of France became the first woman to earn a solo pilot's license. Just three decades after de Laroche earned her license, the world was engulfed in a terrible war. Aviation promised to play a critical role in the conflict. Seeing an opportunity to contribute their talents, female pilots lobbied their governments for a chance to serve. Women in Aviation: World War II examines the wartime contributions of these pioneering women. American women took to the skies under the auspices of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the Civil Air Patrol and aircraft manufacturing companies such as Grumman. Female pilots ferried airplanes from base to base. They tested powerful warplanes fresh off the assembly line and flew patrol missions around the country. Behind the scenes, female engineers helped produce rugged warplanes. More than many women, female pilots challenged traditional ideas of what a woman could accomplish. At war's end, society expected women to return to their quiet lives as wives and homemakers, and most women who hoped to continue their flying careers found little opportunity. Decades passed before America's female aviators received formal recognition for their wartime service. Women in Aviation: World War II features original artifacts including flight suits and gear, uniforms, pilot log books, archival materials and photographs. Vintage film footage shows women breaking records, winning air races, and training to serve their country. The exhibition, opening on March 1st and running through July 8th, is free with general admission and will be located in the Hangar 2 Gallery.
Byzantium and Islam - Age of Transition - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through July 08, 2012 -
The Eastern Mediterranean, from Syria across North Africa, comprised the wealthy southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire at the start of the seventh century. By that century's end, the region was central to the emerging Islamic world. This exhibition will be the first to display the complex character of the region and its exceptional art and culture during the era of transition -- from its role as part of the Byzantine state to its evolving position in the developing Islamic world. The dialogue between established Byzantine and evolving Islamic styles and culture will be shown through images of authority, religion, and especially commerce. Iconoclasm as it emerged during that period among the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic communities of the region will be addressed.
Casting the Divine - The Rubin Museum
Through July 13, 2012 - New York
A group of 104 sculptures on long-term loan to the Rubin Museum of Art will be exhibited together for the first time in the United States. A selection of the works was previously exhibited at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, in the United Kingdom, in 1999. The collection is known as the Nyingjei Lam Collection, which means "path of compassion."
Projects 97: Mark Boulos - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through July 16, 2012 - Manhattan
Boulos's installation All that Is Solid Melts into Air (2008), comprised of two large-scale videos, presents two communities on opposite ends of the world, each locked in a struggle to control oil. Oil surrounds us on a daily basis, and yet we are scarcely aware of its source or presence; when refined into products, petroleum gives no clue as to its origin or its physical form. Boulos's installation, however, begins to make visible the mechanisms of this process of abstraction, and the political conditions that these objects conceal. In one video, Boulos shows traders in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on the first day of the 2008 credit crisis. In the other video, Boulos presents footage of his experience living with Nigerian fishermen -- members of the militant group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, which opposes through violent means the exploitation of people and devastation of the environment in one of the largest oil fields in the world. The individuals in these two landscapes are connected through a desire to control petroleum, which vanishes into thin air, in the first instance through financial speculation, and in the second through corporate regulation of Nigerian mines. All that Is Solid Melts into Air provokes timely questions about the ongoing fight over natural resources, and the power of social mechanisms, such as financial derivatives, to shape the lives of individuals and communities while obfuscating their very connection to those affected. Mark Boulos (American, b. 1975) is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Amsterdam and London. He studied visual art at the Rijksakademie in Holland as a Fulbright Scholar, documentary filmmaking at the National Film and Television School in England, and philosophy at Swarthmore College and Deep Springs College.
Kehinde Wiley / The World Stage: Israel - The Jewish Museum
Through July 29, 2012 -
One of the most significant young artists today, Kehinde Wiley is known for vibrant, large-scale paintings of young urban men, rendered in the self-confident, empowered poses typical of classical European portrait painting.
Part of a new series exploring the global diaspora, the works in The World Stage: Israel are based on photographs the artist took of men of diverse religions and ethnicities living in Israel. The detailed decorative backgrounds are based on Jewish ceremonial art. The exhibition includes 14 paintings and a selection of textiles and papercuts chosen by the artist from The Jewish Museum's collection.
Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through July 30, 2012 - Manhattan
Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream is an exploration of new architectural possibilities for cities and suburbs in the aftermath of the recent foreclosure crisis. During summer 2011, five interdisciplinary teams of architects, urban planners, ecologists, engineers, and landscape designers worked in public workshops at MoMA PS1 to envision new housing and transportation infrastructures that could catalyze urban transformation, particularly in the country's suburbs. Responding to The Buell Hypothesis, a research report prepared by the Buell Center at Columbia University, teams -- lead by MOS, Visible Weather, Studio Gang, WORKac, and Zago Architecture -- focused on a specific location within one of five "megaregions" across the country to come up with inventive solutions for the future of American suburbs. This installation presents the proposals developed during the architects-in-residence program, including a wide array of models, renderings, animations, and analytical materials.
The Dawn of Egyptian Art - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through August 05, 2012 -
During the Predynastic and Early Dynastic Periods (ca. 4000-2650 B.C.), people living in the Nile Valley began recording their beliefs through paintings, sculptures, and reliefs made for their shrines and tombs. These works of art capture the evolving world view of these early Egyptians. Images of people, animals, and landscapes, some of which give rise to hieroglyphs, include forms and iconography that remained in use throughout the art of Pharaonic Egypt. This exhibition brings together some 175 objects gathered from the Metropolitan Museum's important collection of early art and from the collections of twelve other museums in the U.S. and Europe to illustrate the origins and early development of ancient Egyptian art.
9 Scripts from a Nation at War - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through August 06, 2012 - Manhattan
9 Scripts from a Nation at War (2007), a 10-channel video installation recently acquired by MoMA, marks the first work for which artists Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne have collaborated. The work responds to knowledge production and communication in the context of the Iraq war since the initial invasion by U.S. military forces in March 2003. The 10 videos comprising the large-scale, spatial installation cast inquiry into the position of the individual amidst roles constructed by war. Each video stages the speaking of a script from the following perspectives: citizen, blogger, correspondent, veteran, student, actor, interviewer, lawyer, detainee, and source. The scripts are enacted by both actors and non-actors, some speaking their own words, some reciting the words of others. Displayed as projections and seated viewing stations in a circuitous, non-narrative structure, the performative videos create a charged environment questioning the implications of war on individual and collective subjectivity.
Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration - American Museum of Natural History
Through August 12, 2012 - Upper West Side
Beyond Planet Earth launches visitors into the exciting future of space exploration as it boldly speculates on humanity's next steps in our solar system and beyond. The exhibition features a full-sized re-creation of a lunar habitat, a model of an elevator reaching up into space, a walk-through diorama of the Martian surface, and challenging interactive simulations. See authentic equipment and models of historic spacecraft from select voyages in the past. Learn about robotic missions that are currently headed deeper and deeper into our own solar system, and what they might reveal. Understand why geologists are so interested in specimens from moons and other planets and what we can learn from them. And explore some possible spectacular missions of the future: mining the Moon, landing on and deflecting a potentially deadly asteroid, or traveling to Mars - and perhaps even establishing colonies there. Is it possible within our lifetime? Will we discover evidence of life, past or present, on another planet? Find out what experts think the future will hold for us beyond planet Earth. Gallery 3, third floor
Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes - Brooklyn Museum
Through August 19, 2012 -
Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919 is an exploration of the early journalistic career of American writer and women's rights advocate Djuna Barnes (1892-1982). Though best known for her modernist novels and plays, including Nightwood (1936) and The Antiphon (1958), Barnes spent the period between 1913 and her departure for Europe in 1921 living in New York's Greenwich Village and working as a writer and illustrator for publications including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Vanity Fair. The product of an unconventional household, she developed an outsider's perspective on "normal" life that served her as an artist, and a liberal sexuality that fit in perfectly with the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village and, later, the lesbian expatriate community in Paris. She used journalism as a means to understand New York City's people and places, and as an excuse to push boundaries and explore society's margins. On view will be forty-five objects, including documentary photographs, drawings, works on paper, and Barnes's stories in newsprint, including eight illustrations she composed to accompany her newspaper columns. Her work suggests a proto-feminist sensibility, emphasizing politics as something experienced on an individual, emotional level.
Spies in the House of Art - Photography, Film, and Video - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through August 26, 2012 -
Artists are the secret constituency of museums, inspired and challenged not only by the objects and collections they display but also by the spaces in which they are shown and the authority they represent. Most artists aspire to see their works in museums, even if they joke among themselves about how museums are mausoleums, places where art goes to die. In telling stories about how and why art gets made, museums provide a ready-made foil for artists to react against and clarify their own positions.
This selection of photography, film, and video from the permanent collection surveys the various ways museums inspire the making of works of art. A museum can be the setting for a new work or provide the raw material for creations that build upon a previous aesthetic experience. The camera can highlight the estrangement of objects from their original functions, unlock from a straitlaced decorousness of display the desires -- libidinal or otherwise -- that engendered the objects in the first place, or make visible the imaginative projection that underlies much looking at art. At a time when the automatic reflex of a technologically harried and distracted museum visitor may be to point and shoot, capture and move on, these works suggest the benefit of stepping back, reflecting, and lingering.
In an unprecedented commingling of old and new works, Andrea Fraser's video Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk (1989) will be exhibited alongside paintings by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Alexandre Cabanel, and Franz Xaver Winterhalter in Gallery 809 within the Galleries of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, around the corner from the main installation. A complementary installation of a dozen photographs from the medium's beginnings to the early 1970s will be on view through May 6 in Gallery 850.
Playing House - Brooklyn Museum
Through August 26, 2012 -
Playing House is the first in a series of installations that aim to engage visitors with the Brooklyn Museum's period rooms. Artists Betty Woodman, Anne Chu, Ann Agee, and Mary Lucier have been invited to place site-specific artwork in eight of the Museum's historic rooms, which have been interpreted by curators over the years to illustrate how Americans of various times, economic levels, and locations lived. The artists were asked to consider these factors when developing their ideas. The project originated with Woodman's observation that although being an artist means confronting the art of the past, no one can enter the past -- except through "make believe," or "playing house," by which the past can be appropriated.
Chu created magical birds and flowers out of textiles, feathers, paper, and metal, unexpectedly bringing nature and the outside world into the rooms. Lucier, who is descended from Dutch and Huguenot settlers, created videos that evoke memories of place and where we come from. Agee transformed the strict social order and luxury of the Milligan rooms into an artisan's workshop, and Woodman created table settings and "carpets" incorporating painting and ceramics. Playing House occupies the Cupola House Dining Room, the Russell Parlor, the Cane Acres Plantation Dining Room, the Worsham-Rockefeller Moorish Smoking Room, the Schenck Houses, the Weil-Worgelt Study, and the Milligan Parlor and Library. The installation is organized by Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts, and Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum.
Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin: a small world... - The Jewish Museum
Through August 26, 2012 -
In the collaborative video a small world..., artists Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin juxtapose home movies of their families -- one African American and one Jewish American --- to explore the intersections of middle-class life across racial lines. Originally recorded in silent super-8 film, the video shows the artists as children growing up in New York and Los Angeles in the 1970s. Typical family events and holidays -- birthdays, Hanukkah, Christmas, barbecues, family trips to Disneyland, playtime in the backyard -- are shown simultaneously, drawing attention to similarities of class while recognizing differences of ethnicity.
Weegee: Murder Is My Business - International Center of Photography
Through September 02, 2012 - New York
For an intense decade between 1935 and 1946, Weegee (1899-1968) was one of the most relentlessly inventive figures in American photography. His graphically dramatic and often lurid photographs of New York crimes and news events set the standard for what has become known as tabloid journalism. Freelancing for a variety of New York newspapers and photo agencies, and later working as a stringer for the short-lived liberal daily PM (1940-48), Weegee established a way of combining photographs and texts that was distinctly different from that promoted by other picture magazines, such as LIFE. Utilizing other distribution venues, Weegee also wrote extensively (including his autobiographical Naked City, published in 1945) and organized his own exhibitions at the Photo League. This exhibition draws upon the extensive Weegee Archive at ICP and includes environmental recreations of Weegee's apartment and exhibitions. The exhibition is organized by ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis.
Naked before the Camera - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through September 09, 2012 -
Since the beginning of art and in every medium, depicting the human body has been among the artist's greatest challenges and supreme achievements, as can so easily be seen by Museum visitors walking through the galleries of Greek and Roman statuary, African and Oceanic art, Old Master paintings, or Indian sculpture. Tapping veins of mythology, carnal desire, hero worship, and aesthetic pleasure, depictions of the nude have also triggered impassioned discussions of sin and sexuality, cultural identity, and canons of beauty. Controversies are often aroused even more intensely when the artist's chosen medium is photography, with its accuracy and specificity -- when a real person stood naked before the camera -- rather than traditional media where more generalized and idealized forms prevail. In the medium's early days -- particularly in France, where Victorian notions of propriety held less sway than in England and America, and where life drawing was a central part of artistic training -- photographs proved to be a cheap and easy substitute for the live model. While serving painters and sculptors, many nineteenth-century photographic nudes were also intended as works of art in their own right. Still others bore the title "artist's study" merely to evade government censors and legitimize images that were, in fact, more likely intended to stir a gentleman's loins than to enhance his aesthetic endeavors. Outside the realms of art and erotica, photographic nudes were made to aid the study of anatomy, movement, forensics, and ethnography.
In twentieth-century art, the body became a vehicle for surreal and modernist manipulation and for intimate odes to beauty or poems to a muse. Beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s, nudity and its representation took on new meanings -- as declarations of freedom from societal strictures, as assertions of individual identity, as explorations of sexuality and gender roles, and as responses to AIDS. Naked before the Camera surveys the history of this subject and examines some of the motivations and meanings that underlie its expression.
Electric Currents, 1900-1940 - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through September 30, 2012 - Manhattan
Electricity -- a source of clean, efficient power and brilliant, reliable light -- epitomized the very spirit of modernism in the early 20th century. After decades of research and competitive experimentation following the development of the first arc lamps and incandescent filament bulbs in the mid-19th century, electricity began to transform every aspect of modern life. Electric light -- first in city streets and then in homes -- brought a revolutionary innovation to daily existence, literally redefining day and night. This installation features a dozen posters from MoMA's collection used in this period to promote electricity, which offered staggering possibilities for progress but was not universally welcomed. In creating graphics for industry leaders like AEG and Bosch, modern designers were inspired by the beauty of the bulb itself and the splendor of electric light, which are both rendered with exquisite power in Jacques Nathan-Garamond's poster of c. 1938, which pulsates in 2-D. The installation highlights a selection of Lester Beall's equally vibrant posters for the Rural Electrification Administration, which used bold, patriotic graphics to foster public awareness of the benefits of electricity in America's homes and farms during the Great Depression.
The Rylands Haggadah Medieval Jewish Art in Context - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through September 30, 2012 -
From the calling of Moses to the crossing of the Red Sea, the drama of the ancient Israelites' exodus from Egypt is presented in The Rylands Haggadah. This is the third in a series of installations focusing on one masterwork of Hebrew manuscript illumination from a national or international collection. This spring, the featured work comes from the John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England. Each month, the Haggadah will be open to a different page, affording visitors the exceptional opportunity to follow the artist's telling of the Exodus story. Works of art from the Museum's own collection, made for Christian use but depicting the saga of the Hebrew people, will suggest the larger, medieval context of biblical storytelling in which the Haggadah was created. The previous installations featured the Washington Haggadah (on view April 5-July 4, 2011) and Lisbon's Hebrew Bible (on view November 22, 2011-January 16, 2012).
Filming the Camps: John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg - Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Through October 14, 2012 - New York
Hollywood directors John Ford, George Stevens, and Samuel Fuller entertained audiences with American cinema classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Shane, and The Big Red One. But their most important contribution to history was their work in the U.S. Armed Forces and Secret Services, filming the realities of war and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. Their documentation provides an essential visual record of WWII. Filming the Camps presents rare footage of the liberation of Dachau with detailed directors' notes, narratives describing burials at Falkenau, and the documentary produced as evidence at the Nuremberg trials, among other historic material. Now, for the first time in the U.S., this material is being made available to a general audience.
Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence - American Museum of Natural History
Through January 06, 2013 - Upper West Side
This exhibition, on view through January 6, 2013, will explore the extraordinary organisms that produce light, from the flickering fireflies found in backyards across the Northeast to the alien deep-sea fishes that illuminate the perpetually dark depths of the oceans. Rare among plants and animals that live on land, the ability to glow -- that is, generate light through a chemical reaction -- is much more common in the ocean, where up to 90 percent of animals at depths below 700 meters are bioluminescent.
In Creatures of Light, visitors will move through a series of re-created environments, from the familiar to the extreme, to explore the diversity of organisms that glow and how they do it; discover the variety of ways in which light is used to attract a mate, lure unsuspecting prey, or defend against a predator; and learn how, where, and why scientists study this amazing natural phenomenon. Creatures of Light: Nature's Bioluminescence is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org) in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada, and The Field Museum, Chicago.
Born Out of Necessity - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through January 28, 2013 - Manhattan
Showcasing objects that adhere to the traditional view of design as a tool for problem-solving, Born out of Necessity offers close examination of the problems themselves -- whether urgent, foreseen, or imagined. From objects that respond to pressing needs in developing countries to new solutions that are tailored to the urban environment, the exhibition examines how design intervenes across a range of experiences, including medical emergencies and natural disasters. Other objects demonstrate how products created to address specific challenges for people with disabilities can provide solutions that improve everyone's life. Drawing on the narrative power of design, Born out of Necessity addresses a host of complex cultural developments, such as the need to incorporate environmental responsibility in everyday life, our attempts to marry ancient religious beliefs with contemporary mores, and the desire to anticipate and prevent technological and ecological quagmires.
The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through April 29, 2013 - Manhattan
This exhibition, covering the period from 1910 to today, offers a critical reassessment of photography's role in the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde movements -- with a special emphasis on the medium's relation to Dada, Bauhaus, Surrealism, Constructivism, New Objectivity, Conceptual, and Post-Conceptual art -- and in the development of contemporary artistic practices. The shaping of what came to be known as "New Vision" photography bore the obvious influence of "lens-based" and "time-based" works. El Lissitzky best summarized its ethos: "The new world will not need little pictures," he wrote in The Conquest of Art (1922). "If it needs a mirror, it has the photograph and the cinema." Bringing together over 250 works from MoMA's collection, the exhibition features major projects by Man Ray, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Germaine Krull, Gerhard Ruhm, Helen Levitt, Daido Moriyama, Robert Heinecken, Ed Ruscha, Martha Rosler, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, and Walid Raad, among others. Photographic history is presented as a multivalent history of distinct "new visions," rooted in unconventional and innovative exercises that range from photograms and photomontages to experimental films and photobooks.
Contemporary Art from the Collection - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through February 17, 2014 - Manhattan
Reinstalled to continue the historical sequence found on MoMA's fifth (1880-1940) and fourth (1940-1980) floors, the galleries on the second floor will begin with art of the early 1980s and extend to the present moment, interweaving works in all mediums. Individual galleries will focus on particular topics, ranging from specific locales that nourished influential groups of artists to key strategies shared by diverse practitioners of the same generation. Others will display a single significant installation or artist's project. Like the fifth- and fourth-floor galleries, the second-floor galleries will be periodically reinstalled to reflect the depth and richness of the Museum's collection, and to allow for varying approaches to the wide variety of art produced during the last 30 years. Featured artists include Ashley Bickerton, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Keith Haring, Martin Kippenberger, Steve McQueen, Senga Nengudi, Doris Salcedo, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Rosemarie Trockel.