Though only 10% of the article is about the paper’s favorite museum…
by Michael Sheridan
With summer finally coming to an end, the major museums across the city are preparing for a new round of special exhibitions. While the summer shows are generally crowd pleasers aimed at attracting the greatest number of tourist dollars, fall and winter shows tend to be more academic, and a chance for curators and institutions to show off their intellectual prowess. Still, there are several interesting shows coming up that will be interesting to people of all levels of art historical knowledge. Here are a few of the exhibitions I am most excited about.
Special Note: As the MoMA continues its landmark renovation and expansion, it currently has no major fall/winter exhibitions planned.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The art world is abuzz with excitement over three exhibitions opening at the city’s largest museum. Rodin at the Met, which just recently opened, showcases works by the famed sculptor. Works such as the Thinker, Cupid and Psyche, and studies for The Burgers of Calais are all on view. The exhibition coincides with the 150th birthday of Rodin himself. (Now – January 15, 2018)
Also highly anticipated at the Met is the show Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer. Described as “a once in a lifetime experience,” the exhibition brings together one of the largest collections of drawings by the Renaissance master in history. (November 13, 2017 – February 12, 2018)
Opening in late November, David Hockney will showcase works by one of the most successful living artists today. A true visionary of his day, this retrospective plans to track the changing styles this artist came to master throughout his sixty year career. (November 27, 2017 – February 25, 2018)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim is facing major controversy and protest over its upcoming show Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World. The show aims to track art in the world’s largest country following the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, noting how art changed as the country rapidly grew into an economic powerhouse. Coverage on the controversy can be found in the news section. While the museum denies any wrongdoing, the show is certainly making headlines and will be something to look for. (October 6, 2017 – January 7, 2017)
The Whitney Museum
Also potentially controversial is the Whitney’s exhibition Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World. The show is a retrospective of the Native American artist and political activist Jimmie Durham. While Durham has long been a major figure at the heart of the fight for greater Native American rights, no Native American tribe recognized Durham as a member. Many Native Americans have found this to be offensive and have voiced opposition to the show when it debuted at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (November 3, 2017 – January 28, 2017)
This small museum of German and Austrian art will exhibit the show Wiener Werkstätte 1903-1932: The Luxury of Beauty. The show takes a look at Viennese decorative art, as the craftsmen of this period aimed to combine the ideas of functionality and modernity with that of luxury and beauty. Thus, instead of paintings and sculpture, the show will focus on things such as teapots, furniture, and jewelry. (October 26 – January 29)
The Cooper Hewitt
From the historical to the modern, the Cooper Hewitt plans to showcase the future of design in the show Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age. The exhibition features futuristic pieces of furniture and other utilitarian objects created using progressive design or new technology, such as 3D printing. A Dutch artist, Joris Laarman is recognized as one of Europe’s best designers, and this is his first retrospective in the United States (September 27, 2017 – January 15, 2018)
The Met Breuer
Continuing with its recent trend of landmark, crowd pleasing exhibitions, the Met’s satellite museum is hosting the show Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed (1940–43). The exhibition features paintings by the famed artist Edvard Munch, focusing on the artist’s anxiety which translates into his haunting self-portraits and other works. Despite the Munch Retrospective at the Neue Galerie has only been held a few years ago, I think the Met will provide a fresh enough spin that it will be worthwhile to see this show. (November 15, 2017 – February 4, 2017)
Want to experience art but not interested in shelling out $25 or dealing with massive crowds and stuffy institutions? Try visiting some galleries around the city. Galleries are different from museums in that they generally exhibit works that have only recently been created, with the intent to sell the artworks to rich collectors. The two major gallery scenes in the city are located in the Upper East Side and Chelsea. The galleries of the Upper East Side are housed in stately townhouses and are generally very established, and feature works of recognized modern masters. The Chelsea scene contains the most galleries in the city and features more established galleries such as Gagosian, Luhring Augustine, and Pace Gallery, as well as smaller galleries, some of which only have a staff of two or three members. Other groups of galleries are in Soho (although the number has drastically been reduced over the years), the Lower East Side, which houses some of the most contemporary pieces in the city, and Bushwick in Brooklyn. Shows change every 6 weeks or so and no gallery charges admission. It is often a memorable experience as some artwork will be incredible and others will be totally absurd. But it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a new art experience that happens to be free.
Whether making a pilgrimage to see a new exhibition or planning to simply wander around one of the many New York museums, make art part of your fall itinerary this semester.