30 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend | Modern Society of USA

30 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend

30 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend

‘DEVOTION AND DECADENCE’ at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (through Jan. 6). Among dozens of works on display at this exhibition highlighting the achievements of ancient silversmiths is a statuette of Mercury, which, at nearly two feet tall, is one of the largest such pieces to survive from antiquity. But what’s really remarkable about him is how ordinary he looks: Along with erotically themed drinking bowls, hammered platters decorated with elaborate mythical scenes, and a pile of broken-off silver cup handles, the statuette evokes a lost world of luxury in which even provincial households were well stocked with extravagant objets d’art. (Heinrich)
212-992-7800, isaw.nyu.edu

‘DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS: COMMUNITY AND PLACE IN URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY’ at El Museo del Barrio (through Jan. 6). This show’s title comes from the 1967 autobiography of the New York writer Piri Thomas, a community organizer of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent who grew up in what was then called Spanish Harlem. Five of the show’s photographers — Frank Espada (1930-2014), Perla de Leon, Hiram Maristany, Winston Vargas and Camilo Jose Vergara — took as their beat that neighborhood, or Latino sections of Washington Heights, the South Bronx and Brownsville, Brooklyn. Others were working in Los Angeles. The pictures are a blend of documentary and portraiture. They see what’s wrong in the world they record — the poverty, the crowding — but also the creativity encouraged by having to make do, and the warmth generated by bodies living in affectionate proximity. (Cotter)
212-831-7272, elmuseo.org

‘EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED: ART AND CONSPIRACY’ at the Met Breuer (through Jan. 6). A dark, fatalistic exhibition of 30 artists, mostly Americans, examines a country that has lost its grip on the truth. The show’s hero is Mike Kelley, who died in 2012. His models and prints here evoke hysterical episodes from the late 1980s and ’90s when parents across California accused schools of satanic child abuse; a similar gaze on American unreason animates the art of John Miller, Cady Noland, Jim Shaw and Lutz Bacher. You may be put off by this show’s equation of real investigations of wrongdoing — in Jenny Holzer’s LED displays using declassified Iraq documents — with outlandish, often crazed conspiracy theories. What Kelley would say, and what this grimly up-to-the-minute show implies, is that when facts lose their purchase in both art and politics, mental breakdown is the logical outcome. (Farago)
212-731-1675, metmuseum.org

‘THE FUTURE’ at the Rubin Museum of Art (through Jan. 7). It flies and flows and creeps. You measure it, spend it, waste it. It’s on your side, or it’s not. We’re talking about time, and so is the Rubin. It has devoted its entire 2018 season and all its spaces to time as a theme, with an accent on the future. There’s a fine historical show devoted to the Second Buddha, Padmasambhava (“lotus born”), subtitled “Master of Time.” Judging by the images and models of him, Padmasambhava was a genial, if mercurial, teacher, alternately baby-faced and beaming or stern in a nice-dad way. Before he moved on from the mortal realm to a mystical mountain palace, he left karmic extensions of himself called “treasure revealers” — also represented here in painting and sculpture — who reach from the past into the present to change the future. This era-leaping dynamic is operative in all parts of the Rubin’s multifloor thematic installation. (Cotter)
212-620-5000, rubinmuseum.org

‘PONTORMO: MIRACULOUS ENCOUNTERS’ at the Morgan Library & Museum (through Jan. 6). The smallest of the fall’s great museum exhibitions centers on Jacopo da Pontormo’s stunning “Visitation” (1528-30), which depicts the meeting of the Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. The work evinces Pontormo’s characteristic fineness of gesture and expression, most of all in the meeting eyes and beautiful, gentle hands of the two women. Revived by recent conservation, Pontormo’s colors seem deliberately provocative, even today; they’re as much characters as the women. (Smith)
212-685-0008, themorgan.org

‘SATURATED: THE ALLURE AND SCIENCE OF COLOR’ at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (through Jan. 13). This museum excels at exhibitions that brim with somewhat arcane information embodied by visually dazzling objects, and few subjects reward that approach like color. This show is all the more impressive because its nearly 200 inclusions, which range through centuries, are drawn almost entirely from the Cooper Hewitt’s vast holdings. Here, theory and practice frequently come together with unusual clarity. One example is the 2012 cotton blanket by the Index Collection that fabulously illustrates the tonal gradations of color printing — monotone, duotone and multitone — from pale to intense. Think ombré. (Smith)
212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org

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