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

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

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

‘CHARLES WHITE: A RETROSPECTIVE’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through Jan. 13). What a beautiful artist White was. Hand of an angel, eye of a sage. Although White, who died in 1979, is often mentioned today as a teacher and a mentor of luminaries like David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, his is no case of reflected glory. In this career survey, he shines, from a 1939 mural called “Five Great American Negroes” to his astonishing late masterpiece “Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man).” (Cotter)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘CHAGALL, LISSITZKY, MALEVICH: THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE IN VITEBSK, 1918-1922’ at the Jewish Museum (through Jan. 6). This crisp and enlightening exhibition, slimmed but not diminished from its initial outing at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, restages the instruction, debates and utopian dreaming at the most progressive art school in revolutionary Russia. Marc Chagall encouraged stylistic diversity at the short-lived People’s Art School in his native Vitebsk (today in the republic of Belarus), and while his dreamlike paintings of smiling workers and flying goats had their defenders, the students came to favor the abstract dynamism of two other professors: Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky, whose black and red squares offered a radical new vision for a new society. Both the romantics and the iconoclasts would eventually fall out of favor in the Soviet Union, and the People’s Art School would close in just a few years — but this exhibition captures the glorious conviction, too rare today, that art must serve the people. (Farago)
212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

‘DELACROIX’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Jan. 6). The first full-dress retrospective in North America devoted to the enigmatic giant of French Romanticism is a revelation of nearly 150 paintings, drawings and prints. Their staggering range of often traditional themes — from crucifixes to historic battles to rearing, almost kitschy stallions and damsels in distress — are belied by a radical use of color and paint that inspires artists still. (Smith)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘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

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