Fall Arts Preview: Top 10 Museum Exhibitions

The New Museum

“Chris Ofili: Night and Day” October 29 - February 1, 2015

Welcome back, Chris! It’s been 15 years since the Brit artist’s glitter-and-dung-dotted Virgin Mary, a star of the Brooklyn Museum’s “Sensation” show, scandalized a city. Or at least a mayor.



Image: The Adoration of Captain Shit and the Legend of the Black Stars (Third Version) (1998) by Chris Ofili. (Courtesy of the artist, David Zwirner, New YOrk/London, and Victoria Miro, London)

The Museum of Modern Art

“Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor” October 4 - January 18, 2015

“Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” October 12 - February 8, 2015

MoMA owns the fall with this sweet duo of Conceptualism and color; expect cult-fave Mr. Gober to rocket to the broader fame he deserves. Meanwhile, order your timed tickets to the Matisse show NOW.



Image: Zulma (early 1950) by Henri Matisse. (Courtesy Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)
America Today, by Thomas Hart Benton, is on view at the Metropolitan Museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Thomas Hart Benton’s ‘America Today’ Mural Rediscovered” September 30 - April 19, 2015

“Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection” October 20 - February 16, 2015

Cubism changed the art world—maybe even the whole world. The Met hangs Leonard Lauder’s 80 examples of the movement, Picasso et al., for a fall blockbuster. Another gift, this one from AXA Insurance, is celebrated in the vivid 10-panel mural “America Today” show.



Image: City Activities with Dancehall(1930-31) by Thomas Hart Benton. (Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Frick Collection

“Masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery” November 5 - February 1, 2015

Talk about a Top 10: this suite of visiting masterpieces includes Botticelli, Gainsborough and a homecoming for a famous John Singer Sargeant.



Image: The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child (1485) by Sandro Botticelli. (Courtesy Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh)
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The Jewish Museum

“Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power” October 31 - March 22, 2015

An inventive show unlike anything else coming this fall, this exhibition unites the art collection, couture wardrobe and home design of the pioneering cosmetics magnate.



Image: Helena Rubinstein in the library of her Paris apartment. (Courtesy Helena Rubinstein foundation Archive)
The groundbreaking South Korean-American artist blended sculpture and installation with “video art” long before it was even called that. Image: Li Tai Po (1987) by Nam June Paik. (© 2007 John Bigelow Taylor Photography, courtesy of Asia Society, New York)

Asia Society

“Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot” September 5 - January 4, 2015

The groundbreaking South Korean-American artist blended sculpture and installation with “video art” long before it was even called that. From his early flickering b&w works to later art, the show charts his artistic practice in tandem with changing technology.



Image: Li Tai Po (1987) by Nam June Paik. (© 2007 John Bigelow Taylor Photography, courtesy of Asia Society, New York)

Cooper Hewitt

Smithsonian Design Museum Opens December 12

The sprawling Andrew Carnegie Mansion on the Upper East Side reopens in December with several shows following a massive $90 million-plus renovation that adds some high-tech bells and whistles and a spiffed-up garden.



(Photo by James Hart © Smithsonian Institution)
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The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

“ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow: 1950s–60s” October 10 - January 7, 2015

The winner of best fall exhibition title goes to this show highlighting the mid-century artist group Zero. Founded in Germany in 1957, the movement grew to include an international network of artists. ZERO produced some of the earliest examples of Conceptual art and Land art.



Image: New York, New York (1963) by Heinz Mack (© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn)

It’s tempting to see the fall exhibition season as a clash of titans, with each museum battling for the most visitors and highest gross. But the thing is, there’s a host of wonderful, challenging and charming shows coming to New York’s institutes of fine arts. Walking from the Robert Gober retrospective to a giant show of Matisse cut-outs, at MoMA simultaneously, will be a visceral thrill. And the Frick gets first dibs on a blockbuster: masterpieces from the Scottish National Gallery, a show that’s set to travel across the country. Plus, troublemaker Chris Ofili is taking over the New Museum. What a season!

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