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Art and Museums in NYC This Week


Kimonos from around the late 1920s included in the Brooklyn Museum exhibition “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.”

2017 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Linda Rosier for The New York Times

Our guide to new art shows — and some that will be closing soon.

‘MAUREEN GALLACE: CLEAR DAY’ at MoMA PS1 (through Sept. 10). Win big by going small. This unshowy New York painter has spent 30 years refining her visions of rural Connecticut and the coast of New England, and six dozen of her concentrated paintings will force you to slow down, look hard and find the profound in the everyday. Ms. Gallace’s best works depict houses, barns or cabanas, often missing their windows and pared down to simple polygons; the landscapes they lie in, by contrast, can be worked so hard they appear almost finger-painted. Each one is as sober and strange as a Morandi still life, and an antidote to an art world lately beholden to spectacle. (Jason Farago)
718-784-2084, ps1.org

‘MAKING SPACE: WOMEN ARTISTS AND POSTWAR ABSTRACTION’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through Aug. 13). The work in this show, dating from the end of World War II to the beginning of second-wave feminism, is all abstract and all by women. And although it starts in what feels like honorable-mention mode — Lee Krasner is here, for instance, but not in the museum’s permanent galleries of Abstract Expressionism — it doesn’t stay there. Instead, it goes for difference and stays with it, introducing us to artists of diverse geographic and ethnic backgrounds whom we may not know, or have an institutional context for. Among them are such luminaries, present and past, as Etel Adnan, Ruth Asawa, Lina Bo Bardi, Bela Kolarova, Anne Ryan and Lenore Tawney. (Holland Cotter)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘IRVING PENN: CENTENNIAL’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through July 30). In this crystalline exhibition, nearly every gallery exhales its own delicious breath, offering up concentrated views of Penn’s innovative still-life and fashion work for Vogue; his portraits of cultural luminaries and tradesmen, as well as of indigenous Peruvians; his nearly abstract close-ups of voluptuous nudes; and his colossal cigarette butts, with their tragicomic evocations of Roman columns, tombstones and even corpses. Also on display: his perfectionism, curious eye and innate classicizing style. (Roberta Smith)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

Last Chance

‘AGE OF EMPIRES: CHINESE ART OF THE QIN AND HAN DYNASTIES (221 B.C.-A.D. 220)’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (closes on July 16). No one does epic better than the Met, and this hypnotic, glow-in-the-dark exhibition of 160 objects from 32 museums in mainland China is in that line. Of the museum’s several recent showcases of Chinese antiquities, this may be visually the most dramatic and emotionally the most accessible. It features a type of art the Met is a bit too comfortable with: imperial bling. But here the material feels purposeful, evidence of a time in China when the very idea of empire, and branding, was an experiment. (Cotter)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: LIVING MODERN’ at the Brooklyn Museum (closes on July 23). Given that most artists are to some extent dandies, it would be wrong to view this fascinating show through an exclusively feminist lens. But it does demonstrate the powerful, carefully cultivated aesthetic and inborn independence that connects the art, wardrobe, living spaces and public persona of America’s first celebrity artist. In and around her art, she redefined gender and style. (Smith)
718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org

‘LYGIA PAPE: A MULTITUDE OF FORMS’ at the Met Breuer (closes on July 23). In the early 1950s, Rio de Janeiro’s most restless artist created mazelike drawings and solid-colored reliefs — but in 1959, she and her colleagues Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica established the Neo-Concrete Movement, which took a dreamier, more interactive approach to abstraction. (At this exhibition you can fiddle with a replica of the colored blocks and rings of her “Livro da Criação,” or “Book of Creation,” from 1959-60.) After a junta overthrew Brazil’s democratic government in 1964, Pape turned to public interventions and communal actions, above all her social sculpture “Divisor” (1968), which required dozens of volunteers to march together with their heads poking out of a single sheet. The presentation here is a bit wonky, and Pape’s incisive films from the 1970s are shortchanged. But after the polarizing impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, and with much of the rest of Brazil’s political class ensnared in a far-reaching corruption scandal, this retrospective offers an exceedingly relevant model for how to make art in dark times. (Farago)
212-731-1675, metmuseum.org

‘POPE.L: PROTO-SKIN SET’ at Mitchell-Innes & Nash (closes on July 14). For a potent introduction to one of the most challenging, societally astute, multitalented artists of our time, see this show of 18 gripping paintings on scavenged paper — most from the late 1980s or early ’90s and exhibited here for the first time. They compress onto finite surfaces the essence of his barbed sensibility and innovative materiality, pursued primarily in performance, installation, video, sculpture and theater. The catalog extends his run of remarkable interviews. (Smith)
212-744-7400, miandn.com

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