At Large  September 24, 2023  Editors of Art & Object

10 Standout Museum Shows to See this Fall Across America

Created: Sun, 09/24/2023 - 10:22
Author: rozalia
Artwork © 2023 Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy David Zwirner

Ruth Asawa Untitled (WC.252, Persimmons), c. 1970s–80s Watercolor on paper 14 x 17 in. (35.6 x 43.2 cm) Private collection. 

From the first comprehensive museum survey of the work of Judy Chicago to the most comprehensive retrospective of the work of Ed Ruscha to a show highlighting the drawings of Ruth Asawa that predate her celebrated wire sculptures, and an exhibition of paintings of Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas that speak to their intense rivalry and convivial scene (and bring Olympia to the US for the first time), shows opening up across the country this fall give us insight into the practices of some of our most beloved and storied artists. While there are so many great exhibitions to choose from, here are 10 we are particularly eager to see.

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Photo:© RMN-Grand Palais /PatriceSchmidt/ArtResource, NY
Manet/Degas at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

September 24, 2023 - January 7, 2024

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is set to open a joint exhibition with the Musée d’Orsay this September that brings together two artists who had a complex, tumultuous, but symbiotic relationship with one another: Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas. The show, which features 150 paintings and works on paper, will chart the two artists’ careers: their similarities in upbringings and their subsequent differences in their artistic and professional choices. This landmark exhibition takes two well-known artists and puts their interactions in the context of their family relationships, friendships, and intellectual circles, all of which played a part in their artistic output, and shows us a key moment in nineteenth century French painting.

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Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Vincent Melzac, 1976.140.1
Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas at The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

September 15, 2023 – June 2, 2024

Known for her exuberant colorful abstract paintings, American artist Alma Thomas only began painting after a 35-year career as a schoolteacher in Washington, DC. Incorporating elements of color field painting and gestural abstraction, her work defies categorization, though she was often considered a member of the Washington Color School of painting. Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas draws on the extensive collection of her work by The Smithsonian American Art Museum to offer a view of the work of this significant 20th century artist from 1959 to 1978, the peak years of her career.

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Photo: Peter Butler. © 2023 Edward Ruscha. The Museum of Modern Art, Department of Imaging Services.
ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

September 6, 2023 - January 13, 2024

ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN is the most comprehensive retrospective of the American pop artist’s work to date. Ed Ruscha, whose practice is characterized by his iconic use of text and imagery inspired by the American West landscape, blends Pop Art and Conceptual Art to explore the intersection of language, culture, and place. The Museum of Modern Art's retrospective was created in close collaboration with the artist himself and mirrors the cross-disciplinary approach that the artist uses in his practice. With over 200 works displayed in a loose chronology, the exhibition puts Ruscha’s most well known works alongside lesser known ones to offer new perspectives on this influential figure of postwar American art.

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Courtesy The Gusford Collection. ©️ Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Donald Woodman/ARS, New York
Judy Chicago: Herstory at the New Museum, New York

October 12, 2023 - January 14, 2024

Judy Chicago: Herstory spans six decades of this iconic artist’s career including painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, textiles, photography, stained glass, needlework, and printmaking. The show will feature such noteworthy works as Rainbow Pickett (1965), which was in her first solo gallery exhibition in 1966 and then featured in the “Primary Structures” show at the Jewish Museum, which cemented sculpture’s shift towards minimalism. The show will also feature Chicago’s beloved Atmospheres, her radical colored-smoke-and-fireworks performances started in 1969 that aimed to soften and feminize the landscape. One floor of the exhibition will place Chicago’s works among those of women artists, writers, and cultural figures who were essential to art history including Hilma af Klint, Hildegard of Bingen, and Claude Cahun. Her most comprehensive museum survey in New York to date, the show illustrates and pays homage to Chicago’s outsize impact on American art.

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Courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Art
Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800 at the Baltimore Museum of Art

October 1, 2023 - January 7, 2024

This must-see show at The Baltimore Museum of Art promises to shed light on female artistic legacies and seeks to rewrite art history with inclusivity. “Making Her Mark” spotlights a newfound appreciation for women artists in Europe, who for centuries have been considered less talented than their male counterparts. Featuring over 200 diverse works of art spanning from the 15th to the 18th centuries, the exhibition showcases women’s multifaceted contributions to European visual arts. Visitors will encounter royal portraits, sculptures, textiles, metalwork, and more by renowned artists like Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi alongside anonymous, talented amateurs and female artisan collectives. During their time, these artists were not only not given the celebrity that they deserved, but their creative output was categorized as material culture rather than fine art.

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Artwork: © Barkley L. Hendricks; courtesy of the Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at the Frick Madison, New York

September 21, 2023 - January 7, 2024

From the late 1960s, the work of Barkley Hendricks, with its vibrant portraits of Black Americans, has drawn on and confronted the traditions of European art. They were inspired by the works of artists including Van Dyck and Velázquez, whose portrait style he became enamored with in the 1960s while touring Europe. The Frick Collection, unsurprisingly, was one of Hendricks’s favorite museums. Organized by the Frick’s Curator Aimee Ng and Consulting Curator Antwaun Sargent, Barkley L. Hendricks: Portraits at the Frick presents fourteen of Hendricks’s early works aptly set among the collection of works at the Frick.

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Collection Gil Weiss
Stéphane Mandelbaum at The Drawing Center, New York

November 10, 2023 - February 18, 2024

Belgian artist, poet, and art thief Stéphane Mandelbaum (1961-1986) lived a short and complex life that was driven by a fascination with his family’s history and culture and an innate need to create art. His life was ultimately cut short at the young age of 25 when he attempted to steal a painting (that was later deemed a fake) by Amedeo Modigliani. Mandelbaum spent ten intense years creating art that grappled with his Jewish heritage. Raised by survivors of the Holocaust, Mandelbaum’s work incorporated images of Nazis set alongside Yiddish writing, images of pornography, caricatures, and doodles to help him make sense of his family’s history while also reclaiming his identity. 

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© Tyler Mitchell. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Commissioned by SCAD.
Tyler Mitchell: Domestic Imaginaries at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah

August 21, 2023 - December 31, 2023

Photographer Tyler Mitchell is best known for shooting Beyoncé for the September 2018 cover of Vogue. He was the first African American to shoot the cover, and, at 23-years-old, among the youngest photographers ever to do so. For this exhibition, slated to be his most ambitious to date, Mitchell prints his photographs on textiles, and hangs them in laundry-like fashion through SCAD’s gallery space and framing its historic 1850s Savannah Gray brick archways in an immersive 300-foot installation, Threads of Memory, that is interwoven with unique sculptural objects that he calls “altars.” The textile prints are of Black bodies and pastoral scenes using as inspiration the photography of Gordon Parks and the southeastern U.S. landscape.

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Photo courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America
Picasso and The Spanish Classics at The Hispanic Society of New York

November 2, 2023 - February 4, 2024

As one of the five museums in New York to participate in the Celebration Picasso, an initiative to honor the legacy of Pablo Picasso through over forty exhibitions of his work, the Hispanic Society chose to focus on Picasso’s literary interests. “Picasso and The Spanish Classics” explores Picasso’s response to Spanish literature through the artist’s interpretations of 17th century literary giants Luis de Góngora y Argote and Miguel de Cervantes. The exhibition will focus on how Picasso read through his native country’s classics and used their influences in his art, namely through his reinterpretations of Diego Velázquez’s work and his depictions of literary figures such as those from Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote.

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Artwork © 2023 Ruth Asawa Lanier, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy David Zwirner
Ruth Asawa Through Line at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

September 16, 2023 - January 15, 2024

While Ruth Asawa is known primarily for her wire sculptures, this exhibition presents drawing as a throughline in her work. Beginning at a young age, drawing became essential to the artist’s creative life initially through weekly calligraphy classes she took in California. In 1942, as a teenager, Asawa left her home with her family when they were forced into a Japanese American internment camp as part of the US government’s World War II isolation policies. She learned how to draw at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Southeastern Arkansas. In 1946, Asawa joined the avant-garde community at Black Mountain College where she studied under painter and color-theorist Joseph Albers. It was after a trip to visit Albers in Mexico that her interest in conventional drawing was supplanted by using wire to draw in space. This exhibition showcases over 100 of the artist’s drawings, many for the first time.

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