Once around Central Park, James, and don’t spare the horses:
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
* Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is an eye-popping tribute to the unique vision of the fashion designer who cut his own life short at age 40.
* Night Vision: Photography After Dark is well worth a look.
* Also worth seeing: Richard Serra Drawing, Anthony Caro on the Roof, Poetry in Clay, and especially, Reconfiguring an African Icon, an exhibit of everyday objects like gas cans refashioned into modern-day African masks.
* Francis Alys: A Story of Deception. The Belgian artist videotapes himself pushing a block of ice through Mexico City until it evaporates (the ice, not the city), or ostentatiously carrying a gun through Mexico City until he’s apprehended by the police (12 minutes later). And lots of other head scratching capers.
* German Expressionism: The Graphic Buzzkill – sorry, Impulse. Lots of images of war and depravity and depression and etc. If that’s not enough for your dark side, check out Decadence & Decay at Galerie St. Etienne for more Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, and George Grosz gross-outs.
* Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters of Baltimore. A smart summary of the treasure trove Claribel and Etta Cone voraciously collected in the early 20th Century. They snagged about 3000 decorative objects and works of art from the likes of Pierre Bonnard, Andre Derain, and especially Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
(Special bonus feature: Etta Cone was in love with Gertrude Stein, but got aced out by Alice B. Toklas.)
(Even specialer bonus feature: Etta Cone bequeathed the sisters’ collection to the Baltimore Museum of Art, so the Jewish Museum exhibit saved the Missus and me a trip there).
* Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World). Actually, Kalman’s writings and drawings are more whimsical than crazy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
* Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels. One giant product placement (literally) for the upscale jeweler.
* Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delauney. Textile and fashion designs, along with paintings from an under appreciated artist.
That’s art, folks.