We are lucky to have so many great museums and museum exhibits in NYC. There’s never a shortage. Here are four must-see exhibits to see before they close in Feburary and March, focusing on art and and the art of fashion, including three retrospectives of famous contemporary artists, Edvard Munch and David Hockney.
Modigliani Unmasked, at the Jewish Museum through Feb. 4th
The first exhibition in the United States to focus on Amedeo Modigliani’s early work made in the years after he arrived in Paris in 1906. The exhibition spotlights his drawings, with a large selection acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Paul Alexandre, his close friend and first patron.
The drawings from the Alexandre collection, many being shown for the first time in the United States, as well as other drawings from collections around the world and a selection of Modigliani’s paintings and sculptures, illuminate how the artist’s heritage as an Italian Sephardic Jew is pivotal to understanding his artistic output.
The exhibition includes approximately 150 works, including a selection of Modigliani’s paintings, sculptures, and other drawings on loan from collections around the world, including multicultural African, Greek, Egyptian and Khmer influences that inspired the young artist during his early period.
Edvard Munch at The Met Breuer, through Feb. 4th
The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863–1944) attained notoriety early in his career for his haunting depictions of human anxiety and alienation that reflected modern experience – his most famous painting is Scream, shown above – he believed that his artistic breakthrough did not occur until he was in his 50s.
Throughout his career, Munch regularly revisited subjects from his earlier years, exploring them with renewed inspiration and intensity. This retrospective is called Self Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed (1940–43) for his final such work. It is one of more than 40 paintings he created over 60 years, ncluding 16 self-portraits and works that have never before been seen in the United States.
The exhibition is made possible by cosmetics heir and philanthropist Leonard A. Lauder and the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, and organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and The Munch Museum, Oslo.
David Hockney at the Met, through Feb. 25th
This major retrospective—the exhibition’s only North American venue—honors the artist in his 80th year by presenting his most iconic works over 60 years, and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present.
Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. The exhibition offers a grand overview of the artist’s achievements across all media, including painting, drawing, photography, and video.
From his early experiments with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual rigor and sheer delight in the act of looking.
The exhibit is organized collaboratively by Tate Britain, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. David Hockey at the Met is through February 25th.
Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, at the Jewish Museum, through March 18
This exhibit of apparel from more than 20 countries offers both a glimpse into the many facets of Jewish identity and culture through rarely seen garments, and a close-up of craftsmanship and design that will appeal to any fashion fan. The first comprehensive U.S. exhibition is drawn from Jerusalem’s Israel Museum’s world-renowned collection of Jewish costumes, showcasing more than 100 articles of clothing from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries.
Items include the influence of local Islamic culture on Jewish dress, focusing on veils and wraps from Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan and other countries where there once were strong and vibrant Jewish communities, and where Jews and Muslims sometimes dressed exactly the same way.
The extraordinary range of textile designs and clothing illuminates the story of how diverse global cultures have thrived, interacted, and inspired each other for centuries, and how we balance personal, social and religious fashion choices.
Photos courtesy their respective museums.
Edvard Munch “Scream” courtesy MOMA