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22 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend

‘THE CHARTERHOUSE OF BRUGES’ at the Frick Collection (through Jan. 13). In the 1440s, Bruges was home to a strict Carthusian order, whose leader, Jan Vos, commissioned paintings by two of the best artists in Flanders, reunited here: “Virgin and Child With St. Barbara, St. Elizabeth and Jan Vos,” probably begun by Jan van Eyck and finished by his workshop after his death; and another picture of the Virgin and the monk by Petrus Christus. The larger Van Eyck was for public devotion, while the Petrus Christus, no bigger than a sheet of loose leaf, could be clasped or even kissed during prayer. The brilliance of this show is that it looks beyond form to matters of use and extends our view of European religious art beyond painting. These works were meant for so much more than just our gaze. (Farago)
212-288-0700, frick.org

‘SARAH LUCAS: AU NATUREL’ at the New Museum (through Jan. 20). Lucas emerged in the 1990s with the YBAs (Young British Artists), a group that included Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin and that didn’t focus on a particular medium or style. They were postpunk — which is to say, more focused on attitude than aptitude — with a Generation X nihilism and malaise, as well as the clear message that anything, artistically, could be borrowed, stolen or sampled. Self-portraits are among Lucas’s weapons. Instead of sexualized, made-up or fantastic portraits, hers are plain, androgynous and deadpan. And this exhibition, with its 150 objects — many of them sculptures created in plaster or from women’s stockings and tights stuffed with fluff — is populated with penises and with cigarettes penetrating buttocks, rather than the breasts and vulvas modern artists have used to demonstrate their edginess. At just the right moment — the #MeToo moment — Lucas shows us what it’s like to be a strong, self-determined woman; to shape and construct your own world; to live beyond other people’s constricting terms; to challenge oppression, sexual dominance and abuse. (Martha Schwendener)
212-219-1222, newmuseum.org

‘FRANZ MARC AND AUGUST MACKE: 1909-1914’ at Neue Galerie (through Jan. 21). Marc and Macke worked at the forefront of German art in the early 1900s, experimenting with audacious simplifications of forms, infusing colors with spiritual meanings and, in Marc’s case, specializing in dreamy portraits of otherworldly animals. With the Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky, the two friends also helped found a hugely influential circle of Munich painters known as the Blue Rider. But this dizzying, overstuffed exhibit at the Neue Galerie ends abruptly: Both men were killed in combat in World War I, Marc at 36 and Macke at 27. (Heinrich)
212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org

‘THE PROGRESSIVE REVOLUTION: MODERN ART FOR A NEW INDIA’ at Asia Society (through Jan. 20). The first show in the United States in decades devoted to postwar Indian painting continues a welcome, belated effort in Western museums to globalize art history after 1945. The Progressive Artists’ Group, founded in Bombay (now Mumbai) in the afterglow of independence, sought a new painterly language for a new India, making use of hot color and melding folk traditions with high art. These painters were Hindus, Muslims and Catholics, and they drew freely from Picasso and Klee, Rajasthani architecture and Zen ink painting, in their efforts to forge art for a secular, pluralist republic. Looking at them 70 years on, as India joins so many other countries taking a nativist turn, they offer a lovely, regret-tinged view of a lost horizon. (Farago)
212-288-6400, asiasociety.org/new-york

‘SATURATED: THE ALLURE AND SCIENCE OF COLOR’ at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (through Jan. 13). This museum excels at exhibitions that brim with somewhat arcane information embodied by visually dazzling objects, and few subjects reward that approach like color. This show is all the more impressive because its nearly 200 inclusions, which range through centuries, are drawn almost entirely from the Cooper Hewitt’s vast holdings. Here, theory and practice frequently come together with unusual clarity. One example is the 2012 cotton blanket by the Index Collection that fabulously illustrates the tonal gradations of color printing — monotone, duotone and multitone — from pale to intense. Think ombré. (Smith)
212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org

‘TOWARD A CONCRETE UTOPIA: ARCHITECTURE IN YUGOSLAVIA, 1948-1980’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through Jan. 13). This nimble, continuously surprising show tells one of the most underappreciated stories of postwar architecture: the rise of avant-garde government buildings, pie-in-the-sky apartment blocks, mod beachfront resorts and even whole new cities in the southeast corner of Europe. Tito’s Yugoslavia rejected both Stalinism and liberal democracy, and its neither-nor political position was reflected in architecture of stunning individuality, even as it embodied collective ambitions that Yugoslavs called the “social standard.” From Slovenia, where elegant office buildings drew on the tradition of Viennese modernism, to Kosovo, whose dome-topped national library appears as a Buckminster Fuller fever dream, these impassioned buildings defy all our Cold War-vintage stereotypes of Eastern Europe. Sure, in places the show dips too far into Socialist chic. But this is exactly how MoMA should be thinking as it rethinks its old narratives for its new home this year. (Farago)
212-708-9400, moma.org


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