February is turnover month at the museums and there are some fantastic exhibitions you don’t want to miss. We curated a sampling that may pique your interest, along with the teaser for each on behalf of the New York Times. It is time to “date your city” and enjoy the cultural wonders of New York City.
Museum of Modern Art: ‘Picasso Sculpture’ (through Feb. 7) “Nearly a work of art in its own right, this magnificent show redefines Picasso’s achievement with the first full view here in 50 years of his astoundingly varied forays into sculpture. His materials, not his female loves, become the muses, and are different each time out. The basic plotline: After introducing sculptural abstraction and space, he spent about 50 years counting the ways that the figure was far from finished.”
Whitney Museum of American Art: ‘Frank Stella: A Retrospective’ (through Feb. 7) “This grand, high-spirited, slightly overstuffed exhibition pays overdue tribute to a prominent American artist whose 60-year odyssey through and beyond painting began in this city. It further anoints the Whitney’s new building: The show could never have been pulled off at its old uptown address. And its ingenious installation — alternately dazzling, oppressive and nuts — resounds with stimulating clashes of color, style and process that bring a new unity to his contentious achievement.”
Metropolitan Museum of Art: ‘Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection’ (continuing) “This lavish roll out of 160 objects came to the Met from the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation last spring. The Burkes loved Japanese art — all of it — and the collection is close to compendious in terms of media, from wood-carved Buddhas to bamboo baskets, with a particular strength in painting, early and late.”
Jewish Museum: ‘The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film’ (through Feb. 7) “Revolutions sell utopias; that’s their job. Art, if it behaves itself and sticks to the right script, can be an important part of the promotional package. That’s the basic tale told by this exhibition of photographs and vintage films of the 1920s and ’30s, but with a question added: What happens to art when the script is drastically revised? … Remarkably, the show presents a dozen films — some familiar, some not — full-length, on a rotating schedule of four a day, in a small viewing theater built into one of the Jewish Museum’s galleries.”
Guggenheim Museum: ‘Photo-Poetics: An Anthology’ (through March 27) “Formally complex and expressively reserved, even hermetic, the work by 10 photographers in this stimulating show has roots in Conceptualism and takes language, history and speculative thinking as its raw materials. Photographs are structured with the equivalent of poetry’s metrical cadences and internal rhymes, and treated less as generators of translatable ideas than of suggestive metaphors.”