These 15 exhibits in Boston, New York and Washington will keep you busy all up and down the East Coast this spring.
By Megan Kaplon
Spring on the East Coast—that wet, hopeful season—often begins as Bostonians are still removing the final dregs of winter from their driveways. As the season matures, it quickly transitions into a lush period of growth and greenery as New Yorkers exchange boots for sandals, the tulips bloom in Central Park and the cherry trees blossom around the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. Celebrate spring on the East Coast with these top 15 exhibits in galleries and museums.
New York City
Subodh Gupta, Seven Billion Light Years
Hauser & Wirth, 18th Street
Feb. 10 – April 25
A painter and sculptor who lives and works in New Delhi, Subodh Gupta uses objects he gets from junkyards and antiques markets in his home country to inspire and build his art. The resulting creations celebrate Gupta’s small-town upbringing and explore the realities of Indian life. This exhibition will be his second at a New York location of Hauser & Wirth.
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings
The Guggenheim Museum
March 13 – June 3
Farmanfarmaian’s geometric designs find their roots in Islamic art. The prolific Iranian artist, now 90, is most famous for her mirror mosaics and mirror-reverse glass painting; however, the Infinite Possibility collection also features a number of her sketches and drawings, providing a unique look at this extraordinary artist.
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Starting May 1
The Whitney reopens for the first time this spring since moving to its new 220,000-square-foot, Renzo Piano-designed building in the Meatpacking District. The museum’s inaugural exhibition promises to be the largest and most comprehensive display to date of the museum’s vast permanent collection of 20th and 21st century art.
Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television
The Jewish Museum
May 1 – Sept. 15
This exhibit provides a look at the way avant-garde art shaped the look of television in the 1950s and ’60s with works by Saul Bass, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol and more, as well as memorabilia and clips from iconic films and television shows, including Batman, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Twilight Zone.
China: Through the Looking Glass
Metropolitan Museum of Art
May 7 – Aug. 16
Housed in the Met’s Chinese Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center, this exhibit showcases Chinese high fashion and costumes, as well as paintings, decorative arts, porcelains and films in an exploration of Chinese imagery from the 1700s to the present.
June 5 – July 5
Artist Mark Reynolds’ geometric drawings get their dizzying effect from the mathematical relations he uses to build the images. He sometimes derives the ratios in his drawings from nature or music, and he uses geometry to create intricate, weblike drawings that captivate the observer.
Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
Through July 26
On display at the new Harvard Art Museums, this exhibit features a camera projector system that helps restore the appearance of Rothko’s murals to how they looked when originally painted. (The colors faded while the murals were on display in a penthouse faculty dining room of Harvard’s Holyoke Center in the ’60s and ’70s.)
Audacious: The Fine Art of Wood from the Montalto Bohlen Collection
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Feb. 21 – June 21
Nearly 100 diverse wood pieces from around the world come together for this exhibit of contemporary wood art at the Peabody Essex Museum. Shaped as vessels, bowls and vases or entirely abstract, the works in this exhibit showcase the versatility of wood as a medium.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
March 14 – Nov. 8
In 2007, the Herb Ritts Foundation donated $2.5 million to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to build the first gallery at the museum dedicated solely to photography. This spring, the Herb Ritts and Clementine Brown Galleries at the museum will be filled with Ritts’ work, including many pieces from the 1996 MFA exhibit Herb Ritts: Work, which was one of the most popular exhibitions at the museum to date. It will also showcase other images from the late fashion photographer’s vast body of work.
Boston Sculptors Gallery
April 1 – May 3
Zwart, a native of Wayland, Massachusetts, challenges perceptions of reality with her indoor and outdoor installations. Through multiplication and manipulation, Zwart, who got her start as a window-display artist, dislodges familiar objects from our associations and gives them an entirely new—and sometimes bizarre—existence.
O’Keeffe and Friends: Dialogues with Nature
The Phillips Collection
Through May 31
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV and Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. VI are on display alongside landscapes and other paintings from American modernists of the early 1900s, including Alvin Langdon Coburn, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and John Marin, who contemplate and celebrate elements of nature.
Elaine de Kooning: Portraits
National Portrait Gallery
March 13 – Jan. 10, 2016
Abstract expressionist portraitist and painter Elaine de Kooning is best known for her portrayals of men, including her husband, painter Willem De Kooning; critic Harold Rosenberg; poets Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg; and President John F. Kennedy, all of which will be on display in this curated exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories
The Textile Museum at the George Washington University Museum
March 21 – Aug. 24
The largest exhibition in The Textile Museum’s history, Unraveling Identity will feature more than 100 pieces spanning 3,000 years and five continents. Clothing, decorative pieces, housewares and more explore culture, politics and social identity through textiles.
May 8 – June 7
Wright, a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, got his first taste of art illustrating skateboards at home in Hawaii and is now a seasoned artist known for his geometric paintings. Wright’s spring show at LongView, “VERSUS,” will feature two versions of each painting, one in black and gray and another in color. His intention is to show how the same scene in different colors evokes different feelings from the viewer.
Organic Matters—Women to Watch
National Museum of Women in the Arts
June 5 – Sept. 13
The fourth installment of NMWA’s Women to Watch series features 13 up-and-coming female artists from all over the country and the world. Each of the pieces feature elements of this year’s theme: imagery and materials from the natural world.
+10 Other notable exhibits scattered across the East Coast
The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760-1860
March 6 – July 26
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
The Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art team up to present works that celebrate the richness and range of Yale’s Romantic pieces.
Elliott Erwitt: Dog Dogs
March 7 – May 24
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
A collection of memorable canine photographs taken by Erwitt in various locations around the world between 1946 and 2004.
Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede
March 7 – June 14
Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina
This exhibit unites the work of Andy Warhol and Roy Halston Frowick to explore the art and fashion of the ’60s and ’70s.
Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble
March 29 – August 30
The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
Explore the striking marble sculptors of 19th-century artist and Maryland native William Henry Rinehart.
Young Contemporaries: Annual Student Exhibition
April 4 – May 2
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, South Carolina
The brightest stars of the College of Charleston’s School of the Arts show off their work in this annual exhibition.
Robert Lobe: In the Forest of Drawn Metal
April 11 – January 17, 2016
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey
Lobe’s textured and patinated aluminum wall reliefs are made by hammering sheets of aluminum over natural forms.
Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association
April 24 – August 2
RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island
Boyarsky assembled this collection of drawings during his time as chairman of the Architectural Association. It includes work by some of the most prominent architects and artists of the late 20th Century.
Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff, Fred Wilson: The Order of Things
May 16 – August 3
The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Three new large-scale installations, each created specifically for the Barnes Foundation, will be displayed in this three-month-long exhibit.
Eric Standley: In Depth
May 21 – August 16
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Revel in the intricate craft required to bring to life Standley’s impossibly detailed paper sculptures.
Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition
May 30 – September 27
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia
The work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists, eachof whom finds inspiration in the Japanese tradition of tattooing, displays alongside tools and relief carvings, as well as a recreated Shinto shrine.