When it comes to high culture, nothing trumps a calendar chockablock with splashy gallery openings and major art exhibits.
Fall is a particularly important time for the art world, with museums saving their most exciting shows for big September and October debuts. With our round-up of the 10 most anticipated exhibits of the season, all that’s left for your to do is practice your reflective museum face (you know what we mean—brow furrowed, thumb and forefinger poised on chin).
What art exhibits are on your calendar?
NEW YORK: Alina Szapocznikow's sculptural renderings of her own body parts have an unsettling, pseudo-medical quality—but don't let the heebie-jeebies stop you from checking out THe Museum of Modern Art's display of her radical work, which includes her most important pieces from 1955 through 1972. October 7, 2012–January 28, 2013; moma.org.
LOS ANGELES: Thanks in part to Patti Smith's best-selling memoir, Just Kids, which recounts her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, there has been renewed interest surrounding the artist. The attention has resulted in a major Hollywood film production starring James Franco as well as a dedicated exhibit at the Getty Museum, which will showcase his large-scale images as well as earlier mixed-media objects. October 23, 2012 – March 24, 2013; getty.edu.
NEW YORK: Haroon Mirza creates visual and audio environments using outmoded pieces of technology like turntables, speaker cabinets and TV monitors. And there's no place better to host an immersive audio/visual experience than The New Museum, which will showcase several of Mirza's retro-tech rooms this fall. September 19, 2012 - January 6, 2013; newmuseum.org.
WASHINGTON DC: A key figure in the proliferation of the Pop Art movement, Roy Lichtenstein is the subject of this fall's retrospective at The National Gallery of Art. This particular Lichtenstein work, Look Mickey, was adapted from a 1960 Disney comic. October 14, 2012–January 13, 2013; nga.gov.
NEW YORK: Given the sheer volume of Warhol's work, it's hardly surprising that The Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to divide this fall's exhibit into thematic sections, including "Portraiture: Celebrity and Power" and "Queer Studies: Shifting Identities." Most interestingly, each theme will show connections to later artists like Ai Weiwei and Jeff Koons. September 18, 2012—December 31, 2012; metmuseum.org.
LONDON: The Tate Britain's exploration of Pre-Raphaelite painters includes moody works from lesser-known masters like Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones and Henry Wallis (whose haunting painting Chatterton is pictured above). September 12, 2012–January 13, 2013, tate.org.uk.
PARIS: And speaking of Raphael, the art world seems to have this Italian Renaissance painter on the brain this fall. A special exhibition at the Louvre will showcase lesser-known works he produced in Rome near the end of his life. October 11, 2012–January 14, 2013; louvre.fr.
LOS ANGELES: In its upcoming exhibit, "Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949–1962," The Museum of Contemporary Art will explore a peculiar aspect of modern abstract art: the impulse to destroy one's canvas. Featuring scorched, shredded, and stained works from the likes of Alberto Burri and Lee Bontecou, this exhibit promises to be one of the most memorable shows of the year. October 6, 2012-January 14, 2013; moca.org.
PARIS: We immediately think of Monet's water liliy paintings or Degas' ballerinas when someone says Impressionism, but apparently, the painters were also known for the unusual care and attention to detail with which they represented fashion. This fall, "Impressionism and Fashion" at the Musée d'Orsa will showcase some of the movement's most stylish renderings from 1860 to 1880. September 25, 2012—January 20, 2013; musee-dorsay.fr.