The 800-pound gorilla of living artists is having his first solo exhibition in New York since the '96 MOMA retrospective. Frozen in the encaustic shadow of his early flag and target masterpieces, the septuagenarian painter will perhaps (like Titian) find in late life more sublime depths than his middle-period "Four Seasons" or flagstones ever achieved. With new paintings, drawings, and prints, this is a show overflowing with anticipation.
May 15-April 2006 Dia: Beacon, 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY, 845-440-0100. Escape the city for a verdant early-summer drive. Head upstate to Beacon, where Dia mounts a show of Warhol's large "Skull" paintings and a selection derived from his "Disaster" series of car crashes and suicides. Andy was always best when he was darkest; you'll feel like you never left Gotham.
May 21-June 24 Zone Chelsea, 601 W 26th, 212-255-2177.
Matisse possesses a regal artistic legacybright colors and bold compositions from her grandfather Henri and conceptual whimsy from her stepfather, Marcel Duchampand makes paintings in the sky with handcrafted kites trailing vibrant tails. These are shown along with tiny streamers and other objects in bottles (she assisted Duchamp in assembling his "portable museums"), plus a virtual reality Cave where viewers can use wands to make the kites move.