'Signs & Symbols'

June 28 through October 28

You'd hardly know it today, but it wasn't all de Kooning and Pollock in New York in the 1940s and '50s. American abstraction was, instead, chock-full of competing voices. Signs & Symbols sheds new light on America's greatest generation of artistic game changers. Drawn from the museum's deep holdings of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs, this display looks to right a few wrongs in the art historical canon. Including works by Will Barnet, Forrest Bess, Charles Seliger, and Mark Tobey, among others, the show moves away from AbEx muscle and toward figurative and calligraphic mark making. The third in a series of exhibitions aimed at reassessing the museum's collection, this display reconsiders the era's iconic figures and masterworks. Whitney Museum, 945 Madison Avenue, whitney.org

'Caribbean: Crossroads of the World'

June 12 through January 6

Even in New York, the center has relocated to the margins. A three-museum blockbuster that looks to examine the development of art and aesthetics across the multicultural Caribbean, this show constitutes both a history lesson and a contemporary guide to a burgeoning visual culture. Centering on the era opened by the Haitian Revolution—the area's first successful bid for independence—the show spans the history of the Caribbean, from early colonization to the present, touching on subjects like slavery, geography, commerce, migration, hybridism, and paradise. Some three years in the making, this show is the first time the three institutions have collaborated on a single exhibition. El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, elmuseo.org

Queens Museum of Art, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, queensmuseum.org

Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, studiomuseum.org

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