A water motif dominates the final chapter of this fulsome exhibition. Introduced by a gorgeously simple video of artist Janine Antoni literally tightrope walking across the Caribbean's horizon line, the Queens Museum appropriately underscores the oceanic flow of generations of tropically inspired talent. Fittingly, this last leg of "Crossroads" proves both the largest and most democratic. A Romare Bearden collage sprinkled with Matissean accents sits cheek by jowl with Sandra Ramos's riff on Robert Delaunay's concentric painting. Newcomer Sheena Rose's streaming animation shares wall space with a luminous waterscape by Armando Reverón, Venezuela's late answer to J.M.W. Turner. Surprisingly, even the museum's famed Panorama of the History of New York gets into the act. A tourist attraction turned found canvas for Puerto Rican artist Melquiades Rosario Sastre's installation The Fleet (1985), its model waterways serve as the perfect staging ground for the artist's floating immigrant islands.

Arguably, "Crossroads of the World," and the book that accompanies it, will define all other subsequent Caribbean surveys for years to come. A popular, intergenerational, and entertainingly historical show, it lets artists talk to one another across the ages. Interested viewers, most especially kindred New Yorkers, should rush to listen in.

Gabriel Bien-Aimé, Mermaid (undated
Courtesy Queens Museum of Art
Gabriel Bien-Aimé, Mermaid (undated

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, 212-831-7272, elmuseo.org; The Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, 212-864-4500, studiomuseum.org; Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, 718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org

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