We’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news.
Bad news first: The new Whitney will dismantle its sparkling permanent collection show on September 27 and resume with regular programming. How we’ll miss Agnes Pelton’s 1931 swan painting, and Donald Moffett’s Ronald Reagan mugs! As the leaves change color in early October, we’ll see Harlem Renaissance artist Archibald Motley’s paintings go up on the eighth floor. In mid-October, New York–based artist Jared Madere will create an installation on the first floor; and on the day before Halloween the fifth floor will be given over to a major Frank Stella retrospective co-organized with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. We’ll see how Renzo Piano’s building feels once things move around.
The rest of the news is good: The MoMA will unveil what should be an eye-opening Picasso sculpture exhibition, a survey of Lebanese-born contemporary artist Walid Raad, and a retrospective of Uruguayan modernist Joaquín Torres-García. The Jewish Museum will give us a trove of early Soviet photographs and the Neue Galerie will look at a similar period with its “Berlin Metropolis: 1918–1933,” which promises to go deep into the Weimar psyche. The Met’s fall fashion show is a portrait of French aristocrat Jacqueline de Ribes; two major surveys — one of art from Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, the other art of the Kongo — look to be its most substantive offerings.
For locavores, the fourth iteration of MoMA P.S.1’s quinquennial “Greater New York” is unveiled on October 11. If nothing else, this census of the city’s creative class will tell us who can still afford to live here. And though the show’s artists won’t be revealed until it opens, no doubt tongues will wag no matter whom the four-person team — led by MoMA P.S.1 curator Peter Eleey — will pick.
As for the galleries, they’re trotting out known quantities: Zwirner has the Germans — Isa Genzken and Wolfgang Tillmans — slotted for September. Bonakdar will launch with Sarah Sze, the 2013 pick for the U.S. pavilion in Venice, while offering Dutch artist Mark Manders in late October. Mark Grotjahn will be at Anton Kern for September, and Marc Straus will bring us our favorite Viennese actionist Hermann Nitsch, whose macabre work rarely disappoints. Also in September, Hauser & Wirth’s downtown outpost gives us a selection of the late Mike Kelley‘s spookily lit “Kandors,” his sculptures named after Superman’s birthplace and the locus of his longing and loss. We’re also curious about James Cohan’s new L.E.S. outpost, which should open in late October with the Pop-inspired work Robert Smithson made before land art. And of course there’s Gavin Brown, who remains tight-lipped about the opening date of his new Harlem space, though it looks like video artist Ed Adkins will launch it.
Roy Lichtenstein: Greene Street Mural
September 10 — October 17
Gagosian resurrects a Reagan-era ghost this season when the gallery unveils a full-scale replica of a 96-and-1/2-foot-long Roy Lichtenstein wall painting that only the folks who attended the artist’s 1983 Leo Castelli Gallery show got to see. Called the Greene Street Mural in reference to that gallery’s address, the work is late Lichtenstein and high postmodernism, a pastiche of visual references to everything from Art Deco to Picasso to Swiss cheese. Destroyed at the show’s end per the artist’s orders, the piece gets a second life thanks to archival material and a still-living former assistant who worked on the original and is supervising this redo. We’ll know it’s a success if someone spills cocaine on the floor. Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, gagosian.com
September 14 — February 7, 2016
If only every autodidact were this good: The world’s best-known painter was also a sculptor, and a self-taught one at that. In September, MoMA clears its fourth-floor permanent collection galleries to make way for about 100 3-D works that Pablo Picasso made during his lifetime. Often sites for experimentation and play, these objects vary in materials and approach but often relate to the subjects and themes the Spanish-born artist was at the time exploring in oil. The works are less well-known largely because Picasso kept them close, like family, rarely exhibiting them. Assessing them all together offers an opportunity and a challenge: We often talk about Picasso sculpting in paint, so what metaphors will we reach for now? Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, moma.org
Jim Shaw: The End Is Here
October 7 — January 10, 2016
Jim Shaw, a prodigious draughtsman who regurgitates pop culture into wild-brained, quasi-religious paintings, drawings, and installations, finally receives a comprehensive New York retrospective at the New Museum this fall. Spanning early student work to recent efforts, the show explores his talents as both draftsman and pack rat. We’ll see 90 works from the “My Mirage” series in which he adopted, chameleon-like, drawing styles referencing everything from high art to comics, as well as his “Dream Drawings” rendered from images he saw during sleep. We’ll also be treated to a floor devoted to his deep collection of thrift-store paintings — our trash, Shaw’s treasure — that will seal the coffin on that “death of the author” canard and give us a much-needed break from art- world darlings. Amen to that. New Museum, 235 Bowery, newmuseum.org
September 10 — October 17
How to top The Clock? Artist Christian Marclay’s 24-hour-long tour de time — hundreds upon hundreds of film clips in which a watch or clock states the hour, calibrated to real-time — generated long lines and much-deserved hype during its dead-of-winter U.S. premiere at the Paula Cooper Gallery in 2011. This month, then, let’s keep expectations in check when Cooper unveils Marclay’s latest, the four-channel video installation Surround Sounds, making its U.S. debut here after a stop at London’s White Cube earlier in the year. A silent barrage of sound, the work projects comic-book onomatopoeia like “blip” and “pop” in choreographed moves that look like they sound: “Rumble” trembles at the base of the screen, “beep” blinks incessantly, and “krak!” splits in two. Will Surround Sounds withstand the inevitable comparisons? Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, paulacoopergallery.com
Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style
November 19 — February 21, 2016
Jacqueline de Ribes is a French countess, and she’s exactly as glamorous as that title would lead you to believe. Dubbed “the last queen of Paris” (in the words of Valentino) and renowned for her elegance and innovation, she has long been a muse to fashion icons on the order of Yves Saint Laurent, in addition to being a designer in her own right. This exhibition from the Met’s Costume Institute invites visitors to peek inside her singular wardrobe, with displays of 60 ensembles from her decades-spanning collection. The exhibit also recaps her success as a prolific businesswoman: Over the years, de Ribes has run her own design company, produced television and theater, and organized philanthropic galas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, metmuseum.org