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25 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend


‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’ at the Jewish Museum (ongoing). After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought, refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles 4,000 years of Judaica with modern and contemporary art by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze. The works are shown in a nimble, nonchronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilettantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations. (Farago)
212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

STATUE OF LIBERTY MUSEUM on Liberty Island (ongoing). Security concerns stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks led the National Park Service to restrict the number of people who could go inside the Statue of Liberty’s massive stone pedestal and up to the crown. So the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation wanted to offer something more for visitors who found the outdoor view less than satisfying: a stand-alone museum on the island that would welcome everyone who wanted to hear the story behind Lady Liberty. Going beyond the vague and often dubious ideal of American “liberty,” the museum’s displays highlight the doubts of black Americans and women who saw their personal liberties compromised on a daily basis in the 1880s, when the statue opened. These exhibits also spotlight a bit of history that is often forgotten: that the French creators intended the statue as a commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States. (Julia Jacobs)
statueoflibertymuseum.org

‘STONEWALL 50 AT THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY’ (through Sept. 22). For its Stonewall summer, the society offers a bouquet of three micro-shows. One is devoted to relics of L.G.B.T.Q. night life, from the 1950s lesbian bar called the Sea Colony to the gay male sex clubs like the Anvil and the Ramrod that sizzled in the 1970s. Another documents the founding in 1974 — by Joan Nestle, Deborah Edel, Sahli Cavallero, Pamela Olin and Julia Stanley — of a compendious and still-growing register of lesbian culture called the Herstory Archives. And a third turns a solo spotlight on charismatic individuals: Storme DeLarverie (1920-2014), Mother Flawless Sabrina/Jack Doroshow (1939-2017), Keith Haring (1958-90) and Rollerena Fairy Godmother. (Cotter)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

‘TOO FAST TO LIVE, TOO YOUNG TO DIE: PUNK GRAPHICS, 1976-1986’ at the Museum of Arts and Design (through Aug. 18). Many of the objects on display in this exhibition were first hung in record stores or in the bedrooms of teenagers. Posters promoting new albums, tours and shows are mixed in with album art, zines, buttons and other miscellany. Most of the pieces are affixed to the walls with magnets and are not framed, and almost all show signs of wear. The presentation reinforces that this was commercial art meant for wide consumption, and the ragged edges and prominent creases in the works make the history feel alive. (Richardson)
212-299-7777, madmuseum.org

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’ at the American Museum of Natural History (through Aug. 9, 2020). Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which could bear down on prey with the force of a U-Haul truck; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and also presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers. (Farago)
212-769-5100, amnh.org

‘2019 WHITNEY BIENNIAL’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Sept. 22). Given the political tensions that have sent spasms through the nation over the past two years, you might have expected — hoped — that this year’s biennial would be one big, sharp Occupy-style yawp. It isn’t. Politics are present but, with a few notable exceptions, murmured, coded, stitched into the weave of fastidiously form-conscious, labor-intensive work. As a result, the exhibition, organized by two young Whitney curators, Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta, gives the initial impression of being a well-groomed group show rather than a statement of resistance. But once you start looking closely, the impression changes artist by artist, piece by piece — there’s quiet agitation in the air. (Cotter)
212-570-3600, whitney.org



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