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Ten Best Art Exhibitions for Winter

This is the season for the art world to debut its crème de la crème exhibitions.  The winter programs are primed to be the most culturally-illuminating with exhibits curated from around the world.  Old and modern masters; antiquities and photography, ceramics and sculpture; these extraordinary collections will appeal to the connoisseur to the casual visitor.  We have highlighted the ten exhibitions that are all abuzz.  Many are being shown in the US for the first time.  Make sure you see this stunning art this season.

Master Drawings Unveiled: 25 Years of Major Acquisitions

The Art Institute of Chicago – Through January 28, 2017


This exhibition highlights a selection of master drawings from the 17th to mid 20th century that have been purchased by the museum over the past 25 years but have not yet been shown. Arranged chronologically, the selection opens with masterpieces of the French school dating from the 17th century through Neoclassicism. New representatives of Swiss, German, and Austrian Romanticism, mid century Realism, and Belgian Symbolism complement other important works enhancing the already strong 19th century group, including Edgar Degas, Henri Fantin-Latour, and Gustave Caillebotte.

Francois Boucher Academic- Study of a Reclining Male Nude 1750

Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950

Philadelphia Museum of Art – Through January 8, 2017


Paint the Revolution offers a deep look at the forces that shaped modern art in Mexico, the progress of which was closely watched around the world. The exhibition takes its name from an impassioned essay by American novelist John Dos Passos, who saw Mexico’s revolutionary murals during a visit to Mexico City in 1926–27.

This landmark exhibition is presented in partnership with The Philadelphia Museum of Art the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Drawn from US and Mexican collections, it is the most comprehensive exhibition of Mexican modernism to be shown in the United States in more than seven decades.

Portrait of Martín Luis Guzmán, 1915
Diego Rivera, Mexican, 1886–1957


Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Through January 29, 2017


This exhibit brings masterpieces that highlight artistic and cultural contributions of imperial rulers in China, from the Song dynasty to the Qing dynasty. More than 160 works of art from the National Palace Museum offer a unique selection of paintings, bronzes, calligraphy, and decorative arts.

The exhibition presents examples of the finest craftsmanship and imperial taste of the 8 emperors and i empress who ruled between the12th and early 20th-century.

Gold Bowl
Emperor Qing Dynasty Reign of Qianlong Emperor 1735–96


The Baltimore Museum of Art – Through January 29, 2017


More than 90 paintings and drawings by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) show the French modern master’s enduring influence on one of the greatest post-war American painters.

Diebenkorn’s long engagement with Matisse’s work is among the most productive instances of one painter looking at another’s paintings in the history of 20th-century art. Among the exhibition’s many highlights are groundbreaking paintings by Matisse from his most adventurous years, and highlights from every phase of Diebenkorn’s oeuvre.

Left: Henri Matisse View of Notre Dame 1914
Right: Richard Diebenkorn. Ocean Park #79. 1975

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

The Met Breuer – Through January 29, 2017


The exhibition’s title is a play on words referencing Marshall’s comics-inspired Rythm Mastrseries and the works to be included range from the early and iconic such as A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self (1980) and Invisible Man (1986) to his newest revisions of traditional history painting. One of these major recent works—Untitled (Studio)(2014 is a monumental picture depicting an artist’s workspace.

A veritable catalogue of genres of painting, it combines still life, portraiture, and landscape with trompe l’oeil and abstraction.

Kerry James Marshall
Untitled (Studio), 2014

On Desert Time - photographs by Timothy H. O’Sullivan and Wm. H. Bell

Denver Art Museum – Through January 8, 2017


The Wheeler Survey was charged with the task of mapping lands for the development of military posts and mineral resources in territories ceded to the United States at the end of the Mexican-American War. Within these constraints, O’Sullivan and Bell created striking views of the desert region that reflect both the bones of the landscape.

Over four summers (1871–74), the photographers documented places, cultures, and geologic phenomena across lands that now lie within Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.

William H.-Bell
Cañon of Kanab Wash Colorado River Looking South 1872

Albert Oehlen: Woods near Oehle

The Cleveland Museum of Art  December 24, 2016 – March 12, 2017


The largest exhibition of Alberts Oehlen’s work in the United States to date, A thought provoking and unconventional survey, including work from the past 30 years, Albert Oehlen: Woods near Oehle will reflect Oehlen’s complex layering of methods, subject matter, and viewpoints, while also celebrating an artist who continues to radically question the limits of painting.

Notably, the exhibition will feature many new works, primarily Oehlen’s series of monumental Baumbilder(Tree Paintings). Over the past thirty years, the tree has served as Oehlen’s motif allowing him to test the boundaries of abstraction.

Albert Oehlen
Untitled (Baum 18), 2014

Whitfield Lovell: The Kin Series and Related Works

The Phillips Collection – Through January 8, 2017


From Kin I to Kin LX. Lovell mines the breadth and depth of human experience to reveal common bonds that transcend racial, gender, cultural, or religious difference. The provocative pairings of objects and images open up multilayered meanings for the viewer that challenge our preexisting notions and perspectives.

This focused exhibition closely examines Lovell’s narrative and formal invention in the Kin series and situates it within the broader context of his creative practice by bringing it together with a selection of his finest related works.

Whitfield Lovell
kin-xlv-das-lied-von-der-erde, 2011

“UH-OH”Frances Stark 1991 – 2015

Museum of Fine Art Boston – Through January 29, 2017


The most comprehensive survey to date of Los Angeles-based artist and writer Frances Stark (born 1967), “UH-OH” tracks her 25-year career from early carbon copy drawings and text-based works to more recent video installations, digital slide shows, and projects that shape fleeting engagements with social media into art.

Autobiography is Stark’s primary mode of expression. From self-examination, come her reflections on literature, music, architecture, art, sex, domesticity, labor, pleasure, pedagogy, and class.

Frances Stark
Why should you not be able to assemble yourself and write?, 2008

Kehinde Wiley: New Republic

Phoenix Art Museum – Through January 8, 2017


Kehinde Wiley is one of the leading American artists to emerge in the last decade and he has been ingeniously reworking the grand portraiture traditions. Since ancient times the portrait has been tied to the representation of power, and in European courts and churches, artists and their patrons developed a complex repository of postures and poses and refined a symbolic language.

The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic raise questions about race, gender, and the politics of portraying contemporary African American men and women using traditional European portraiture.

Kehinde Wiley
The Two Sisters, 2011


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