From Botticelli to Bruce Lee, 25 Museum Exhibitions to See in the US This Spring

The Birth of Venus is taking her spring break in America this year.

Fab 5 Freddy, Boom Box Bruce (2012). Courtesy the artist and the Smithsonian Institution.

If April showers bring May flowers, then April exhibitions bring… even more May exhibitions! Here are the shows you should make sure to check out this season.



“Zhang Peili: Record. Repeat.” at the Art Institute of Chicago, March 30–July 9

This will be the first major survey in an American museum of the pioneering Chinese artist, Zhang Peili. Considered the first Chinese artist to use video as a medium, the show traces the arc of his career from early experiments with video in the late 1980s through his use of digital formats in the 2000s.

The Art Institute is located at 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, and is open daily 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. General admission is $25. 

“Kung Fu Wildstyle” at the Freer Gallery, April 1–30
Brooklyn-born hip-hop legend Fab 5 Freddy and Hong Kong rapper MC Yan have teamed up to create graffiti-style paintings paying homage to Bruce Lee (see above)—drawing parallels between the cultures.

The Freer is located at 1200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20560, open daily 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. 

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain (1950 version of 1917 original). © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Estate of Marcel Duchamp.

“Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, April 1–December 3
One hundred years later, Duchamp’s iconoclastic urinal (aka Fountain) is still generating press.

The museum is located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. General admission is $20. 

James Montgomery Flagg, I Want You for U.S. Army (c. 1917), Courtesy of Museum of the City of New York, gift of Mr. John W. Campbell.

“Posters and Patriotism: Selling WWI in New York” at Museum of the City of New York, opens April 5
A century after the United States entered World War I, this is an examination of the printed matter created in support and in protest of the war effort.

The Museum of the City of New York is located at 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd St, New York, NY 10029, open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. General admission is $18, visitors under age 20 are free.  

Ambreen Butt, Pages of Deception(2012). Courtesy of the artist.

“Ambreen Butt, Pia Camil, and Keer Tanchak” at Dallas Contemporary, April 8–August 20
This exhibition puts the spotlight on work by three contemporary artists whose practices traverse the bounds of traditional media and formal qualities.

Dallas Contemporary is located at 131 Glass Street, Dallas, TX 75207, hours are TuesdaySaturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

[Left] Clyfford Still, PH-929 (1974). Clyfford Still Museum © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY. [Right] Mark Bradford, Butch Queen (2016). Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Inc. Photo by Joshua White.

“Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford” at the Denver Art Museum + Clyfford Still Museum, April 9–July 16
In a two-venue examination of painterly approaches to abstraction, Mark Bradford’s contemporary works echo the monumental drama of Clyfford Still’s paintings from four decades earlier in artful pairings at DAM. Next door at Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum, Bradford has curated a selection of Still’s work as part of the ongoing Artist Selects program.

(Bradford, who was recently named to represent the US at the 2017 Venice Biennale, will also be featured in “Darkness Made Visible: Derek Jarman and Mark Bradford” at the MFA Boston, on view March 25–July 30.)

The Denver Art Museum is located at 100 W 14th Avenue Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204, hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $13/$10 for Colorado.

The Clyfford Still Museum is located at 1250 Bannock Street, Denver CO 80204, hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10.

*During “Shade,” visitors who purchase a ticket at either DAM or CSM may enjoy free admission next door when presenting their admission receipt.

Ian Cheng, Emissary Forks at Perfection (2015–16). Courtesy Fund for the Twenty-First Century

“Ian Cheng: Emissaries” at MoMA PS1, April 9–September 25
The first solo US exhibition of artist Ian Cheng, featuring MoMA’s recently acquired “Emissary” trilogy, displays Cheng’s deftness in animation—skills he honed while working at George Lucas’s production company.

MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101, open Thursday through Monday, 12 to 6 p.m. Admission to PS1 is currently free for all NYC residents, suggested general admission for non-residents is $10.

Sandro Botticelli and workshop, Venus [detail] (c. 1484-1490). Courtesy of Galleria Sabauda, Turin.

“Botticelli and the Search for the Divine” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, April 15–July 9
Featuring the largest display of the Renaissance painter’s work ever in the United States—including the maiden voyage of his famous Birth of Venus to American shores—this overview of the Florentine artist traces his career from emissary of the Medici family and painter of courtly luxury to his late-in-life rejection of worldly goods and embrace of ascetic theocracy.

MFA Boston is located at 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115. Hours are Sunday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. General admission is $25.

Jan van Raay, Faith Ringgold (right) and Michele Wallace (middle) at Art Workers Coalition Protest, Whitney Museum (1971). Courtesy of Jan van Raay, Portland, OR, 305-37. © Jan van Raay

“We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85” at the Brooklyn Museum, April 21–September 17
Celebrating the women of color who employed art as a vehicle for social change, the show highlights their contribution to second-wave feminism through painting, sculpture, performance, and more. It features works by 40 artists and activists including Emma Amos, Lois Mailou Jones, Ana Mendieta, Faith Ringgold, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems.

The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238, hours are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. General admission is $16.

Dale Chihuly, Sapphire Star (2016). Courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden.

“CHIHULY” at the New York Botanical Garden, April 22–October 29
In his first major garden exhibition in New York in over a decade, the artist Dale Chihuly will present 20 ethereal blown-glass sculptures at New York’s floral oasis, drawing inspiration from his groundbreaking 1975 Artpark Installation, which set the standard for outdoor sculpture enhancing its organic surroundings.

The New York Botanical Garden is located at 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458, and is open year-round TuesdaySunday daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. General admission is $20. During “CHIHULY Nights,” tickets are $35, see calendar for hours.

ensæmble, In-betweens Surface 1 (2015). Courtesy of ensæmble and Museum of Arts and Design.

“fashion after Fashion” at the Museum of Arts and Design, April 27–August 6
As made clear in its title (or not), the show seeks to exhibit the differences between “fashion” as a personal, reflective entity and the market-driven, trend-focused industry of “Fashion.”

MAD is located at 2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019, hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission $14.

Still from Shirin Neshat, Rapture (1999). Courtesy The Broad, © Shirin Neshat.

“Oracle” at the Broad, April 29–August, 2017
The effects of globalization are investigated in portrayals of global events and individual struggle, featuring works by artists including El Anatsui, Sterling Ruby, Andreas Gursky, William Kentridge, Peter Halley, Julie Mehretu, and Shirin Neshat, among others.

The Broad is located at 221 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles 90012, and is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Alex Katz, Ada in Blue Sweater (1959). © Alex Katz / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

“Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s” at the Cleveland Museum of Art, April 30–August 6
This show is devoted to paintings from a particularly prolific decade in the artist’s career that introduced his unique brand of large-scale figuration. In the curator’s vision, these works serve as a precursor to the Pop Art movement, as an antidote to the weighty intellectualism of Abstract Expressionism.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is located at 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland OH 44106, and is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the museum is free.

Louise Lawler, Why Pictures Now (1981). Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, © 2017 Louise Lawler.

“Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW” at the Museum of Modern Art, April 30–July 30
Finally, we’re getting a long-overdue survey of the Pictures Generation artist, whose unique mode of re-presentation calls into question the conventions of authorship and originality. Alongside the pictorial display, Lawler’s feminist soundscape Birdcalls (1972/81) will be installed in the Sculpture Garden to complete the multi-sensory experience.

MoMA is located at 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, and is open daily 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Fridays 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. General admission is $25, during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights, admission is free every Friday evening, 4 to 8 p.m. 



Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tie the Temptress to the Trojan (2016). Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, and Corvi-Mora, London, ©Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

“Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song for a Cipher” at the New Museum, May 3–September 3
The British artist, who won the Turner Prize in 2013, is an oil painter whose portraits of fictional characters are studies in muted tones with an air of solitude. The lack of a recognizable subject or narrative lends itself to imaginative projection on the part of the viewer.

The New Museum is located at 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002, hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., open Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission is $18, Thursday evenings pay-what-you-wish from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, 18th-Century Punk (2016–17). Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi.

“Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garҫons: Art of the In-Between” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 4–September 4
The spring exhibition from the Met’s Costume Institute highlights the work of Japanese fashion maven Kawakubo, whose avant-garde collections for Comme des Garҫons since the late 1980s challenge the traditional boundaries between high art and design.

The Met is at 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, hours are Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission online is $25.

Florine Stettheimer, Beauty Contest: To the memory of P.T. Barnum (1924). Courtesy of Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, CT.

“Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry at the Jewish Museum, May 5–September 24
A colorful survey of the Jazz Age artist whose paintings, poems, and parties drew in the likes of Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marcel Duchamp—offering a rose-tinted, though often sardonic, perspective on modern art and life. (Our interest was piqued when Jeffrey Deitch recreated the visionary artist’s studio at the most recent Armory Show, illustrating the widespread and continued influence of Stettheimer.)

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 5th Avenue & 92nd St., New York, NY 10128. Hours are Friday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. General admission is $15, Saturdays are free.

KAWS, FAR FAR DOWN (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

“KAWS: FAR FAR DOWN” at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, May 5–August 13
New paintings by the graffiti artist-cum-designer will be exhibited against the backdrop of a newly commissioned mural on the museum’s Project Wall along with the unveiling of the life-sized bronze sculpture TOGETHER in CAM’s courtyard.

CAM is located at 3750 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Eduardo Chillida, In Praise of the Void, VI (2000). Chillida Belzunce Family Collection / © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy of Ordovas.

Eduardo Chillida, In Praise of the Void, VI (2000). Chillida Belzunce Family Collection / © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image courtesy of Ordovas.

“Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence” at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, May 5–December 3
Positioned throughout the Donald J. Sculpture Park and activating the nearby Theis Park, seven hulking Corten steel sculptures by Eduardo Chillida will be on view to the public in a collaboration with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department.

Nelson-Atkins is located at 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64111, hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the Sculpture Park and Museum is free.

Fazal Sheikh, Abshiro Aden Mohammed, Women’s Leader, Somali Refugee Camp, Dagahaley, Kenya (2000), Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston © Fazal Sheikh.

“Homelands and Histories: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh” at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, May 6–September 4
This exhibition devoted to photographer Fazal Sheikh documents marginalized and displaced persons throughout Afghanistan, Africa, Brazil, Cuba, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Palestine, from the late 1980s to 2013. Sheikh’s work will also be the focus of a show at the Denver Art Museum later this summer.

The MFA Houston is located at 1001 Bissonnet, Houston, TX 77005. Hours are Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 12:15 to 7 p.m. General admission is $18.

“99 Cents or Less” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit

“99 Cents or Less” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, May 19–August 6
99 US-based artists address the ongoing economic woes that have rocked this once vibrant city, using materials from 99-cent stores as a meditation on our consumer-driven culture.  Among the not-quite-100 artists are Andrea Bowers, John Baldessari, Liam Gillick, Alfredo Jaar, Rashid Johnson, Sarah Meyohas, Sterling Ruby, Jessica Stockholder, and Rob Pruitt, to name a few.

MOCAD is located at 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201, hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, and Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Donations of $5 are suggested.

Sarah Choate Sears, <i>Bernard Berenson</i> (c.1903), Courtesy of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Sarah Choate Sears, Bernard Berenson (c.1903), Courtesy of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

“A New Light on Bernard Berenson: Persian Paintings from Villa I Tatti” at the University Research Gallery, Harvard Art Museum, May 20–August 13
Featuring illustrated manuscripts and folios collected by art historian and Italian Renaissance connoisseur Bernard Berenson, this show focuses on his lesser-known interest in Persian art and cultural objects.

The Harvard Art Museums are located at 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $15, free admission on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for Massachusetts residents.

Markus Lüpertz, Der große Löffel (The Large Spoon) (1982). Courtesy of MoMA, © Markus Lüpertz/ ARS, NY/ VG Bild-Kunst, Germany, Digital Image © MoMA/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY.

“Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History” at the Hirshhorn Museum, May 24–September 10
Exemplary early works from Neo-Expressionist Lüpertz arrive at the National Mall—most notably his 40-foot painting Westwall [Siegfried Line] (1968)—while the nearby Phillips Collection mounts a survey of the artist’s entire oeuvre—together forming the first major US museum retrospective for the German artist.

The Hirshhorn is located on the National Mall at the corner of 7th Street SW and Independence Avenue, Washington, DC 20024. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, free admission. 

The Phillips Collection is located at 1600 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20009, hours are Tuesday—Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, 12 to 7 p.m. General admission is $12.

Catalog for “Unpacking,” the inaugural show at Marciano Foundation.

“Unpacking: The Marciano Collection” & “Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum” at the Marciano Art Foundation, Opening to the public May 25, 2017
L.A. welcomes yet another private museum to its inimitable ranks. The Guess co-founders’ collection of over 1,500 contemporary artworks will be unveiled in an inaugural installation curated by former MOCA staffer Philipp Kaiser (who is also slated to curate the Swiss Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale). The space, purchased by brothers Paul and Maurice Marciano in 2013, is the site of a former Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, and has been renovated by the firm wHY Architecture—set to boast 65,000 square feet of exhibition space along with a 5,000-square-foot sculpture garden. Also on display will be the first West Coast institutional solo exhibition for LA artist Jim Shaw.

The Foundation is located at 4357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010. The Marciano Foundation will open to the public Thursday, March 25th. 

Rembrandt, <i>Abraham Entertaining the Angels </i>(1646). Private collection, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rembrandt, Abraham Entertaining the Angels (1646). Private collection, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Divine Encounter: Rembrandt’s Abraham and the Angels at the Frick Collection, May 30–August 20
This small painting on loan from a private collection will be exhibited for the first time in 10 years, making a rare appearance for public view.

The Frick is located at 1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021, hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $22, and the first Friday evening of the month admission is free from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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