Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Exclusive First Look at What the Met Museum Has Planned through June 2013

Matisse, "The Blue Nude," to be shown in "The Steins Collect"
The Metropolitan Museum hasn’t released information about its upcoming shows beyond June 2012, so what follows is an exclusive first look at the best shows it has planned through June 2013.

In this age of austerity at museums, the Met is still able to put on international loan exhibitions, ranging from the tightly focused “Rembrandt and Degas,” with about 20 works, to the sprawling “Byzantium and Islam” that will show some 300 items.

Rembrandt self-portrait from the Rijksmuseum, to be shown in "Rembrandt and Degas"
And a glance at the breadth of the offerings shows why the Met is the best encyclopedic museum on the continent.  On the way is its special exhibit of Egyptian work dating from as early as 6000 years ago in “The Dawn of Egyptian Art.”

It will also have an exhibit of art from the day before yesterday, with “Regarding Warhol:  Fifty Artists, Fifty Years.”

A word about the last show:  Except for its Art on the Roof series, the Met has been cautious when it comes to art of the last few decades, going mainly with solo shows of the tried-and-true who are octogenarian or nearly so -- think Jasper Johns or Richard Serra.

But with the Warhol group show, it looks like the Met will be anointing some contemporary artists – i.e., taking a risk – in addition to ensuring some good attendance figures and perhaps courting the moneyed financiers who go for Warhol big time.

The standouts:

Rembrandt and Degas, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, February 23 to May 20, 2012.  Highlights:  Two early Rembrandt self-portraits on loan from Europe.

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, February 28 to June 3, 2012.  About 100 works collected by expatriates Gertrude Stein and her brothers. 

Byzantium and Islam:  Age of Transition, March 14 to July 18, 2012.  From museums around the world, some 300 objects from the 7th century, showing the interactions among Christian, Islamic, and Jewish cultures, accompanied by a heavy-duty scholarly catalogue.

From Egypt, ca. 3450 B.C.
The Dawn of Egyptian Art, April 4 to August 5, 2012.  180 examples of very early Egyptian art, beginning in 4000 B.C.

Tomas Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City, April 24 to November 4, 2012.  Interconnected room-sized modules by the young Argentine artist.

Regarding Warhol: Fifty Artists, Fifty Years, September 2012-January 2013.  Warhol and his influence, thematically arranged.  A Met rarity – a group show with contemporary art.

Bernini Models in Clay, October 2012 to January 2013.  50 models and several sculptures by the Roman Baroque master.

George Bellows (1882–1925), November 2012 to February 2013. A whopping 75 paintings, 30 drawings, and 25 lithographs by the American artist best known for his paintings of boxers.

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, February to May 2013.  The Met again joins the fashion-is-art crowd, with period costumes and 75 paintings from the era that saw the rise of ready-to-wear clothing, department stores, and fashion magazines.

The Civil War and American Art, May to September 2013. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, will include a related show of Civil War photography. 

Images: Matisse, Copyright  Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society; Rembrandt pulled from the internet; Egyptian painted pottery from Metropolitan Museum website.

Text Copyright 2011 Laura Gilbert