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A Visitor’s Guide to MoMA and the Met


Before you head back to the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are some things you need to know: capacity will be limited to 25 percent, temperature checks and face masks will be mandatory, and the advance purchase of tickets is required. Each museum has specific guidelines, so you’ll want to visit their websites: moma.org and metmuseum.org. Our critics have reviewed some of the new shows — “Félix Fénéon” at MoMA, and “Making the Met,” “Jacob Lawrence” and Héctor Zamora’s rooftop sculpture at the Met — but they also weighed in previously about several exhibitions that are still on view. Below, you’ll find an overview of those shows, as well as a partial listing of some of the museums opening in the coming days. NICOLE HERRINGTON

The museum is now open. MoMA PS1 remains closed, though it plans to reopen Sept. 17 with the exhibition “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Incarceration.”

‘JUDD’ (through Jan. 9) This retrospective of some 70 works by the American artist Donald Judd is his first in New York in more than 30 years. It ranges from formally spare early abstract sculptures to the high-color work done before his death in 1994. The show is a beautiful thing: carefully winnowed, persuasively installed, just the right size. Judd once said that for art to matter, “it needs only to be interesting.” (Holland Cotter)

‘DOROTHEA LANGE: WORDS & PICTURES’ (through Sept. 19) As this revelatory, heartening exhibition shows, Lange was an artist who made remarkable pictures throughout a career that covered more than four decades. The photos she took in 1942 of interned Japanese-Americans display state-administered cruelty with stone-cold clarity. Her prescient photographs of environmental degradation portray the human cost of building a dam. Her empathetic portraits of African-American field hands shine a light on a system of peonage that predated and outlasted the 1930s. (Arthur Lubow)

THE COLLECTIONS MoMA recently celebrated its latest expansion with these inaugural shows, drawing from its collection. “Sur Moderno: Journeys of Abstraction — the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift” (through Sept. 12) presents a selection of South American postwar art so substantial that it could reorient the museum’s focus. For “The Shape of Shape,” the latest iteration of the museum’s Artist’s Choice series, the painter Amy Sillman filled a large gallery with an astounding array of carefully juxtaposed works from across the collection (through Oct. 4). “Taking a Thread for a Walk” (through Jan. 10) looks at the role of weaving in modern art beyond textiles. And “Private Lives Public Spaces” (through Feb. 21), a video installation in the galleries just outside the main movie auditoriums, comprises 47 hours of neglected footage from the museum’s collection. (Roberta Smith)

The museum is open to members now and reopens to the public on Saturday, but the Cloisters remains closed until Sept. 12. (The Met Breuer is now officially closed.)

‘SAHEL: ART AND EMPIRES ON THE SHORES OF THE SAHARA’ (through Oct. 26) Sahel was the name once given by traders crossing the oceanic Sahara to the welcoming grasslands that marked the desert’s southern rim, terrain that is now Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. To early travelers, art from the region must have looked like a rich but bewildering hybrid. It still does, which may be one reason it stands, in the West, somewhat outside an accepted “African” canon. This fabulous exhibition goes for the richness. One look tells you that variety within variety, difference talking to difference, is the story here. New ideas spring up from local soil and arrive from afar. Ethnicities and ideologies collide and embrace. Cultural influences get swapped, dropped and recouped in a multitrack sequencing that is the very definition of history. (Holland Cotter)

‘THE GREAT HALL COMMISSION: KENT MONKMAN, MISTIKOSIWAK (WOODEN BOAT PEOPLE)’ (through September) These two monumental paintings offer narratives inspired by a Euro-American tradition of history painting but are entirely present-tense and polemical in theme. Kent Monkman, a Canadian artist of mixed Cree and Irish heritage, makes the colonial violence done to North America’s first peoples his central subject but, crucially, flips the cliché of Native American victimhood on its head. Here, Indigenous peoples are immigrant-welcoming rescuers, led by the heroic figure of Monkman’s alter ego, the gender-fluid tribal leader Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, avatar of the global future that will see humankind moving beyond the wars of identity — racial, sexual, political — in which it is now fatefully immersed. (Holland Cotter)

‘ARTE DEL MAR: ARTISTIC EXCHANGE IN THE CARIBBEAN’ (through Jan. 10). This exhibition of art from the West Indies concentrates on the ritual objects — thrones, vessels and mysterious bird-shaped stones — of the Taíno people, who inhabited the islands now called Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Turks and Caicos. On these islands, and on the Caribbean-facing coasts of Central America, styles mingled and migrated, and art had both religious and diplomatic functions; one extravagant gold pendant here, in the shape of a bird with splayed wings and zigzagging necklaces, traveled from Panama all the way to the Antilles. (Jason Farago)

Now open: Museum of the City of New York; the American Folk Art Museum; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is open to members through Aug. 31 (it opens to the public Sept. 3).



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