12/17/2015

The Upper East Side’s rich cultural offerings are among the best in the world. From the monumental museums of Museum Mile to the rich gallery scene ? and with an abundance of cultural societies and educational institutions nestled among the luxury condos of the Upper East Side ? it can be hard to keep track of everything at hand.

Here, then, is a sampler of the crème de la crème of exhibitions that continue, or launch, in 2016.

At the Met, the famous museum’s Costume Institute has developed the exhibition Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style to focus on the French countess’s celebrated fashion sense. The private collection of the popular designer’s haute couture, ready-to-wear outfits, and personally modified gowns will be on exhibit, along with photos and ephemera documenting de Ribes’s influence and originality. The show runs from mid-November until late February. A concurrent exhibition of the paintings of Girolamo dai Libri and Veronese Art of the 16th Century, which also starts in mid-November but ends earlier in February, will include manuscripts and drawings by artists of this celebrated school of Venetian painting.

In May, the Guggenheim’s retrospective of László Moholy-Nagy’s work will open. This show will celebrate the influential artist who taught at the Bauhaus school in Dassau, Germany before founding the Chicago Institute of Design. Moholy-Nagy also worked across multiple media—sculpture, film, painting, photography, and industrial design, among others—to harness technology and art in the service of his New Vision of capturing the world in ways that defy the human eye. In the months before the Moholy-Nagy show launches, a group exhibition called Photo-Poetics will provide a wide-ranging opportunity to see how contemporary photographers engage with some of Moholy-Nagy’s ideas. Photo-Poetics will run from late November through late March.

At the Frick, Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action, which ends just after the holidays on January 10th, is well worth making a point to see. While del Sarto is not well known outside of scholarly and art-collecting circles, his Florentine workshop was one of the most successful of the Italian Renaissance. By displaying the artist’s preparatory drawings alongside his finished paintings, the Frick exhibit sheds light on the process and composition of one of history’s greatest schools of painting while introducing the general public to a highly regarded but little-known Renaissance master. Another current offering is the exhibition of Henry Frick’s Sèvres porcelain, exquisite 18th-century French porcelain that enjoyed a rebirth in popularity during the American Gilded Age, which will run through April 24th.

At the other end of history, the Cooper-Hewitt’s fifth installment of its contemporary design series Beauty, scheduled to run from February 12th through August 21st, will feature more than 250 innovative works by 62 designers from around the world. Interactive games, fashion ensembles, and architectural interventions are among the works that will be displayed in what promises to be a creative and engaging exhibition.

Dassau, Germany before founding the Chicago Institute of Design. Moholy-Nagy also worked across multiple media—sculpture, film, painting, photography, and industrial design, among others—to harness technology and art in the service of his New Vision of capturing the world in ways that defy the human eye. In the months before the Moholy-Nagy show launches, a group exhibition called Photo-Poetics will provide a wide-ranging opportunity to see how contemporary photographers engage with some of Moholy-Nagy’s ideas. Photo-Poetics will run from late November through late March.

At the Jewish Museum, two related projects open November 6th and continue into the spring: the unique lobby installation “Time Has No Shadows” by Brazilian-born New York artist Valeska Soares and Unorthodox, a group exhibition that lives up to its name. In combination, the two serve as a provocative opportunity to reflect on the history of Jewish migration and settlement, cultural and artistic convention, and nonconformity. The large-scale and wide-ranging collection presented in Unorthodox runs through March 26th, and the Soares installation is scheduled to come down four weeks later. Also of interest is the museum’s celebration of the career of Isaac Mizrahi, which will run from mid-March to early August.

Other big-name UES offerings worth looking into include El Museo del Barrio’s upcoming exhibition of Latin American pop art to mark the 50th anniversary of MoMA’s influential pop art exhibition of 1965; the Museum of Arts and Design’s showcase of a selection of Japanese k?gei artists, which looks at 12 controversial practitioners of this traditionally oriented art; and the Neue Galerie’s Munch exhibit, Munch and Expressionism.

Don’t overlook the “hidden gems” found in smaller venues tucked among Upper East side condos. The Asia Society will exhibit more than thirty Kamakura masterpieces this spring in a show that explores the spiritual aspects of the “Renaissance era of Japanese sculpture.” The Society of Illustrators will present two exhibits of contemporary illustration: in January, the focus will be on advertising, institutional, and uncommissioned works; in February, editorial and book illustration. The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU will host a spring exhibition of late-antiquity textiles followed by a fall opening of a show focused on how Greco-Roman antiquity represented and measured time and considered the cosmos.

The National Academy Museum will put on permanent view a chronological selection of 100 pieces from its collection beginning in late January 2016. Also launching in late January at the National Academy Museum: a survey exhibition of Miriam Schapiro’s 60-year career. Schapiro, who co-founded the Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts with Judy Chicago, was an abstract expressionist who also worked with computer design; “femmage” work that incorporated fabric, pattern, and decoration into paintings; and figurative painting in celebration of women artists.

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