New year, new program of blockbuster exhibitions in New York City. From the Costume Institute’s highly anticipated survey of Catholic fashion at The Met to the Brooklyn Museum’s comprehensive retrospective of David Bowie’s career, here’s a sampling of must-see museum offerings in 2018.
Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings
January 30–May 13, 2018
English-born artist Thomas Cole immigrated to the United States and became one of the most influential painters of 19th-century New York. Credited as the founder of the Hudson River School, an art movement whose practitioners depicted romantic, pastoral landscapes, he painted the infinite grandeur of the American wilderness and bucolic allegorical works. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue, Thomas Cole’s Journey will follow the artist from England to the United States, back to England, then to Italy, on the 200th anniversary of his first Atlantic crossing in 1818.
2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage
February 13–May 27, 2018
The New Museum kicks off 2018 with its fourth triennial, Songs for Sabotage. The exhibition will “propose a kind of propaganda, engaging with new and traditional media in order to reveal the built systems that construct our reality, images, and truths.” Songs for Sabotage will give some 30 artists hailing from 19 countries—many of whom are new to American audiences—a platform from which to challenge and interfere with contemporary networks and structures through socially and politically-charged, multidisciplinary artworks.
William Eggleston: Los Alamos
February 14–May 28, 2018
The Met Fifth Avenue will host New York City’s first comprehensive exhibition of Los Alamos, a series of 75 dye transfer pints from color negatives created by premier American photographer William Eggleston. A pioneer of color photography from the early 1960s onward, Eggleston has captured some of the most iconic American snapshots in photographic history.
David Bowie is
March 2–July 15, 2018
This touring exhibition of approximately 400 objects from David Bowie’s personal archive will take its final bow at the Brooklyn Museum this year. David Bowie is will thoroughly examine the creative process of a larger-than-life artist, whose expansive career and revolutionary spirit not only changed the trajectory of music, but fashion and art, and contemporary culture.
Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables
March 2–June 10, 2018
While Grant Wood’s double portrait of a farmer and his wife (plus what must be the world’s most famous pitchfork) stands as an Americana paradigm, the Whitney Museum endeavors to showcase the artist’s expansive career beyond his magnum opus. “Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables brings together the full range of his art, from his early arts and crafts decorative objects and impressionist oils through his mature paintings, murals, and book illustrations” to reveal a complex practice that sought peace and prosperity amid the suffering and uncertainty of the Great Depression.
Before the Fall: German and Austrian Art of the 1930s
March 8–May 28, 2018
New York’s premier museum for early 20th-century German and Austrian art will host an exhibition of artworks created during an infamous time of political upheaval and humanitarian crisis. Through the examination of nearly 150 artworks by internationally renowned names including Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, and Oskar Kokoschka amongst lesser-known artists from that era and region, Before the Fall at the Neue Galerie will demonstrate the themes and aesthetics that reigned supreme as World War II loomed.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz: Your Place or Mine…
March 16–August 5, 2018
This year, the Jewish Museum will host Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s first American solo exhibition. The Paris-born, London-based performance/installation artist emerged in the 1970s and garnered notoriety for his immersive artworks that play with space and perception. Your Place or Mine… will present the objects, sculptures, paintings, videos, and collages created by Chaimowicz over the course of his career, with new artworks made specifically for the Jewish Museum’s forthcoming survey.
Being: New Photography 2018
March 18–August 19, 2018
The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) forthcoming New Photography show, Being, will consider the various complexities of moments and lived experiences captured by 17 local and international photographers. The New Photography series began in 1985, born from a growing curiosity about how photography was changing the scope of contemporary art. The 2018 edition of this enduring program “investigates charged and layered notions of personhood and subjectivity in recent photography and photo-based art.”
Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now)
March 21–July 22, 2018
The Met Breuer takes on the monumental task of surveying over 700 years of sculpture for Like Life. Comprised of loans from museums and private collections around the world, this unprecedented showcase of sculptural practice through the centuries will exhibit some 120 renderings of the human body as depicted by major historical figures such as El Greco and Auguste Rodin, alongside modern masters like Louise Bourgeois and contemporary artists Isa Genzken and Jeff Koons.
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
May 10–October 8, 2018
The 2018 Costume Institute exhibition will explore the symbols and aesthetics of religious fashion through the centuries. Hosted at both The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters in Upper Manhattan, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination will juxtapose religious garments with works of medieval and Byzantine art from the museum’s vast collections to “examine the relationship between creativity and religious imagination.” Amongst the items to be showcased are a selection of papal robes and jewels that will be exhibited outside the Vatican for the first time in history.
June 8–September 16, 2018
This summer, the Guggenheim will exhibit over 175 artworks by legendary Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti in what will be the first major American museum showcase of the renowned sculptor’s work in 15 years. Giacometti will juxtapose the artist’s drawings and paintings alongside the elongated, otherworldly figures that he is best known for to trace his forays into cubism and surrealism, and map his influence by traditional African and Oceanic aesthetics.
Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts
October 21, 2018–March 17, 2019
Best known for his jarring sculptures and neon works, Bruce Nauman has established a legendary, cross-disciplinary practice in his 50-year career. Organized by MoMA, MoMA PS1, and Schaulager, Basel, Disappearing Acts will serve as the artist’s first retrospective in more than two decades. The landmark survey will be held at both MoMA and MoMA PS1 in Long Island City.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Following its inaugural run at the British Library last autumn, Harry Potter: A History of Magic will make its way to the New-York Historical Society in October 2018 (exact dates TBD). The exhibition of “rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the British Library’s collection” will coincide with the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which first graced American audiences via Scholastic in the fall of 1998.
After almost 30 years, the Whitney will host a comprehensive survey of Andy Warhol’s game-changing practice. Opening in November (exact dates to be announced in the coming months), Andy Warhol will explore the entirety of the artist’s career in depth, beyond the Campbell’s soup cans and the Coca-Cola bottles that he became so famous for. This landmark retrospective will serve as the first organized by an American institution since 1989, as well as the largest solo show held at the museum’s Meatpacking location to date.