Art

Art and Museums in NYC This Week

Our guide to new art shows — and some that will be closing soon.

‘CALDER: HYPERMOBILITY’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Oct. 23). The Whitney has the world’s largest holdings of the American sculptor who invented the mobile, but this rejuvenating presentation of works in motion is a different sort of Calder show, and never the same twice. Before he hit upon his elegantly suspended plates of cut sheet metal, Calder first created kinetic sculptures with small, hidden motors. Motorized mobiles and ones activated only by air hang together in a single, beautiful gallery, and several times a day attendants come through to make the sculptures boogie. The Calder Foundation will also be updating this witty, wily retrospective with one-day presentations of more fragile kinetic works. (Jason Farago)
212-570-3600, whitney.org

‘ETTORE SOTTSASS: DESIGN RADICAL’ at the Met Breuer (through Oct. 8). No surprise here: The first big New York survey of this many-styled Italian design guru’s 60-year career has a combative air. You may argue your way through the show, and also take issue with some of its contextual artworks — the exhibition is nearly half non-Sottsass — but it is an invigorating, illuminating experience. (Roberta Smith)
212-731-1675, metmuseum.org

‘FLORINE STETTHEIMER: PAINTING POETRY’ at the Jewish Museum (through Sept. 24). This too-small retrospective nonetheless decimates modernism’s orderly hierarchies. Mixing Symbolist dreaminess with Post-Impressionist muscle, Stettheimer rendered her family and New York’s interwar avant-garde as charmed, eccentric, usually androgynous caricatures in textured expanses of brilliant color. Her singular paintings are among the most spellbinding and enduring in the history of art and the best, with Marsden Hartley’s, of early American modernism. They do quite well against the Europeans, too, thank you very much. (Smith)
212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

‘CRISTÓBAL DE VILLALPANDO: MEXICAN PAINTER OF THE BAROQUE’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Oct. 15). In 1683, the leading painter of colonial Mexico painted a stupefying altarpiece for the cathedral of Puebla: a 26-foot showstopper that merged a radiant vision of Jesus’ transfiguration into light with a grimmer narrative of Israelites attacked by snakes. Now, for the first time ever, Villalpando’s altarpiece has left Mexico and stands alone in the Robert Lehman Collection wing of the Met, where you could spend days gaping at its churning collision of saints and mortals, and puzzling over the strange confluence of Old and New Testament visions. Compared with Baroque painting in Italy or Flanders, the Mexican version was lighter and less rigid, making use of bright color and free ornamentation. Ten other paintings by Villalpando, all but one lent from Mexican collections, round out the presentation, but it’s the altarpiece that matters, and it’s here for your veneration into the fall. (Farago)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

Last Chance

‘HANSEL & GRETEL’ at the Park Avenue Armory (closes on Aug. 6). This meh bit of installation art, cooked up by a world-famous artist (Ai Weiwei) and two equally prominent architects (Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron), has “How much did this cost?” written all over it. Visitors to the exhibition can experience cutting-edge surveillance as a fun-house selfie orgy. For a more sobering view of the effects of such advances (already in use), consult the history of surveillance available on the show’s iPads. (Smith)
212-933-5812, armoryonpark.org

‘MAKING SPACE: WOMEN ARTISTS AND POSTWAR ABSTRACTION’ at the Museum of Modern Art (closes on Aug. 13). The work in this show, dating from the end of World War II to the beginning of second-wave feminism, is all abstract and all by women. And although the exhibition starts in what feels like honorable-mention mode — Lee Krasner is here, for instance, but not in the museum’s permanent galleries of Abstract Expressionism — it doesn’t stay there. Instead, it goes for difference and stays with it, introducing us to artists of diverse geographic and ethnic backgrounds whom we may not know, or have an institutional context for. Among them are such luminaries, present and past, as Etel Adnan, Ruth Asawa, Lina Bo Bardi, Bela Kolarova, Anne Ryan and Lenore Tawney. (Holland Cotter)

[Source”indianexpress”]