Old Master Paintings

10 Unmissable Museum Exhibitions to See During TEFAF

It's peak season in New York; museums, galleries, and fairs are opening their doors on some of the best exhibitions of the year. The highlight of the season, of course, is the jewel of a fair organized by The European Fine Art Foundation, or TEFAF, at the Park Avenue Armory. One of the most exclusive and renowned showcases of fine art in the world, TEFAF focuses on a diverse range of art and antiquities - from Old Master paintings to arms and armor, with a less prominent focus on contemporary art.

Of course, it's also the perfect time to catch the fall shows at some of New York's leading museums - from the Guggenheim's presentation of a female trailblazer of abstraction to the Morgan Library & Museum's exquisite presentation of Tintoretto's drawings on the occasion of what would have been the artist's 500th birthday. There's truly something for every taste this week. With so much in store, we've rounded up the top 10 highlights of the fall season.

10 Exhibitions to See During TEFAF

Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, ca. 1662, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at the Met

Recently opened at the Met, In Praise of Painting features highlights of the museum’s impressive collection of Dutch Old Master paintings – including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer. This extensive exhibition examines the Netherlands’ Golden Age - a period of artistic creation that's been represented thematically by the curators through sections covering topics such as “Faces of a New Nation,” “Questions of Faith,” and “Lives of Women.” As a result, rather than simply presenting a sort of 'best of' grouping of permanent collection holdings, the Met furthers existing scholarship on the period, offering something fresh yet classic to its audience of record high visitors this year.
On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, from 16 October 2018 to 1 October 2020

Yasumasa Morimara, Une Moderne Olympia (A Modern Olympia), 2018, photograph. Image courtesy of the Japan Society.

Yasumasa Morimara: Ego Obscura

Ego Obscura is the first solo exhibition in New York City for Japanese contemporary artist, Yasumasa Morimura. At Japan Society, Morimura explores and dissects the idea of the self in art history and postwar Japanese history by placing himself at the center of the narrative and image. He playfully inserts himself as the subject in notorious masterpieces. Ego Obscura presents the artist’s vast oeuvre of photographic self-portraits in addition to multimedia works, such as video, performance, and installation.
On view at Japan Society, from 12 October 2018 to 13 January 2019

Platter, Nevers, ca. 1660−70, porcelain. Image courtesy of the Frick Collection.

Masterpieces of French Faience: Selections from the Sidney R. Knafel Collection

At the Frick Collection, the exhibition Masterpieces of French Faience displays 75 ceramic works - part of a major gift from the collection of European decorative arts of Sidney R. Knafel. These pieces are extraordinarily ornate and, as a group, illustrate an important chapter in the history of French decorative arts. Masterpieces of French Faience will be sure to provide inspiration to any interior design enthusiast, and readily contextualize other, more widely known, fine art from the 17th and 18th centuries.
On view at the Frick Collection, from 10 October 2018 to 22 September 2019

Sterling Ruby, Basin Theology/STYX BOAT, 2017, clay. Image courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

Sterling Ruby: Ceramics

For a more contemporary spin on ceramics, head to Columbus Circle for Sterling Ruby: Ceramics - a groundbreaking exhibition and a standout highlight for the Museum of Arts and Design this year. Displaying the contemporary sculptures of Los Angeles-based artist Sterling Ruby, the show will upend commonly held notions about the medium.
On view at The Museum of Arts and Design, from 3 October 2018 to 17 March 2019

Marc Chagall, Over Vitebsk, 1915-20, after a 1914 painting, oil on canvas. Artwork © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, New York

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922

First on view at the Centre Pompidou, the exhibition Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich has finally reached New York's Jewish Museum, achieving great acclaim from visitors and critics alike. With this exhibition, the Jewish Museum explores the small region of Vitebsk as an artistic hub in the first decades of the 20th century. Vitebsk, a town situated in Belarus, was the location of the revolutionary People's Art School, founded by Marc Chagall in 1918. The People's Art School - free of charge and open to artists of any age - marked an effort to support artists from different backgrounds. Famous teaching artists included El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich.
On view at the Jewish Museum, from 14 September to 6 January 2019

Michel Eugène Chevreul, Colors and their applications to the industrial arts using chromatic circles, 1864, text. Image courtesy of the Cooper Hewitt.

Color at the Cooper Hewitt

The Cooper Hewitt is exhibiting two eye-popping shows this fall: Color Decoded and Saturated. Color Decoded highlights the textiles of Richard Landis, who explored the usage of color and pattern with his sizable weavings. Saturated examines the notion of color properties and color perception throughout history, drawing works from the museum’s permanent collection to illustrate a chronology of taste and artistic experimentation. The exhibition features over 190 objects from antiquity to today; it promises to alter perception in more ways than one.
Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis, the Cooper Hewitt, from 9 June 2018 to 13 January 2019
Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color, the Cooper Hewitt, from 11 May 2018 to 13 January 2019

Tintoretto, Study of a seated nude, ca. 1549, drawing. Image courtesy of the Morgan Library.

Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice

Further downtown at the Morgan Library & Museum, Drawing in Tintoretto's Venice is the first exhibition since 1956 to display Tintoretto's drawing practice. It also marks another milestone: 500 years since the artist's birth. As a twist on the typical, the show features works by Tintoretto's contemporaries who created masterful commissions for the state and church alongside him in late 16th century Venice. By mounting his distinctive drawings, the exhibition presents the artist's stylistic evolution. A focus on his originality and individuality as a creator positions him apart from other Old Masters, and celebrates the deep appreciation the global field of art historians and scholars have held for Tintoretto for five centuries.
On view at the Morgan Library & Museum, from 12 October 2018 to 6 January 2019

Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No. 7., Adulthood, Group IV, 1907, tempera on paper mounted on canvas. Image courtesy of the Guggenheim.

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future

The Guggenheim's Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future is the show everyone's talking about. Here, the Museum showcases a previously lesser-known artist who created massive, abstract canvases as early as 1906 - years before her contemporaries Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian would lay the foundations for the abstraction and non-objective movements. Despite Klint’s prolific nature, her art has never been featured in a retrospective of this size. In fact, for many years it wasn't seen at all. Klint famously made arrangements for her paintings to be kept a secret - never to be seen or exhibited in her lifetime; she stipulated that they could go on view 20 years after her death. Today, they fill the rotunda of the Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim to mesmerizing effect, a lasting monument for a visionary woman far ahead of her time.
On view at the Guggenheim, from 12 October 2018 to 3 February 2019


Hiram Maristany, Hydrant: In the Air, 1963, photograph. Image courtesy of El Museo del Barrio.

Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography

The newly renovated and recently reopened El Museo del Barrio on Manhattan's Upper East Side is an easy walk from TEFAF and rounds out an afternoon on Museum Mile. As an homage to the city, Down These Mean Streets is a walk down memory lane, an assemblage of photographs taken by New York City-based artists who documented the city's residents in a haltingly personal manner. Instead of the typical detached, documentation approach, these photographers shot in their local areas; one feels that they knew their subjects and that authenticity is remarkably palpable.
On view at El Museo del Barrio, from 13 September 2018 to 6 January 2019

Rembrandt van Rijn, Study of the Head of a Young Man, ca. 1650, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Old Masters at Sotheby’s

Throughout TEFAF, Sotheby’s New York will be exhibiting highlights from its forthcoming Old Masters sales. Featured artists include Rembrandt van Rijn, Sir Anthony van Dyck, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and Jacob van Ruisdael. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

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