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24 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Category: Art & Culture,Arts & Design

‘THE JIM HENSON EXHIBITION’ at the Museum of the Moving Image. The rainbow connection has been established in Astoria, Queens, where this museum has opened a new permanent wing devoted to the career of America’s great puppeteer, who was born in Mississippi in 1936 and died, too young, in 1990. Henson began presenting the short TV program “Sam and Friends” before he was out of his teens; one of its characters, the soft-faced Kermit, was fashioned from his mother’s old coat and would not mature into a frog for more than a decade. The influence of early variety television, with its succession of skits and songs, runs through “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show,” though Henson also spent the late 1960s crafting peace-and-love documentaries and prototyping a psychedelic nightclub. Young visitors will delight in seeing Big Bird, Elmo, Miss Piggy and the Swedish Chef; adults can dig deep into sketches and storyboards and rediscover some old friends. (Farago)
718-784-0077, movingimage.us

‘ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU: CARNE Y ARENA’ at 1611 Benning Road NE, Washington (through Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.). Perhaps the most technically accomplished endeavor yet in virtual reality — but closer in form to immersive live theater, created by a two-time Oscar winner — has arrived at a former church in Washington after outings in Cannes, Milan, Los Angeles and Mexico City. In “Carne y Arena” (“Flesh and Sand”), you explore the exhibition on your own with a motion-sensitive headset that transports you to Mexico’s border with the United States; brutal encounters with border guards interweave with surreal dream sequences, which you can perceive in three dimensions. The characters are computer renderings of the bodies of actual migrants; the landscapes are photographed by Mr. Iñárritu’s brilliant longtime cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki. It remains too early to say whether virtual reality will reshape art institutions, but this is a rare achievement, and not only for its political urgency. Tickets will be released only on the website at 8 a.m. Eastern Time on the 1st and 15th of each month of the exhibition’s duration. (Farago)
carneyarenadc.com

‘BODYS ISEK KINGELEZ: CITY DREAMS’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through Jan. 1). The first comprehensive survey of the Congolese artist is a euphoric exhibition as utopian wonderland, featuring his fantasy architectural models and cities — works strong in color, eccentric in shape, loaded with enthralling details and futuristic aura. Mr. Kingelez (1948-2015) was convinced that the world had never seen a vision like his, and this beautifully designed show bears him out. (Roberta Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘THE LONG RUN’ at the Museum of Modern Art (through Nov. 4). The museum upends its cherished Modern narrative of ceaseless progress by mostly young (white) men. Instead we see works by artists 45 and older who have just kept on keeping on, regardless of attention or reward, sometimes saving the best for last. Art here is an older person’s game, a pursuit of a deepening personal vision over innovation. Winding through 17 galleries, the installation is alternatively visually or thematically acute and altogether inspiring. (Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: VISIONS OF HAWAI‘I’ at the New York Botanical Garden (through Oct. 28). Finding out O’Keeffe had a Hawaiian period is kind of like finding out Brian Wilson had a desert period. But here it is: 17 eye-popping paradisal paintings, produced in a nine-week visit in 1939. The paintings, and their almost psychedelic palette, are as fleshlike and physical as O’Keeffe’s New Mexican work is stripped and metaphysical. The other star of the show, fittingly, is Hawaii, and the garden has mounted a living display of the subjects depicted in the artwork. As much as they might look like the products of an artist’s imagination, the plants and flowers in the Enid Haupt Conservatory are boastfully real. (William L. Hamilton)
718-817-8700, nybg.org

‘LILIANA PORTER: OTHER SITUATIONS’ at El Museo del Barrio (through Jan. 27). This exquisite survey of 35 objects, installations and video by this Argentinian-born American artist covers nearly half a century, but feels unanchored by time and gravity. In pieces from the early 1970s, Ms. Porter adds spare pencil lines to a photographs of her own face as if to challenge optical perception: Which is more real, the artist or the artist’s mark? Later, she began assembling and photographing groups of toys and figurines found in flea markets and antique shops to tease out political puzzles. And despite a witty use of miniaturist scale, cruelty and loss run through the work. In the 2009 video “Matinee,” tabletop statuettes live tragic lives: A ceramic child is suddenly beheaded by a hammer. A new theater piece, “Them,” directed by Ms. Porter and Ana Tiscornia, with music by Sylvia Meyer, will be performed at the Kitchen on Oct. 25 and 26. (Cotter)
212-831-7272, elmuseo.org


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