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

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


‘TOLKIEN: MAKER OF MIDDLE-EARTH’ at the Morgan Library & Museum (through May 12). J. R. R. Tolkien did more than write books like “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy; he invented an alternate reality, complete with its own geography, languages, religion and an era-spanning history. This exhibition of his artwork, letters, drafts and other material reminds visitors that the stories Tolkien wrote, however impressive, represent only a fraction of his efforts, and it highlights his unparalleled ability to create an immersive experience using only words and pictures. After a visit you, too, may find yourself believing in Middle-earth and the hobbits, elves, dwarves, orcs and wizards that live there. (Peter Libbey)
212-685-0008, themorgan.org

‘VOICE OF MY CITY: JEROME ROBBINS AND NEW YORK’ at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (through March 30). The choreographer of “West Side Story” and “Fiddler on the Roof” was born a little over 100 years ago, but this exhibition is so much more than a centenary obligation; it’s an openhearted, deeply moving showcase of Robbins’s work, notes and diaries, full of the joy and anxiety of postwar Manhattan. Robbins, born Jerry Rabinowitz, made creditable paintings and drawings as a teenager, and in his 20s he hit it big with “Fancy Free,” set to a syncopated score by Leonard Bernstein, and evoked here through original footage and Robbins’s sketches of jumping and prancing seamen. He bullied dancers, and infuriated friends when he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, but his engrossing journals, rich with watercolors and watery notes to self, reveal the intense self-doubt that his choreography obscured. What Robbins loved most was New York, the city that was his muse and his helpmeet — and that has been transformed beyond recognition from the days of Jets and Sharks. (Farago)
917-275-6975, nypl.org

‘ANDY WARHOL — FROM A TO B AND BACK AGAIN’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through March 31). Although this is the artist’s first full American retrospective in 31 years, he’s been so much with us — in museums, galleries, auctions — as to make him, like wallpaper, like the atmosphere, only half-noticed. The Whitney show restores him to a full, commanding view, but does so in a carefully shaped and edited way, with an emphasis on very early and late work. Despite the show’s monumentalizing size, it’s a human-scale Warhol we see. Largely absent is the artist-entrepreneur who is taken as a prophet of our market-addled present. What we have instead is Warhol for whom art, whatever else it was, was an expression of personal hopes and fears. (Cotter)
212-570-3600, whitney.org

‘STERLING RUBY: CERAMICS’ at the Museum of Art and Design (through March 17). Adept at most art mediums, this artist is at his best in ceramics, especially in the outsize, awkwardly hand-built, resplendently glazed baskets, ashtrays and plates and the objects that verge on sculpture in this show. These works actively incorporate accident and aspects of the ready-made, have precedents in the large-scale ceramics of Peter Voulkos and Viola Frey, but may be closest in spirit to the Neo-Expressionism of Julian Schnabel — rehabilitated, of course. (Smith)
212-299-7777, madmuseum.org



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