“From Russia: French and Russian Master Paintings, 1870–1925, from Moscow and St. Petersburg,” at the Royal Academy of Arts (through April 18; royalacademy.org.uk). This exhibition, highlighting one international love affair between Modernists, includes Matisse’s majestic Dance II (1910; originally commissioned for textile magnate Sergei Shchukin’s Moscow mansion), alongside works by Cézanne, van Gogh, Chagall, and Tatlin, all drawn from Russian collections.
“China Design Now,” at the Victoria & Albert Museum (March 15–July 13; vam.ac.uk). A boutique spa hotel on the Great Wall?That’s just one surprise in this show exploring China’s current design frenzy, which encompasses architecture, fashion, furniture, photography, and digital media.
“The Stamp of Fantasy,” at the Jeu de Paume (March 4–May 18; jeudepaume.org). Postcards from the 19th century held a special appeal for artists—Salvador Dalí was one of many who collected them. Here, more than 500 “fantasy” postcards, some illustrating proverbs, others depicting erotic scenes, are displayed alongside the works they inspired from a host of Modernists—Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and El Lissitzky, among them.
“Goya in Times of War,” at the Prado Museum (April 14–July 13; museodelprado.es). The two paintings Goya made in response to the Napoleonic occupation of Madrid, including his revolutionary masterpiece, The Third of May 1808, are the centerpiece of this reappraisal of his late work—iconic, timeless images of power and wartime brutality.
In the newly expanded Galleries for 19th- and Early 20th-Century European Painting and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (metmuseum.org), works by British, German, and Scandinavian artists share space with French masterworks of the Met’s renowned collection. Look for Orientalist art and the work of American expatriates, as well as the reconstructed Art Nouveau Wisteria Dining Room. Also at the Met, “Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions” showcases the great Neoclassicist’s landscape paintings (through May 11).
“2008 Whitney Biennial,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art (March 6–June 1; whitney.org). The 74th edition of this always-controversial survey of contemporary American art expands for the first time to a second venue: the Seventh Regiment Armory building (Park Ave. and 67th St.), which will host installations and performances.
“Maps: Finding Our Place in the World,” at the Walters Art Museum (March 16–June 8; thewalters.org). Including a 19th-century Jain cosmological diagram, Leonardo da Vinci’s geological map of Northern Italy, and a 1933 poster of the London Underground, this exhibition highlights 100 spectacular examples of the cartographer’s art, none of which are likely to be found in your average glove compartment.
West Palm Beach
“Calder Jewelry,” at the Norton Museum of Art (through June 15; norton.org). Throughout his life, sculptor Alexander Calder created wildly inventive jewelry as spontaneous gifts for family and friends. This show places his tiaras, brooches, necklaces, and earrings against the backdrop of his other works.
“California Video,” at the J. Paul Getty Museum (March 15–June 8; getty.edu/museum). California video artists have used television monitors to re-create everything from the passage of sunlight through the stained-glass windows of Chartres Cathedral to the instant of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Spanning four decades, the show includes Jim Campbell’s Home Movies (2006), where multiple LED’s create a mural of nearly familiar images.
“The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan,” at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (through May 23; honoluluacademy.org). Buddhist monks will accompany the 117 rare treasures on display in this exhibition focusing on the devotional arts of Bhutan. Most of these elaborately painted thangkas, gilt bronze sculptures, and textiles have never been seen outside their remote homeland. —Leslie Camhi