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ART Museums and galleries are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted. Full reviews of recent art shows: nytimes.comart. Museums BROOKLYN MUSEUM: ‘GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE: IMPRESSIONIST PAINTINGS FROM PARIS TO THE SEA,’ through July 5. Thirty-some years ago, the museum had a big success with a Caillebotte retrospective that more or less introduced American audiences to an artist who was an Impressionist by association rather than by style or temperament. His three best-known pictures, “The Floor Scrapers,” “The Pont de l’Europe” and “Paris Street, Rainy Day,” all grand urban scenes from the late 1870s, are absent from this show, which is a more modest enterprise than a survey, with emphasis falling on less-focused late work. But Caillebotte was a painter as interesting for his weaknesses as for his strengths, and any exposure is valuable. 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park, (718) 638-5000, (Holland Cotter)20090423 BROOKLYN MUSEUM: ‘HERNAN BAS: WORKS FROM THE RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION,’ through May 24. With a loose, deft touch, this young Miamian paints and draws storytelling images of winsome young men in homoerotically charged situations. He also creates video installations, the best of which involve old films of women in mermaid costumes performing underwater. This disproportionately big and splashy 10-year retrospective was organized by, and first appeared at (in 2007), the Rubell Family Collection, a private museum in Miami where the art collectors Don and Mera Rubell exhibit their holdings. 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park, (718) 638-5000, (Ken Johnson)20090423 FRICK COLLECTION: ‘MASTERPIECES OF EUROPEAN PAINTING FROM THE NORTON SIMON MUSEUM,’ through May 10. In a rare exchange that inaugurates a reciprocal loan agreement, five paintings from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif., have been temporarily installed in the Frick’s Oval Room. The Simon paintings, which date from the 16th and 17th centuries, bring a whiff of fresh air into the Frick. None of the artists — two Spaniards, two Italians and one Flemish master — are currently represented in its collection. Of special note are Francisco de Zurbarán’s “Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose” (1633), which has been freshly cleaned for the occasion, and Guercino’s commanding portrait of an Italian count’s pet mastiff, “Aldrovandi Dog” (1625). 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan, (212) 288-0700, (Karen Rosenberg)20090423 INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY: 2009 YEAR OF FASHION, through May 3. Four synergistic shows inaugurate the museum’s yearlong focus on fashion photography. Leading off is the snapping, crackling survey “Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now”: a floor-to-ceiling, push-pull installation that clocks the genre as a fast-moving collective expression that is as esoteric as abstract art, and as startling as a sleek, hissing serpent in the drab garden of everyday reality. Stylists, in particular, shine. “This Is Not a Fashion Photograph” reveals faces, bodies, garments, poses and style in a century’s worth of nonfashion photographs by everyone from Jacob Riis to Malick Sidibé. “Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, the Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937” affirms fashion photography’s short history by examining in detail how this pioneer more or less invented both fashion photography and celebrity portraiture while working for Vogue and Vanity Fair. “Munkacsi’s Lost Archive” is less an exhibition than a prelude to one, but it elucidates post-Steichen developments by highlighting Martin Munkacsi, a photographer who set fashion models in motion, further blurring the line between fashion and nonfashion photography. 1133 Avenue of the Americas, at 43rd Street, (212) 857-0000, (Roberta Smith)20090423 JAPAN SOCIETY: ‘KRAZY! THE DELIRIOUS WORLD OF ANIME + MANGA + VIDEO GAMES,’ through June 14. This show addresses a vibrant chapter in the history of visual storytelling: a specifically Japanese set of approaches that has gained a worldwide following over the past two decades. It will not live up to its promise for devoted followers of Japanese pop culture, but as a multimedia sampler including comics, graphic novels, video games, action figures, animated cartoons and more, it might entice the uninitiated to explore the field more deeply. 333 East 47th Street, Manhattan, (212) 832-1155, (Johnson)20090423 THE JEWISH MUSEUM: ‘RECLAIMED: PAINTINGS FROM THE COLLECTION OF JACQUES GOUDSTIKKER,’ through Aug. 2. This show of paintings returned to the family of Goudstikker, a prominent Dutch gallery owner who died while fleeing the Nazis, is many exhibitions in one. It’s a portrait of an enormously successful art dealer who shaped tastes and markets between the wars. It’s a marriage of Northern Baroque and Southern Renaissance painting. Most of all, it’s an extraordinary, continuing tale of looting and restitution. At the center of all these stories is a small black notebook, used by Goudstikker to catalog his inventory of some 1,400 works and now on display, in actual and digitized form, at the Jewish Museum. Other highlights include a landscape by Salomon von Jacobsz Ruysdael and a portrait by Rembrandt’s pupil Ferdinand Bol. 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street, (212) 423-3200, (Rosenberg)20090423 METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘ART OF THE KOREAN RENAISSANCE, 1400-1600,’through June 21. The Korean gallery at the Met is a trim, tall, well-proportioned box of light. But it’s just one room, and a smallish one at that, a reflection of the museum’s modest holdings in art from this Asian country. So it’s no surprise that the expansive-sounding show is a small thing too, with four dozen objects, most of them — ceramic jars, lacquered boxes, scroll paintings — compact enough to be stashed in a closet. But what it lacks in grandeur, it makes up for in fineness, and in rarity.(212) 535-7710, (Cotter)20090423 METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘CAST IN BRONZE: FRENCH SCULPTURE FROM RENAISSANCE TO REVOLUTION,’through May 24. Most of the works in this impeccably scholarly exhibition display a cold impersonality, cramped imagination and slavish obeisance to the official culture of their times. But there are compelling exceptions, including small, action-packed sculptures representing episodes in the life of Hercules by François Lespingola, and Jean-Antoine Houdon’s “Winter or La Frileuse,” a heartbreakingly lovely statue of a young woman nude, except for a shawl wrapped around her bowed head and shoulders.(212) 535-7710, (Johnson)20090423 METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘LIVING LINE: SELECTED INDIAN DRAWINGS FROM THE SUBHASH KAPOOR GIFT,’through Sept. 7. This almost supernaturally beautiful exhibition presents 40 mostly small drawings by Indian miniaturists of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Rendered with amazing skill, the subjects include bearded aristocrats and bejeweled women; hunting scenes; wild animals and mythic beasts fighting; and gods, goddesses and demons ascending and descending. The art of drawing does not get much better than this.(212) 535-7710, (Johnson)20090423 METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘TIBETAN ARMS AND ARMOR FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION,’through fall 2009. The paradox of militant Buddhism inspired the Metropolitan’s fascinating 2006 exhibition “Warriors of the Himalayas: Rediscovering the Arms and Armor of Tibet.” Now Donald LaRocca, the museum’s arms and armor curator, has created a follow-up installation of 35 objects from the Met’s collection (including 5 acquired in 2007). This time the focus is on defense rather than offense: examples of horse and body armor, dating from the 15th through the 20th centuries, outnumber swords, guns and spears. Most of these objects have seen more ceremonial than military action. All of them equate supreme craftsmanship with defense of the body and Buddhist principles.(212) 535-7710, (Rosenberg)20090423 METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘WALKER EVANS AND THE PICTURE POSTCARD,’through May 25. This compact exhibition, the first drawn from the museum’s extensive Walker Evans archives, unforgettably illuminates Evans’s lean, influential documentary style: the picture postcards he collected from age 12 onward, an ultimate collection of 9,000 examples organized by subject. The show includes some 700 arranged in expanses that bring to mind Conceptual Art. Most visually rewarding is a smattering of his photographs, seen beside the postcards he made from them, for an unrealized project with the Museum of Modern Art. He was fearless about cropping, and often made outstanding images even better.(212) 535-7710, (Smith)20090423 ★ MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM: ‘ON THE MONEY: CARTOONS FOR THE NEW YORKER,’ through May 24. Go to this exhibition and you will see not only how money is like a cartoon, but also how cartoons shed light on money. In more than 80 drawings, the complexities of economic theory dissolve into the far more pungent currency of social relations, of status and snobbery, pretense and pride, distilling finance to its human essence. Money becomes a chit in the social game, a medium of exchange in a world careering between boom and bust. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, (212) 685-0008, (Edward Rothstein)20090423 MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM: ‘THE THAW COLLECTION OF MASTER DRAWINGS: ACQUISITIONS SINCE 2002,’ through May 3. The Thaw Collection of Master Drawings, promised to the Morgan Library & Museum, has been introduced to the public in a series of exhibitions since 1975, each reflecting the latest additions by the former art dealer Eugene V. Thaw and his wife, Clare. This installment of 80 recently acquired drawings from the past five centuries is a bit smaller than the last one in 2002-3, though it includes sure-to-please works by Ingres, Gauguin and others. Many selections reflect the Thaws’ passion for 19th-century German Romantic art, which may not be for all tastes. The curators make the most of this historically unbalanced group, however, sketching out a pragmatically loose chronology. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, (212) 685-0008, 20090423 (Rosenberg) MUSEUM OF MODERN ART: ‘INTO THE SUNSET: PHOTOGRAPHY’S IMAGE OF THE AMERICAN WEST,’through June 8. Almost every one of this resonant exhibition’s approximately 150 pictures dating from 1850 to 2008 evokes tension between the myth and the reality of the great American West. Its overall perspective is predictably bleak, but it is loaded with arresting images, from the 19th-century group portrait of the outlaw gang the Wild Bunch in suits and bowler hats, to Irving Penn’s glamorizing studio shot of five Hells Angels and their two girlfriends.(212) 708-9400, (Johnson) ★ MUSEUM OF MODERN ART: ‘MARTIN KIPPENBERGER: THE PROBLEM PERSPECTIVE,’through May 11. The career of the German artist Martin Kippenberger, who died in 1997 at 44, was a brief, bold, foot-to-the-floor episode of driving under the influence. What was he high on? Alcohol, ambition, disobedience, motion, compulsive sociability, history and art in its many forms. But art in its many forms was exactly what he made — specifically paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, prints, posters, books — all in madly prolific quantities. In every sense, he took up a lot of space, and he continues to in this first American retrospective, which spills out of top-floor galleries and down into the atrium. Not everything has equal punch. If messy and bad aren’t your thing, and pristine objects are, he’s not the artist for you. Yet in each work, the model he set for what an artist can be and do shines through.(212) 708-9400, (Cotter)20090423 MUSEUM OF MODERN ART: ‘PERFORMANCE 1: TEHCHING HSIEH,’through May 18. This small, gripping exhibition — the first in a series dedicated to performance art — centers on the documentation of “Cage Piece” (1978-79), the first of five “One Year Performances” by the deprivation-prone Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh. The piece entailed spending one year doing absolutely nothing in nearly solitary confinement in a cell-like cage, built in the artist’s studio. The show includes the cell, as well as daily photographs of the artist that measure the year in the growth of his hair. Few performance pieces communicate the demands of this particular genre in such a basic, resonant way, or its ability to expand our understanding of time and space with such simple force.(212) 708-9400, (Smith)20090423 MUSEUM OF MODERN ART: ‘TANGLED ALPHABETS: LEON FERRARI AND MIRA SCHENDEL,’through June 15. This overly full show mixes together partial accounts of the work of two important South American artists instead of focusing on one. Leon Ferrari (Argentine, born 1920) and Mira Schendel (Brazilian, born in Switzerland, 1919-1988) shared an interest in abstraction contaminated by language, line and modest materials, especially paper and wire. But Ferrari is, at heart, a sardonic, sometimes grandiose Conceptualist whose best works elaborate a maniacal, nonsense calligraphy. Schendel was a purist with a Zen slant, adept at transferring random marks and letters to rice paper, from which she also made ephemeral sculptures. While the show opens a window on a complex history that ran parallel to, not behind, postwar art in the United States, the double survey suggests a failure to commit. Our loss.(212) 708-9400, (Smith)20090423 NEUE GALERIE: ‘BRÜCKE: THE BIRTH OF EXPRESSIONISM IN DRESDEN AND BERLIN, 1905-1913,’ through June 29. The original bad boys of 20th-century German art are featured in this visually aggressive show, specifically Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein and their driven, putative leader, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Together they revived a rawness of feeling, form and execution that had been largely absent from European art since the Middle Ages, but they also unleashed a palpable Dada swagger before Dada. As their dreams had not yet been trammeled by World War I, theirs was still a fairly cheerful barbarism, based on the belief that they could retrieve what was good and natural in the world if they just took off their clothes, danced around a bit and made art. 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street, (212) 628-6200, (Smith)20090423 ★ THE NEW MUSEUM: ‘THE GENERATIONAL: YOUNGER THAN JESUS,’ through July 5. The latest local survey to challenge the pre-eminence of the Whitney Biennial is big, international in scope and age-specific. As the title implies, only artists 33 or younger were considered for inclusion. The result is a serious, carefully considered show, but one that with a few magnetic entries aside — a video by Cyprien Galliard; an animation by Wojciech Bakowski; a madcap Ryan Trecartin installation — feels sedate for a youthfest. Despite the global reach, it’s oddly familiar, like a more-substantial-than-average weekend gallery hop in Chelsea and the Lower East Side, right down to token African and Asian imports. Still, there are many intriguing artists to look (and listen) for, among them the filmmakers Keren Cytter and Luke Fowler; the painter Tala Madani; the collagist Haris Epaminonda; the digital whiz-kid Mark Essen; the photographer Elad Lassry; and the multitaskers Ruth Ewan, Ziad Antar, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Liu Chuang, Ahmet Ögüt, Guthrie Lonergan, Ciprian Muresan and Icaro Zorbar. There is also, as it happens, a much livelier survey to be found in an accompanying book called “Younger Than Jesus: Artist Directory,” which features nearly 500 artists who didn’t make the final exhibition cut. A panel discussion led by Brian Sholis with three now older-than-Jesus artists of earlier generations — Carroll Dunham, Joan Jonas and Mira Schor — on Saturday at 3 p.m. should be worth hearing. 235 Bowery, at Prince Street, Lower East Side, (212) 219-1222, (Cotter)20090423 P.S. 1 CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER: ‘LEANDRO ERLICH: SWIMMING POOL,’ through Oct. 5. From P.S. 1’s first-floor hallway you step onto a wooden deck that surrounds a small, fully equipped swimming pool. Glowing lights built into the aqua walls light up watery depths below the gently churning surface. A flight of stairs leads to a lower level and a magical surprise. 22-25 Jackson Avenue, at 46th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, (718) 784-2084, (Johnson)20090423 P.S. 1 CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER: ‘JONATHAN HOROWITZ: AND/OR,’ through Sept. 14. Andy Warhol’s grandchildren, numerous beyond count, have cashed in on his rich and radical legacy to see what further possibilities it might yield. Such is the case with the New York artist Jonathan Horowitz in this smart, crisply edited retrospective. The works evoke the media-saturated art of the 1970s, the neo-Conceptualist consumer art of the 1980s, and the identity art of the 1990s, landing in a Neverneverland era, in which analog is poised to turn to digital, and Doris Day and Paris Hilton have equal currency. 22-25 Jackson Avenue, at 46th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, (718) 784-2084, (Cotter)20090423 STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM: ‘KALUP LINZY: IF IT DON’T FIT,’ through June 28. Kalup Linzy’s video work, in which the artist appears in drag and lends his overdubbed voice to almost all the characters, has a complex ancestry. A family tree would have to include the Wayans brothers, RuPaul, John Waters and Eddie Murphy on one branch, and the highbrow canon of dress-up artists, from Cindy Sherman to Yasumasa Morimura, on another. Mr. Linzy’s first museum solo includes 22 videos made since 2002, with a total running time of about three hours. It includes his series “Da Churen,” his antic reimagining of the popular soap opera “All My Children”; more recent episodes target the art world and feature Mr. Linzy’s newest persona, Katonya the emerging artist. Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, (212) 864-4500, (Rosenberg)20090423 WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART: ‘JENNY HOLZER: PROTECT PROTECT,’through May 31. After decades of pelting us with unsettling, increasingly relevant portents, Jenny Holzer can say, “I told you so.” This 15-year survey proves that her signature LED-sign conflations of poetry, politics, reading and seeing are ever more dazzling; her warnings about the military-commercial-entertainment complex ever more pertinent. In addition, as time has overtaken her, Ms. Holzer has turned from soothsaying to simply reporting the facts. Her latest light works and paintings take their language and motifs entirely from declassified and redacted government documents concerning the war in Iraq. This is a beautiful show, but not a pretty sight.(212) 570-3600, (Smith)20090423 Galleries: Uptown FRANZ WEST: ’WORKS FROM THE 1990S’; through May 2. A selection of Mr. West’s first plastered paper-pulp sculptures that used color asserts a wonderful formal beauty and inchoate rawness. The pulp is crude — quasi-digested papier mâché you might say — giving the rich colors an underlying sense of decay. Often mounted on ingeniously improvised pedestals, the shapes evoke recently excavated fragments of some sort. Mr. West emerges here as an heir to Giacometti (both early and late) and Claes Oldenburg’s plaster pieces. He borrowed something from each and took it further. Zwirner & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street, (212) 517-8677, (Smith)20090423 Galleries: Chelsea ANDRÉ ETHIER: ‘HEADING SOUTH,’ through May 16. Funny, faux-naive paintings by this Toronto artist resemble the works of a semi-talented high school stoner steeped in heavy metal music, fantasy novels and French Symbolism. Mr. Ethier paints on easel-size panels in oleaginous glazes, creating an oozy, fingerpainting-like luminosity. He makes cartoonish portraits of gnomes, cyclops, old hippies and other characters who seem to belong to some ramshackle place like a derelict neighborhood in “The Hobbit.” Derek Eller Gallery, 615 West 27th Street, (212) 206-6411, (Johnson)20090423 ALFREDO JAAR: ‘THE SOUND OF SILENCE,’ through May 2. Using human tragedy as an artistic readymade has definite pros and cons, as this carefully orchestrated film installation proves. It centers on an incendiary Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a starving Sudanese child, and can leave you feeling moved yet irked, raw yet manipulated. Its immediate subject is the ungovernable life of the photograph, a nanosecond in an arc leading up to and then away from its own creation, a tipping point between its cause and effect. Its larger subject is the inexorable way human suffering causes further suffering. Galerie Lelong, 528 West 26th Street, (212) 315-0470, (Smith)20090423 ★ ‘PICASSO: MOSQUETEROS,’ through June 6. The take-away from this staggering exhibition of around 100 late paintings and prints: in the main, Picasso only got better. Canvases depicting musketeers, entangled lovers and thick-limbed nudes abound. All look fabulous in the naturally lighted, unencumbered spaces — free of lobbies, text panels and admission charges — that contribute to the once-in-a-lifetime intensity. The combined effect contradicts generations of received opinion, proving that in his last decade in particular (1962-72) Picasso often achieved an emotional rawness, physical immediacy and joyful pictorial wickedness that was new to his art. His involvement with ceramics and the shorthand speed of glaze paintings undoubtedly contributed, as suggested by two paintings on tiles in the show. Like the 1908 masterpiece “Demoiselles d’Avignon,” these works turn painting inside out. If they have not similarly changed the course of art history, give them time. First they deserve their due. Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, (212) 741-1717, (Smith)20090423 GAVIN TURK: ‘JAZZZ,’ through May 2. A nonexpert could mistake the paintings in this show for vintage Jackson Pollocks. Mr. Turk made them by repeatedly dripping his own signature on canvases up to 23 feet wide. They’re clever meditations on identity and authorship, as is a film in which the artist imitates a famous 18th-century chess-playing automaton known as “the Mechanical Turk.” Sean Kelly Gallery, 528 West 29th Street, (212) 239-1181, (Johnson)20090423 Galleries: SoHo LAURIE ANDERSON: ‘FROM THE AIR: TWO INSTALLATIONS,’ through May 2. Ms. Anderson, the artist and cross-over pop star, here presents two modest works. An audio piece has a high-tech overhead speaker projecting quiet sounds and poetic fragments of speech in such a way that it seems as if they were inside your head. The other piece is in the form of a miniature video projection in which Ms. Anderson tells a story about vultures menacing her little dog in the mountains of Northern California. It’s about post-9/11 New York. Location One, 26 Greene Street, at Grand Street, (212) 334-3347, (Johnson)20090423 UNICA ZÜRN: ‘DARK SPRING,’ through July 23. A fiction writer and poet, Zurn (1916-1970) suffered a series of mental breakdowns during the last decade of her life, and it was during that time that she produced most of the playfully improvised, sometimes hallucinatory nightmarish drawings in this fascinating show. Wandering, loopy lines enfold intricate patterns of dots, petals and serpentine stripes punctuated by eyes, faces, birds, fish, snakes and flowers. The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, (212) 219-2166, (Johnson)20090423 Galleries: Other ‘NOBLE TOMBS AT MAWANGDUI: ART AND LIFE IN THE CHANGSHA KINGDOM, THIRD CENTURY B.C.E. TO FIRST CENTURY C.E.,’ through June 7. In the early 1970s three tombs were discovered in southeastern China. Because they had never been plundered and because of the unusually well-preserved state of their contents, the discovery caused a worldwide sensation in archaeological circles. This show presents about 70 of more than 3,000 objects that were excavated, including fabric samples, lacquer ware, lamps, grooming tools and wooden figurines. China Institute, 125 East 65th Street, Manhattan, (212) 744-8181, (Johnson)20090423 Out of Town INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: ‘DIRT ON DELIGHT: IMPULSES THAT FORM CLAY,’ through June 21. Ignoring the art-craft divide, this bold show examines ceramics in its own right. With George Ohr as Jackson Pollock, it ranges from postwar greats like Peter Voulkos and Ken Price, to younger eminences like Adrian Saxe and Arlene Shechet, to new arrivals like Sterling Ruby, Jessica Jackson Hutchins and Jeffry Mitchell. The clash of approaches to beauty, technique, scale, color and finish is exuberantly edifying. It foments hope that the Minimal-Conceptual-Relational art religion (important as it is) could wither away, and curators of contemporary art could regain full use of their eyes and thus their brains. 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, (215) 898-7108, (Smith)20090423 INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART: ‘SHEPARD FAIREY: SUPPLY AND DEMAND,’ through Aug. 16. The surprise of the first museum retrospective for the creator of the Obama Hope poster is that almost everything he does, from abstracted images of Andre the Giant to his album covers for Led Zeppelin and other bands, is visually arresting. But in tracking his 20-year evolution from aesthetic anarchist to savvy, all-purpose designer and illustrator, the exhibition inadvertently casts doubt on his authenticity as a radical street artist. 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, (617) 478-3100, (Johnson)20090423 ZOE LEONARD, through Sept. 7. Always an exceptionally moving artist, though only sporadically visible, Zoe Leonard has an exhibition at Dia:Beacon, an hour and a half north of the city. It is different from some of her earlier shows: cooler and less intimate, documentary in form, broadly social in scope. At the same time, it shares a sensibility with what has come before, one attuned to realities of constant change, which as often as not means loss. Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, N.Y., (845) 440-0100, (Cotter)20090423 ★ NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: ‘PRIDE OF PLACE: DUTCH CITYSCAPES OF THE GOLDEN AGE,’ through May 3. There is nothing like a beautiful city, and there are several, lovingly painted, in this quiet, gorgeous exhibition. The display of 48 paintings, 22 maps and assorted atlases and printed books includes works by Jan van Goyen, Gerrit Berckheyde, Jan van der Heyden, Jacob van Ruisdael and other preternaturally skillful painters of intensely realistic yet idyllic images of cities and towns viewed from far and near. National Mall, Fourth and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, (202) 737-4215, (Johnson)20090423 ★ NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION: ‘MAMI WATA: ARTS FOR WATER SPIRITS IN AFRICA AND ITS DIASPORAS,’ through July 26. Mami Wata is Mother Water, Mother of Fish, goddess of oceans, rivers and pools, with sources in West and Central Africa and tributaries throughout the African Americas, from Bahia to Brooklyn. Usually shown as a half-woman, half-fish, she slips with ease between incompatible elements: water and air, tradition and modernity, this life and the next. Provider of riches, she is the natural bailout savior for our time, and this exhibition, organized by the Fowler Museum of Cultural History in Los Angeles, presents her in all her shape-shifting glory. The show’s creator, Henry John Drewal, has compressed three decades of Mami watching into vivid visual form; the Washington curator, Christine Mullen Kreamer, has devised a fantastic, subaqueous showcase for a powerhouse spiritual diva. 950 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, (202) 633-4600, (Cotter)20090423 Last Chance DAVIDE BALULA: ‘AMERICAN WALL NUT’; closes on Friday. Fake Estate, opened by Julia Trotta in 2007, may not be the smallest gallery in town, but it certainly is minute, being confined to a former utility closet in a building that houses other galleries of regulation size. And the young French artist Davide Balula makes good use of these dimensions in a solo show that consists of a single, succinct visual gesture questioning the solidity of architecture, the stability of our sense of space and the absurdity of the concept of real estate. Fake Estate, 526 West 26th Street, Suite 502A, (917) 499-9005, (Cotter)20090423 ‘CHARLES BURCHFIELD 1920: THE ARCHITECTURE OF PAINTING’; closes on Saturday. The watercolors in this show, organized in conjunction with the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio and the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, were painted after Burchfield returned from military service in the South to his hometown, Salem, Ohio. Executed in a pared-down style and the dourest of palettes, they simplify the lines of Rust Belt townscapes without smoothing over the harshness of life in these areas. More important, they prove that American artists could embrace modernism, that European import, without losing a sense of place. D C Moore Gallery, 724 Fifth Avenue, at 57th Street, (212) 247-2111, (Rosenberg)20090423 JAMES CASTLE: ‘DRAWINGS: VISION AND TOUCH’; closes on Saturday. His atmospheric, extravagantly tonal soot drawings make Castle (1899-1977) something like the Vuillard of the American West, as well as one of the greatest outsider artists of the 20th century. These 34 landscapes, farmyards and interiors have never been exhibited. They picture the world of Castle’s childhood and reflect an acute visual intelligence and an instinctive grasp of space, both of which were undoubtedly sharpened by the artist’s deafness. They are lonely, silent, but immensely tender images. Knoedler & Company, 19 East 70th Street, (212) 794-0550, (Smith)20090423 JAMES HYDE: ‘UNBUILT’; closes on Sunday. After his influential investigations of paintings as objects of some bulk, Mr. Hyde returns to flatness. Now structure is provided by digital photographs — all taken by the artist and often printed quite large — of half-built structures, construction sites, clouds, trees, close-ups of the human hand and a single flower. Appended with strips of tape, painted shapes and bits of painted wood or Styrofoam, these works function like drawings. They show how Mr. Hyde thinks and what he looks at, something of his working process, and above all his desire to avoid ruts. Southfirst, 60 North Sixth Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 599-4884, (Smith)20090423 VERA ILIATOVA: ‘CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR’; closes on Saturday. Ms. Iliatova’s second solo show intrigues without satisfying. She paints a world inhabited only by teenage girls loitering in groups among trees or on the shores of lakes, rivers or the Gowanus Canal, occasionally in buildings or among ruins. These structures can be vintage, industrial or Modernist and also form distant urban backgrounds. The colors and quasi-academic rendering evoke American Social Realism; the show’s fanciful news release, written by the artist Kevin Zucker, cites Cézanne, Morandi and Fairfield Porter, which also works, given the soft light, fractured skies and stop-and-start paint-handling. These scenes suffer from visual anemia and brittleness, but they are strange and intentional enough to rouse interest in what comes next. Monya Rowe Gallery, 504 West 22nd Street, Chelsea, (212) 255-5065, (Smith)20090423 KINKE KOOI: ‘LET ME COMFORT YOU’; closes on Saturday. With a meticulously refined and voluptuously sensuous touch and mischievous humor, this Dutch artist draws fantastic, densely patterned, erotically suggestive pictures that resemble collaborations between Hans Bellmer and a painter of classical Indian miniatures. Her works relate to a kind of psychedelic doodling that has been popular in the past decade or so, but they have their own surrealistic vibe. Feature Inc., 276 Bowery, near Houston Street, Lower East Side, (212) 675-7772, 20090423 (Johnson) ★ METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: ‘RAPHAEL TO RENOIR: DRAWINGS FROM THE COLLECTION OF JEAN BONNA’;closes on Sunday. Candy box displays like this show of 120 European drawings are natural crowd pleasers, and for obvious reasons. They’re very much about comparison shopping and personal taste. Relax and browse is their operative mode. And if they are confections, their flavor has range and intensities, from soft-center sugary to dense bittersweet. History is here if you want to find it, but if you don’t, that’s O.K. Enjoy.(212) 535-7710, (Cotter)20090423 ★ QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART: ‘QUEENS INTERNATIONAL 4’; closes on Sunday. It says a lot about New York cosmopolitanism that one of its museums can present an International and still restrict its selection to artists living and working in one borough. The fourth edition of this biennial Queens survey includes participants with direct or second-generation roots in China, Czechoslovakia, England, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Japan and South Korea, as well as in several countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Yet there is little sense of this being an “identity” show of the kind we were accustomed to a decade ago. Some works suggest the many options artists are now pursuing: carved marble versions of consumer throwaways by Lars Fisk; Tommy Hartung’s video about a fictional explorer; and an installation by Las Hermanas Iglesias — two sisters, Janelle and Lisa Iglesias — providing dance instructions for a new music combining merengue and Norwegian polkas. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, (718) 592-9700, (Cotter)20090423 DANA SCHUTZ: ‘MISSING PICTURES’; closes on Saturday. This young painter deserves credit for refusing to repeat herself. She continues to push forward in her ambitious exploration of color, technique and history, both political and painterly. Nonetheless, this is a transitional show. The large paintings in particular seem a bit too crowded with incident and figures; the paint handling, while knowing in its commingling of impasto and wispy Color Fieldy stains, is self-conscious. Ms. Schutz’s paintings keep a lot of singular balls in the air at one time. It should not surprise that her juggling isn’t perfect. Zach Feuer Gallery, 530 West 24th Street, Chelsea, (212) 989-7700, (Smith) 20090423 RICHARD TUTTLE: ‘WALKING ON AIR’; closes on Saturday. Mr. Tuttle’s new fusions of painting and sculpture are a joy to behold. All 12 pieces have the same basic structure: two narrow, horizontal lengths of fabric, one above and slightly overlapping the other, are fitted with grommets by which they hang from projecting finishing nails. Tie-dyed colors and textures nostalgically evoke hippie consciousness, and the marriage of the material and the immaterial is at once austere and seductive. Pace Wildenstein, 534 West 25th Street, Chelsea, (212) 929-7000, (Johnson)20090423 HAEJIN YOON/ ELENA WEN; closes on Sunday. New talent crops up in all sorts of places, including venerated but lately somnambulant showcases like A.I.R., probably the first artist-run cooperative for women in the world. Ms. Yoon fills two large rooms in the gallery’s new Brooklyn space with high-voltage paintings, drawings, installations and sewn sculptures that riff so effortless on “naïve” conventions and styles as to seem almost facetious. Equally promising is Elena Wen, whose hand-drawn animation vignettes follow various figures and creatures through space to one symbolic or psychological point or another, not unlike New Yorker cartoons in motion. A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn, (212) 255-6651, (Smith)20090423