Fall is in full swing, which can only mean one thing: basic is back. Whether it be drinking PSLs, venturing to the closest apple orchard, or throwing an obnoxious instagram filter on a foliage picture, most of us are victims of basic season. Well, guess what, BC: It’s time to get cultured. Boston is New England’s artistic hub, and this season’s newest exhibits at the city’s most well-known museums should undoubtedly be taken advantage of. So, put down that Starbucks cup, pick up a museum pamphlet and take an Uber to one of Boston’s latest, quirkiest and most accomplished fall exhibits.
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
“Goya: Order and Disorder”
Goya: Order and Disorder is a compilation of 170 of Spanish painter Francisco Goya’s most notable pieces. Goya is well regarded for his artistic depiction of human experience, and the opposing ideas that it entails. These disparities are the focal point of Goya: Order and Disorder, as the extremes are arranged thematically. The eight major divisions: equilibrium and loss of balance, religious devotion and superstition, the nurturing and abuse of children, the symbolism of the giant, hunting as sport and metaphor and justice gone awry each feature paintings, drawings and prints that give a glimpse into Goya’s representation of routine and chaos.
“Shinique Smith: “BRIGHT MATTER”
Known for her quirky, exuberant works of art, Shinique Smith embodies liveliness. The loopy paint strokes, vibrant color schemes, and eccentric materials incorporated on Smith’s canvases capture the strength of human expression. Her MFA exhibit, Shinique Smith: “BRIGHT MATTER," features not only 30 critical works, but also many new additions, expressed through video, painting, sculpture, and performance.
Straying from its original meaning as a group portrait in a domestic setting, MFA brings new significance to the phrase with its Conversation Piece exhibit. The pieces on display “invite interaction by serving as platforms for dialogue”; objects such as tables, curtains, and T.V.s attempt to strike up meaningful conversation about monotonous items. Conversation Piece shows the power of perspective by looking at the world through “the lens of art.” Corresponding weekly dialogues and performances add an interactive component to this exhibit’s modern take on an age-old saying.
“Amalia Pica: Now, Speak!”
Now, Speak, a performance-based exhibit, invites visitors to express their opinions...publicly. “I
am interested in what brings us together, and so communication and its difficulties are for me a sign of how much we need each other," says Argentinian artist Amalia Pica about the outdoor exhibit. It is simple, consisting of a sole, concrete lectern that awaits expressive individuals. Whether it be a declaration, poem, speech or the like, any form of expression is encouraged at the podium.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Fiber highlights 50 fiber works, ranging from conservative weavings to overwhelming environments, by 34 artists. During the mid-20th century, fiber art was revolutionized.New display ideas, techniques, and weaving methods were introduced, and, as result, fiber art became more conceptual. “Fiber” represents this sweeping movement, showcasing its cultural impact by presenting the finesse of fiber art.
“Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors”
Ragnar Kjartansson brings what the Boston Globe claims to be, “a generational masterpiece” to the ICA in video form. The Visitors, a 64-minute musical performance, is an ironic expression of “creativity, community, and friendship.” Arranged across eight individual video screens, The Visitors features Kjartansson and his friends, each musician performing on a separate monitor. Eventually, individuals join each other in unison in a performance Kjartansson dubs a, “feminine nihilistic gospel song.” This nostalgia-provoking exhibit is well-acclaimed, but soon will be leaving the ICA, so catch it while you can.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
“Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors' Drawings from Renaissance Italy”
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum presents a “groundbreaking exhibition” by connecting the well-known Renaissance concept of sculpture with a less prominent form of the time, drawing. Contrasting these two extremes, Donatello, Michelangelo, Cellini: Sculptors' Drawings from Renaissance Italy suggests many questions about Renaissance sculptors’ motives behind drawing, as well as their techniques and training. Baccio Bandinelli’s monument, Satyr, along with its replicate drawing, is the main attraction of this exhibit. Lectures, workshops, and tours are available for those who wish to delve deeper into the connection between past and present.
Harvard Art Museums
After a six-year renovation and expansion period, the Harvard Art Museums will reopen to the public on November 16, 2014. This resurgence of art has been long-awaited, and the Harvard Art Museums show no sign of disappointing its audience when it opens next month: approximately 2,000 pieces, some of which have never been displayed before, will be on view on opening day. As of now, the only confirmed exhibition is Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals, featuring 38 of Rothko’s creative, vibrant “noninvasive digital projections.”