Making color respectable
NOV. 7- JAN. 25
"William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008": The Whitney Museum of American Art has organized this first career retrospective of the photographer's work. It's hard to overstate the impact Eggleston has had on American photography. His 1976 exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art, "William Eggleston's Guide," was a landmark. It's best remembered for demonstrating the suitability of color in art photography. (The Whitney show includes examples of Eggleston's early work in black and white.) "Guide" was also important for showing a new vision of the American South, one in which suburban ranch houses mattered more than magnolia-scented mansions or sharecropper shacks. Finally, Eggleston brought a loving, unemphatic attention to bear on seemingly banal objects - a child's tricycle being the most famous example - and showed how visually memorable the unheroic could be. Although Eggleston has taken his best-known work in and around Memphis, the Whitney show includes examples of his photographs from other places, most notably, his series on Los Alamos, N.M. Also of note is the retrospective's inclusion of the photographer's legendary long-form video from the early '70s, "Stranded in Canton." 945 Madison Ave., 212-570-3600, whitney.org.
THROUGH JAN. 4
"The Magic of Things: Still-Life Painting, 1500-1800": The still life was accorded little respect as a genre until relatively recently. This choice exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel of 90 paintings from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Enlightenment by artists from Germany and the Netherlands makes one wonder why. Rubens and Chardin are among painters with works featured. St. Alban-Graben 16, 011-41-61-206-62-62, kunstmuseumbasel.ch.
THROUGH JAN. 5
"Mantegna (1431-1506)": The Louvre has mounted this comprehensive retrospective of Andrea Mantegna, one of the pivotal figures in Renaissance painting. The 190 works on display include not just paintings but also engravings, manuscripts, and sculptures. The aim is to show Mantegna's achievement in the larger context of 15th-century humanism. 34-36 quai de Louvre, 011-33-1-40-20-53-17, louvre.fr.
THROUGH JAN. 11
"Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976": It has been more than 20 years since an important retrospective of the Abstract Expressionist school of painting. This Saint Louis Art Museum exhibition features 50 notable works. Artists represented include Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Lee Krasner, and Clyfford Still. Particular attention is paid to the Abstract Expressionists' impact on such younger artists as Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella. 1 Fine Arts Dr., 314-721-0072, slam.org.
THROUGH JAN. 25
"Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and the Neoimpressionists": The masters of Pointillism, the technique of painting with small dabs of primary color to form a larger image, were Seurat and Signac. Pointillism might be seen as part of a larger evolution of the Impressionist movement, Neoimpressionism. This exhibition at the Palazzo Reale also features work by Camille and Lucien Pissarro, Henry van de Velde, and Jan Toorop. Piazza Duomo 12, 011-39-02-875672, -02-54919, ineoimpressionisti.it.
THROUGH FEB. 15
"Cy Twombly": To celebrate the 80th birthday of the American artist, Guggenheim Bilbao has put together this retrospective along with London's Tate Modern (the exhibition was there last summer). Twombly is best known, perhaps, for how his works have straddled painting and drawing. Discrete examples of both forms are represented, as well as works that blur the line between the two. Also on display are sculptures by Twombly. Avenida Abandoibarra 2, 011-34-94-435-90-00, www.guggenheim-bilbao.es.
FEB. 26-MAY 17
"Cézanne and Beyond": Paul Cézanne was the hinge between 19th- and 20th-century art. This Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition features 40 paintings and 20 watercolors by the modern master (1839-1906), along with work by 17 later artists influenced by him. They range from Picasso and Matisse to Jasper Johns and the photographer Jeff Wall. 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100, philamu seum.org.
Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; call or check online to confirm. Mark Feeney can be reached at email@example.com.