Exhibiting expansive ideas

By Mark Feeney
Globe Staff / October 3, 2010

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Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion, Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Museum expansions around Boston are in full swing. The Addison Gallery of American Art reopened last month. The Museum of Fine Arts will be unveiling its new American wing next month. And both the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Harvard Art Museums have major projects underway. On the West Coast, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is in the midst of transforming its 20-acre site. Yesterday it opened the $54 million Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion. It was designed by Renzo Piano, who is also responsible for the last major LACMA addition, the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, in 2008. (He is also architect of the Gardner and Harvard projects.) To link it with the rest of the museum, LACMA turned to one of LA’s best-known artists, Robert Irwin. His “Palm Garden’’ installation consists of palm trees of various shapes, sizes, and varieties arranged in a grid. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 323-857-6000,



“Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay’’: This exhibition at the M.H. de Young Museum follows last summer’s show of Impressionist masterpieces from Paris’s Musee d’Orsay. Others in the show include Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Vuillard, Seurat, and Signac. This is the only US venue for the show. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, 415-750-3600,



“RIFF: When Africa Got Us Groovin’ ’’: This multimedia exhibition at the Museum of Civilization looks at the enormous impact of African rhythms on popular music over the past hundred years. On display are such traditional African instruments as talking drums and thumb pianos, as well such mainstays of Latin music as maracas and timbales, and early jazz instruments. The exhibition includes items from such popular musicians as Benny Goodman (clarinet), James Brown (cape), and Tito Puente (marimba and mallets). 85 rue Dalhousie, 866-710-8031,

OCT. 9-JAN. 23


“Serving the Tsars: The Russian Imperial Guard, from Peter the Great to the October Revolution’’: This exhibition, the latest offering in the cultural festival France-Russia Year 2010, includes more than 150 objects spanning two centuries. Items on display at the Musee de l’Armee include paintings, uniforms, weapons, personal effects, and such decorative items as tea services. 129 rue de Grenelle, 011-33-810-11-33-99,



“Abstract Expressionist New York’’: It was Abstract Expressionism that in the 1950s made New York the world capital of modern art, a distinction it has held in the decades since. So it’s only appropriate that the Museum of Modern Art should pay tribute to the movement with this mammoth overview. MoMA has given over its entire fourth floor, as well as other galleries, to some 300 artworks — paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, films, and documentary materials — by and about Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, David Smith, and the rest. 11 West 53d St., 212-708-9400,

OCT. 22-JAN. 30


“Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage’’: This show at the Menil Collection is the first major exhibition devoted to the influential German artist since the 1985 retrospective at MoMA. Emphasizing the role of color and light in Schwitters’s work, it pays particular attention to the highly porous boundary in his art between painting and collage. The show includes some 100 assemblages, sculptures, and collages executed between 1918 and 1947. 1515 Sul Ross St., 713-525-9400,



“Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness, and Magic’’: Emphasizing quality over quantity, this 36-painting overview of the career of the 17th-century Italian artist at the Kimbell Art Museum is the first US exhibition devoted to Rosa’s work. Among them are self-portraits, landscapes, studies of magic and science, and figure paintings. The exhibition will run Dec. 12 through March 27. 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-332-8451,


Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; check online. Mark Feeney can be reached at