Fall is upon us, and that means it’s time to look at the season's big museum shows. It’s such a busy season that today I’m only concerning myself with early autumn – this just scratches the surface, but it’s a start.

As far as I can see, these are four of the shows you can’t miss:


Magritte at MoMA, Through January 12, 2014: “The Mystery of the Ordinary” is the first show of the great Surrealist at the museum since 1965. I think the exhibition’s focus on his earlier work is probably smart, and we get to trace the development of the bowler-hatted man from his introduction in 1926.

René Magritte’s Les amants (The Lovers). 1928. Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Richard S. Zeisler. © Charly Herscovici -– ADAGP – ARS, 2013.

Robert Indiana at the Whitney, Through January 5, 2014: “Beyond LOVE” is the subtitle, and I know from talking to curator Barbara Haskell that this is going to be a show that looks at the totality of the artist’s work, well beyond the image that became a global phenomenon and took over his reputation. I visited the great Indiana this summer in Maine, which was quite a treat, and you’ll hear more from me on this down the road.

Paul Klee at Tate Modern, Oct 16: A fascinating companion piece to the Magritte show across the Pond. The radical Swiss master of abstraction and gently surreal imagery doesn’t get listed in the pantheon of great artists often enough, if you ask me.

Paul Klee’s Comedy,1921. Tate. Purchased 1946.

Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim, Oct 25: Working largely in black-and-white, and sometimes with text-based works, Wool has established himself as a major voice in painting. This will be one of those litmus test shows, I think, with everyone weighing in on what it says about contemporary art.

Christopher Wool’s Original artwork for Absent Without Leave,1993 (detail)
© Christopher Wool
Courtesy Christopher Wool.