Sanford Robinson Gifford, "The Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Frederick, Maryland, 1863" (1864)

Sanford Robinson Gifford, “The Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Frederick, Maryland, 1863” (1864) (Image courtesy Metropolitan Museum)

With a brand new year comes a slew of new museum exhibitions to look forward to. From retrospectives of major artists like Claes Oldenburg and James Turrell to an exploration of New York City art during one year in the 1990s, here’s a look at what to expect from NYC’s art museums in 2013.

Claes Oldenburg: The Street and the Store at MoMA, April 14 through August 5

Claes Oldenburg’s “Pastry Case, I” (1961–62) (Image courtesy Museum of Modern Art)

The Museum of Modern Art is hosting a complete overview of Oldenburg’s early career, including his 1961 faux storefront called “The Store,” a structure stocked with hand-painted sculptures that replicated everyday products from around his Lower East Side neighborhood. The exhibition will also feature Oldenburg’s early performances.

Also at MoMA: Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 (September 22, 2013–January 12, 2014)

NYC 1993 at New Museum, February 13 through May 26

Delving into recent history, the New Museum explores New York City’s year in art in 1993, creating a “time capsule” or “experiment in collective memory” that pins down a particular cultural moment. Citing the early ’90s as a turning point with issues like the AIDS crisis, health care debate, and fight over gun control inspiring artists, the show will take over all five floors of the museum and its Studio 231 annex space. Nostalgia never looked so relevant.

Also at New Museum: Walking Drifting Dragging (January 9–February 3)

Jay DeFeo working on what was then titled “Deathrose,” 1960 (Image courtesy

Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective at the Whitney Museum, February 28 through June 2

Beat-generation San Francisco artist Jay DeFeo is most famous for her 2,000-pound painting “The Rose,” which was acquired by the Whitney after it spent two decades hidden behind a wall. This interdisciplinary show of paintings, photographs, small sculptures, and jewelry will show DeFeo as a significant American artistic voice.

After the Museum at the Museum of Arts and Design, March 5 through May 26

In this museum meta-exhibition, curators gather design voices to explore the future of contemporary art and design museums. Composed of a series of installations and programs that reveal the research component of the design practice, the show should give us all an opportunity to think about what the museum should look like in the new year.

Also at MAD: Out of Hand: Materializing the Post-Digital (November 12, 2013–March 30, 2014)

Taking on the Civil War at the Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum is going all old-school with two exhibitions about the Civil War: The Civil War and American Art (May 27–September 2) and Photography and the American Civil War (April 2–September 2). The shows will take on culture at the time of our national’s bloodiest war, a pivotal moment in political history that created an outpouring of art and saw the advent of the camera and early war photojournalism.

Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Guggenheim, February 15 through May 8

Saburo Murakami, “Passing Through” (1956) (Image courtesy Guggenheim)

The Guggenheim is giving Japan’s Gutai movement its first ever museum retrospective, pulling together a showcase of postwar Japanese art that includes gestural abstraction, action-based performances, and kinetic art.

Also at Guggenheim: James Turrell (June 21–September 25) and Christopher Wool (October 25, 2013–January 22, 2014)

Piero della Francesca in America at the Frick Collection, February 12 through May 19 

Italian painter Piero della Francesca is known as a founding figure of the Italian Renaissance, and this rare exhibition, exclusive to the Frick, brings together seven of the artist’s works, including pieces from the iconic Sant’Agostino altarpiece. The show also marks the return of his “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Attendant Angels” from the Clark Art Institute to New York; it was last shown in the city 60 years ago.

Happy 2013! We’re looking forward to a great year of museum programming.

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Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...

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