1. “Lee Friedlander: America by Car”
Friedlander, one of the great American street photographers, started shooting this deceptively casual-looking series in 1995, using his rental car’s windows, windshield, and rearview mirrors to frame the sights and people he encountered on his cross-country rambles. Whitney Museum of American Art; Sept. 4–Nov. 28.
2. “Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, 1736–1783: From Neoclassicism to Expressionism”
The artist’s first Stateside exhibition will focus on his “character heads”—wonderfully manic busts of men cringing, shrieking, and smiling (said to have originated after Messerschmidt suffered a breakdown). Neue Galerie; Sept. 16–Jan. 10.
3. “Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism”
A mini-survey of the growing, changing world of feminist painting since the sixties, starring such artists as Hannah Wilke, Lee Lozano, Eva Hesse, and Nancy Spero. The Jewish Museum; Sept. 12–Jan. 30.
4. “Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936”
A studied look at the ways in which European artists (including Picasso and Matisse), architects, and designers returned to classical motifs and imagery (columns, robes, chiseled jawlines) while seeking tranquility between the wars. Guggenheim Museum; Oct. 1–Jan. 9.
5. “The Big Picture: Abstract Expressionist New York”
A sweeping survey of the Cedar Tavern crowd at its zenith. Drawn entirely from MoMA’s supreme permanent collection, which includes the best of the best: Pollock, Mitchell, de Kooning, Rothko. Museum of Modern Art; Oct. 3–Apr. 25.
6. “The Last Newspaper”
Just like the rest of us, the New Museum is trying to make sense of the speed of information. Artwork from the likes of William Pope.L, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Aleksandra Mir will be on view, along with an interactive “newsroom” that actually cranks out a weekly printed paper. The New Museum; Oct. 6–Jan. 9.
7. “Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968”
A new survey that acknowledges the queens of Pop, long considered secondary to the guys. On view: Yayoi Kusama, Martha Rosler, Vija Celmins, Faith Ringgold, and Marisol. Brooklyn Museum; Oct. 15–Jan. 9.
8. “John Baldessari: Pure Beauty”
The first major U.S. exhibition in twenty years devoted to the SoCal legend—from his photo-collages to wonderfully weird videos like his cheerful, tone-deaf Baldessari Sings LeWitt, from 1972. (See YouTube for a preview.) Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oct. 20–Jan. 9.
9. “Grain of Emptiness: Buddhist-Inspired Contemporary Art”
Meditative installations from German conceptualist Wolfgang Laib; Atta Kim’s photographs of a melting Buddha ice sculpture; and Theaster Gates’s short film of African-American Buddhist monks partaking in their morning rituals. Rubin Museum of Art; Nov. 5–Apr. 11.
10. “The Global Africa Project”
A medley of art, textiles, furniture, and clothing made by some 60 African artists and artisans. Look for the show within the show, spotting all the African-born aesthetics that pop up in cutting-edge design. The Museum of Arts and Design; Nov. 17–May 15.
11. “On Becoming an Artist: Isamu Noguchi and His Contemporaries, 1922–1960”
The lovely little Long Island City museum examines its namesake’s social and professional orbit, pairing Noguchi’s sculptures, drawings, and photographs with those of mentor Constantin Brancusi and such friends as Frida Kahlo, Alexander Calder, and Arshile Gorky. The Noguchi Museum; Nov. 17–Apr. 24.