New photography looms large this month at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers’ annual pull-out-all-the-f-stops fair. Elsewhere, fine-feathered friends of fickle fashion get their own back at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, while a conceptual artist finds escape from social media, ironically in Chelsea, the New York home of Google.
Hundreds of thousands of egrets, beautiful egrets like those depicted by John James Audubon, were once slaughtered for their plumage. Find out how early environmental activists, including many New York women of fashion, saved these and other airborne creatures from near-extinction in the exhibit “Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife.” | New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 170 Central Park West, 212.873.3400, April 6-July 15
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Robert Calafiore shines at The Photography Show, where New York’s ClampArt gallery shows the living artist’s large-scale, one-of-a-kind chromogenic prints. His gorgous still lifes of stacked heirloom glassware were taken with a hand-built pinhole—that is, having no lens—camera. Sure, Calafiore manipulates the process—fiddling with saturation and color—but no digital tools are ever used. | Pier 94, 12th Ave., at W. 55th St., 202.367.1158, April 5-8
The human face and figure has been a subject in art since time immemorial. A standout among the 80 portraits, traditional and otherwise, by the 17 artists from eight countries exhibiting in “Being: New Photography 2018” is “All in One” by Ethiopian-born Aïda Muluneh. Here, a black woman sits bolt upright: Her face and hands have been whitewashed, her hair swept up and back into a cottage loaf. She wears an electric blue dress and cape. A mysterious pair of second hands, painted red, caress her shoulders. | Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., 212.708.9400, thru Aug. 19
A WOMAN IN THREE DIMENSIONS
Conceptual artist Rachel Lee Havnanian has done the almost unthinkable: She has taken over the Leila Heller Gallery for six months. Under the umbrella title, “The Women’s Trilogy Project,” she has created three exhibitions. The first, “NDD [Nature Deficit Disorder] Immersion Room” is up thru the middle of April and is a large-scale installation of a forest without Wi-Fi or social media. Gallerygoers are asked to surrender their cellphones before entering and experiencing this paradise. God bless her! The second part, “Happy Hour,” opens April 20, while the third part, “Pure,” debuts June 8–July 20. Havnanian is definitely an artist to watch. | Leila Heller Gallery, 568 W. 25th St., 212.249.7695