With a major retrospective devoted to Grant Wood, a seductive arts fair for connoisseurs and newbie collectors alike, and a brilliant orchid display well worth traveling to the Bronx for, museums, galleries and attractions emerge from their winter hibernation.
“American Gothic,” Grant Wood’s most famous painting, has kept art lovers guessing since 1930. What exactly is going on behind the poker faces portrayed? Are the sitters husband and wife or father and daughter? The artist himself was something of an enigma, too. Shedding light on the man and his work is the must-see exhibit, “Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables.” | Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St., 212.570.3600, March 2–June 10, 2018
Science meets art in “The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.” Cajal (1852–1934), the father of neuroscience, illustrated brain cells and such with pen, paint and pencil. In the show, computer images from today complement but do not overshadow Cajal’s exquisite renderings. | New York University’s Grey Art Gallery, 100 Washington Square East, 212.998.6780, thru March 31, 2018
The scale of The Armory Show, one of New York’s most eagerly anticipated and well-attended art fairs, astounds. As many as 200 galleries from 31 countries participate, with a focus on 20th- and 21st-century works in all media by both established and emerging artists. This time around, The Armory Show pays greater attention to the flourishing Asian art scene and market. | Piers 92 & 94, 711 12th Ave., 212.645.6440, March 8–11, 2018
For this year’s “Orchid Show,” the New York Botanical Garden has enlisted Belgian floral artist Daniel Ost to create large-scale, expressive orchid sculptures (one of his conceptual drawings is pictured) to fill its grand, Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Ost’s credentials for the assignment are impeccable. Often compared to contemporary sculptors Anish Kapoor and Claes Oldenburg, he is revered in his native land as “the Picasso of flower arranging.” | 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, 718.817.8700, March 3–April 22, 2018