Take a look fall exhibitions schedules, and it's easy to see how the recession has affected museums' offerings: exhibits are staying in place longer and they are less ambitious than they were a few years ago, for a start. In fact, I think some small shows will provide the most excitement -- and I'm not talking about Vermeer's The Milkmaid, which will go on view at the Metropolitan Museum on Sept. 10.
Here's one I'm really eager to see: Icons of The Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings From Papunya, which opened on Sept. 1 at the Grey Art Gallery of NYU. Organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, it has already been on view there and in Los Angeles.
"Early" is a matter of degree: these works were created in the 1970s, after a school teacher gave men from the Central Australian Desert paint, boards and tools and suggested they paint.