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Digging Degas, marveling at Michelangelo: 15 art events to check out

Ralph Wormeley Curtis’s “Return From the Lido.’’Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

NATURE’S MIRROR: REALITY AND SYMBOL IN BELGIAN LANDSCAPES Landscape as a genre was born in 16th-century Belgium, an outgrowth of the Renaissance’s spirit of inquiry. Artists have used it to celebrate nature, and to signify personal, societal, and spiritual matters. Sept. 10-Dec. 10. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2101 Commonwealth Ave. 617-552-8587,

MARK ROTHKO: REFLECTION This intimate show of 11 big paintings spans the artist’s career from Surrealism to color field. It kicks off by pairing an early Rothko with a Rembrandt, positioning the artist in a context far broader than modernism. Sept. 24-July 1, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300,


THE PARIS OF TOULOUSE-LAUTREC: PRINTS AND POSTERS FROM THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec inhabited a Paris filled with wine, song, dance, and prostitutes. His legendary depictions portray the city’s beauty, its ribaldry, and its underside. Sept. 30-Jan. 7. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester, N.H. 603-669-6144,

MARK DION: MISADVENTURES OF A 21st-CENTURY NATURALIST A survey of three decades of work by Dion, who grounds his conceptual art in the processes of scientific inquiry, taxonomy, and collection upon which society builds knowledge. Then he pulls the rug out. Oct. 4-Jan. 1. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100,

NAN GOLDIN The photographer, now 63, left home in Lexington at 13 and sought out a new family in friends and lovers. From hotel rooms to drag bars, she has intimately documented the people she loves, charting her unorthodox approach to kinship. Oct. 6-Dec. 31. Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland. 207-775-6148,

Albrecht Durer’s “Studies for Adam and Eve.’’The Trustees of the British Museum

LINES OF THOUGHT: DRAWING FROM MICHELANGELO TO NOW: FROM THE BRITISH MUSEUM This exhibition shines a light on drawing as a foundational process, from mindless doodling to decision making. It includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Cézanne, and Bridget Riley. Oct. 6-Jan. 7. RISD Museum, 20 North Main St., Providence. 401-454-6500,


SCREENS: VIRTUAL MATERIAL Screens shape our lives. Some in this show carry projections, some pull us into their worlds, and some are see-through. All delve into the uneasy territory between physical and virtual, and ponder touch, longing, and limits. Oct. 6-March 18. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. 781-259-8355,

LIZ GLYNN: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANOTHER POSSIBLE FUTURE Glynn’s expansive, multilevel installation in a former factory space takes on the conundrum of industry, labor, and living in a physical body in an increasingly virtual economy. Oct. 7-early September, 2018. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

JOE BRADLEY This dexterous, Maine-born painter pivots from color field to grease-pencil iconography, constantly changing his style. All of his work links his protean inner rumblings to a larger conversation with the history of painting. Oct. 15-Jan. 28. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham. 781-736-3434,

TAKASHI MURAKAMI: LINEAGE OF ECCENTRICS The Japanese artist known for his so-called superflat pop style and for pushing the boundaries between high art and low, partners with art historian Nobuo Tsuji to contextualize his work with objects from the MFA’s Japanese collection. Oct. 18-April 1. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300,

John Singer Sargent’s “San Giuseppe di Castello, Venice.’’Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

HENRY JAMES AND AMERICAN PAINTING The great chronicler of transatlantic high society wrote like a painter. His heady circle included Isabella Stewart Gardner, John Singer Sargent, John La Farge, and James McNeill Whistler. This show investigates how they influenced one another. Oct. 19-Jan. 21. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way. 617-566-1401,


MARK TOBEY: THREADING LIGHT Tobey was a modernist ahead of the game: His “white writing” and other all-over compositions predated Jackson Pollock. His art sprang from his world travels and Bahá’i faith, emphasizing the interrelationships of all humans. Nov. 4-March 11. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4000,

THE IMPRESSIONIST LINE: FROM DEGAS TO TOULOUSE-LAUTREC When we think of Impressionism we may picture sun-dappled paintings, but drawings and prints, built on line more than color, convey a grittier energy and aesthetic. On view: Gauguin’s woodcuts, Manet’s etchings, and more. Nov. 5-Jan. 28. Clark Art Institute, 225 South St., Williamstown. 413-458-2303,

Winslow Homer’s “Prout’s Neck, Surf on Rocks.’’Worcester Art Museum

COMING AWAY: WINSLOW HOMER AND ENGLAND In 1881, Homer traveled to England and settled in Cullercoats, a fishing village. His time there transformed him. This show spotlights works he made in Cullercoats and after, and examines their links to English painting. Nov. 11-Feb. 4. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 508-799-4406,

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: ART, IMAGE, STYLE O’Keeffe wasn’t simply a painter. She was a modernist fashion icon. She made her own clothes and carried off a crisp, understated style. This exhibition finds confluences between her wardrobe and her art. Dec. 16-April 1. Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500,


Cate McQuaid can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cmcq.