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Critic’s picks: Art

A detail of Jim Shaw’s “Wedding of the Ear.’’Lotte Stekelenburg/Metro Pictures, New York/Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

LEGACY OF FIRE: CLAY DRAGON STUDIOS REVISITED A retrospective of ceramic work produced by 10 artists at the innovative Clay Dragon Studios in Cambridge between 1976 and 1984. Through April 26. Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton. 508-588-6000,

WHEN THE STARS BEGIN TO FALL: IMAGINATION AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH Thirty-five artists, including Kara Walker, Theaster Gates, and David Hammons, in a show that explores both the myth and the reality of the American South. Feb. 4-May 10. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100,

PARVIZ TANAVOLI The first US museum retrospective of the acclaimed Iranian sculptor, painter, printmaker, and poet, who is based in Tehran and Vancouver. Feb. 10-June 7. Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley College, Wellesley. 781-283-2051, www.wellesley


ROMAN IN THE PROVINCES: ART ON THE PERIPHERY OF EMPIRE Examining interactions between Imperial Rome and cultures in Gaul, Britain, Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere through a wide array of artifacts, many of them from Yale University excavations, and rarely displayed before. Feb. 14-May 31. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. 617-552-8100,

PAST FUTURES: SCIENCE FICTION, SPACE TRAVEL, AND POSTWAR ART OF THE AMERICAS Art by US and Latin American artists in response to new vistas opened up the Space Race, science fiction, and Cold War technological innovation. March 5-June 7. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. 207-725-3275,

THE CRITIQUE OF REASON: ROMANTIC ART 1760-1860 Art by European artists working in the vein of Romanticism. The large-scale exhibition, divided into eight thematic displays, is the first major collaboration between the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art (which is currently closed for renovations). March 6-July 26. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. 203-432-0600,

J.C. LEYENDECKER AND THE SATURDAY EVENING POST Leyendecker (1874-1951) made 322 covers for the Saturday Evening Post. This show displays cover tear sheets for all of them, as well as a selection of the celebrated illustrator’s original paintings. March 21-June 14. Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge. 413-298-4100,


A wide range of work by the Los Angeles-based artist, emphasizing his interest in fallen heroes, disgraced political figures, and broken economies. The show will center on new work utilizing old theatrical backdrops cut out and reassembled as sculpture. Opens March 28. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

HOKUSAI A survey of the legendary Japanese artist’s seven-decade career, including woodblock prints, paintings, and illustrated printed books, drawn from the MFA, which has the finest collection of Hokusai’s work outside of Japan. April 5-Aug. 9. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300,

JOAN JONAS: SELECTED FILMS AND VIDEOS 1972-2005 In advance of (and coinciding with) Jonas’s showing in the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the List Visual Art Center, which was chosen to organize the Venice show, is presenting a survey of the film work of this hugely influential performance and video artist. April 7-July 5. List Visual Arts Center. 617-253-4680,

Sebastian Smee

Sebastian Smee can be reached at