Summer Art Preview 

While it's true that all the cool little galleries that are the life's blood of art in New York go quiet for the summer, you have no excuse for missing the amazing museum blockbusters coming up this summer. Read on, and learn.

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Sculpture Center
Michael Cataldi and Nils Norman: The University of Trash
The two artists' makeshift buildings within the main gallery — something between shanties and lecture halls — give radical urban theories a temporary try and play host to a series of lectures, workshops, screenings and Sculpture Center's inaugural summer concert series. (sculpture-center.org) Closes 8/3.

Museum of the City of New York
Manhatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City
Using a mixture of historical artifacts, documents and objects, and a series of commissioned multi-media installations, this exhibition aims to present viewers with an understanding of this island of steel and concrete that was once a thriving wooded ecosystem. Closes 10/12. (mcny.org)

Brooklyn Museum
Harriet Hosmer; Lost and Found
Through watercolor, Patricia Cronin depicts 19th-century sculptor Harriet Hosmer's neoclassical carvings that have been forgotten by much of the contemporary art world. Cronin collected an exhaustive list of Hosmer's sculpture to paint, and a selection of those paintings will be shown in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. (brooklynmuseum.org)Opens 6/5.

Guggenheim
The Sweeny Decade: Acquisitions at the 1956 Inaugural
See post-WWII abstract art from the collection of director James Johnson Sweeny, who served from 1952 to 1960. Artists in the collection highlighted include Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. (guggenheim.org) Opens 6/5, closes 9/2.

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New Museum
Intersections Intersected: The Photography of David Goldblatt
Growing up as a Lithuanian Jew in South Africa, where his parents fled to avoid religious persecution, David Goldblatt captures the daily life and injustices of South Africa from the point of view of a displaced white person living in a racially segregated society. Goldblatt also examines AIDS and consumerism in African culture, comparing these contemporary photographs with black and white ones taken from his earlier life. (newmuseum.org) Opens 6/15, closes 10/11.

Museum of Modern Art
James Ensor
MoMA's summer blockbuster shines the spotlight on Belgian painter Ensor, whose delightfully macabre proto-surrealist and early expressionist work was all clowns, skulls, elves and Jesus in palettes dominated by poppy reds and creamy pastels. (moma.org) Opens 6/28, closes 9/21.

Whitney Museum of American Art
Dan Graham: Beyond
Graham's first traveling American retrospective covers his conceptual projects and performances, films and videos, architectural projects and sculptures, along with collaborations with rock bands like Sonic Youth and Japanther. (whitney.org) Opens 6/25.

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PS1
Youth Architects Program 2009: afterparty
Keep cool during the Warm Up summer music series under the huts designed by this year's winners of the urban landscape project. Lightweight aluminum frames of woven recycled parts let light and air through while shading visitors. (ps1.org) Opens 6/28, closes 9/28. Warm Up concert series every Saturday ($10, 2-9pm)

National Academy Museum
Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820-2009
This themed survey, which brings together works from the National Academy's collection and recent art by contemporary gallery stars, explores the function of the human form throughout American art history. (nationalacademy.org) Opens 7/8, closes 11/15.

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