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Five must-see art shows and events for 2017-2018

The Norton Museum of Art’s “Spotlight” shows

“BRILLIANT: Recent Acquisitions” (Oct. 26-Dec. 7), “Miss Lucy’s 3-Day Dollhouse Party” (Dec. 14-Feb. 4) and “Black History Black Futures” (Feb. 8-March 18) at Norton Museum of Art, 1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-832-5196 or Norton.org. Admission is free.

We’re halfway through the Norton’s $64 million makeover, which will bring a sculpture garden, an auditorium and extra gallery space (among other major add-ons) by December 2018. But while the museum kicks up dust, the Norton’s slate of programming will hardly slow down. Four smaller, room-filling “Spotlight” exhibits will debut this season, each with a limited run: “Julie Mehretu: Epigraph, Damascus” (through Oct. 22) features a six-panel print depicting the war-ravaged Syrian capital; “BRILLIANT: Recent Acquisitions” (Oct. 26–Dec. 7) salutes the vibrant colors found in paper, glass and photography works by Dale Chihuly, Michael Craig-Martin and others; “Miss Lucy’s 3-Day Dollhouse Party” (Dec. 14–Feb. 4, 2018) displays a trio of dollhouses from Jupiter-based collector Douglas Andrews that feature miniature artworks created by art friends Julian Schnabel and Cy Twombly; and “Black History Black Futures” (Feb. 8–March 18, 2018) will focus on works by African-American artists. As always, admission remains free through the end of 2018.

“Alex Katz: Small Paintings”

Nov. 6-April 8; Boca Raton Museum of Art, 501 Plaza Real; 561-392-2500 or BocaMuseum.org. Admission is $10-$12.

Before Warhol and the pop-art movement, 90-year-old Alex Katz merged art and fashion with his bright, flat figurative paintings of posh-looking models. The New York-raised painter and sculptor, who bucked abstract expressionism in the 1950s, focused instead on luminous depictions of women with serene faces and dark, expressive eyes, all created with a wet-on-wet speed-painting technique that enables Katz to finish his portraits within hours. Supermodels Christy Turlington and Kate Moss have sat for Katz’s paintings, which he says are inspired by old-fashioned Cinemascope movies. "The pictures are supposed to be lyric, they're supposed to give you an up," Katz says, describing his paintings in an interview with the Smithsonian. "I want to make something that's sort of like your happier condition. Impressionist pictures are basically that — impressionist painting is a happy lie."

“Frank Stella: Research and Development”

Nov. 12-July 8; NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd.; 954-525-5500 or NSUArtMuseum.org. Admission is $5-$12.

The NSU Art Museum will mark 60 years as a South Florida cultural touchstone in 2018 with a fitting blockbuster exhibit on abstract-art champion Frank Stella. Aimed at bulking up the museum’s contemporary-art muscle, the show will fill almost every gallery in the museum and delve into the New York icon’s 60-year odyssey as a painter and sculptor, and his interest in history, geography, literature, music and architecture. Stella, 81, is also scheduled to appear at the museum in November, although the exact date is not yet announced.

Art Basel Miami Beach

Dec. 7-10; Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive; ArtBasel.com/MiamiBeach. Ticket prices vary.

Hello again, traffic nightmare. The contemporary-art world converges on Miami and Miami Beach for the 16th time this December, bearing an endless tangle of celebrity-studded rooftop parties, concerts and white-tented art fairs. Don’t bother trying to conquer them all, unless you have a time machine and a flying car. (We’re fresh out of DeLoreans.) Start your adventure with the granddaddy fair at the still-unfinished convention center (renovations should continue through fall 2018, by latest estimates), to be filled with 250 local and international galleries from 30 countries. Then, head to the permanent new home of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, opening Dec. 1 with a major survey of 100 works by 50 artists, including Roy Lichtenstein and others.

“The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art”

April 6-Sept. 2; Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-375-3000 or PAMM.org. Admission is $12-$16.

If anyone can make a case for the uncommon blend of art and internationally beloved games, it’s the Perez, which last summer slapped down a dominoes-inspired exhibit. This season, the museum will tackle soccer in a show that will coincide with next summer’s 2018 FIFA World Cup, with 20 mixed-media artists reflecting on the sport’s global influence. Video artists, painters, photographers and sculptors will examine how the spectacle of soccer unites countries and raises issues about globalism, identity, politics and socioeconomics.

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