GUADALUPE MARAVILLA: MARIPOSA RELÁMPAGO When Maravilla was 8 years old, he fled El Salvador’s then-raging civil war and picked his way north to the United States, where he was eventually reunited with his family. In the years following, he suffered bouts of illness, both mental and physical, that he attributes to the trauma of war and migration; in searching for ways to heal, he discovered the therapeutic potential of sound, which he incorporates in his work. “Mariposa Relámpago” is part of the artist’s Disease Thrower series, a talismanic enterprise built from materials the artist collects revisiting the hazardous byways of his path to freedom all those years ago — and, of course, a series of gongs to make the healing complete. May 25–Sept. 4. The Institute of Contemporary Art’s Watershed, 256 Marginal St. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org.
PASSAGES IN AMERICAN ART With this complete reinstallation of its permanent collection, the Portland Museum of Art enters the expanding fray of American art museums interrogating their own historical collecting practices with a critical eye towards both inclusion and exclusion across cultural, racial, and gender lines. The installation is intended as a conceptual blueprint for the museum’s pending $100 million expansion, which was finalized earlier this year. It will be resoundingly collaborative, welcoming input from such disparate groups as the Native American Akomawt Educational Initiative; Atlantic Black Box, a historical research collective devoted to uncovering a fuller narrative of the slave trade in New England; Indigo Arts Alliance, which aims to develop the careers of artists of African descent; Gulf of Maine Research Institute, a conservation agency; and Portland Public Schools. Opening May 27. Portland Museum Of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148, portlandmuseum.org.
EDVARD MUNCH: TREMBLING EARTH You can’t think of Munch without your mind immediately turning to “The Scream,” the artist’s 1893 painting that is undeniably one of the most famous of all time. But Munch was a revolutionary Modernist in his portrayals of the Norwegian landscape, a shimmering netherworld of dramatic mountains, fjords, and surreal light. This exhibition, conceived with the Munch Museum (Munchmuseet) in Oslo, promises to be the most complete and revelatory display of his work ever to cross the Atlantic. June 10-Oct. 15. Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown. 413-458-2303, www.clarkart.edu.
TONY SARG: GENIUS AT PLAY If you ever wondered who came up with the idea of gigantic floating balloons of cartoon animals for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, look no further: Sarg, an illustrator, animator, puppeteer, designer, entrepreneur, and showman is the guy. With the wonderfully uplifting distinction of being the father of modern puppetry in North America, Sarg, who died in 1942, is the subject of this first-ever comprehensive survey of his work at the Norman Rockwell Museum. June 10-Nov. 5. Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Route 183, Stockbridge. 413-298-4100, www.nrm.org
PRESENCE OF PLANTS IN CONTEMPORARY ART This exhibition is a living, breathing thing, at least for the most part; the five artists (or teams) in the show work with living plant matter to create both a paean to the thriving natural world, and a warning of its fragility in this era of environmental despoilment and climate disaster. Participants are the British team Ackroyd & Harvey; Welsh conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans; Los Angeles based conceptual artist Piero Golia; Swedish artist Henrik Hakansson; and American multi-media artist Rashid Johnson. A film piece by Hong-Kong artist Zheng Bo will also appear in the museum’s Fenway Gallery. June 22-Oct. 2. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way. 617-566-1401, www.isgm.org.
BUILT FROM THE EARTH: PUEBLO POTTERY FROM THE ANTHONY AND TERESSA PERRY COLLECTION This show, of historical ceramic pieces from the Pueblo people of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, puts on view the remarkable artistry they infused in everyday objects — a practice that continues robustly today. Works included will be drawn from eight Pueblo communities in New Mexico: Acoma, Cochiti, Laguna, Santa Ana, Santo Domingo, San Ildefonso, Zia, and Zuni. June 24-Oct. 22. Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, Vermont. 802-985-3346, shelburnemuseum.org.
MATTHEW WONG: THE REALM OF APPEARANCES Wong, a self-taught painter who lived between Hong Kong and Canada, achieved outsized renown for a career that spanned just six years, cut short with the artist’s suicide in 2019. In the aftermath of his death, prices at auction for his work — typically dark, moody landscapes tinged with off-kilter, dreamlike qualities — have soared into the millions. The anomaly of his success, posthumous and otherwise, goes against the orthodoxy of artists whose formal training is a critical part of their pedigree; and his struggle with mental illness is often obscured by the dollar figures his work now commands. This exhibition, the first significant survey of his work in the US, looks to address both. July 1–Feb. 18, 2024. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org
TINY TREASURES: THE MAGIC OF MINIATURES Technically, a miniature is just a petite version of its source object — a snow globe of Big Ben, say, or Doctor Evil’s Mini-me. But miniatures traverse broad boundaries, from curios and knick-knacks to rigorous conceptual explorations of material and scale. This show promises to be just as broad, including an array of objects from a diamond-studded bicycle broach to a mini painting by Pablo Picasso. July 1–Feb. 18, 2024. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org
EDWARD HOPPER & CAPE ANN: ILLUMINATING AN AMERICAN LANDSCAPE The paintings of the intensely urban Edward Hopper are so closely associated with New York City in the first half of the 20th century it can feel as though neither might have been able to exist without the other. But Hopper was always one to get away from it all, most notably to Cape Cod, where he spent half the summers of his life, right up to his death in 1967. A less explored chapter of his creative evolution is the time he spent in Gloucester amid the vibrant artistic community of Rocky Neck, and where he first became acquainted with the spare, luminous beauty of Cape Ann’s light, which had inspired so many generations of artists before him, and which this show explores. July 22– Oct. 16. Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant St., Gloucester. 978-283-0455, www.capeannmuseum.org.
ELLE PÉREZ: INTIMACIES The photography of Bronx-born, New York based Pérez, is markedly intimate, whether for its interaction between subjects or the photographer themself. Working primarily with the Muay Thai, queer, and artist communities that make up their social sphere, their images have a deceptive documentary air; in fact, each of the pictures is the product of a deep collaboration between artist and subject, making each one an emblem of mutual trust. Opening Jul 28, 2023; closing TBD. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-664-4481, www.massmoca.org
Murray Whyte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TheMurrayWhyte.