There's a time for looking at spare black-and-white photographs and for pondering minimalist art installations -- and that time is not the height of spring. Color is blooming all over New York museum exhibitions this week: The shows below are all strikingly different, and each demonstrates the enduring lure of color for artists. Catch them while you can.


Gertrude Stein and her brothers had great eyes for art, and this fascinating show details how these mega-patrons acquired (at very low prices) a set of enduring masterpieces and lived with them in their Parisian homes. From Cezanne's red apples to Picasso's Blue Period works, color is everywhere -- but Matisse steals the show in this regard. See how many different greens you can count.

WHEN|WHERE Through June 3 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave.

INFO, $25 suggested, 212-535-7710,


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Wiley first made a splash in the art world by hitting the streets of New York to cast African-American models for a series of male portraits, and now he has taken his show on the road. The works depict men that he met in the bars and malls of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities, but Wiley painted them large-scale in a heroic style, with motifs from Jewish ceremonial art in the background. Juicy, outrageous color has been part of Wiley's style from the beginning, and these works don't disappoint.

WHEN|WHERE Through July 29 at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave.

INFO $12, 212-423-3200,


If Edward Hopper had lived in the South Bronx, he might have painted something like these haunting works by Emilio Sanchez (1921--1999). Cast in a wintry light, these urban landscapes depict the garages, bodegas and warehouses of the Hunts Point neighborhood. Sanchez composed them largely of contrasting color blocks, punctuated by the lettering on signs and storefronts. A sense of stillness lingers.

WHEN|WHERE through June 17 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse

INFO Free, 718-681-6000,


We take Renoir's bright palette for granted, and the ubiquitous reproductions of his work further dulls it in the mind's eye. But this nine-picture show reminds how radical his use of color was, and still is. Renoir mined Parisian fashion, theater and nature for his works, but the most memorable hue may be the cornflower blue eyes of the ballerina depicted in "The Dancer" (1874). Echoed by the ribbon in her hair and her tutu, the effect is as light as the ballet itself.

WHEN|WHERE Through May 13 at The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St.

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INFO $18, 212-288-0700,