Speaking of the East, your correspondent is there even now splicing aesthetic vibrations to printing presses in hope of painting word pictures of the summer's highlights. It is not a season with such obvious landmarks as, say, the Rousseau and Caravaggio exhibitions of the winter, but there are events that may strike with equal force by stealth.
The poetic German Dadaist Kurt Schwitters could transform a house into an enchanted labyrinth or a bus ticket into a love lyric with equal ease. He is seen in rare retrospective at the Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art until Nov. 1.
The exhibition could prove more absorbing than the sadly timely memorial retrospective devoted to Mark Chagall at the Philadelphia Museum to July 7. But for all we know the first survey of the manic Red Grooms at the Philadelphia Academy (June 21-Sept. 29) could be more bracing than either of them. That's the great thing about reputations that are not quite tacked down.
Classic art is not neglected in any of its varied permutations. Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum hosts "Pre-Columbian Gold" (to Aug. 11) among shows in its capacious galleries while Washington's National Gallery presents 110 examples of "The Sculpture of India 3000 B.C.-1300 A.D." It is billed as the most ambitious survey of Indian art ever seen here and kicks off a yearlong celebration called the Festival of India, one of those sprawling cultural manifestations. (Evidently the next big eruption of its art aspect will be the Met's "India!" in September.)