"MICHELANGELO: SACRED AND PROFANE, MASTER DRAWINGS FROM THE CASA BUONARROTI" | There are perhaps two artists who sit at the pinnacle of the Western definition of creative genius: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. To find works by either Italian Renaissance master in American collections is exceedingly rare, and Michelangelo is the rarer of the two. So don't miss "Michaelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Master Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti," a selection of 26 drawings — including Cleopatra, a Madonna and Child, and architectural studies — by the artist of the Sistine Chapel that have been preserved for centuries by descendents in the family's home in Florence, Italy.
Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston | April 21–June 30 | $25
JAMES AND AUDREY FOSTER PRIZE | The "biennial" James and Audrey Foster Prize exhibition (arriving nearly three years after the last one) is Boston's highest-profile roundup of local art talent. Organized by ICA chief curator Helen Molesworth, the show features sculptor Sarah Bapst, painter and collagist Katarina Burin, sculptor Mark Cooper, and filmmaker Luther Price. Can you predict to whom the "distinguished jury" will award the $25,000 top prize?
Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston | May 1–July 14 | $15
ALAN UGLOW | The England-raised, New York–based artist, Alan Uglow, who died in 2011, painted hard-edged, minimalist abstractions, often featuring bars of red, silver, black, or blue against stark fields of white. Are the pieces in "Standards and Portraits" at MIT about the cool force of geometry, the wooden supports of the canvas itself, or the lines on the fields of his beloved "football" (i.e., soccer)?
MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St, Cambridge | May 10–July 14 | Free
"DEAD SEA SCROLLS: LIFE IN ANCIENT TIMES" | In the late 1940s, shepherds stumbled upon 2000-year-old scrolls stored inside a cave in the West Bank. They included literary writings and the oldest known texts of the Bible. "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times," created by the Israel Antiquities Authority and produced by Discovery Times Square and the Franklin Institute, presents 20 sets (10 on view at a time) of the landmark documents, as well as old weapons, stone carvings, coins, and other antiquities that combine to give glimpses of ancient Israel.
Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston | May 19–October 14 | $22
TONY FEHER | The deCordova gives us a 25-year survey of New York sculptor Tony Feher, known for mating a minimalist aesthetic with the junk of mass-produced, disposable America. The results include humble stacks of cardboard boxes and plastic beverage crates, groups of soda bottles filled with colored fluids and suspended from ropes, as well as weird stuff put together from Mylar snack bags, wire, tape, and marbles.
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln | May 26–September 15 | $14