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The holidays provide one of the best times of the year to check out what's on view in Buffalo's major museums, and the offerings this season at Buffalo's two heavy-hitters don't disappoint.

At the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.), you can take a peek at Jaume Plensa's towering marble sculpture "Laura," the newest addition to the building's campus and also check out the gallery's recently refurbished grand stairway, now home to Do-Ho Suh's hulking "Karma" sculpture, which tapers off to a tiny point too high to see. Inside the gallery, you can see what the gallery's been up to in the past decade (answer: a heck of a lot) in its jaw-dropping survey show "Decade." Make sure to take a trip through the Link Gallery and into Clifton Hall, where Liz Larner's enormous green alien orb commands the entire room and has been the subject of much gawking since its installation in August.

And once you've done all your requisite gawking at the gallery's great master works by Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Giacomo Balla, Matisse, Picasso and so on, make sure to check out its newest acquisition: "Universals." The project, a series of 150 colorful portraits based on 150 Western New Yorkers by Eric and Heather ChanSchatz, has been a hit with audiences. What's more, it features a handy-dandy booklet with scannable QR codes that allow visitors to listen to audio interviews with each of the participants.

And if you've got time left over, take a stroll through the Gallery for Small Sculpture, where the compact and powerful exhibition "Beauty, Life, and Spirit: A Celebration of Greek Culture," a collaboration with the Buffalo Museum of Science, shows off some extraordinary pieces of ancient Greek art and sculpture.

Across the street at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.), prepare yourself for a double-whammy of artistic inspiration in the center's gargantuan east gallery.

The playful but deeply informative show "Spain: Rock, Roll, Rumbles, Rebels and Revolution" takes a look into the recently deceased Buffalo-born underground comics artist Spain Rodriguez. And in the same space, you can take in the smartly installed, emotion-packed survey of work by Buffalo-born artist Jacqueline Tarry and her collaborator Bradley McCallum in "McCallum/Tarry: Intersections." Each show makes an impression that won't fade any time soon.

And don't miss the fascinating show "Charles E. Burchfield: In His Own Words," which explores the unorthodox writings and working processes of one of America's most beloved and successful watercolor painters.

email: cdabkowski@buffnews.com