"JEFF KOONS: A RETROSPECTIVE"
WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK
June 27-October 19
Curated by Scott Rothkopf
NO MUSEUM BUILDING, in spite of many recent efforts by ambitious architects, matches in iconic status Marcel Breuer's sculptural Whitney Museum of American Art on Madison Avenue. For its final summer before moving to much-expanded quarters downtown, the museum will both honor its long tenure in a remarkable home and showcase one of those rare artists whose body of work is up to the job of filling the entire structure. The exhibition "Jeff Koons: A Retrospective"--organized by Whitney curator and unrivaled Koons scholar Scott Rothkopf--will do just that.
Koons has arguably succeeded in making himself the most talked-about artist of his era, but the quality of that discussion has suffered from two deficiencies: the absence of opportunities to see the work in its full chronological development and a superficial record of critical commentary, with gossip on one side and commodity-fetish myopia on the other. The Whitney retrospective aims to remedy both.
Visitors will be able to assess the length and breadth of Koons's career, beginning with the seldom-exhibited "Inflatables," 1979--assemblages of blow-up toys and prefinished mirrored tiles--with which the artist first sought attention in New York after finishing his studies at the populist-friendly School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The show will reunite as well two of four components from the window display of illuminated vacuum cleaners that Koons mounted, storefront style, at New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art in 1980, preceding the renowned and substantially different freestanding versions in their acrylic boxes. The "Equilibrium" tanks, with their iconic suspended basketballs, will be shown as they were in 1985 at the East Village gallery International With Monument: juxtaposed with Nike promotional posters of NBA stars as virtual demigods.
From these precedents, the subsequent work acquires a logic frequently obscured by the artist's studied rhetoric and arch self-presentation. In an effort to assess this logic from multiple viewpoints and kinds of expertise, the exhibition catalogue includes a Koons "reader" with contributions by eight writers (including former la moca director Jeffrey Deitch, curator Achim Hochdorfer, Artforum editor Michelle Kuo, and novelist Rachel Kushner), as well as Rothkopf's own overview highlighting boundaries breached at key junctures in the artist's thirty-five-year career.
Travels to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Nov. 26-Apr 27; Guggenheim Bilbao, summer 2015.
"CARL ANDRE: SCULPTURE AS PLACE, 1958-2010"
DIA:BEACON * May 5, 2014-March 2, 2015 * Curated by Yasmil Raymond and Philippe Vergne * In Carl Andre's own telling, his sculpture has occupied three distinct phases: "sculpture as form" (the carved beams of 1958-59), "sculpture as structure" (the stacked constructions of 1959-65), and "sculpture as place" (the horizontal arrangements of bricks and metal plates of 1966-2010 for which he is best known). This long-awaited retrospective, the artist's first in the US in more than thirty years, aims to trace the contours of these developments with some fifty works produced between the late 1950s and early 2000s. Yet the show promises much more: Accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, it will feature roughly 165 of Andre's concrete poems, as well as a selection of his little-known "Dada Forgeries"--"minor" pun-infused readymades largely inspired by Duchamp, an artist Andre once declared himself against. Travels to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, May 7-Oct. 12, 2015; Hamburger Bahnhof--Museum fiir Gegenwart, Berlin, May 7-Sept. 25, 2016; Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Oct. 20, 2016-Feb. 12, 017.
"LYGIA CLARK: THE ABANDONMENT OF ART, 1948-1988"
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART * May 10-August 24 * Organized by Luis Perez-Oramas and Connie Butler * Now regarded as one of the postwar era's most important artists, Lygia Clark produced a generative body of abstract painting in the 1950s, reinvented sculpture with her participatory objects of the '60s, and later devised an altogether unique mode of ritualistic, collective quasi therapy. This long-overdue retrospective, the largest such presentation of Clark's work in North America to date, will encompass some three hundred objects drawn from the Brazilian artist's four-decade career. The crucial question will be how moma treats the legendary "Bichos" (Critters), 1960-66, and "Trepantes" (Climbers), 1965, series of sculptures that the artist understood as living things, activated only through direct physical interaction with the viewer. The catalogue includes essays by Sergio Bessa, Christine Macel, and Briony Fer, among many others, and a major suite of previously untranslated writings by the artist.
ROBERTO COGHI NEW MUSEUM * April 30-June 29 * Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Margot Norton * There really is no one like Roberto Cuoghi, the brilliant Italian weirdo who launched his career as an artist by transforming himself into his own father. Physically. I will never forget encountering the young man on a terrace in Turin, a bit chunky with a gray beard, wearing a 1970s-style suit and glasses. He looked sixty-five. More recent projects are just as demanding and peculiar. Who else would spend two years learning ancient Assyrian well enough to write and perform an imaginary lament from 612 bc, accompanying the singing with his own re-creations of ancient and arcane instruments? The resulting sound piece, Suillakku--corral version, 2008-14, will debut at the New Museum, where it will fill the entirety of the third floor, installed in an immersive, circular room constructed for the occasion. A catalogue with essays by cocurator Margot Norton, Alison M. Gingeras, and artist Thomas Griinfeld accompanies the show.
"MEL BOCHNER: STRONG LANGUAGE"
JEWISH MUSEUM * May 2-September 21 * Curated by Norman L. Kleeblatt * A good deal of attention has been paid in the past decade to the work of Mel Bochner, with exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and London's Whitechapel Gallery, among other venues. Yet in New York, Bochner's home for close to fifty years, the artist has, bizarrely, never received a museum survey. This welcome exhibition, though not the full-scale retrospective Bochner so richly deserves, will include more than seventy works-paintings, drawings, and prints from 1966 to the present--in which Bochner deploys lists of words, in many cases groups of synonyms extracted from Roget's Thesaurus and reconfigured in columns and rows. The words become texts, always ironic, often dark. Yet with time, reading gives way to a scrutiny of pictorial concerns: problems of mark-making, facture, and color that, for all Bochner's so-called Conceptualism, have almost always grounded his work.
"BEYOND THE SUPERSQUARE"
BRONX MUSEUM * May 1, 2014-January 11, 2015 * Organized by Holly Block and Marfa Ines Rodriguez This exhibition--derived from a 2011 Bronx Museum symposium and accompanying volume of the same name--takes Lucio Costa's idealized dwelling unit in Brasilia, the superquadra, as a jumping-off point to explore the ways in which contemporary artists have addressed the contested legacy of Latin American and Caribbean architectural modernism. Twenty-plus artists contribute more than sixty works in diverse media--ranging from quasi-architectural interventions (Los Carpinteros) to incisive social critique (Daniela Ortiz and Alexander Apostol) to poetic reflections on history and form (Quisqueya Henriquez and Ishmael Randall Weeks). These heterogeneous approaches promise to grapple not only with midcentury modernism's effects on the built environment but with its abiding spectral presence as an emblem of utopia. Talks, screenings, and performances at an off-site pavilion designed by Canadian artist Terence Gower and Argentinean architect Galia Solomonoff will round out the show.
INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY * May 16-September 7 * Curated by Christopher Phillips * The artist Helio Oiticica once called Brazil "the country that simply doesn't exist"-meaning, one presumes, that there was no single essence that could lend his nation a unified identity. In the decades since those words were written, Brazil has become increasingly fragmented, as social cohesion has been sundered by widening disparities in opportunity. The Brazilian photographer Caio Reisewitz foregrounds this reality in his American solo debut, presenting large-format photographs and photocollages he produced between 2003 and 2013. Demonstrating a preoccupation with the clash between Brazil's past and present, the artist's dense images of built landscapes are of particular urgency. Here we see a growth of camouflaged favelas nestled within a bucolic rain forest or modernist architecture negotiating its territory in a land with a rich colonial heritage. As the world turns toward the newly stadium-centric Brazil for this year's World Cup, Reisewitz's work offers a much-needed perspective on the many other Brazils that will not be in attendance.
"LEN LYE: MOTION SKETCH"
DRAWING CENTER * April 17-June 8 * Curated by Gregory Burke and Tyler Cann * In films such as Swinging the Lambeth Walk (1940), where drawn and scratched lines undulate in striated verticals and sine-wave-like horizontals to a jaunty jazz sound track, and Free Radicals (1958), in which chalklike inscriptions streak and sway across a pitch-black screen accompanied by African music, New Zealand animator Len Lye used the cinematic apparatus to make static frames (cels) appear to move. In "Motion Sketch," the Drawing Center will focus on the inverse and much less known aspect of Lye's production: his hand-drawn images intended to distill the movement of depicted entities on a single page. Alongside an extensive film program, the exhibition will feature work in various media (much of which has never been shown in the US) and will examine the formative role that Lye's drawing played amid them all.
--Branden W. Joseph
"JASPER JOHNS: PICTURE PUZZLES" MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS * July 8, 2014-January 4, 2015 * Curated by Clifford Ackley and Patrick Murphy * Featuring just under two dozen works, the Museum of Fine Art's upcoming exhibition will present a tightly focused look at five decades of Jasper Johns's probing of the interplay of sign, process, and device. Highlighting the artist's diverse and often elaborate efforts in printmaking, "Picture Puzzles"--assembled from private collections and the MFA's own holdings--will also include a small sampling of drawings and sculptures and a copy of Foirades/Fizzles, the 1976 artists' book Johns made in collaboration with Samuel Beckett. Spanning from Johns's early gridded and layered numbers of the 1960s to the 2010 etching and aquatint Fragment of a Letter--based on an excerpt of a van Gogh missive and rendered in both stenciled type and American Sign Language pictographs--these puzzles compose a half century's exploration of the complexities not just of image making but of representation itself.
"PATRICK KELLY: RUNWAY OF LOVE"
PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART * April 27-November 30 * Curated by Dilys Blum * An African American designer based in Paris in the 1980s, Patrick Kelly was a fashion-world anomaly whose irreverent looks boldly addressed issues of race, sexuality, and class. Now, a generation after Kelly's untimely death from aids in 1990, his work as jovial provocateur is considered in full in this capacious survey. Presenting more than eighty ensembles, the exhibition highlights the designer's signature interweaving of autobiography, racial stereotypes, and cliche notions of luxury and taste, which Kelly frequently both celebrated and satirized. Photography by the daring Oliviero Toscani (of '80s and '90s Benetton fame) and Pierre et Gilles, rare video footage of the designer's runway shows, and Kelly's personal collection of reclaimed racist memorabilia fill out the show, which is punctuated by the adjoining exhibition, "Gerlan Jeans [heart] Patrick Kelly," an homage by New York-based-street-wear designer Gerlan Marcel.
"HALSTON AND WARHOL: SILVER AND SUEDE"
ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM * May 18-August 24 * Curated by Lesley Frowick and Nicholas Chambers * The New York fashion designer Halston is first mentioned in The Andy Warhol Diaries on page three--and from then on his name appears more than two hundred times in the course of Andy's exhaustive record of the 1970s and '80s artistic jet set. The lifelong friendship and mutual admiration of these two creative legends attests to the deep-rooted symbiosis of art and fashion, which we often think a recent phenomenon. Cocurated by Lesley Frowick, Halston's niece, "Halston and Warhol" will mingle the Pop master's paintings, films, and photographs with the designer's sartorial pieces, including a few collaborations, to reveal not only a shared creative pulse, yen for accessibility, and obsession with chic but also an affinity for high society and a knack for turning work into a glamorous lifestyle. As Warhol seems to say so often in the Diaries, "We ended the night at Halston's." Travels to the Des Moines Art Center, Sept. 18, 2014-Jan. 18, 2015.
"SIMON STARLING: METAMORPHOLOGY"
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART/ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO * June 7-November 2 * Curated by Dieter Roelstraete and Janine Mileaf Metamorphology, a term borrowed from Goethe's protoevolutionary theory, is a persuasive catchall for Simon Starling's practice, which is postmedium--and multimedia--yet full of research-heavy, labor-intensive, material transformations. This first major museum survey in the US will include, among eleven ambitious works from the past decade, a propped two-ton slab of Romanian steel titled after Brancusi's 1923 Bird in Space, which Duchamp had likewise shepherded through US customs, duty-free, some eighty years earlier--but only after a protracted court case over its aesthetic status. Another modernist giant hovers over Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima), 2010, an installation marshaling complex cross-cultural narratives linking Henry Moore, early atomic research, and the provenance of materials. The catalogue includes contributions by Mark Godfrey, the curators, and Starling himself. Travels to the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, Feb.-Apr. 2015.
"JOSEF K0UDELKA: NATIONALITY DOUBTFUL"
ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO * June 7-September 14 * Curated by Matthew Witkovsky * Josef Koudelka is often called a "street photographer," a designation that, in light of his variform lifetime production, suggests the limitations and, perhaps, the final exhaustion of the old categories of photographic criticism. The 162 photos in this show, which will include many "vintage" exhibition and work prints, range from 1958 through the present and are drawn primarily from Koudelka's personal archive. The images encompass several examples of the Czech-born French photographer's important early work documenting the Prague theater scene, Gypsy encampments, and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Among the selections are pictures taken for projects that resulted in one or another of Koudelka's many books, including Exiles (1988), The Black Triangle (1994), Chaos (1999), and the recently published Wall (2013), consisting of panoramic landscape photographs depicting the barrier separating Israelis from Palestinians. Travels to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Nov. 11, 2014-Mar. 29, 2015; Fundacion Mapfre, Madrid, Sept.-Nov. 2015.
YVES KLEIN/DAVID HAMMONS ASPEN ART MUSEUM * August 9-November 30 * Curated by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson * Nouveau Realiste Yves Klein was notorious in the 1960s for using women as "human paintbrushes," while American Conceptualist David Hammons gained renown a decade later for indexical drawings made using his own greased-up body. Though the two artists' practices emerged from vastly different contexts and conversations, this exhibition--one of several inaugurating the AAM's new downtown venue--contends that an irreverent attitude toward artmaking connects Klein and Hammons in intriguing ways. Three themes, "Ritual," "Process," and "Transformation," promise to link the show's forty-nine works on more than just formal grounds, hopefully allowing ephemeral actions like Klein's Zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility, 1962--in which a notional artwork was transferred to its collector via a ceremonial toss of gold into the Seine--and Hammons's sidewalk sale of melting snowballs (Bliz-aard Ball Sale, 1983) to be productively regarded together. A catalogue with contributions by Jacobson, Philippe Vergne, and Klaus Ottmann accompanies the show.
BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE * July 25-September 28 * Curated byApsara DiQuinzio * Romanian artist Geta Bratescu, the golden girl of Eastern European Conceptualism and a legendary figure in Bucharest's art scene, has only recently come to the attention of the international art world. Born in 1926, she launched her career in the liberal-minded 1950s, and her work matured (largely away from the public eye) amid the social upheavals that followed--decades of totalitarian repression under Ceau[section]escu followed by the collapse of Communism. Her long-overdue first American museum show, the 254th edition of the Berkeley Art Museum's renowned MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art, will be organized on the cornerstones of process, action, and materiality and will include films such as The Studio, 1978, and Les Mains (Hands), 1977; tempera-on-paper collages from the series "Mewon'e" (Memories), 1990; and a selection of Bratescu's remarkable photographs and textile work.
Translated from German by Gerrit Jackson.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART * June 8-September 14 * Curated by Carol S. Eliel * In 1971, reflecting on John Altoon's notability, Walter Hopps remarked that "anyone hanging around art in Southern California after the war had at least vaguely heard of Altoon, if they hadn't met him." The Ferus Gallery lion was as renowned for his giant personality as for his venturesome work. Yet if Altoon's career was cut short by his early death in 1969 at age forty-four, he was an art-historical casualty as well: He was not, for example, included in the important 1981 exhibition "Seventeen Artists in the Sixties" at lacma. The museum now offers a kind of belated recompense with Altoon's first major retrospective, which will chart his considerable influence via seventy works (and, in the catalogue, testimonies from Paul McCarthy, Monique Prieto, Monica Majoli, Laura Owens, and Barbara T. Smith). Look for paintings that filter Abstract Expressionism through SoCal atmospherics and for drawings in which ribald phantasmagorias emerge from the liveliest of lines. Travels to the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, Oct. 8-Dec. 21.
"TONY GREENE: ROOM OF ADVANCES"
MAK CENTER FOR ART AND ARCHITECTURE, SCHINDLER HOUSE * June 19-September 7 * Curated by Judie Bamber and Monica Majoli * With aids hard on his heels, Los Angeles-based artist Tony Greene completed a prodigious amount of work before his death at age thirty-five, in 1990. But though cherished by his colleagues and the object of a posthumous cult of young artists transfixed by his legend, he fell into critical limbo in the confusing decades that ensued. The tide, however, is turning. Just this spring, fellow CalArts students Catherine Opie and Richard Hawkins shepherded their friend's art into the Whitney Biennial; in Chicago, a concurrent show at Iceberg Projects pairs Greene's finely worked mixed-media objects with new pieces from contemporary artists attuned to his precedent; and now, at the mak Center's ultramodernist Schindler House, two more friends of the artist--painters Bamber and Majoli--will organize the most comprehensive display of Greene's work to date. All artists should be so well served by their survivors.
MADE IN L.A. 2014
HAMMER MUSEUM * June 15-September 7 * Curated by Connie Butler and Michael Ned Holte * Featuring two-hundred-odd works from only thirty-five participants, Made in L.A. 2014 (like all regional-survey shows) will no doubt provide ample grounds for outrage over its omissions and inclusions. But the roster of artists and artist-run organizations assembled for the second edition of the Hammer Museum's biennial of Los Angeles art seems like a fair recapitulation of the city's current state of affairs. The show will include Wu Tsang, Judy Fiskin, and Jibade-Khalil Huffman, who have each taken some corner of Southern California as subject or setting, as well as KCHUNG, a Chinatown radio station, and the journal/ project space Public Fiction--both important nodes in the city's intimate art communities. Can we speak of an art distinctive to Los Angeles? Maybe not. But every two years, I guess we will. Catalogue essays by Matias Viegener, Jarett Kobek, and the curators should help frame whatever cohesions and tensions may surface.
"DOUGLAS COUPLAND: EVERYWHERE IS ANYWHERE IS ANYTHING IS EVERYTHING"
VANCOUVER ART GALLERY * May 31-September 1 / Curated by Daina Augaitis Since the 1980s, Douglas Coupland has been building novels around the alienated miasma of the just-arrived present: surplus stores, Snackwell's, dead dolphins, semidisposable Swedish furniture. All along, the Canadian author, who first came to fame for his novels Generation X (1991) and Microserfs (1995), has been forging art alongside these zeitgeisty narratives, and now the Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting the first major survey of his work. Set to fill nearly ten thousand square feet on-site and spill into the city beyond, the show is organized according to such topics as "Canada Noir" and the "21st Century Condition"---themes articulated via pixelated-looking Lego architecture and landscapes pastiching iconic Pop artists. A catalogue with contributions by, among others, William Gibson, Michael Stipe, and the artist-writer himself rounds out the exhibition, which culminates in The Brain, 2000-14, a room-spanning sculpture Coupland assembled out of objects culled from decades' worth of accumulated ministorage.
"CY TWOMBLY: PARADISE"
MUSEO JUMEX * June 5-October 12 * Curated by Philip Larratt-Smith and Julie Sylvester Assembling selections from six decades' worth of Cy Twombly's production, including paintings, works on paper, and sculptures--some never shown before-this exhibition will, incredibly, be the first major solo presentation in Latin America of the late abstractionist's work. His inimitable art, reflecting both the universal and the highly personal and eccentric, dissolves language into line and elides the distinction between writing and drawing, collapsing, in the process, the brushstroke and the word, mark-making and text, and, indeed, the acts of viewing and reading. With impressive loans, and accompanied by a major publication, Museo Jumex's presentation at its recently inaugurated venue promises a formidable first posthumous survey of Twombly's classical/ radical body of work.
"BRITISH FOLK ART"
TATE BRITAIN * June 10-August 30 * Curated by Martin Myrone and Jeff McMillan * In accordance with the model established by the landmark 1932 show "American Folk Art: The Art of the Common Man in America, 17501900" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, this long-overdue survey will encompass almost two hundred artifacts from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. The curators will consider these works from an aesthetic perspective rather than that of an ethnographer or folklorist. As did its forebear, the London exhibition will feature objects that are readily considered under the (fine-art, not folk-art) rubrics of sculpture and painting: ships' figureheads, trade signs, and genre scenes limned by artisans and amateurs. Supplementing these familiar categories will be textiles, collages, and sundry objects, including a "large boody [sic] pottery dish." While most of the makers in the ensemble can no longer be identified, among the more recent contributors will be figures such as Alfred Wallis and Jesse Maycock, well known to those with an interest in self-taught and outsider art.
MODERN ART OXFORD * June 27-August 31 * Curated by Sally Shaw In 1984, Barbara Kruger wrote "Job Description," a short piece that begins, "Your work is about," and then proceeds with a formidable list of such things as "formula and the elegant solution," "desire and the prolongation of stasis," and "pleasure and the proper name." Three decades later, the operations Kruger named in this cheeky CV, a meditation on her work's engagement with the public sphere, seem no less urgent. The artist's signature style-which mimics the language of advertising to invert the power dynamic that that language imposes--no longer produces the uncanny confusion it once did. It now stands as immediately recognizable in its own right, and it is only more powerful for having come out from under cover. This summer, Kruger's work-including her predigital "pasteups," recent videos, and an enveloping site-specific piece--will fill Modern Art Oxford, asking viewers to consider, again, where they stand in relation to the ever-shifting landscape of the culture industry.
PALAIS DE TOKYO/SERPENTINE GALLERY * June 6-September 7/ June 11-August 25 * Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel/Hans Ulrich Obrist * Few young artists so instinctively grasp the Zeitgeist as does Ed Atkins. In his films, computer-rendered avatars overflow with emotional monologues, and a virtuoso digital aesthetic is undercut by a fixation on flesh--death and decay are recurrent subjects. Staging near-simultaneous shows in London and Paris, the prolific British artist is set to present new works at the Serpentine alongside Ribbons, which debuted in Zurich this spring. The three-channel installation will also be the main event at the Palais de Tokyo. And yet the work won't appear the same way twice. Arguably, the piece is Atkins's best yet, revolving around lost love (and intemperate drinking), with a sound track featuring melancholy songs by Randy Newman and Henry Purcell, voiced by a self-medicating CGI skinhead. If such art aims to restore a sense of jangled presentness to spectators increasingly immersed in dematerialization, the abundant air of panic Atkins offers here hints that we might already be too far gone.
CENTRE POMPIDOU * April 30-July 28 * Curated by Frederic Migayrou and Aurelien Lemonier * Much of Bernard Tschumi's prolific career has been based on the insight that architecture is above all a way of thinking, a practice as conceptual as it is material. This fundamental shift was famously signaled in his Manhattan Transcripts, 1976-81. Deploying notational techniques inspired by dance and film, Tschumi in this sequence of some fifty drawings, explores architecture's relationship to the full range of actions and events that characterize the cultural and spatial complexity of the contemporary city. The suite is now on view, in its entirety for the first time, in the Pompidou's encyclopedic retrospective, which also includes a treasure trove of models and archival materials as well as documentation of forty of Tschumi's best-known built works, including Paris's Parc de la Villette (1982-98) and the Acropolis Museum (2001-2008) in Athens. As the influence of the "iconic" building and the "starchitect" seems to linger despite the ongoing effects of global recession, this survey promises a welcome reminder of how much else architecture has to offer.
"UNEDITED HISTORY: IRAN 1960-2014"
MUSEE D'ART MODERNE DE LA VILLE DE PARIS- May 16-August 24 * Curated by Catherine David, Morad Montazami, Odile Burluraux, Narmine Sadeg, and Vali Mahlouji * It seems to be Iran's modern moment. On the heels of the Asia Society's well-received "Iran Modern" exhibition this past fall in New York, this survey brings together works from 1960--roughly the point at which the nation began a period of rapid urbanization and development--to the present. "Unedited History" is divided into four temporal blocks: 1960-70, the revolutionary period of 1979, the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), and the years since. Together with this selection of fine arts, highlights from other aspects of the country's rich visual culture, such as its formidable cinema history and the life of the Shiraz-Persepolis Festival of Arts, should encourage new and unconventional readings of Iran and its vexed experience of modernity--through monarchy, revolution, and theocracy. An accompanying publication and public program will extend and animate some of this exhibition's guiding questions. Travels to maxxi, National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome, Dec. IS, 2014-Mar. IS, 2015.
"WALID RAAD: PREFACE"
CARRE D'ART * May 23-September 14 * Curated by Jean-Marc Prevost, Andrea Viliani, and Alessandro Rabottini "Preface," Walid Raad's first major exhibition in a French museum, conjoins the refined research the artist has conducted as the Atlas Group (regarding the real and representational violence of Lebanese civil wars) and Scratching on Things I Could Disavow, his ongoing investigation, begun in 2007, into the suspiciously vigorous appearance of Arab modernism in global art institutions. On display will be new Atlas Group works that give form--that of the assassinated body--to Raad's prior preoccupations with the abstractly pictorial regimes evidenced in his photographs of car bombings and bullet-scarred buildings. Such an avowedly embodied focus complements the documentary reach of Scratching on Things I Could Disavow, which marks the artist's pursuit of what artist Jalal Toufic has characterized as the immaterial effects of disaster on cultural inheritance. Imaginative to the end, the exhibition eschews a catalogue in favor of a quadrilingual artist's book. Travels to the Museo madre, Naples, Oct. 2014-Jan. 2015.
MUSEU D'ART C0NTEMPORANI DE BARCELONA * July 10, 2014-January 6, 2015 * Curated by Soledad Gutierrez, tukasz Ronduda, and Aleksandra Kedziorek- Polish architect Oskar Hansen was an artist and educator perhaps best known for his "Open Form" theory, a concept--connected to the work of the Team 10 architects--that promoted the social utility of sculpture and architecture and countered long-favored Corbusian ideals. "Open Form" soon evolved into a brave plan for urban decentralization that Hansen, during his tenure at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, passed along to generations of students, encouraging them to pursue art practices beyond traditional disciplines. Now macba, in collaboration with Warsaw's Museum of Modern Art, is showcasing the architect's original designs, photographs, and didactic materials alongside works realized by his students--materials that, though at one time internationally recognized, have rarely circulated outside Poland. Travels to the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal, jan.-May 2015.
"ART OR SOUND"
FONDAZIONE PRADA, CA' CORNER DELLA REGINA * June 7-November 3 * Curated by Germano Celant * To hear sound is to be unmoored, to let go. Unlike seeing, hearing occurs from all directions simultaneously, however uneven or sporadic the din. "Art or Sound" gathers all those things that have embraced such spatial release: more than 170 machines, musical instruments, sound sculptures, and sundry other devices that spill over with sound, exceeding the limits of their material source. Eighteenth-century automata, singing clocks, synaesthetic color organs, and Futurist noisemaking intonarumori will join the aural experiments of the postwar neo-avant-gardes, including Robert Rauschenberg's Oracle, 1962-65, which combines massive air ducts, running water, and a network of radios into a kinetic field of acoustic, liquid, and electromagnetic flows. In works like these, sound becomes a way to stave off the reification or stillness of the inert art object. Celant's humming, reverberant exhibition will doubtless do the same. The accompanying catalogue features essays by Celant and more than twenty musicologists, composers, artists, musicians, and scholars.
"PEDRO PAIVA AND JOAO MARIA GUSMAO: PAPAGAIO" (PARROT)
HANGARBICOCCA * June 12-November 16 * Curated by Vicente Todolf * The work of Pedro Paiva and Joao Maria Gusmao has generated a lot of interest since the early 2000s (among other high-profile global exhibitions, the two have participated in the Gwangju Biennale, Manifesta, and the Bienal de Sao Paulo, as well as in the Venice Biennale, twice), yet no comprehensive consideration of their practice has been undertaken. Former Tate Modern director Todoli takes steps toward amending that with this exhibition. Though the show includes film-based pieces only, it surveys the artists' production over the past ten years. And indeed it is film that has served as the core of Paiva and Gusmao's unique undertakings, in which they blend absurdist humor, pseudoscience, and existential philosophy to create the wry, often-obscure pieces for which they have become best known.
"CHARLES RAY: SCULPTURE 1997-2014"
KUNSTMUSEUM BASEL and MUSEUM FUR GEGENWARTSKUNST * June 15-September 28 * Curated by Bernhard Mendes Burgi and James Rondeau From his early performative pieces, in which the LA-based artist incorporated his own body, to the psychologically charged modulations of scale and perceptually disorienting flirtations with Minimalism in his most iconic works, Charles Ray has proved to be an artist of remarkable range. This survey of monochromatic sculptures and reliefs fittingly picks up where his last major retrospective left off--with Unpainted Sculpture, 1997, a ghostly cast of a crashed car that prompted Ray's prescient quip to curator Paul Schimmel: "It's like looking at Titanic. Is it real or computer-generated?" That tension has only become more pronounced in later aluminum, fiberglass, porcelain, stainless-steel, and wood figures, which increasingly are the result of 3-D scanning and CNC machining as well as of traditional carving techniques, via all of which representational form and sculptural content are melded into one seamless surface. Travels to the Art Institute of Chicago, May 24-Oct. 4, 2015.
MIGROS MUSEUM FOR GEGENWARTSKUNST * May 24-August 17 * Curated by Raphael Gygax Octavio Paz once wrote that Mexicans treat death as their favorite toy, but his words preceded the drug wars that ripped his country apart. Although Mexican society has suffered more than one hundred thousand violent deaths in the past decade, few artists there have ventured to comment. Teresa Margolles stands apart, having pursued the subject of death for twenty-five years. She has turned bloody sheets used to retrieve murder victims into paintings, entombed a stillborn fetus in cement, filled galleries with steam made from water used to wash corpses, and provided coffins for families who could not afford burials in exchange for body parts from the deceased, which she then transformed into sculptures. With this exhibition, Margolles presents several new pieces that reflect her emotionally riveting, visually minimal method of making art speak of the unspeakable.
KUNSTHALLE BERN * June 6-AugUSt 3 * Curated by Lionel Bovier * Between 1961 and 1965, an artist using the pseudonym Vern Blosum made forty-four paintings of common objects in the style of Pop art. These attractive artifacts were sold by Leo Castelli to prestigious collections, while the abstract paintings to which the artist would devote most of his working life achieved little worldly success. This summer at Kunsthalle Bern, curator Lionel Bovier will assemble nearly the entire oeuvre of Blosum's brief vogue. A catalogue raisonne of this work is also in preparation. However, the artist, who has lived to see the revival of interest in Blosum, will offer no further information on this occasion and thus will perpetuate his silence as to whether the project was (and continues to be) a comment on market-driven cynicism or merely a symptom of it.
--William E. Jones
ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND
KUNSTMUSEUM ST. GALLEN * June 7-October 26 * Curated by Roland Waspe and Konrad Bitterli * Roman Signer is the only artist that I know of who possesses an official license to blow things up. And it isn't just for show. The Swiss artist, who creates much of his work outside, takes his sweeping native landscape as his studio, often staging destructive processes and massive performances involving fire. Though this exhibition will be installed predominantly indoors, it will nevertheless feature Signer's signature alchemical transformations of everyday objects (such as chairs, tables, or a model helicopter) into assemblages of newly exploded elements. Viewer wariness is not entirely unjustified: To be sure, there are various levels of pyrotechnic accreditation in Switzerland, and Signer apparently has the authority to detonate any object he likes save for entire buildings. Which is to say: Will there be rockets in this show? Yes. But the kunstmuseum itself is likely to survive.
KUNSTHAUS BREGENZ * May 10July 6 * Curated by Yilmaz Dziewior The persistence of social, linguistic, and institutional structures has been the principal subject of Maria Eichhorn's conceptually acute practice since the late 1980s. Accordingly, to attempt a survey of this German artist's work is to simultaneously reengage the host of processes and procedures she has set in motion over the past twenty-five years. This exhibition will focus on three major works alongside material generated for and through this new context. Curtain (Denim), 1989-, Lexicon of Sexual Practices, 1999-, and Aktiengesellschaft (Public Limited Company), 2002-, variously employ the specificities of antinuclear-energy activism, a taxonomy of sex acts, and the minutiae of corporate legalese. Keenly attuned to the mannerisms of Conceptual and relational art, the works probe the parameters of art as public discourse. A new piece spanning an entire floor of the kunsthaus will complete what promises to be a revealing iteration of Eichhorn's vital oeuvre.
8TH BERLIN BIENNALE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART AND VARIOUS VENUES- May 29August 3 * Organized by Juan A. Gaitan After Artur Zmijewski's controversial seventh edition, in which activist strategies prevailed over artistic ones, the 8th Berlin Biennale (organized by Gaitan with a team that includes six artists and curators) will attempt a more traditional presentation. Some fifty artists will show work in three venues: the KW on Auguststrafie, the rather off-center Haus am Waldsee, and the ethnological Museen Dahlem, whose collection, given its colonialist ties, is currently the subject of critical debate. The ways in which such ghosts of Berlin's cultural past continue to act on the city's present is a primary focus of the biennial. As a prelude to the exhibition, architect Andreas Angelidakis was invited to design Crash Pad, 2014, which is already on view at the KW. Billed as a "multipurpose room," the installation is equipped with Orientalist rugs and free Wi-Fi and, anachronisms notwithstanding, is meant to conjure a nineteenth-century salon.
PORTIKUS * July 11-September 7 * Curated by Sophie von Olfers * From the television set's changing form to the switch-over from analog to digital broadcasting, up through the evolving culture of the tech industry itself, Simon Denny mines the intersecting histories of media technology and cultural production, making sculptures, videos, installations, and events that often reflect in unexpected ways on the context of their exhibition. At Portikus, Denny--who is representing New Zealand in the 2015 Venice Biennale--revisits a pivotal moment in the history of Samsung Electronics known as the Frankfurt Declaration. In June 1993, at the city's Falkenstein Grand Kempinski hotel, company chairman Lee Kun-hee delivered a three-day speech outlining his philosophy of "New Management," a set of principles now credited with creating the corporate culture that transformed Samsung from a second-tier television brand into the world's most powerful electronics manufacturer. Denny will present an entirely new body of work, adding another chapter to his ongoing archaeology of culture, media, and the ideologies that drive them.
"GEORGES ADEAGBO: THE BIRTH OF STOCKHOLM"
MODERNA MUSEET * June 28-September 7 * Curated by Matilda Olof-Ors and Stephan Kohler * The Beninese artist Georges Adeagbo brings to bear on his work the sensibilities of a sociologist, an archivist, an art dealer and collector, an explorer, an entrepreneur, a storyteller, a philosopher, and, if one could imagine it, a postcolonial Dadaist. The result is his brand of site-specific installation art, in which quirkily arranged text, paintings by other Beninese artists, tourist-quality "African" sculptures, and found objects from local flea markets proliferate in immersive, sensorially taxing environments. In this epically titled solo show, "The Birth of Stockholm," an antechamber of the artist's projected handwritten meditations on art and on the Swedish capital and an array of Beninese-made figural sculptures will lead into a room-size--or rather, house-like--installation.
SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM * June 28-October 31 * Curated by Kasper Konig For its tenth edition, the Manifesta Foundation will settle its itinerant biennial at the edge of a former empire, in one of the world's oldest museums: the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg. Once touted as a "window to Europe," Russia's second city has recently drawn its shades, as domestic politics--notably, the criminalization of "homosexual propaganda"--have sparked international protests. Mindful of this context, Konig will address questions of the body, drawing on the museum's treasured Matisse collection (which includes The Dance, 1909-10) to develop a politically nuanced exhibition of more than fifty artists--from Francis Alys, Joseph Beuys, Nicole Eisenman, Maria Lassnig, and Pavel Pepperstein to gender-bending pioneers from the perestroika era such as Timur Novikov and Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe. The catalogue will feature essays by Ekaterina Andreeva, Ekaterina Degot, Helmut Draxler, and Silvia Eiblmayr.
DAK'ART 2014, BIENNALE OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART
VARIOUS VENUES * May 9-June 8 * Curated by Elise Atangana, Abdelkader Damani, Massamba Mbaye, and Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi * With new director Babacar Mbaye Diop and four international curators at the helm, the Eleventh Dak'Art Biennale promises to be a departure from previous editions. This year, 119 African, diaspora, and international artists will be presented in a constellation of five exhibitions organized around such themes as "Producing the Common" and "Cultural Diversity." The biennial is a legacy of Leopold Sedar Senghor, the first president of Senegal, whose 1966 First World Festival of Negro Arts brought artists from around the world to Dakar. Dak'Art's aim has always been to make the city a capital of culture and a center for African art. Its search for autonomy has long been hampered by a power struggle between the Senegalese government and private funders--all determined to control it--but the foundation now seems poised to transcend this conflict.
--Manthia Diawara and Lydie Diakhate
YOKOHAMA TRIENNALE 2014: "ART FAHRENHEIT 451: SAILING INTO THE SEA OF OBLIVION"
YOKOHAMA MUSEUM OF ART AND SHINKO PIER EXHIBITION HALL * August 1-November 3 * Organized by Yasumasa Morimura * Best known for inserting himself into studiously researched photographic re-creations of masterpieces from the Western canon, artist Yasumasa Morimura will oversee the fifth edition of the Yokohama Triennale. He has selected approximately seventy international artists to address the dialectic of remembering and forgetting--a subject embodied in a new version of Michael Landy's monumental Art Bin, 2010, a receptacle for failed artworks. With projects (including new efforts by Miwa Yanagi, Akira Takayama, and Masahiro Wada) arranged around such literary themes as "A Voyage into the Useless" and "A Voyage of Silence and Whispers," Morimura's curatorial strategy promises an idiosyncratic and necessary contrast to the state-driven agenda of "urban regeneration" behind many recent large-scale exhibitions in Japan. A catalogue featuring an essay by Morimura will be available in Japanese and English.
"DOUGLAS GORDON: THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THE ONLY WAY IN"
AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART * May 31-August 10 * Curated by Juliana Engberg * It is sometimes difficult to recall that in the decade just before artists became fixated on the little screen's splintering fields of information, what prevailed instead was an obsession with the big screen: immersive art installations offering a kind of high-end notation for phenomenological shifts happening throughout culture as digital technology took hold. Few artists are so crucial to this history as Douglas Gordon, whose landmark works lent pop iconicity to the editing of experience. This slender but astute survey will pair a recent effort with five others from the late 1990s, including Gordon's signal piece, Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now, 1999-, a transposition of the artist's own video production from large-scale projection to an array of monitors that could be said to reflect on his past from a vantage yet to come.
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|Date:||May 1, 2014|
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