International Museum Exhibitions

The following guide to museum shows currently on view is compiled from Artforum’s three-times-yearly exhibition preview. Subscribe now to begin a year of Artforum—the world’s leading magazine of contemporary art. You’ll get all three big preview issues, featuring Artforum’s comprehensive advance roundups of the shows to see each season around the globe.

“Anish Kapoor: Archaeology, Biology”

MUSEO UNIVERSITARIO ARTE CONTEMPORANEO (MUAC)
MEXICO CITY
Through November 27
Curated by Catherine Lampert and Cecilia Delgado

Rebounding from the vandalism of his giant yoni Dirty Corner, 2015, at Versailles last September, Anish Kapoor will present twenty-three major pieces at Mexico City’s MUAC, which opened in 2008 at the country’s most prestigious university. The exhibition includes works made between 1980 and 2015, organized into four sections: “Auto-Generated Forms,” which includes the early pigment piles and the artist’s signature optical devices; “Many Kinds of Beauty,” in which soulful pristine geometries (including When I Am Pregnant, 1992) will appear with more grotesque and scatological forms; “Time,” which features the pulchritudinous red dome At the Edge of the World, 1998; and “Unpredictable Forces,” which returns to themes of self-generation and fantasies of the “autonomous expression of matter,” as demonstrated by the mechanical arm of My Red Homeland, 2003, grinding ceaselessly through mountains of oily, pigmented wax.

Caroline A. Jones

“Playgrounds”

MUSEU DE ARTE MODERNA DE SÃO PAULO (MAM)
SÃO PAULO
Through July 31
Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Julieta González, and Luiza Proença

By framing contemporary artists’ work in relation to that of Lina Bo Bardi, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo aims to recover the legacies of this Brazilian architect, who designed the museum’s current home and who advocated a social vision of democracy and multiplicity. MASP recently reconstructed Bo Bardi’s iconic glass easel display for its collection, and with the title “Playgrounds,” the curators allude to the institution’s homonymous 1969 exhibition, which—as this show promises to do—took the ludic dimension of Bo Bardi’s thinking as a point of reference. Among the six participating artists and artist collectives are Yto Barrada, Céline Condorelli, and Ernesto Neto. One hopes that the “play” proposed by the artists’ installations, performances, and workshops will revive—especially in the face of Brazil’s current ecological and economic crises—an image of the collective life Bo Bardi imagined.

Kaira M. Cabañas

“Volpi: Small Formats”

MUSEU DE ARTE MODERNA DE SÃO PAULO (MAM)
SÃO PAULO
June 20 - December 18
Curated by Aracy Amaral

During his lifetime, Italian-born Brazilian painter Alfredo Volpi was often misleadingly portrayed as an artistic bon sauvage, largely due to his lack of formal training in the fine arts and his upbringing in Cambuci, a working-class neighborhood of São Paulo. Over the past couple of decades, however, critics such as Rodrigo Naves have complicated this reductive characterization of Volpi, arguing that his chromatically sophisticated tempera paintings offer a profound meditation on the contradictions of technical development underlying Brazil’s uneven modernization. On loan from the collection of Ladi Biezus, this rare assemblage of more than seventy small-scale paintings and drawings spanning the 1930s through the ’70s promises to further elaborate on the contemporary reception of Volpi’s idiosyncratic practice.

Sérgio B. Martins

“Edgardo Antonio Vigo: Obras 1953–1997”

MUSEO DE ARTE MODERNO BUENOS AIRES (MAMBA)
BUENOS AIRES
Through September 30
Curated by Sofía Dourron and Jimena Ferreiro Pella

Based in La Plata, outside Buenos Aires, Edgardo Antonio Vigo played a key role in advancing Argentinean art from the 1950s until his death in 1997. Vigo explored a range of approaches, including neo-Dada sculpture, elaborate works on paper, mail art, visual poetry, and street-based actions. This show will feature some 230 objects and works on paper, including excerpts from the artist’s influential publications such as Diagonal cero and Hexágono ’71. A 250-page catalogue will publish elements of Biopsia, Vigo’s career-spanning autobiographical archive, along with essays by the curators and contributions by art historians and scholars Gonzalo Aguilar, Ana Bugnone, Silvia Dolinko, María Amalia García, and Magdalena Pérez Balbi, among others.

Daniel Quiles

Nicholas Mangan, Nauru, Notes from a Cretaceous World, 2010, HD video, color, sound, 14 minutes 50 seconds.

“Nicholas Mangan: Limits to Growth”

MONASH UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART | MUMA
MELBOURNE
July 20 - September 10
Curated by Charlotte Day, Aileen Burns, and Johan Lundh

Nicholas Mangan is concerned with the inevitability of the limit—with that necessary, inexorable terminal point as it pertains to the growth of value and prosperity and to our fraught relationship with the natural environment. This exhibition, produced with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, features five pieces, including the video installation Nauru, Notes from a Cretaceous World, 2010, which tracks the complex sociopolitical history of the eponymous Pacific atoll nation by examining the depletion there of natural resources such as phosphate rock; and Ancient Lights, 2015, an installation of two films that is powered by the sun. A new commission will continue the Melbourne-based artist’s interest in mining (for material, for information) and Pacific Island histories, with a focus on ancient Micronesian rai stone money and the virtual currency Bitcoin. The show will be accompanied by a catalogue with contributions from scholars Ana Teixeira Pinto and Helen Hughes and the Barcelona-based curatorial collective Latitudes. Travels to the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Oct. 29–Dec. 18.

Alicia Ritson

John Gerrard, Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015, real-time simulation, silent.

John Gerrard

ULLENS CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART 尤伦斯当代艺术中心
BEIJING
June 9 - August 7
Curated by Philip Tinari and Guo Xi

“I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed,” Garry Winogrand once remarked. What sort of analogy results, and what are its limits, if photography is replaced with 3-D modeling in Winogrand’s oft-repeated dictum? Taking on such questions, John Gerrard chooses infrastructures stationed on far-flung sites as subjects of comprehensive documentation. With the aid of computer modeling and video-game engines, he compiles the results into something between digital time-lapse portraits and virtual tours. His first exhibition in China will feature Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015; Exercise (Dunhuang), 2014; and Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada), 2014—elegant reconstructions of a Google data center, a network of roadways in the Gobi Desert, and a solar farm, respectively. Shown at UCCA, in a district of Beijing where industrial buildings are repurposed in the service of art, these works promise to foreground recurrent architectural motifs that mark the exhaustively global scope of technological progress.

Dawn Chan