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.
“Haute Culture: General Idea, a Retrospective, 1969–1994” will change the image of Conceptual art as “lab test” into something much more fabulous. Emerging out of the 1960s Canadian counterculture, which accepted and even encouraged polymorphous perversity, General Idea (AA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontal) established itself as an outfit of anti-art art-pranksters, living their work as theater and working prolifically to exploit every medium. In this show, which spans the group’s activity from 1969 until Partz and Zontal died of aids in 1994, we’ll see how they chilled us, thrilled us, confounded us, or just pissed us offalways delivering an extraordinary display of control over both format and dissemination. The exhibition catalogue features a previously unpublished 1991 interview with the artists.
Mike Nelson evidently can’t forget the Amnesiacs, the biker-gang-esque posse (lacking the chromed hogs) whose mythology he created and who since 1996 have ghosted the artist’s fiction-rich installations. Two recent works included here are linked to that narrative: Gang of Seven, 2013, came from sessions of Canadian beachcombing, and Eighty Circles Through Canada (The Last Possessions of an Orcadian Mountain Man), 2013, includes 35-mm slides shot on jaunts through British Columbia. Quiver of Arrows, 2010, meanwhile, features midcentury Airstream trailers filled with Charlton Heston posters, a Vietnam-vet T-shirt, cowboys-and-Indians toys, and other bric-a-brac. If this exhibitionto be rounded out by a site-specific commissionsuggests a hazily jaded view of restless US adventuring away from home turf, plus the Canadian landscape’s potentials, locals probably won’t cavil. Curator Julia Paoli, sociologist Dick Hebdige, and Jenifer Papararo of Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery, will connect the dots in the accompanying catalogue.
This first major UK exhibition of Hannah Höch (1889–1978) will span some sixty years of the artist’s career, illuminating aspects of her work frequently overshadowed by her association with Berlin Dada. Highlights among the more than one hundred collages, photomontages, watercolors, and woodcuts on display will include an impressive selection of her pathbreaking 1920s photomontage works, which exploit the medium’s capacity to produce comic effects and insist on the political significance of art outside of activist engagement, as well as a remarkable album Höch assembled privately in the period leading up to the National Socialists’ assumption of power in 1933. The exhibition catalogue will feature new translations of texts by and about the artist, including Höch’s diary entry on her visit the Degenerate Art exhibition in 1937, and Adolf Behne’s review of the 1920 Dada Fair.
Two years after Richard Hamilton’s death in September 2011, this exhibition at Tate Modern (and another at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, Feb. 12–Apr. 6) promises again to situate the Pop pioneer’s work at the center of British art. Encompassing more than five decades of painting, installation, photography, and design, the Tate’s survey will range from Hamilton’s early efforts with the Independent Group (including a re-creation of his seminal 1956 installation Fun House) to the paintings of his final year, exploring his multifarious engagements with art, media, and politics along the way. Across the Thames, the ICA restages two other early projects: Man, Machine and Motion, 1955 and an Exhibit, 1957. This dual effort will constitute the most comprehensive view to date of Hamilton’s diverse oeuvre, enabling fresh lessons from one of Pop’s (and indeed, modern art’s) most incisive and generous practitioners. Travels to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, June 24–Oct. 14.
Whereas the Fifty-Fourth Venice Biennale’s German pavilion staged a requiem for Christoph Schlingensief (1960–2010), this first retrospective dedicated to the auteur, theater maker, opera director, and performer promises to throw the relentless vitality of his boundary-crossing oeuvre into relief. The exhibition, which will remain open day and night for the show’s duration, will offer not only a rich selection of Schlingensief’s filmic works but also several impromptu contributions by his longtime collaboratorsa plan poised to accommodate the artist’s patently idiosyncratic fusion of Actionism, Fluxus, “social sculpture,” and the inanities of spectacle culture. A catalogue with essays by the curators and Elfriede Jelinek, Tilda Swinton, and Alexander Kluge, among others, will further elucidate the tactics and legacy of this pivotal figure of postreunification Germany.
Oscar Tuazon has established a position as one of the most provocative sculptors of his generation, taking the legacies of Minimalism, post-Minimalism, Land art, and Conceptualism into fresh, curious territories. Trained as an architect, Tuazon operates deftly between indoor and outdoor space, between the “specific object” and the floorboard. His work is at once complexly referential with respect to art history yet mundane in a challenging way, requiring one to confront myriad disturbances in a three-dimensional space infused with an expressionism wrought by quotidian means. The show will extend through more than two stories, with a new, site-specific work created for the staircase.