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.
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.
Romanian artist Geta Brătescu, 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 followeddecades of totalitarian repression under Ceauşescu 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 “Memorie” (Memories), 1990; and a selection of Brătescu’s remarkable photographs and textile work.
Translated from German by Gerrit Jackson.
In 2006, Kara Walker made her curatorial debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her post-Katrina exhibition “After the Deluge.” Her sophomore effort’s mash-up title, “Ruffneck Constructivists,” conjoins the ethos of Russia’s revolutionary avant-garde with MC Lyte’s early-1990s track. Walker will go beyond her authorial interest in the psychosexual phantasms of American cultural history in selecting more than thirty recent works by artists from the US, Eastern Europe, and South Africa: Dineo Bopape, Kendell Geers, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Jennie C. Jones, Deana Lawson, Rodney McMillian, William Pope.L, Tim Portlock, Lior Shvil, and Szymon Tomsia. Muscularly responding to ideas of space, policing, and antisociality, the show will emphasize works in sculpture, installation, video, and photography, and will include a full roster of performances, talks, and screenings. The catalogue is designed by artist A. K. Burns, with original texts by Walker and architectural theorist Craig Wilkins.
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 cliché 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 ♥ Patrick Kelly,” an homage by New York–based-street-wear designer Gerlan Marcel.
The New York fashion designer Halston is first mentioned in The Andy Warhol Diaries on page threeand 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.
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 Sofía, Madrid, May 7–Oct. 12, 2015; Hamburger BahnhofMuseum für Gegenwart, Berlin, May 7–Sept. 25, 2016; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Oct. 20, 2016–Feb. 12, 2017.