U.S. 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.

Noah Purifoy, Hanging Tree, 1990, mixed media, 52 × 40". © Noah Purifoy Foundation.

“Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada”

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART (LACMA)
LOS ANGELES
Through February 28, 2016
Curated by Franklin Sirmans and Yael Lipschutz

This exhibition reevaluates the vital yet understudied practice of Noah Purifoy (1917–2004), an artist and activist whose melding of collage and community outreach would influence numerous succeeding practitioners. Born in Alabama, Purifoy moved in 1950 to Southern California, where he would execute his signature 1966 exhibition “66 Signs of Neon,” whose works Purifoy and others crafted from the debris of the previous year’s Watts rebellion, and the sprawling constellation of assemblages (1989–2004) that comprise his Joshua Tree Outdoor Desert Art Museum. “Junk Dada” will feature a selection of modes from Purifoy’s diverse oeuvre, from collages to sculptures to installations, and promises to assert his importance within histories of the found object. The accompanying catalogue will include an interview with Purifoy; essays by colleagues, critics, and historians; and a never-before-published portfolio of the artist’s photography.

Huey Copeland

Calder, Sandback, and Tuttle

PULITZER ARTS FOUNDATION
SAINT LOUIS
Through September 12
Curated by Carmen Giménez, Tamara H. Schenkenberg and Emily Rauh Pulitzer

Tadao Ando’s 2001 building for the Pulitzer Arts Foundation is both minimal and restrained, but it’s not quite a white cube. It is light gray, the color of the architect’s signature cast-in-place concrete, and its complex interiors, marked by carefully layered spaces and subtle plays of height and volume, belie the boxlike simplicity of its silhouette. As the latest spate of high-profile institutional projects reveals that museum architecture is still defined by the familiar polarity between overwhelming excess and mind-numbing neutrality, Ando’s recently completed renovation of the Pulitzer (which has transformed the building’s lower administrative and storage level into new galleries) could not be more timely. The inaugural, multilevel installation of solo exhibitions of the work of Alexander Calder, Fred Sandback, and Richard Tuttle serves to emphasize visual and spatial interconnection, demonstrating that a museum can actively shape the viewer’s experience without overpowering the art or simply fading into the background.

Julian Rose

Wanda Pimentel, Untitled—Série Envolvimento, 1967, acrylic on canvas, 45 3/4 × 35 1/8". From “International
Pop.”

“International Pop”

WALKER ART CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS
Through September 6
Curated by Darsie Alexander with Bartholomew Ryan

If a select few of Pop art’s past and present stars (think Sigmar Polke and Jeff Koons) recently took New York, the Walker Art Center’s upcoming exhibition—featuring some 140 works produced over the course of three decades on four continents—aims to widen our Pop horizons far beyond the usual names and locales. Alongside such household brands as Warhol and Rauschenberg, Polke will make an appearance, but so too will his (less recognized) fellow Capitalist Realists Konrad Lueg and Manfred Kuttner, here joined by Argentineans Marta Minujín and Edgardo Giménez, Brazilian Wanda Pimentel, and the Japanese-born Ushio Shinohara and Yayoi Kusama, among many others. Incorporating an extensive film and video program and showcasing works across media, the Walker exhibition and accompanying catalogue promise an unmatched opportunity to assess Pop’s global reach, and (it’s Pop, after all) to see some standout works by a few undisputed stars in the process. Travels to the Dallas Museum of Art, Oct. 11–Jan. 17, 2016; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 18–May 15, 2016.

Graham Bader

“Alex Katz: This Is Now”

HIGH MUSEUM OF ART
ATLANTA
Through September 6
Curated by Michael Rooks

In his ninth decade, Alex Katz has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, but, as this show’s subtitle asserts, retrospection need not obviate contemporaneity. At the High, more than forty works created between 1954 (the year of Katz’s first public outing) and 2013 will draw our attention to the increasingly forthright place of landscape in his practice: What once served as background for his smoothly rendered figures had become a prepossessing subject in its own right by the 1980s. “This Is Now” highlights this shift. By bringing together fifteen large-scale landscapes of moonlit skies, pools of water, banks of snow, and dense fir groves, the exhibition promises a propitious opportunity to reconsider the attribution of realism to works that verge on abstraction despite—indeed, because of—imagery calibrated into expanses of pure color at environmental scale.

Suzanne Hudson