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.

Michael Snow, Authorization, 1969, Polaroid Type 55 prints, adhesive tape, mirror in metal frame, 21 1/2 x 17 1/2".

“Michael Snow: Photo-Centric”

PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
PHILADELPHIA
Through April 27
Curated by Adelina Vlas

In Authorization, 1969, Michael Snow transformed the seemingly static, two-dimensional photographic medium into something both sculptural and performative: Shooting his own reflection with a tripod-mounted camera, he then pasted the resulting self-portrait onto the mirror’s surface, repeated the process four more times, and exhibited the collaged result. That same year, in One Second in Montreal, Snow took a different tack, producing a motion picture using only a series of still images of snowy landscapes. Both works showcase the Canadian artist’s eccentric approach to photography, a medium fundamental to his entire oeuvre and the focus of this survey at the Philadelphia Museum (the first exhibition to specifically address this element of his practice since “Projects: Michael Snow—Photographs” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1976). Curator Adelina Vlas will bring together some thirty pieces made between 1962 and 2003 in which Snow diffracts photography across painting, sculpture, film, and music.

Branden W. Joseph

“Ruffneck Constructivists”

ICA - INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, PHILADELPHIA
PHILADELPHIA
Through August 17
Curated by Kara Walker

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.

Thomas J. Lax

“Katinka Bock: A and I”

HENRY ART GALLERY
SEATTLE
Through May 4
Curated by Luis Croquer

Paris-based German sculptor Katinka Bock’s formally austere objects often strike a mild dissonance with the spaces that contain them. Made from found wood, cement, iron, and sand, her works revisit the vernacular of Arte Povera to meditate on the constant transformation of matter; her slabs, heaps, and scatterings of patinated raw material seem to trace the crawling duration of entropy or to distill some telluric current. In Bock’s first major exhibition in an American museum, twenty-odd new and recent sculptures, installations, and drawings will be on view, and a series of commissioned works will respond specifically to the Henry’s North Galleries, no doubt proposing a tense dialectic with their gothic architecture. A catalogue with new texts by Croquer, novelist Thomas Clerc, and FRAC coordinator and curator Marie-Cécile Burnichon will accompany the exhibition.

Annie Godfrey Larmon