Graham Bader

  • Sigmar Polke, Untitled (detail), 1975, photographic emulsion, acrylic, and spray paint on canvas, 15 3/4 x 19 3/4". © The Estate of Sigmar Polke, Cologne/ARS, New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

    Sigmar Polke

    “ALIBIS: SIGMAR POLKE 1963–2010”

    Museum of Modern Art, New York

    April 19–August 3

    Curated by Kathy Halbreich with Mark Godfrey and Lanka Tattersall

    HAS ANY ARTIST OF THE LAST FIFTY YEARS more successfully combined relentless material innovation, slyly subtle wit, and voracious cultural rummaging than Sigmar Polke? From the laconic jokiness of his early Pop compositions to the cacophonous and often mutable surfaces of his later paintings—where resin, silver nitrate, iodine, chloride, beeswax, granulated meteorite, and pigment of violets, to list only a few of his materials, are deployed to

  • Richard Hamilton, Lawrence Alloway, and Victor Pasmore, an Exhibit, 1957, acrylic, wire, paper. Installation view, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. © Richard Hamilton Studio. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London. All Rights Reserved, DACS and ARS.

    Richard Hamilton

    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

  • Robert Indiana, The Sweet Mystery, 1960–62, oil on canvas, 72 x 60".

    “Robert Indiana: Beyond Love”

    Even if you don’t love Love, there’s no denying the status of Robert Indiana’s mid-1960s icon as one of its era’s most widely disseminated images, its laconic form having since been emblazoned on T-shirts, stamps, and posters across the globe. Haskell’s retrospective thus poses the question: What can we find with a look at the artist’s oeuvre beyond the blinding light of this single trademark? Focusing on Indiana’s prolific ’60s production but spanning nearly five decades of work in all (including paintings, sculpture, and assemblage), the exhibition aims to broaden

  • “Piet Mondrian–Barnett Newman–Dan Flavin”

    Mondrian, Newman, Flavin: without a doubt, a sluggers’ row in the history of geometric abstraction. What happens, then, when all three are up to bat at once, as is the Kunstmuseum Basel’s game plan this fall? Organized by Bernhard Mendes Bürgi as a triad of self-contained presentations, this show hopes to scrutinize the material and theoretical specificities of each artist’s practice, while also drawing out such deeply shared aesthetic concerns as the redefinition of the functions of space, color, and line. The exhibition will include a total of nearly forty works,

  • Candida Höfer, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf  III, 2011, C-print, 70 7/8 x 62 5/8".

    “Candida Höfer: Düsseldorf”

    Candida Höfer has made her name with exquisitely shot photographs of empty public interiors across the globe. But the place where she began her practice—and with which it is inextricably associated—is Düsseldorf, where, in 1973, she enrolled in the city’s Arts Academy and, two years later at Galerie Konrad Fischer, publicly exhibited her work for the first time. Now, after four decades, the artist turns her focus toward this Rhineland metropolis once again, gathering some seventy works shot in the region, ranging from early 16-mm film pieces to recent photographs

  • Kurt Schwitters (right) with Edith Thomas and Bill Pierce at Cylinders Farm, Ambleside, UK, ca. 1947.

    “Schwitters In Britain”

    We all know the Merzbau—the multiroom environment created by the Hannover Dadaist Kurt Schwitters in the decade before his 1937 flight from Germany.

    We all know the Merzbau—the multiroom environment created by the Hannover Dadaist Kurt Schwitters in the decade before his 1937 flight from Germany—but how many of us are familiar with the Merz Barn, the artist’s continuation of this seminal project, begun in England’s Lake District just months before his death in 1948? This and other little-known work from Schwitters’s final decade, including more than 150 collages, assemblages, and sculptures made during his English exile, will be the focus of “Schwitters in Britain,” which opens at the end

  • Roy Lichtenstein, Perfect Painting, 1986, oil and Magna on canvas, 70 3/8 x 100 1/8". © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

    “Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective”

    “ROY LICHTENSTEIN: A RETROSPECTIVE”

    Art Institute of Chicago

    May 16–September 3

    Curated by James Rondeau and Sheena Wagstaff

    WE'RE SO FAMILIAR with the work of Roy Lichtenstein that we barely seem to know it at all. Sure, we can spot his Benday dots, comic-strip scenes, and elegantly rendered brushstrokes in a flash—but what happens when we slow down and really look at these, examining their iterations and mutations across his career? No simple binaries of high/low or form/content allowed: What do Lichtenstein’s images do? And how do his diversely eccentric materials (including Rowlux, velvet

  • Aerial view of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York, 2011. Photo: Joe Woolhead.

    absence as memorial

    LAST FALL, a trio of voids appeared in downtown New York. The National September 11 Memorial, which opened to the public one day after the tenth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, is dominated by two monumental cavities where the 110-story towers once stood. Only a block away, Zuccotti Park’s spare granite landscape also resonates with absence, the crowds and tents that filled it through the early autumn having been cleared by the NYPD during a controversial maneuver in the wee hours of November 15. Like the memorial site, the plaza is now marked by what is not there, by the palpable absence of

  • Thomas Ruff, ma.r.s. 13, 2011, color photograph, 11’ 11/8” x 8’ 7/8”.

    Thomas Ruff

    Having earned early attention with his monumentally scaled late-’80s portraits, Thomas Ruff has since spent his career exploring the gamut of photography’s genres and structures.

    Having earned early attention with his monumentally scaled late-’80s portraits, Thomas Ruff has since spent his career exploring the gamut of photography’s genres and structures: from NASA satellite images and wartime night-goggle views in his “cassini” and “Nächte” series, respectively, to political propaganda and Internet pornography in his “Plakate” and “Nudes.” In what will be the artist’s first comprehensive show in Germany in more than a decade, the Haus der Kunst’s career-spanning retrospective will showcase works reaching from Ruff’s early “Interieurs,”1979, to

  • Gerhard Richter, Lilies, 2000, oil on canvas, 26 3/4 x 31 1/2".

    “Gerhard Richter: Panorama”

    Organized with an eye to the distinct historical contexts and diversity of aesthetic modes in which Richter has worked, “Panorama” promises a new look at the artist just in time for his eightieth birthday in February.

    A decade after MoMA’s much-contested but hugely popular Gerhard Richter retrospective, Tate Modern curators Nicholas Serota and Mark Godfrey, in a departure from the 2001 exhibition’s painting-only approach, will survey the German artist’s career by looking chronologically and comprehensively across a half century of practice. Including, in addition to paintings, a selection of drawings and photographs, as well as the largest assortment of Richter’s glass works ever assembled, the show will also be the first outside Germany to present the monumental

  • Roy Lichtenstein, Washing Machine, 1961, oil on canvas, 56 x 68. All works © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

    EMPTIED GESTURE: ROY LICHTENSTEIN’S “BRUSHSTROKES”

    REVIEWING THE 1961 PITTSBURGH TRIENNIAL in the pages of Art International, William Rubin lamented the shallow ubiquity of gestural abstraction within both the show and contemporary painting more broadly. “The dominant avant-garde mode of painting in the late fifties,” he wrote, “(substantially the same throughout the world though known by different and confusing names, e.g., Abstract Expressionism, Tachism, etc.) seems to have allowed for less variety, less inventiveness, and less individual profile than any other major style in the history of modern art.”¹ No wonder, then, that when Roy

  • Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau, ca. 1923–36, mixed media, 12' 10 3/4“ x 19' 3/8” x 15' 1". Reconstruction by Peter Bissegger, 1981–83/1988. All works by Kurt Schwitters © Estate of Kurt Schwitters/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

    RATE OF EXCHANGE: THE ART OF KURT SCHWITTERS

    AFTER MEETING KURT SCHWITTERS in December 1919, the Berlin Dadaist Richard Huelsenbeck famously derided him as a “lower-middle-class Victorian” stuck in a “static, snug, middle-class world”—and, even worse, “the Caspar David Friedrich of the Dadaist revolution,” a retrograde in radical’s clothing.¹ Schwitters, whose first major US exhibition in nearly three decades (curated by Isabel Schulz and Josef Helfenstein) is currently on view at the Menil Collection in Houston, certainly did his part to encourage such opinions. Not only did he reside in Hannover, the provincial German metropolis of