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International 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.

“IN SEARCH OF EXPO 67”

MUSÉE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN DE MONTRÉAL
MONTREAL
Through October 8
Curated by Lesley Johnstone and Monika Kin Gagnon

On the occasion of Canada’s Sesquicentennial, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal will revisit Expo 67, the now-legendary centennial celebration launched in April 1967 in this Québécois city with the theme “Man and His World.” Recalled less for its universalizing humanist ideals than for its dramatic architectural structures and experimental cinematic and multimedia works, Expo 67 presented an optimistic world filled with megastructures, multiscreen environments, monorails, and other media-technical innovations whose technofetishism, like the political protests that accompanied the event (including some that erupted around the fair itself), resonates with our present moment. For “In Search of Expo 67,” sixteen contemporary Canadian artists have been invited to bridge the fifty-year span between the show’s first iteration and its revisitation, via new works developed using documentation of this extraordinary precedent. Beyond highlighting connections, by re-creating earlier works using new technologies the show and attendant catalogue will no doubt also speak compellingly to how things have changed for both “man” and “his world.”

Felicity Scott

Amalia Pica, In Praise of Listening, 2016, granite, marble, oil paint, silicone tubing, dimensions variable. From the series “In Praise of Listening,” 2016.

AMALIA PICA

THE POWER PLANT
TORONTO
September 29 - December 31
Curated by Carolin Köchling with Nabila Abdel Nabi

Pica’s sculptures and performances are calls to action: They implore us to look, listen, and participate. Political subtexts—addressing everything from military dictatorship to governmental bureaucracy—inform the London-based artist’s practice; for this show, she mines the architecture of war and the obsolescence of technology. Building on her 2010–12 sculpture Acoustic Radar in Cardboard, Pica will exhibit new works in the same material, these based on early sonic equipment used by the British after World War I. The series “In Praise of Listening,” 2016, adds a distinctly civilian device to the show—these biomorphic, abstract stone sculptures are scaled-up hearing aids that make the commonplace monumental. The catalogue is copublished with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, which will feature Pica in another exhibition this November.

Catherine Taft

William T. Williams, Trane, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 108 × 84". From “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.”

“SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER”

TATE MODERN
LONDON
Through October 22
Curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley

A little more than a decade ago, curators began exploring the legacy of the 1960s and ’70s Black Arts Movement in the US; in 2005, “Back to Black: Art, Cinema and the Racial Imaginary” at London’s Whitechapel Gallery linked contemporaneous African-diasporic connections between the US, the UK, and Jamaica. In 2006, Kellie Jones curated the first of three important exhibitions that unearthed key yet underacknowledged abstract and figurative artists with “Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964–1980” at New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem. The groundwork laid, “Soul of a Nation” will present more than 150 works by over sixty artists, grappling with the period from 1963 to 1983, during which artists responded to political enfranchisement in the US with bold aesthetic transformation. Archival materials will be showcased alongside paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures, and time-based media, including performance. This exhibition will highlight the radical tactics and growing consciousness of artists during the Black Arts and Black Power Movements, demonstrating how their voices (and those of their progeny) are so much needed today. 

Cheryl Finley

Jasper Johns, Painting with Two Balls, 1960, encaustic and collage on canvas, wooden balls, 65 × 54 1/8". © Jasper Johns/VAGA, New York/DACS, London.

“JASPER JOHNS: SOMETHING RESEMBLING TRUTH”

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS | PICCADILLY
LONDON
Through December 10
Curated by Roberta Bernstein and Edith Devaney

Some 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints by Jasper Johns will constitute a vast assembly that begins in the 1950s. In the early years of his career, Johns’s work was thought to reflect the consumerist boosterism that arguably infused Pop art. But he was also negotiating between abstract epistemes—stripes, say, or hatchings, or catenary curves—and an abstruse iconography of mortality, elements of which Johns found in Edvard Munch’s Between the Clock and the Bed, 1943, or in the armor of the sleeping guards in Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, 1512–16. Johns’s most recent pictorial arcana, Regrets, derives from the shapes of a crumpled photograph used by Francis Bacon for a portrait of Lucian Freud. The exhibition’s title comes from one of Johns’s characteristically evocative utterances: “One hopes for something resembling truth, some sense of life, even of grace, to flicker, at least in the work.” Johns’s newest output continues to ally itself with the first bulbs of his luminous ascent to the highest reaches of American art some sixty years ago. And they keep burning.  

Robert Pincus-Witten

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, The Appearance of the Collage #10, 2012, oil on canvas, 79 7/8 × 107 1/8".

“ILYA AND EMILIA KABAKOV: NOT EVERYONE WILL BE TAKEN INTO THE FUTURE”

TATE MODERN
LONDON
October 18 - January 28, 2018
Curated by Juliet Bingham with Katy Wan

This retrospective will present a melancholy variation amid the year’s bountiful exhibitions dedicated to the centennial of the Russian Revolution. The Kabakovs are known for their virtuosic exploration of the gap between utopian promises and the humiliating minutiae of Soviet everyday life. Comprising more than one hundred objects and accompanied by an extensive catalogue, the exhibition begins with Ilya’s central role in Moscow Conceptualism and includes three ambitious installations. Its subtitle (named after one of the installations) derives from an episode, imagined by Ilya, in which Kazimir Malevich selected the artists who would—or would not—be taken into the future. Yet the topicality of the Kabakovs’ trademark pathos may lie in this statement’s inverse. The revolutionary potential of the best known of their works (think of The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment, 1985) reminds us that everyone will be taken into some future, but that we may very well want out. 

Kristin Romberg

James Rosenquist, Hey! Let’s Go for a Ride, 1961, oil on canvas, 34 1/8 × 35 7/8". © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

“JAMES ROSENQUIST: PAINTING AS IMMERSION”

MUSEUM LUDWIG, COLOGNE
COLOGNE
November 18 - March 4, 2018
Curated by Stephan Diederich and Yilmaz Dziewior

Like many Pop artists, James Rosenquist drew on the teeming image world of postwar consumer society. But unlike many of his peers, he appropriated the representational techniques and even the massive scale of one of commercial advertising’s chief forms: the billboard. Juxtaposing body parts, commodities, and sly allusions to art history within his panoramically scaled and surreal canvases, Rosenquist bridged the gap between the epic gestures of Abstract Expressionism and the cool monumentality of Minimalism. This exhibition will highlight the artist’s sustained interest in immersive visual experiences. Featuring never-before- seen preparatory collages along with such environmentally extensive installations as F-111, 1964–65, and The Swimmer in the Econo-mist,1997–98, that utilized reflective materials, the show will consider the physical and affective impact of Rosenquist’s practice.  

Robert Slifkin