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.
Death is Teresa Margolles’s medium. For more than thirty years, the Mexican artist has turned the endemic violence of her home country into fodder for her installations and performative interventions. Who can forget her Mexican pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale, where visitors who innocently walked onto the wet floor of the crumbling palazzo were faced with the realization (evidenced by the grimy streaks that increasingly marred the continuously washed floor) that the rags used to mop it had been soaked with blood from Sinaloan drug-trade killings? Or the 1999 sculpture Entierro (Burial), a cement block that serves as a transportable grave for the stillborn fetus it contains? Margolles’s spare, elegant work’s power lies in how her peculiar brand of morbid minimalism makes us look differently at death and authority. Don’t miss this subversive and ferociously interesting artist’s first Canadian solo show, which brings together works from the past decade along with several new pieces.
The tension between documentary and fiction promises to define Jonathas de Andrade’s first major exhibition outside his native Brazil. In O peixe (The Fish), 2016, he filmed fishermen tenderly embracing their dying catches, forging a new ritual through labor. With O levante (The Uprising), 2012–13, de Andrade was given permission by the Recife government to film a horse-drawn-cart race of his own design in the city (where farm animals are usually prohibited), thereby bringing the reality of the country’s rural poor to this cultural center through fiction. Highlighting sociopolitical inequities that correspond to identity and colonial history, the exhibition launches the Power Plant’s thirtieth season, alongside concurrent shows of Maria Hupfield and Kapwani Kiwanga, and should complement these native Canadians’ reexaminations of their country’s past on the occasion of their country’s sesquicentennial.
When this Tate retrospective opens, it will have been nearly two decades since the last such effort: the sprawling megashow mounted by the Solomon R. Guggenheim in 1997. Ushered in by Walter Hopps’s extraordinary exhibition focused on Rauschenberg’s earliest career, at the institution’s downtown branch, the 1990s effected an enduring place for the artist among the greats of the later twentieth century. Subsequent projects, such as the Metropolitan’s exhaustive presentation of the Combines, have ramified the artist’s interpretative exhibition history perhaps more deeply than that of any comparable figure. The bar is thus set high for this joint venture with MoMA, as both a synthesis of accumulated insight and an adumbration of new possibilities for thinking about the work. MoMA will emphasize lesser-known chapters in Rauschenberg’s oeuvre, while the Tate promises a full, if “tightly edited,” account of his entire career trajectory, with unprecedented emphasis on performance and collaborations. Travels to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 21–Sept. 4. 2017; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nov. 4, 2017–Mar. 25, 2018.
The October Revolution of 1917 turns one hundred this year, which means we are in for a slew of exhibitions around the globe commemorating the birth of the world’s first workers’ state and its far-reaching impact on the arts. The Royal Academy presents a panoramic survey of early Soviet painting, sculpture, porcelain, photography, film, and print media, including perhaps most notably a reconstruction of Kazmir Malevich’s 1932 installation of his paintings and “architektons.” Inspired by recent art-historical scholarship and in line with art-market trends, the exhibition eschews the binary of avant-garde experiment and socialist-realist conformity in favor of a thematic presentation that addresses contentious issues such as the formation of proletarian subjectivity, the impact of crash industrialization and agricultural collectivization, and the persistence of nationalism notwithstanding the hope for world revolution. An accompanying catalogue includes contributions from Masha Chlenova and other leading scholars in the field.
From the beginning, Wolfgang Tillmans’s exhibitions have involved many photographs unconventionally installed: big and small, framed and tacked to the wall, ganged together and isolated, personal and reportorial. This approach characterized his sensational retrospective at Tate Britain in 2003, and is sure to define this follow-up show, which is slated to include slide projections, publications, and music, as well as a series of performances in the Tanks. Although the new show will pick up where the 2003 iteration left off, most of the work was made more recently and, Tillmans says, “the whole exhibition looks at the now.” For an artist who insists he does “not see hedonism and activism as exclusive sites,” that “now” is bound to include his vocal stand against Brexit in the UK and Trump in the US. “My work is always speaking about questioning myself,” he says. “Where am I? What am I? What is my relationship to the world I live in?”
Installation art’s ability to produce, or disrupt, narrative experienceto alternately conjure and complicate linearity through interventions in spatiotemporal conditionsis central to its effects on the activated, decentered spectator it proposes to produce. Taking its title from a comment made by Gertrude Stein on the state of narrative in a lecture at the University of Chicago in 1935, this exhibition represents the largest consideration of the genre’s postwar history ever mounted in Germany. The show is slated to include some forty works by artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Joseph Beuys, Urs Fischer, Isa Genzken and Wolfgang Tillmans (as a duo), Pipilotti Rist, and Gregor Schneiderinstalled both inside and outside the Rieckhallen, the massive, low-slung former warehouse adjacent to the Neoclassical train station that serves as the museum’s main buildingand will be accompanied by a catalogue in the form of a magazine.