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.

Marina Abramović, Clouds in the Shadow, 1969, charcoal on paper mounted on oil on canvas, 69 3/4 × 57 1/2".

“Marina Abramović : The Cleaner”

Through May 21
Curated by Lena Essling, Tine Colstrup, and Susanne Kleine

Will polyglot Europe (Eastern, Western, Mittel) fragment into a thousand shards, or will it be dreamed anew as a collective hallucination of syncretic secularity? This question may seem removed from a Marina Abramović retrospective, but one could argue that the grandiose, anything-goes performances from this visionary/celebrity artist propose such issues as personal, mystical choices. This exhibition, which includes sketches, archival materials, and some ninety-five works made between 1960 and 2017, places renewed focus on Abramović’s origins in then-Communist Yugoslavia (this is especially true in the accompanying catalogue). Probing “loss, memory, pain, endurance, and trust,” the curators situate the artist’s works as provocations to participation, which is the axis around which our political imaginaries must also arrange themselves. Travels to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebćk, Denmark, June 17–Oct. 22; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Apr. 20–Aug. 12, 2018.

Caroline A. Jones

Roberto Cuoghi, untitled (detail), 2014, polyol, isocyanate, concrete, epoxy paste, 47 1/4 × 19 3/4 × 23 5/8".

“Roberto Cuoghi: Perla Pollina, 1996–2016”

Through April 30
Curated by Andrea Bellini

If Woody Allen were to rewrite Zelig and set the story in the art world, his inevitable first pick for the starring role would be the enigmatic Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi. Like Allen’s “human chameleon” character, Cuoghi demonstrates total fluency in any situation, deploying a range of techniques to weave a sprawling, nonhierarchical and atemporal web of drawing, painting, photography, performance, digital animation, comic-book illustration, archaeological research, and musical composition. Yet his total immersion in his subject matter is what really distinguishes Cuoghi’s oeuvre from those of his peers. This retrospective promises to examine the gripping twists and turns of the artist’s obsessive production in more than seventy works, ranging from his assumption of his father’s identity in the late 1990s to more recent creations from last year, and will be accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. Travels to the Museo MADRE, Naples, May 15–Sept.11; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Oct.–Dec.

Alison M. Gingeras

“Július Koller: One Man Anti Show”

Through April 17
Curated by Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg, and Georg Schöllhammer

In 1971, Július Koller (1933–2007) envisioned a gallery atop a mountain in Slovakia’s High Tatras. This private, fictive space—the UFO Gallery Ganek, as it came to be known—was a liberating alternative to the official institutions of the Soviet state, a refuge where thought could flow freely and information had no limits. Though Koller’s gallery was imaginary, it was nevertheless a frame for the creation of real works, including drawings, photographs, “anti-paintings,” and cards made with a children’s printing set. This monumental retrospective, and its extensive catalogue, will put the full breadth of the artist’s production on view, placing unprecedented emphasis on Koller’s archive of printed matter: a massive collection of postcards and cheap brochures, newspaper clippings, comic strips, and other such pulp culled from everyday life.

Lina Kavaliunas

Marcel Odenbach, Im Kreise drehen (Turning Circles), 2009, digital video, color, sound, 15 minutes 51 seconds.

“Marcel Odenbach: Proof of Nothing”

Through April 30
Curated by Vanessa Joan Müller

Though it is tempting to call Marcel Odenbach a pioneer, this designation might imply that his work is done. Born in 1953, he is not only a forefather of video art and a cofounder, with Ulrike Rosenbach and Klaus vom Bruch, of the 1970s producer group ATV, he is also—still—a protagonist of political art. For his generation in West Germany, addressing the political through art meant working through the complex process of dealing with the country’s Nazi past. More recently, Odenbach, who now lives in Ghana part-time, has begun to focus on colonialism in Africa. At the Kunsthalle Wien, he will show videos (including a new one about Fritz Cremer’s 1958 memorial at the Buchenwald concentration camp) alongside his equally complex works on paper. The exhibition promises to illuminate new facets of Odenbach’s investigations into the exploitation of history in contemporary ideological battles, which remains as pressing as ever in the era of Trump and populist right-wing movements looming all over Europe.

Benjamin Paul

“Ed van der Elsken: Camera in Love

Through May 28
Curated by Hripsimé Visser

Curator Hripsimé Visser describes the Dutch photographer and filmmaker Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990) as “a child of his time: melancholy in the ’50s, rebellious in the ’60s, liberated in the ’70s, contemplative in the ’80s.” This sprawling retrospective promises to explore each of these phases through more than two hundred vintage prints, slide projections, film clips, and books—a mere fraction of the output of one of the twentieth century’s most driven, eccentric, and underappreciated image makers. Van der Elsken made his mark in 1956 with Love on the Left Bank, a cinema-verité-style immersion into Paris’s bohemian underground, haunted by Brassaď but anticipating Godard, Truffaut, and Goldin. Van der Elsken was never an objective observer, but his work became increasingly personal. His final film, Bye (1990), about his losing battle with prostate cancer, closes with a challenge and an invitation: “Show the world who you are.” Travels to the Jeu de Paume, Paris, June 12–Sept. 24; Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, Jan. 23–May 20, 2018.

Vince Aletti

Garage Triennial

Through May 14
Curated by Kate Fowle, Katya Inozemtseva, Snejana Krasteva, Andrey Misiano, Sasha Obukhova

A full century after the collapse of the Russian Empire, the Russian Federation still covers more than an eighth of the planet’s inhabited land—home to more than 170 ethnicities, speaking more than a hundred different languages. This astonishing diversity rarely figures into the country’s reigning cultural narratives, which tend to concentrate on the competing capitals of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The Garage seeks to expand this picture with its newly launched triennial. Under the direction of Kate Fowle, the curators traveled to over forty cities across Russia to select more than sixty artists from various generations and geographies. In addition to a guidebook, the Garage Triennial will offer an online atlas tracking the curatorial research process as it transpired from Yalta to Yakutsk.

Kate Sutton