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.
Titled “The Grand Balcony” after Jean Genet’s iconic 1956 play, this year’s Biennale de Montréal aspires to join the ranks of such prestigious biennials as those of Istanbul, São Paulo, and Sydney in showcasing a prodigious number of artists and commissioned works. The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal and various downtown spaces will serve as a stage for a dynamic program of lectures, performances, concerts, and screenings. In addition to premiering several films, such as Eric Baudelaire’s AKA Jihadi, which traces the journey of a now-imprisoned ISIS militant, the exhibition will debut the third act of Anne Imhof’s “Angst,” 2016, a multipart opera that combines sculptural forms, an abstract musical composition, and choreographic elements. Other noteworthy projects include an anthology of writings by multimedia artist Hassan Khan and a sound piece by New York–based Marina Rosenfeld.
Stretching time. Unwinding it. Reminding us how we all dance against the drumbeat of our ticking hearts. William Kentridge has claimed for the past three decades that his work is “all about time.” This exhibition, named for the Bakhtinian processes the artist uses to describe the viscous temporalities of his studio, plumbs the depths of Kentridgean time. His clock is, of course, set to the willful time of southern Africaits peculiar dilations and coagulations, its leaps and surges, its refusals of Greenwich’s imperial cadence. A rich lineup of voices (Homi K. Bhabha, Achille Mbembe, and more) will provide meditations around the exhibition’s six landmark works, all made between 2003 and 2015, including O Sentimental Machine, which stars Leon Trotsky, exiled in Istanbul, spouting endless messages to the “masses” he perceived (with fateful narrowness) as sentimental machines. Travels to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, Feb. 16–June 18, 2017; Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg, Austria, July 22–Nov. 5, 2017; Whitworth, Manchester, UK, 2018.
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.
Since his remarkable Warsaw studio was reopened as a permanent exhibition soon after his death in 2004, Edward Krasiński has become an increasingly visible avatar of Polish Conceptual art. How does art challenge its own commodification even under state socialism? Tate Liverpool’s forthcoming retrospectivethe first ever in the UKwill provide a range of answers from the artist’s entire production, beginning with the rarely seen suspended sculptures of 1964–65. Delicate visual puns, these works accentuate the latent surrealism that winds its waylike the artist’s signature blue stripethrough his room-size installations, several of which will also be on view. A catalogue with essays by the curators as well as historian and curator Jean-François Chevrier and critic Karol Sienkiewicz accompanies the exhibition. Travels to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, June–Oct. 2017.
A kind of grand finale to a trio of recent solo shows held over the past few years, this exhibition brings together floral bouquets, handwoven tapestries, a sportswear line by Dutch fashion designer Fong Leng, and an installation of decontextualized press photographs depicting “riots, protest, mourning, and commemoration.” The variety of Willem de Rooij’s recent output will thus be on full viewas will older works made with his longtime collaborator, Jeroen de Rijke, who died in 2006. In all these works, a seductive visual clarity is polemically entangled in questions of authorship and intentionality, cultural and political history, and art’s relationships to non-art traditions and practices. De- and reframing the divergent expectations we bring to flowers, news, craft, art, and fashion, de Rooij pointedly messes with our hierarchies of desire (for beauty, simplicity, critique, knowledge) to insist that aesthetics is both powerful and always more than it seems.
We may think we’re well-versed on Cy Twombly by now, but we’ve been surprised before; his work is easy to recognize yet, crucially, hard to know. This fall, the Pompidou promises a definitive retrospectivethe first since Twombly’s death in 2011 and by far the largest everthat will attend to his propensity for series. The emphasis will be on his radical, affective attenuation of history painting, with three extraordinary suites convening for the first time: Nine Discourses on Commodus, 1963; Fifty Days at Iliam, 1978; and Coronation of Sesostris, 2000. Approximately 140 works in all, in painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, and photography, will track Twombly’s career from the early 1950s to his final months. An authoritative offering, to be sure (supplemented by a lavish catalogue), and one that is perhaps big and rich enough to make the ultimate historical claim for the unfixedness that, paradoxically, defines his practice.