U.S. 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.

“We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85”

Through September 17
Curated by Catherine Morris with Rujeko Hockley

The title “We Wanted a Revolution” might seem to imply a wistful retrospection on the two decades that witnessed the rise of second-wave feminism and the Black Power movement in the US. Yet the 130-some puissant artworks gathered for this show promise an incisive exploration of black female radicality in variegated forms—whether the mixed-media assemblages of Betye Saar or Faith Ringgold’s silk screens of the people’s flag or a costume from Lorraine O’Grady’s 1980 performance Mlle Bourgeoise Noire. The exhibition will offer a rare opportunity to view works by Beverly Buchanan, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and Janet Henry, whose names have come to the fore in the past few years but remain lesser known than those of their heavy-hitter counterparts. The diversity of media represented—from painting to sculpture, printmaking, installation, and documentation—should guarantee a rich spectrum of praxes and an abundance of surprising juxtapositions.

Andrianna Campbell

Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer, 1923, oil on canvas mounted on hardboard, 40 3/8 × 26 1/4".


Through September 24
Curated by Stephen Brown and Georgiana Uhlyarik

I grew up assuming Florine Stettheimer was famous, since a large painting of hers hung at my hometown museum, the Art Institute of Chicago. But it turned out I was lucky to have regular access to a Stettheimer, because even though she hosted a well-known salon and had pals like Duchamp and Stieglitz, she remained obscure to a wider art public until half a century after her death, when, in 1995, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York held a retrospective of her work. Working in private, she was able to forge a distinct pictorial terrain, with town and country rendered as sprawling polychromatic sprees. Stettheimer remains a relatively rare bird, but this spring the Jewish Museum will again “turn on her light” (to paraphrase a line from her undated poem “Occasionally”). More than fifty of this modern master’s paintings and drawings will be on display alongside a selection of her costume designs, stage sets, and assorted ephemera in a context befitting her life as the consummate insider-outsider of haute Jewish Manhattan. Travels to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 21, 2017–Jan. 28, 2018.

Amy Sillman

Frank Lloyd Wright, “Fallingwater,” House for Edgar J. Kaufmann, Bear Run, Pennsylvania, 1935, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 15 3/8 × 25 1/4". © The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives.


June 12 - October 1
Curated by Barry Bergdoll with Jennifer Gray

MoMA’s exhibition on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth also celebrates the institution’s 2012 joint acquisition, with Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, of Wright’s vast archive. The museum’s tenth show of Wright’s designs, “Unpacking the Archive” will be its largest, comprising some 450 pieces in various media. While visitors will find many celebrated masterpieces—such as Fallingwater (1937), the Johnson Wax Administration Building (1939), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1959)—rendered in glorious drawings and superbly restored models, lesser-known (and largely unbuilt) projects, critically framed within their historical contexts, will also be represented. Examples include a model farm, a school for African American children in Virginia, a country club, and a “mile-high skyscraper.” Bergdoll, Gray, and fourteen other scholars discuss select archival objects in the accompanying catalogue, addressing the care needed to preserve Wright’s legacy, questions of authorship, and the architect’s brilliant gift for self-promotion.

Dietrich Neumann

Tania Pérez Córdova, Person A (detail), 2014, SIM card on ceramic, 17 3/4 × 15 1/8 × 1 1/2".

“Tania Pérez Córdova: Smoke, Nearby”

Through August 20
Curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy

Mexican artist Tania Pérez Córdova’s first major museum show will occupy the entire south side of the MCA’s main-floor galleries and will feature work developed for the occasion in a “rephrasing” of previous works—a strategy in line with her sensitivity to the specificity of space. Pérez Córdova’s work explores the different durations embedded in an object over time, as well as the social or economic relations enacted in a sculptural form. Her works exist both in the gallery space and beyond it, and she grants her objects a parallel existence in their partial absence or in their incompleteness evinced, for example, by an earring hanging from a bronze frame, whose twin lives a separate life with its owner, or by six pairs of colored contact lenses (placed on a marble slab) identical to those worn by six of the artist’s friends. “Smoke, Nearby” promises to lend new visual readings to these intimately personal yet contextually contingent works.

Catalina Lozano


June 6 - September 18
Curated by Theaster Gates

In recent years, New York–based multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams has become a key contributor to Afrofuturism’s second wave. In addition to presenting more general meditations on American popular culture, Adams’s work considers the forward movement of black people toward a freer future. Rebuild’s exhibition will present multiple works on paper that continue the artist’s recent engagements with media and futurity, and will showcase a new video and an opening-night performance. “Future People” will also capitalize on the Arts Bank’s many holdings, among them the Johnson Publishing Archive Collections, which includes photographs and materials related to Ebony and Jet magazines, and house-music progenitor Frankie Knuckles’s formidable record collection, which constitutes an essential history of black American music.

Jamillah James

Takashi Murakami, Klein’s Pot A, 1994–97, acrylic on canvas mounted on Masonite, 13 1/2 × 13 1/2".


June 6 - September 24
Curated by Michael Darling

Takashi Murakami is not just a leading interpreter of contemporary Japan’s unique collision of popular and traditional culture. His work and his persona are its very embodiment. Murakami brings to his paintings a knowledge of Japanese ukiyo-e wood-block prints and Kabuki theater, as well as an intimate engagement with nihonga painting (a discipline in which he holds a doctorate). Adapting traditional techniques and formats, Murakami fuses historical, political, and topical subject matter to forge singular contemporary canvases, some of the most ambitious of any contemporary artist. Nine of his astonishing mural-scale paintings, including the 2013 masterwork 100 Arhats, will be included in this show, but so too will many of his early abstract canvases from the 1980s and several new pieces. Dazzling in their detail and technical mastery and seductive in their Pop sensibility, Murakami’s paintings nevertheless offer a profound commentary on the darker side of human endeavor and create an unsettling fusion of past, present, and future. Travels to the Vancouver Art Gallery, January 2018; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, June 2018. 

Jeffrey Deitch