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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.

Jorge Pedro Núñez, El sueño de una casa (Mari-Mari Rosado) (The Dream of a House [Mari-Mari Rosado]), 2011, collage on paper, 13 3/4 × 11 7/8". From “Home—So Different, So Appealing: Art from the Americas Since 1957.”

“HOME—SO DIFFERENT, SO APPEALING: ART FROM THE AMERICAS SINCE 1957”

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART (LACMA)
LOS ANGELES
Curated by Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Chon A. Noriega, and Mari Carmen Ramírez

Organized in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, this expansive exhibition will gather more than ninety works spanning seven decades by forty Latino and Latin American artists working in the US and abroad. The notion of home as a spatial—rather than sociological—parameter provides the curatorial premise for a show unconstrained by temporal boundaries, revealing the complexity of both the term and the experiences it frames. The exhibition and attendant catalogue encompass myriad reflections on domesticity, identity construction, and displacement and promise a wide range of perspectives to match the diversity of backgrounds of the represented artists, for whom home is both a lived reality and an idealized projection. Travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Nov. 19, 2017–Feb. 4, 2018.

Catalina Lozano

Diego Rivera, Creation of the Universe [Illustration for Popol Vuh], 1931, watercolor on paper, 12 1/4 × 18 7/8". From the series “Popol Vuh,” 1931. © D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

“Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time”

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART (LACMA)
LOS ANGELES
Through May 7
Curated by Diana Magaloni, Michael Govan, Juan Coronel Rivera, James Oles, Jennifer Stager

Accompanied by a dense and lushly illustrated catalogue, this exhibition uncovers Picasso’s and Rivera’s parallel interests in antiquity—Mediterranean and pre-Columbian, respectively. A dozen great paintings from the teens suggest that, as a Cubist, Rivera possessed a sensibility that was as close to Juan Gris’s as to Picasso’s. But paintings are not the only attraction here: The show is notable for its wide range of media and epochs. Plaster casts that the two studied in school (and drawings by both artists of identical replicas) rub shoulders with bronze mirrors, classical vases, pre-Columbian carvings, and other artifacts, allowing us to see how Pablo and Diego drew, and drew from, the distant past. Another intriguing comparison is between Picasso’s etchings of the 1930s on Ovidian themes and Rivera’s 1931 watercolor illustrations of the Popol Vuh creation myth, which could not be more different. As for who gets the prize, let’s just say that being paired with Picasso is no picnic. Travels to Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, June 14–Sept. 17.

Harry Cooper

Jimmie Durham, Tlunh Datsi, 1984, puma skull, shells, turquoise, turkey feathers, metal, sheep’s wool, deer fur, pine, acrylic, 40 1/2 × 35 3/4 × 31 3/4".

“Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World”

HAMMER MUSEUM
LOS ANGELES
Through May 7
Curated by Anne Ellegood with MacKenzie Stevens

The first American retrospective of the work of Cherokee sculptor, performance artist, poet, and political activist Jimmie Durham presents nearly two hundred objects from the 1970s to the present. Notoriously ambivalent toward the United States after his departure from the American Indian Movement in 1980, Durham considers his itinerancy abroad to be a political gesture. His works wryly question the Western world’s fantasies about indigenous Americans. Although Durham claims that art happens “away from language,” his sculptural constructions—which employ disparate materials including bone, stone, and wood, as well as text, photographs, and drawings—are always in parley with wider discourses. Thinking away from formats and embracing the peripatetic and even the chaotic, Durham’s sculptures short-circuit normative tendencies in (Western) art and infuse its discourse with a fair dose of esprit. Travels to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, June 22–Oct. 8; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Nov. 3, 2017–Jan. 28, 2018; Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada, Mar. 23–Aug. 5, 2018.

Philippe Pirotte

“CANDY JERNIGAN: A COUPLE OF PENCILS AND SOME PAPER”

CCA WATTIS INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
SAN FRANCISCO
June 1 - July 29
Curated by Anthony Huberman

Candy Jernigan indexed tiny found things—including Cheez Doodles, crack vials, and chewing gum—in her drawings and assemblages, the faux dispassion of her intimate illustrational style (which extended even to her found-object collage work) somehow imbuing familiar, throwaway items with pathos and personality. This category-defying artist, who deserves far greater recognition than she has received to date, died of cancer at age thirty-nine in 1991, leaving behind a singular body of work documenting her short life, as well as the accumulation of drug paraphernalia and bodega inventory that littered her East Village neighborhood. For this exhibition, curator Anthony Huberman will assemble roughly eighty works from the 1980s and ’90s, including works on paper made with pencil, pastel, and rubber stamps. The show’s must-see centerpiece will be the collected final works Jernigan produced before her death, “Untitled (vessels),” ca. 1990–91, a series of delicate bowls and jugs on watercolor-washed grounds that has only been exhibited once before.

Johanna Fateman

Markus Lüpertz, Arkadien—Der hohe Berg (Arcadia—The High Mountain), 2013, acrylic on canvas, 51 1/4 × 63 3/4".

MARKUS LÜPERTZ

HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN/PHILLIPS COLLECTION
WASHINGTON, DC
May 24 - September 10
Curated by Evelyn Hankins and Dorothy Kosinski, respectively

America’s capital is the place to be this summer for aficionados of postwar German art as yet unfamiliar with the extraordinary and provocative oeuvre of Markus Lüpertz. After more than five decades slugging it out in the studio daily, the artist, now age seventy-five, is finally being accorded his first retrospective in America—and in two major museums to boot! While the Phillips will present a full-scale overview of his work made between the early 1960s and the present, the Hirshhorn will put on display dozens of the artist’s seminal early paintings from 1962 to 1975. Marking the first collaboration between the two institutions, these exhibitions share a common aim: to reveal just how deeply intertwined Lüpertz’s work is with German history, particularly the nightmare years between 1933 and 1945. Together the two shows are bound to be not just explosive but enlightening. 

Pamela Kort

“99 CENTS OR LESS”

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART DETROIT (MOCAD)
DETROIT
May 19 - August 6
Curated by Jens Hoffmann

The largest municipal default in US history occurred when the city of Detroit, roughly $20 billion in the hole, filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2013. In the years before and after the municipal wipeout, a deflated real estate market made the metropolis a low-cost Shangri-la for artists and artisans looking for space on the cheap. This socioeconomic background provides the context for MoCAD’s sprawling group show, which proceeds from the idea of giving ninety-nine American artists $99 each to spend at 99-cent stores to create new works, which will then be sold for $999 apiece to support the museum. It’s a conceit that has a welcome whiff of candid transparency to it, and one that invites consideration of subjects such as the commodification of artistic labor and the relationship of the museum to the art market. A catalogue and an extensive series of public events on these and related issues will accompany the exhibition.

Jeffrey Kastner