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.

Digital rendering of Theaster Gates’s sculpture Black Vessel for a Saint, 2017, as it will be installed in the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

MINNEAPOLIS SCULPTURE GARDEN

WALKER ART CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS
Curated by Olga Viso

After a year of extensive renovation, a transformed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opens in June with the aim of tying the garden, built by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1971, to the Walker Art Center via a new plaza, entrance, and expanded lobby, all designed by HGA Architects and Engineers. While Barnes based his garden on extant European examples, HGA has instead emphasized the flora of the region, employing native plants and trees and using environmentally sustainable materials and building practices.Beloved fixtures of the original garden, such as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985–88, will keep company with more recently acquired pieces by American and European artists, including a spectacular new iteration of Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock, 2013/ 2016, originally commissioned for the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Anne M. Wagner

“LAURE PROUVOST: THEY ARE WAITING FOR YOU”

WALKER ART CENTER
MINNEAPOLIS
October 12 - February 11, 2018
Curated by Victoria Sung with Gwyneth Shanks

The great seduction of Laure Prouvost’s work is rooted in the slippage of language, amid the perils and joys of communication and misunderstanding. Her lush and bewildering films distort conventional narrative to such a degree that they can be hard to follow, but the intensity of her voice-overs and the wit of her directives compel us to keep trying. Take the fictional story of the French artist’s grandfather––an overlooked Conceptual artist and close friend of Kurt Schwitters’s––that has proved to be a golden thread from which she has spun a number of engrossing films and installations, including the Turner Prize–winning Wantee, 2013. Yet though Prouvost has shown extensively in Europe, American audiences have had far fewer occasions to see her work. Details about the film installation and performance piece to debut at the Walker are scant, but that is part of the artist’s charm: She almost always leaves us guessing and restless for more.

Rachel Churner

“MOHAMED BOUROUISSA: URBAN RIDERS”

THE BARNES FOUNDATION
PHILADELPHIA
Through October 2
Curated by Sylvie Patry

In 2014, the Algerian-born, Paris-based artist Mohamed Bourouissa began a long-term project about black cowboys in northern Philadelphia, producing a slew of videos, photographs, drawings, and sculptures. He spent the better part of a year with the young men of the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, not only capturing a world that belies the mythology of the white western cowboy but also earning the trust of the riders—to the extent that he and they were able to create new works together, such as ritualized costume competitions and “horse-tuning” events, which borrow from the style and attitude of showing off tricked-out cars. Bourouissa’s first major solo show in the US promises to be both concise and expansive, focusing solely on the Fletcher Street project, displayed in its entirety—comprising more than fifty works, including new ones—for the first time in the city where it was made. The accompanying catalogue, which sets “Urban Riders” in the wider context of Bourouissa’s practice, is the first publication on the artist’s work in English.

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

“SPEECH/ACTS”

ICA - INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, PHILADELPHIA
PHILADELPHIA
Through December 23
Curated by Meg Onli

Joining a number of recent exhibitions seeking to define the discursive black radical tradition, “Speech/Acts” reflects on the legacy of the Black Arts Movement, which centered poetry, literature, and performance in its engagement with political discourses and everyday life following the civil rights movement. The exhibition situates an emerging generation of conceptualists alongside contemporary experimental poets and theorists such as Claudia Rankine and Fred Moten, demonstrating the elasticity of language as it circulates as text, image, or utterance—delivered in person, on a page, or on-screen. Accompanied by a reading room and a publication, the show features new works by Jibade-Khalil Huffman (his piece is inspired by Rankine’s critically acclaimed Citizen: An American Lyric [2014]) and Tiona McClodden (whose video and curatorial work often delves into queer and black creative genealogies), as well as recent videos, installations, and drawings by Steffani Jemison, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Martine Syms, and Tony Lewis.

Jamillah James

Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Flowers and Mushrooms (detail), 1997–98/2006, projection of 162 digital slides.

“WADE GUYTON PETER FISCHLI DAVID WEISS”

ASPEN ART MUSEUM
ASPEN, COLORADO
Through November 26
Curated by Heidi Zuckerman

Niklas Luhmann, the influential German sociologist and a pioneer in the field of systems theory, asked us to think of normalcy as implausible. A comparable postulate is at work in the respective practices of American artist Wade Guyton and the storied Swiss duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss, the latter of whom died in 2012. No wonder, then, that the Aspen Art Museum thought to bring the artists together. Fischli and Weiss’s oeuvre celebrates normality as a deception that can be productively mined. Guyton’s art is an odd ode to the normality of art. Both practices employ distance in the service of annoyingly beautiful artworks. This summer, visitors to the museum’s über-normal hometown in the Rockies will have the chance to ponder how they do so, and thus what is at stake. 

Daniel Baumann

“UGO RONDINONE: THE WORLD JUST MAKES ME LAUGH”

BERKELEY ART MUSEUM AND PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE (BAMPFA)
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
Curated by Lawrence Rinder

Over the past three decades, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, an Alpine mystic of sorts, has gained international attention for a dizzying array of works in nearly every medium imaginable, bound by a humanist undercurrent. “The world just makes me laugh,” the artist’s first major show in the Bay Area, is the penultimate stop of a five-part “serial exhibition” that had previous iterations in Rotterdam, Rome, and Cincinnati, each installation featuring its own catalogue. This latest  manifestation will feature both iconic Rondinone works and more recent ones—figurative sculptures of clowns in blissful repose, thousands of rainbow drawings made by children over the course of the traveling exhibition—no doubt offering a spirited reprieve from our pessimistic moment. Travels to the Bass, Miami, fall 2017.

Beau Rutland