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.

Ieva Epnere, untitled, ca. 2006, ink-jet print, 16 1/2 × 23 5/8". From “How to Live Together.”

“HOW TO LIVE TOGETHER”

KUNSTHALLE WIEN
VIENNA
Through October 15
Curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen

The political developments that have recently shaped our societies seem characterized by their ability to highlight the exclusionary social boundaries of modern life. Curator Nicolaus Schafhausen draws on these boundaries and their histories not so much to demarcate lines of conflict as to envision scenes of change, renewal, and the potential transformation of the measures of shared life. This exhibition will bring together some of his longtime collaborators, such as Liam Gillick, Willem de Rooij, and Kai Althoff, alongside a younger, more diverse group of producers, including Binelde Hyrcan, Goshka Macuga, and Ieva Epnere. Whereas in shows such as “Political Populism” (2016) and “Populism” (2004) Schafhausen drew on art’s capacity for critical distance, “How to Live Together” aims to produce proximities.  

Kerstin Stakemeier

Seth Price, Untitled, 2016, UV-cured print, acrylic, and synthetic polymer on board, 60 × 60 × 5".

“SETH PRICE: SOCIAL SYNTHETIC”

STEDELIJK MUSEUM AMSTERDAM
AMSTERDAM
Through September 3
Curated by Beatrix Ruf, Leontine Coelewij, and Achim Hochdörfer

In “Dispersion,” his influential open-ended essay begun in 2002, Seth Price poses a question animating his long- standing preoccupations with technology, digital culture, and the rituals of consumerism: “Suppose an artist were to release the work directly into a system that depends on reproduction and distribution for its sustenance, a model that encourages contamination, borrowing, stealing, and horizontal blur?” Featuring more than 150 works produced between 2000 and the present, Price’s Stedelijk retrospective will showcase the multidisciplinary range of his responses to this prompt, which include vacuum-form plastic reliefs, photography, digital paintings, drawings, clothing, and video. The catalogue features a superb roster of contributors, among them Cory Arcangel, Ed Halter, Achim Hochdörfer, Branden W. Joseph, John Kelsey, Michelle Kuo, Rachel Kushner with Laura Owens, and Ariana Reines. Travels to the Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Oct. 12, 2017–Mar. 18, 2018.

Pamela M. Lee

“WAYS OF SEEING”

ARTER - SPACE FOR ART
ISTANBUL
Through August 13
Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath

In 1972, in the bleak predawn of Thatcherism, British art historian John Berger published Ways of Seeing, an unapologetically Marxist primer that set out to explode the Western canon by demonstrating that looking is an inherently political act—structured by historical and social circumstance—and that culture therefore encompasses a multiplicity of perspectives. Almost half a century later, curators Bardaouil and Fellrath have organized their eponymous exhibition around a similar premise, bringing together works ranging from objects that literally manipulate the viewer’s gaze (Jeppe Hein’s ethereal Mirrored Objects II, 2013) to interactive installations that interrogate the act of looking (Gustav Metzger’s caustic To Crawl Into—Anschluss, Vienna, March 1938, 1996). This reconsideration of Berger’s thinking feels all too timely now, when neoliberalism and resurgent nationalism call into question not just the possibility that diverse viewpoints can coexist but also, for many, the very right to visibility itself.  

Julian Rose

Oscar Masotta, About Happenings, 1966. Performance view, Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, 1966. Re-presentation of Carolee Schneemann’s Meat Joy, 1964.

“Oscar Masotta: Theory as Action”

MUSEO UNIVERSITARIO ARTE CONTEMPORANEO (MUAC)
MEXICO CITY
Through August 13
Curated by Ana Longoni

A singular combination of cultural critic, teacher, occasional artist, and unrepentant Lacanian, Oscar Masotta was the key theorist of 1960s Buenos Aires’s fervent avant-garde. Fired from his university job by the dictatorship in ’66, he led workshops on structuralism and Marshall McLuhan from his apartment, ultimately yielding a wholly informational genre—“mass media art”—that marked one of the earliest instances of Conceptualism in Latin America. This exhibition will survey Masotta’s production and influence across multiple platforms: writing, teaching, his own artworks as well as those of many others, and the explorations of Lacanian psychoanalysis that marked the final decade of his career. A comprehensive set of programs will restage two of the three Happenings that Masotta produced, screen a new series of interviews with his associates, and host an interdisciplinary conference on his legacy. The exhibition catalogue will feature essays by Longoni, Olivier Debroise, and Manuel Hernandez.

Daniel Quiles

Helen Escobedo supervising the construction of Centro del Espacio Escultórico at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, ca. 1979–80.

“EXPANDING ART SPACES: HELEN ESCOBEDO AT UNAM (1961–1979)”

MUSEO UNIVERSITARIO ARTE CONTEMPORANEO (MUAC)
MEXICO CITY
Through October 29
Curated by Clara Bolívar and Elva Peniche

Though she is perhaps best known for her quasi- architectural public sculpture, Helen Escobedo has also had a career as a leader of art institutions in Mexico City, with important tenures at galleries of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, including the Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte and the long-gone Galería Universitaria Aristos. In these roles, she developed a reputation for supporting experimental local practices in close dialogue with international developments, at a time when independent artistic initiatives received little support. This exhibition, curated by Bolívar and Peniche from the UNAM archival collections, and its accompanying publication will address this overlooked aspect of Escobedo’s career, contributing a rich and revealing chapter to a global history of institutions that is still being written.

Magalí Arriola

Mirtha Dermisache, Sin título (texto) (No title [text]), ca. 1970, ink on paper, 9 × 7 1/8".

“MIRTHA DERMISACHE: BECAUSE I WRITE!”

MUSEO DE ARTE LATINOAMERICANO DE BUENOS AIRES (MALBA)
BUENOS AIRES
August 11 - October 16
Curated by Agustín Pérez Rubio

With her illegible, spidery scribbles, Argentinean-born Mirtha Dermisache (1940–2012) explored the frontiers of writing—the zone where writing and drawing became one. The springboard for these decades-long investigations was her groundbreaking 1966–67 work Libro n˚1 (Book No. 1), a five-hundred-page volume with not a single recognizable word. But for all her sophistication and audacity, few Argentineans know Dermisache’s work. Now MALBA’s comprehensive survey—the artist’s first retrospective—promises to reshape the reception of her art both in her native country and worldwide. Organized by Pérez Rubio and accompanied by a multi-authored catalogue, the show—which includes letters, Dermisache’s personal archives, never-before-seen “legible” texts, and material pertaining to her work as an educator—will attempt to make sense of her seemingly empty calligraphies, writing that either means too much or nothing at all. 

María Gainza