Critics’ Picks

Alex Da Corte, Borderland State (Pink Pavor Nocturnus), 2014, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Alex Da Corte, Borderland State (Pink Pavor Nocturnus), 2014, mixed media, dimensions variable.

Copenhagen

“Illumination”

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Gl. Strandvej 13
March 1–September 11, 2016

Louisiana has been very busy. This thrilling presentation of the museum’s recent contemporary acquisitions reflects an impressive variety of media by male and female artists of divergent nationalities, races, and ages. As dynamic and heterogeneous as the show is, the themes of playfulness and political engagement continuously run through the installations, which unfold throughout the entire museum and spill onto the grounds outside.

Representative of such works is American Alex Da Corte’s Pop-infused multimedia installation Delirium – The Foolish Virgin, Scene I, 2014, which blends bright neon colors with sensuous materials and patterns to create an alternate universe reminiscent of a dreamlike disco hall. On the other end of the spectrum is Vietnamese American artist Tiffany Chung’s Finding One’s Shadow in Ruins and Rubble, 2014, which consists of thirty-one hauntingly beautiful, glowing boxes sitting on the bare gallery floor, which illuminate scenes of destroyed Syrian homes. The exhibition’s selection of works on paper is particularly strong and includes British artist Simon Evans’s detailed drawing collages, such as In the Arena of Vanguard Cities, 2013, which creatively relates the topography of cities to personal thought. Scandinavian artists are also well represented in the show. Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s short film Me and My Mother, 2015, combines humor and absurdity to probe one of the most natural familial bonds. The video portrays the artist and his mother as she spits on him over and over in fascinatingly visceral detail.

Showing concurrently with “Illumination” is “Fire Under Snow,” an exciting collection of recent film and video acquisitions, which also includes playful and politically provocative works. Not to be missed is an all-encompassing and masterful installation of William Kentridge’s breathtaking The Refusal of Time, 2012.