PRINT September 1998

US News

traveling exhibitions

Historically, the relationship between the Whitney Museum of American Art and New York School master Mark Rothko has been strained (an early critic of the institution’s exhibition policies, the artist refused to allow his paintings to be reviewed for the 1953 annual). Now, with Rothko’s monumental retrospective, his first in the US since his suicide twenty-eight years ago (AF preview, May ’98), traveling to the museum on September 10, senior curator Adam Weinberg says, “The Whitney can finally show [Rothko] in the context of himself, which is what he wanted.” As more than 100 paintings and works on paper go up on two full floors at Seventy-fifth Street, New Yorkers will find ample cause to celebrate the reconciliation. (“Mark Rothko” remains on view through November 29.)

MoMA visitors still have the chance to catch four shows this month that made the institution’s summer calendar a near embarrassment of riches. “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama 1958–68” (AF preview, January ’98) is up until September 22, when it travels to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (December 13–March 7, 1999); “Aleksandr Rodchenko” (AF preview, May ’98) until October 6 (then it’s off to the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf for Aleksandr the Great, November 6–January 24, 1999); and “Pierre Bonnard” (AF preview, May ’98) through October 13. This ninety-painting revelation, which shows us the melancholy side of the sunny sybarite we thought we knew, concludes the final leg of a two-venue run, at began last February at London’s Tate Gallery. Last but not least, “Tony Smith: Architect, Painter, Sculptor” (AF preview, May ’98), the first US retrospective of the work of this many-faceted artist who died in 1980, remains at MoMA until September 22. Unfortunately, this overdue tribute to the patriarch of the multi-artist clan will not be traveling. By a happy coincidence, New Yorkers can catch daughter Seton, sister of Kiki, in her first American museum solo at the lobby galleries the Whitney (November 20–April 11).

Elsewhere around New York, the clock ticks for a number of worthy shows as the fall season gets rolling. One can still catch the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “Norman Lewis: Black Paintings, 1946–1977” (AF preview, January ’98) through September 20. The exhibition will take a six-month hiatus before traveling to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford next spring. “George Segal, a Retrospective: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings” wraps up at the Jewish Museum on October 4, before moving to the Miami Art Museum (December 17–March 7, 1999). Time is less scarce for “Half Past Autumn: The Art of Gordon Parks” (AF preview, September ’97) at the Museum of the City of New York; it’s up through November 1 when it moves on to the Milwaukee Art Museum (November 20–January 10, 1999).

Robert Irwin’s “Excursus: Homage to the Square Cubed,” won’t change venues at all this fall, but it is changing. On September 10, the artist will introduce colored artificial light into his naturally lit installation at Dia Center for the Arts, where it will continue to evolve over the course of its fifteen-month run (AF preview, January ’98). Irwin’s title pays tribute to teacher/theorist/painter Josef Albers whose diagrammatic use of overlapping fields of color Irwin’s scrims regenerate in 3-D.

Chuck Close” (AF preview, January ’98), the MoMA-mounted retrospective, arrives in our nation’s capital from Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where it finishes a three-month stint on September 13. The ever-so-slightly scaled-down version of this career survey will be on view at the Hirshhorn Museum from October 15 to January 10, 1999. “The Art of the Motorcycle,” Thomas Krens’ BMW-sponsored trade fair (AF preview, May ’98), idles at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum until September 20, then roars off to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago (November 7–March 20, 1999).

In Los Angeles, “Christopher Wool” (AF preview, May ’98) is up at the Museum of Contemporary Art through October 18, when it moves to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh (November 21–January 31, 1999). “Sunshine & Noir: Art in Los Angeles 1960–1997” (AF preview, May ’97) rounds out its four-stop tour in the city that inspired it. The show will be at the Armand Hammer Museum at UCLA, October 7–January 3, 1999). And “An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine” (AF preview, January ’98) arrives at LACMA, where it will run from September 20 until January 4, 1999.

The retrospectives of two Golden State favorites come home this fall. After debuting last June at the Whitney, “Charles Ray” (AF preview, May ’98), comes to LA MoCA, where the show’s organizer, Paul Schimmel, serves as chief curator. In addition to the twenty-seven works showcased in New York, the MoCA version will add as many as eight pieces, including Ray’s sly Fire Truck, which was parked outside the Whitney during the 1993 biennial. This show by the master-of-the-dislocated-perception will be on view at MoCA from November 15 to February 21, 1999. San Franciscans can at long last feast their eyes on the Whitney-organized “Richard Diebenkorn” (AF preview, September ’97) at SF MoMA from October 9 through January 19, 1999. SF MoMA is the final stop on the retrospective’s four-venue tour. But the Bay Area’s number one son will have to share his new hometown home, as the museum is hosting “Alexander Calder: 1898–1976” (AF preview, January ’98) in its galleries and outdoor pavilions rom September 4 to December 1. With two-hundred-odd works, this show will occupy more of the museum’s physical plant than any exhibit at the institution to date.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Londoners will be able to sample the work of yet another batch of Young Americans at the Saatchi Gallery (September 10–November 22). “Young Americans 2 (Part 2)” features sixteen primarily New York–based American artists. most under the age of forty. The rising stars include John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, Michael Ashkin, Brian Tolle Laura Owens, and Elizabeth Peyton. Across the channel in France, “Christian Boltanski,” a survey of the last ten years of haunting installations by the Paris-based artist (AF preview, May ’98), can be viewed at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris until October 4. “Pipilotti Rist,” the first solo show of an artist at the forefront of the “New Swiss Miracle” (AF preview, January ’98), moves to the Magasin Grenoble on November 7, the third stop of its four-venue tour, where it remains until January 3, 1999.

Voices” (AF preview, May ’98) samples the work of artists who use the voice as both material and metaphor. Originating at the Witte de With in Rotterdam, the show travels to the Fondació Joan Miró in Barcelona, where it is on view from September 17 to November 1. Documentation of performances, installations, and happenings can be found in “Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979” (AF preview, January ’98). This show, which began its life a Geffen Contemporary at LA MoCA, reopens at MAC Barcelona on October 15, running through January 6, 1999.

In Germany, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf’s survey (AF preview, May ’98) will offer a full view of Andreas Gursky’s work (eighty photographs from 1984 to the present). Düsseldorf’s Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen will pick up “Max Ernst: Sculptures, Houses, and Landscapes” (AF preview, May ’98) from Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou. A large group show of contemporary Swiss art, “An Unrestricted View of the Mediterranean” (AF preview, May ’98) travels to Shirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (October 6–November 22). And the first German solo exhibition of LA-based Jason Rhoades (AF preview, May ’98) can still be viewed through September 20 at the Kunsthalle Nürnberg.

The animated films, drawings, and installations of South African artist William Kentridge (AF preview, May ’98) are on view at the Kunstverein München until October 11 before traveling on to Neue Galerie Graz in Graz, Austria, this December. The nearly 230 drawings included in “Andy Warhol: Drawings 1942–87” (AF preview, May ’98), the first retrospective of the Pop artist’s work on paper since his death, remains at the Schloss Moyland in Kleve, Germany, until September 20, moves to the Kunsthalle Tübingen (October 3–November 29), and then goes to the Neue Galerie der Stadt in Linz, Austria, where it opens December 12.

The Whitney’s popular “Bill Viola” moves to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (September 12–November 29), the beginning of the European leg of its tour.

In Japan, the group show of contemporary French art “L’Oeil et l’Esprit” (AF preview, May ’98) moves from the Musuem of Modern Art in Gunma to the Iwaki City Museum of Art (October 10–November 15), and then on to the Museum of Modern Art in Wakayama (December 5–January 17, 1999).

Corin Hewitt