PRINT May 1999

US Shorts

Matthew DeBord


The summer begins with a bang in Boston, where a show of Sol LeWitt’s huge (as in thirty-feet huge) wall drawings goes on view at the Institute for Contemporary Art beginning May 20. The works should offer a terrific preview of the Gary Garrels—curated SF MOMA retrospective scheduled for February 2000. Roy Lichtenstein’s legacy will see the dawn of what one imagines to be a slew of postmortems. Chicago’s “Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors” (July 24-October 10), at the Museum of Contemporary Art, promises to complement the Corcoran’s vast summer summary of the late Pop icon’s sculpture and drawings.

In New York, humidity junkies can enjoy the Exit Art’s whopping “Festival of Avant-Garde Theatre from 1970-1990” (May 15-31). The exhibition will include video, costumes, and ephemera from the archives of the Living Theater, Squat Theater, Mabou Mines, and the Wooster Group. Those planning to dodge the Gotham Marden’s trove of “Tantric” sketches or Alex Katz’s Tiepolo.

Return tickets should be purchased via LAX. In Los Angeles, LACE has tapped the industrious Andrea Zittel to curate “Annuale 99” (July). The artist will kick off the pre-season with a crew of Angeleno scenesterswhose names will be kept in the proverbial sealed envelope until the eve of the show. Can’t stand the suspense? Then head north to San Francisco, where the Yerba Buena Center has lined up a Trinh T. Minh-ha and Lynn Kirby multimedia collaboration (June 5-August 15) that offers a feminist corrective to all that Hollywood flash. Stuck in the sultry Midwest all summer? Fret not. Sculptor Martin Puryear takes over a room at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center from June 19 to August 24, while Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout shows up in a concurrent show paralleling his recent Stedelijk installation. The Kemper Museum in Kansas City has a summer of biomorphism, detritus, decay, and social documentationplanned, via Kendall Buster (July 30-October 24), Kathryn Spence (July 30-October 24), and Tina Barney (August 27-November 14). Barney’s disturbing snapshot realism should look downright sunny by comparison with Buster’s gossamer orbs and Spence’s faux taxidermy. And down in San Antonio, Mona Hatoum joins Laura Aguilar and Regina Vater for a gathering of work at ArtPace (June 10 -July 11).



It was only a matter of time before Sam Taylor-Wood crossed the Pond solo. The 1998 Turner Prize finalist should make a splash this summer with Noli Me Tangere, the latest in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s “Directions” series (July 15-October 17). In DC, her dual video projection will dominate the third-floor gallery. Owing as much to Bruce Nauman’s pratfalls as to YBA angst, Taylor-Wood’s burlesque features an immense acrobat who appears to support the gallery ceiling. Like a contemporary Atlas, he shrugs, and eventually falls—but to the ceiling. Turns out, we’re looking not at burden but at balance. The US debut of Noli Me Tangere, originally shown at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, was the inspiration of associate curator Olga Viso, who calls Taylor-Wood’s sleight-of-hand a “soliloquy.”



Another transatlantic traveler putting in a US appearance is Darren Almond. Beginning May 6, Chicago’s ever-prescient Renaissance Center will host a survey of the British artist’s quirky videos and sculptures, including his new video work Traction, in which the artist’s father leads an affectionately gruesome tour of his body’s scars. Should look good in the Hog Butcher to the World.