PRINT January 2001

US Shorts

Emily Erikson, Robert Rosenblum, Martha Schwendener

IN THE VAST POST-FORMALIST LANDSCAPE, a Robinsonade: Artists wandering the shifting sands of digital reality create their own oases in “Comfort: Reclaiming Place in a Virtual World” (Mar. 9-May 20). Curated by Kristin Chambers at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Andrea Zittel, Jorge Pardo, Gregor Schneider, and others set up camp in interstitial zones negotiated by recombining art and life practices. There’s a good chance this show will be a far cry from “Perfect Acts of Architecture,” a show of 130 drawings from 1977-87 at the Wexner Center for the Arts (Jan. 27–Apr, 15)—for who cares less about comfort than jet-set architects (Libeskind, Eisenman, Tschumi, and others)? The MIT List Visual Arts Center’s “Inside Space: Experiments in Redefining Rooms” (Jan. 27-Apr. 8) promises to be similarly fantastic: Monica Bonvicini, Oona Stern, Henrik Olesen, and others aim to disorient the visitor with wood-grain carpets, hollow walls, and fathomless closets.

Mondrian, of course, never got lost in a wardrobe—though he was stranded, in a way, on arriving in New York in 1940. His great passage will be documented by Harry Cooper and Ron Spronk of Harvard’s Straus Center for Conservation in “The Transatlantic Paintings,” in which the curators will train X rays and ultraviolet light on fifteen late paintings to reveal the works in progress (Harvard University Art Museums, Apr. 28–July 22). Alexis Rockman, on the other hand, would rather use art to get at the stuff of science. He promises to track cross-pollinating species at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (Apr. 27–Aug. 19). Combining these approaches, Olafur Eliasson will use elementary science to create a series of installations in water, ice, and light for his first major US museum show, at the Boston ICA (Jan. 24–Apr. I).

There’ll be more cross-pollination when the ice melts at the ICA, making way for three major simultaneous shows (Apr. 18–July 1) “One Hundred Models and Endless Rejects,” an exhibition of Marlene Dumas’s drawings and eight new paintings (two other canvases will be included in “Painting at the Edge of the World” at the Walker Art Center from February 10 to May 6); “Rineke Dijkstra: Portraits” (the photographer has her first solo US museum show at the Art Institute of Chicago from March 2 to July 29); and “Laylah Ali,” consisting of gouache-and-ink “Greenheads” and new work (Ali will be included in the “Try This On” series at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, from February 10 to May 6). Not to be outdone, the MIT List Center mounts separate shows of Paul Pfeiffer, Johan Grimonprez, and Isaac Julien between April 17 and July 1.

The Drawing Center heads up this spring’s revivals with one of Rabelaisian proportions: “Between Street and Mirror: The Drawings of James Ensor” will include about ninety works on paper from 1880-95 (Apr. 27–July 21). And the ICP, New York, weighs in with “Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer” (and, at the same time, new work by Kiki Smith) from March 29 to June 10. Reprisals of more recent work will include AA Bronson, on his own and with General Idea (MCA, Chicago, Jan. 27–Apr. 22), LA artist Bruce Yonemoto, to show recent video installations at the ICA Philadelphia (Feb. 24–Apr. 22), and Belgian painter Raoul de Keyser (Renaissance Society, Chicago, Mar. 11–Apr. 22). Other notable new work: projects by Katharina Fritsch (Mar. 3–May 27) and Gilbert & George (Feb. 3–May 20) at the MCA; Janine Antoni at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT (Jan. 21–May 20); and Dara Friedman (Feb. 10–May 27) and Erika Wanenmacher (Mar. 31–May 27) at SITE Santa Fe.

—Emily Erikson

This section rounds up projects and additional exhibitions opening nationally between January 1 and April 30.

Sweeping Survey

It’s been almost eight decades since Duchamp elevated dust-gathering to an art form with Large Glass, but the genre seems to be undergoing a veritable renaissance at the Whitney. Last year, Byron Kim painted the walls of the museum’s Philip Morris satellite with watered-down grime, and now Vik Muniz will be offering photographs of drawings made from motes gathered at the main branch. The images, which depict Minimalist and post-Minimalist sculptures from the Whitney’s permanent collection, comprise the inaugural show in “First Exposure” (Jan. 27–May 20), an annual series showcasing one artist’s new photographic work.

—Martha Schwendener

Incomplete, Complete

In 1974, five years before Erno Rubik’s maddening little puzzle hit the shelves, Sol LeWitt invented his own Variations on an Incomplete Open Cube. This ultimate work of serialism, for which professional mathematicians were consulted, proposed a sequence of 122 different ways to evoke without completing the six planes and twelve edges that define a cubic volume. Curated by Nicholas Baume, “Sol LeWitt: Incomplete Open Cubes” will resurrect the artist’s vast project, not only with two-dimensional working sketches and drawings, but with the resulting 3-D structures, scattered like gossamer thoughts throughout the museum (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, Jan. 27–Apr. 29; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME, July 8–Aug. 26; Cleveland Museum of Art, Sept. 23–Dec. 30; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ, Jan. 18–Apr. 14, 2002).

—Robert Rosenblum