PRINT September 2001

US Shorts

Meghan Dailey, Claire Zimmerman

IT'S A BIG YEAR FOR BRAZIL. After all, not everyone gets to celebrate a 500th birthday. Along with the Guggenheim's all-out bash, the festivities include two relatively small though decidedly ambitious shows of contemporary art. At El Museo del Barrio in New York, the evocatively titled “O Fio da Trama/The Thread Unraveled” focuses on recent Brazilian art that investigates the power of fabric, weaving, knitting, and sewing to express social and personal narratives (Oct. 13–Feb. 3). And in Washington, DC, the twenty-five artists in “Virgin Territory” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Oct. 18–Jan. 6) tackle the complicated issues surrounding the colonization of the old New World country.

Back in New York, the Drawing Center presents its annual show of emerging artists, a season-opening standard. The mix on the walls tends to reveal as much about the direction of the august SoHo institution as it does about the current state of work on paper. Titled “12 Views,” this year's roundup will feature Nicholas Brown, Jane South, and Jorge Macchi, among others (Sept. 8–Oct. 20). “BROOKLYN!” sounds like an outer-borough sequel to Rent, but this ecstatically titled show (Sept. 8–Nov. 25) offers an authentic dose of that community's energy and newly minted hipness in Palm Beach, of all places. The city's Institute of Contemporary Art will feature seventy-six artists who hang their hats in Greenpoint, Red Hook, and points between, including Nayland Blake, Kristin Lucas, and the dean of DUMBO himself, Vito Acconci. Also on view will be a re-creation of an actual Williamsburg art space, the minuscule Holland Tunnel gallery; inside, proprietress Pauline Lethen will curate a tiny show-within-a-show.

This fall promises several firsts, in the departments of both solo outings of younger artists and in-depth presentations of unfamiliar work by familiar figures. In New York, the Whitney will divide more than seventy small-scale paintings and sketches by the venerable Alex Katz between its uptown and midtown spaces (Sept. 21–Jan. 4 and Oct. 5–Jan. 4, respectively). Also at the Whitney Philip Morris is E.V. Day (remember her blown-up blow-up doll at P.S. 1's “Greater New York” last year?), who will shatter the calm of the sculpture court with hundreds of wire-and-lingerie birds and insects hanging from the ceiling in migrational patterns (Oct. 5–Jan. 4). The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will present one of the first US exhibitions of Sophie Ristelhueber's provocative photographs of war-torn Kuwait, Beirut, and Bosnia (Sept. 26–Jan. 21) And Rob Pruitt takes his affable “101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself” to Cincinnati (Sept. 8–Nov. 4). The question is, will Contemporary Arts Center audiences be inspired to turn their televisions upside down, don diapers, or wear their clothes backward?

Known to come up with a few ideas of their own are Lisa Anne Couture and Hani Rashid, the New York-based architecture and design duo known as Asymptote. Credited with innovations both tangible (an “edutainment” center in Japan) and ephemeral (the forthcoming Guggenheim virtual museum), the much-in-demand pair will team up with industrial designer Karim Rashid (brother to Hani) for a new collaborative project at the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art (Dec. 8–Feb. 10). Another re-vision of the built realm, “Glen Seator at the Schindler House” (MAK Center, Los Angeles, Oct. 3–Feb. 10), will include an installation of the artist's photobased work, accompanied by a city-wide “illegible promotional campaign” of abstracted and subverted signage. Tibor Kalman, anyone?

And speaking of homage: As “Mies in America” travels to Montreal and Chicago, the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, will feature three of Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle's most recent videos set in the architect's iconic modernist living spaces (Sept. 15–Nov. 25). Manglano-Ovalle knows his subject well: He is the designer of the “Mies in America” exhibition at the Whitney, its opening venue.

Meghan Dailey



Los Angeles continues to nurture its reputation for innovative building with the Museum of Contemporary Art's “What's Shakin': New Architecture in LA,” a multimedia tour of eight major projects in progress. Featured architects include Frank Gehry, Eric Owen Moss, and Michael Maltzan, all playing at the top of their games; out-of-towners Rem Koolhaas and Rafael Moneo are likewise at work on their favorite subjects (upscale shopping and large-scale religion, respectively). Organized by MoCA architecture and design curator Brooke Hodge, the two-part show opens September 16 at the Pacific Design Center (through Dec. 30) and the Geffen Contemporary (through Jan. 20).

Claire Zimmerman



If you were a resident of Mali's capital city in the '40s or '50s and sat for a portrait in photographer Seydou Keïta's studio, you were defining yourself as not only prosperous but modern. At Harvard's Fogg Art Museum this fall, “You Look Beautiful Like That” (Sept. 1–Dec. 16) presents more than twenty of Keïta's richly patterned black-and-white images of midcentury Bamako citizens at their dignified best, alongside photographs by Malick Sidibé, whose portraits of stylish Malians in moments of leisure bring out the increasing autonomy of the younger generation in the '60s and '70s.

Meghan Dailey