previews

  • Christopher Wool

    The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
    250 South Grand Avenue
    July 19–October 19, 1998

    A man of large, block letters—and a maven of various textual-turn and neo-abstract collusions as much indebted to Franz Kline as Ed Ruscha—Christopher Wool gets his first major one-person show in the United States, an encompassing rundown of fifty-odd pieces, some dating from as early as 1986. MoCA curator Ann Goldstein has enlisted the artist to devise an in situ exhibition plan to present his engaging, often daunting, sometimes inscrutable work, including ’80s-vintage pattern paintings and stenciled- and stamped-texts pieces, plus silk-screened and spray-painted works from the ’90s. The show’s catalogue features essays by Goldstein, art historian Thomas Crow, and Carnegie curator Madeleine Grynsztejn. July 19–Oct. 19; travels to Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Nov. 21–Jan. 31, 1999.

  • Walker Evans: New York

    The Getty Center
    1200 Getty Center Drive
    July 28–October 11, 1998

    Walker Evans ranks with Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand as a key figure in creating our modern conception of photography—which may explain why he’s enjoying simultaneous high-quality museum shows. On the heels of the High Museum’s traveling exhibition, the Getty’s show concentrates on the photographer’s work from the late ’20s and early ’30s, including views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan skyscrapers, and Times Square signs. Chosen by Judith Keller of the Getty, some of the 100-plus pictures offer a glimpse of Evans’ mature, FSA-era documentary style; other, more experimental shots put flesh on what can sometimes seem a bony, obdurate body of work. Especially vivid are his unabashedly voyeuristic images of pedestrians and passersby.