• Vivienne Westwood on Clapham Common, London, 1994. Photo: Gavin Bond.

    Vivienne Westwood on Clapham Common, London, 1994. Photo: Gavin Bond.

    Vivienne Westwood

    Victoria and Albert Museum
    Cromwell Road
    April 1–July 11, 2004

    Curated by Claire Wilcox

    God save the queen—of fashion, that is. Ever since she and Malcolm McLaren swung open the doors of their London boutique Let it Rock in 1971, the name Vivienne Westwood has been synonymous with British style. This retrospective of about 150 works from the ’70s to the present is the most complete to date: It covers everything from the punk T-shirts she created for the Sex Pistols to her latest high-concept runway shows. The V&A has long accumulated Westwood’s designs, and she has gleefully pillaged their collection of historical dress as inspiration for her outrageous send-ups of classic British tartans, tweeds, and Gainsborough-era gowns. Claire Wilcox, senior curator of modern fashion at the V&A, has also written the accompanying—and first-ever—book-length study of the designer’s creations.

  • Come on, play it again no. 4, 2001.

    Come on, play it again no. 4, 2001.

    Raoul de Keyser

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    March 20–May 23, 2004

    Fondacao de Serralves
    Rua de Serralves
    January 15–April 30, 2005

    Musée de Rochechouart

    June 6–August 8, 2004

    Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
    Museumstrasse 32
    August 8–August 9, 2004

    De Pont Museum
    Wilhelminapark 1
    September 11, 2004–January 9, 2005

    Curated by Hendrik Driessen, Ulrick Loock, and Anthony Spira

    Raoul de Keyser bloomed late in Belgium, beginning an astonishing forty-year career at the age of thirty-five. The curators have put together fifty paintings from the early ’70s forward, mixing older works among recent ones. The largely abstract canvases often begin with a simple, domestic image overlaid with gesture, monochrome, or a grid. For de Keyser, who explores painting’s expanse rather than cataloguing its finite categories, nothing is inevitable, and many things seem possible—a state of affairs that feels right, right now.

  • Untitled, 1964.

    Untitled, 1964.

    Donald Judd

    Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart
    St. Alban-Rheinweg 60
    September 5, 2004–January 1, 2005

    K20 Grabbeplatz
    Grabbeplatz 5
    June 1–September 1, 2004

    Tate Modern
    February 5–April 25, 2004

    Curated by Nicholas Serota and Marianne Stockebrand

    In recent years, the Minimal installation initially developed by Donald Judd (1928–94) and others in the early ’60s, consisting of simple, whole shapes calibrated to the experience of a body, has transmogrified into a spectacularized encounter. The precise relationship between artwork, gallery, and viewer, once known as scale, rarely obtains in those purported temples of Minimalism, the Guggenheim Bilbao and Dia:Beacon, where the orchestration of a giganticist aesthetic intended to dominate and impress, in distinct opposition to Minimalism’s body-based phenomenology, has found its apotheosis.

    Organized by Tate director Nicholas Serota in consultation with Chinati Foundation director Marianne Stockebrand ten years after Judd’s death, this exhibition could not come at a better time. What will undoubtedly be a sensitive installation—the rather unexquisite Tate Modern interiors notwithstanding—by two curators who worked closely with the artist may serve to remind us why we should still care about Minimalist practice. While not the full retrospective Judd deserves (the artist’s oeuvre included painting, printmaking, architecture, and furniture design), this show, comprising about forty works in all, promises a rigorous exposition of his most important contribution: the Specific Objects he produced from 1962 until 1994. Famously defined by Judd as “neither painting nor sculpture,” the object was not a media hybrid as we might assume but, as Thierry de Duve has insisted, a radical negation of these categories. Judd, unlike those of his peers who described their work as sculpture, developed his version of Minimalism on the basis of his dissatisfaction with what he felt to be modernist painting and sculpture’s inherent illusionism. Inspired by the wholeness, vivid color, and bodily scale of the paintings of Newman and Rothko, he brought these innovations into “real space” while avoiding the relational aesthetic of Abstract Expressionist sculpture. His search for the Specific Object was relentless, requiring the enlistment of fabricators as early as 1964 and a growing cadre of manufacturers and artisans in the United States and Europe in the ’70s and ’80s. In his later work, Judd developed new forms or inflected old ones in new materials. The restricted palette of his youth gave way to polychromy and variation, and the work became more composed than he cared to admit. His is a complex story, one that Serota, Stockebrand, and fellow catalogue contributors David Batchelor, Richard Shiff, Rudi Fuchs, and David Raskin are more than qualified to tell.

    James Meyer

    Travels to the K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, June–Sept.; Kunstmuseum Basel, Sept.–Jan. 2005.