• Nobuyoshi Araki

    Barbican Art Gallery
    Barbican Centre Silk Street
    October 16, 2005–January 22, 2006

    Curated by Yoshiko Isshiki, Akiko Miki, and Tomoko Sato

    Nobuyoshi Araki is Japan’s most prolific photographer, and so much more: a purveyor of kimono-clad Japanese girls trussed up and hanging from the ceiling (with perhaps a curious kitten looking on?) and a master of desiccated lizards resting atop sunflower blooms. Perversity, aestheticism, and melancholia reign in his oeuvre. This exhibition includes roughly four thousand of his photographs from the ’60s to the present as well as rare handmade albums from his early career and “Xerox Shashin-Cho,” photocopied photographs elegantly bound in the traditional Japanese style, which Araki distributed to friends, critics, and people selected at random from the phone book.

    Travels to the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen, July 21–Oct. 1, 2006.

  • Eileen Gray

    The Design Museum, London
    224-238 Kensington High Street (Reopening 24 November 2016)
    September 17, 2005–January 8, 2006

    Curated by Libby Sellers

    Eileen Gray stands as one of the signature designers of the early modern era, her iconic status confirmed by the sheer quantity of knockoffs of her E.1027 chrome-and-glass table available (cheap!) on the Internet. An intimate of Le Corbusier and member of the avant-garde group that formed around the magazine L’Architecture Vivante in the mid-’20s, Gray was, in her own time, well known for striking lacquer work and now-vanished International Style interiors. She remains, however, an elusive figure—a condition attributable both to the sexism of the first generation of modernist historians and to Gray’s penchant for destroying her own sketches. This retrospective of furniture, models, drawings, and archival material from 1905 to 1945 promises to further cement her position in the modernist pantheon.

  • Henri Rousseau

    Tate Modern
    November 3, 2005–February 2, 2006

    Curated by Christopher Green, Frances Morris, and Claire Frèches

    Although born in 1844, Henri “le Douanier” Rousseau very much belongs to the history of modernism. It is thus fitting that Tate Modern should mount a show primarily of his jungle paintings, with their mixture of animal violence, impossible flora, and dreamlike fantasy. The first substantial presentation of Rousseau’s work to be held in Britain in eighty years, it benefits from considerable new research into the “exotic” in Paris by the Courtauld’s Christopher Green and should be a revelation to a new public of this astonishing, far-from-naive painter.

    Travels to the Grand Palais, Paris, Mar. 13–June 19, 2006; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, July 16–Oct. 15, 2006.

  • Jonathan Monk

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
    The Mall
    October 14–December 4, 2005

    Curated by Jens Hoffmann

    Jonathan Monk loves first-generation Conceptualists like family: unconditionally and without compunction about teasing them for their foibles. The autobiographical tilt of the British artist’s output ensures its comic, critical impurity, whether in photographs taken on a car journey with his mother whenever she checked the route, wall texts inviting the viewer to dubious future assignations, or animations of both Sol LeWitt’s gouache cubes and a Rubik’s Cube. Monk’s first London retrospective will repurpose the ICA’s lower gallery as storage and its upper gallery as a daily-changing display space, destabilizing the institution while showcasing the bulk of his nimble historical maneuvers. An accompanying catalogue features an interview between Monk and Hoffmann.

  • Kerry James Marshall

    Camden Arts Centre
    Arkwright Road
    November 25, 2005–January 29, 2006

    Curated by Deborah Smith

    History painting seems relevant again, with younger artists diving into the narrative waters en masse. So the timing’s perfect for this survey of Kerry James Marshall’s paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Marshall has often been pigeonholed as naive or too American, which may explain why this is his first British solo show. Yet his painting is not just political, but sharply experimental in its treatment of surface and illusion. Perhaps this drew Luc Tuymans to write for the catalogue, which also includes an essay by Valerie Cassel Oliver.

    Travels to BALTIC, Gateshead, Feb. 4–Apr. 23, 2006; New Art Gallery Walsall, England, May 12–July 2, 2006; Modern Art Oxford, July 25–Oct. 22, 2006.

  • “Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris 1870–1910”

    Tate Britain
    October 5, 2005–January 15, 2006

    Curated by Anna Gruetzner Robins, Martin Myrone, and Richard Thomson

    Another “modern life” exhibition from the well-fished lake of the fin-de-siècle places two of France’s most French artists alongside Britain’s most international. Degas’s prescient and controversial L’Absinthe, 1875–76, sets the pace for an exploration of cafés, dance halls, cabarets, and scenes of sexual congress by twenty artists of the period. Alert British artists in Paris are, unusually, given equal emphasis, and Degas’s friendship with Sickert will surely be seen as crucial for the later revitalization of British art. One can only hope that the aesthetic temperature reaches the fever of the curators’ thematic, sociohistorical, and even sensational intent.

    Travels to the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Feb. 18–May 14, 2006.