previews

  • William Wegman, Connector, 1994, color photograph, 24 x 20".

    William Wegman, Connector, 1994, color photograph, 24 x 20".

    William Wegman

    Addison Gallery of American Art
    Phillips Academy 3 Chapel Avenue
    April 7–July 31, 2007

    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    March 10–May 28, 2006

    Norton Museum of Art
    1451 South Olive Avenue
    November 4, 2006–January 28, 2007

    Smithsonian American Art Museum
    8th and F Streets NW
    July 4–September 24, 2006

    Curated by Trevor Fairbrother

    Since 1970, William Wegman has marketed himself and his kennel of canine celebrities so well (and so far outside the precincts of contemporary art) that it's hard to formulate a critical take. But here are three attempts: (1) Wegman is a canny critical artist, the most literal (mis)reader of Smithson's site/non-site dialectic yet; (2) he's learned Warhol's “business art” model all too well; (3) he'd be nowhere without the adorable pooches, the most famous in America since Benji. Through more than 260 photographs, drawings, paintings, collages, books, and videos from 1968 to today, this show, organized by the Addison Gallery, may show which description fits. Now go chase the ball.

    Travels to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, July 4–Sept. 24; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, Nov. 4, 2006–Jan. 28, 2007; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA, Apr. 7–July 31, 2007.

  • Edvard Munch, Summer Night's Dream (The Voice), 1893, oil on canvas, 34 5/8 x 42 1/2".

    Edvard Munch, Summer Night's Dream (The Voice), 1893, oil on canvas, 34 5/8 x 42 1/2".

    Edvard Munch

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    February 19–May 8, 2006

    Curated by Kynaston McShine

    Although his best-known painting, The Scream, 1893, may be lost forever, Edvard Munch remains one of Scandinavia's greatest cultural exports, right up there with ABBA, IKEA, and H&M. Monographs and critical studies on the artist continue to proliferate, and now MoMA is hosting a retrospective of Munch's work—surprisingly, the first exhibition in the US to be devoted to the Norwegian painter in almost three decades. The show features some ninety paintings and fifty prints and drawings, and surveys the artist's corpus in its entirety, from 1880 to 1944. The catalogue includes essays by Kynaston McShine and Munch scholars Patricia Berman, Reinhold Heller, Elizabeth Prelinger, and Tina Yarborough and provides detailed documentation of Munch's works and career.

  • David Smith

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 4, 2006–January 3, 2007

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
    1071 Fifth Avenue
    February 3–May 14, 2006

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    June 14–September 11, 2006

    Curated by Carmen Giménez

    In 1966, less than a year after David Smith's death, Clement Greenberg reflected on the artist on whom he had pinned his hopes for the “new sculpture”: “His oeuvre, in all its unevenness and sprawl, in all its bewildering diversity, somehow remains open, unfinished.” With 122 sculptures—from the wiry welded constructions of the '30s through the later volumetric totems—this exhibition commemorating the centenary of Smith's birth should mirror that “bewildering diversity.” Dozens of drawings and the artist's notebooks, which suggest their maker's thematic and intellectual sympathies, round out the selection. Curated by the Guggenheim's Carmen Giménez, the show is accompanied by a mammoth scholarly catalogue nearly as heavy as one of Smith's sculptures.

    Travels to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, June 14–Sept.11; Tate Modern, London, Oct. 4, 2006–Jan. 3, 2007.

  • Guy Tillim, Ntokozo and his brother Vusi Tshabalala at Ntokozo's place, Milton Court, Pritchard Street, Johannesburg, 2004, pigment print on cotton paper, 19 3/4 x 28 1/8“. From ”Snap Judgments."

    Guy Tillim, Ntokozo and his brother Vusi Tshabalala at Ntokozo's place, Milton Court, Pritchard Street, Johannesburg, 2004, pigment print on cotton paper, 19 3/4 x 28 1/8“. From ”Snap Judgments."

    “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography”

    International Center of Photography Museum (ICP)
    79 Essex
    March 10–May 28, 2006

    Curated by Okwui Enwezor

    A successful attempt to comprehend contemporary art practices in Africa must encompass broad geopolitical and cultural diversity. For this sweeping survey, Okwui Enwezor has chosen thirty-five artists from twelve countries on the epic continent, most of whom have never exhibited abroad. The more-than-two-hundred works on view include photographs, videos, installations, and performance documentation, and explore themes familiar to Western discourse: identity (through race, gender, and the body); historic trauma and representation; and political narratives in a postcolonial nation. Revealing far more common ground than visitors may have anticipated, the exhibition promises to reframe our understanding of African photography, making us question what may have been our own snap judgments.

  • Klee and America

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    October 6, 2006–January 14, 2007

    Neue Galerie New York
    1048 Fifth Avenue
    March 9–May 22, 2006

    The Phillips Collection
    1600 21st Street NW
    June 16–September 10, 2006

    Curated by Josef Helfenstein

    Walter Benjamin famously interpreted Klee's Angelus Novus, 1920, as a figure that turns toward the past while history pushes forward. Similarly, “Klee and America” (organized by Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection) builds on the success of MoMA's 1987 retrospective and the collection-specific “Paul Klee at the Guggenheim Museum” in 1993, while shedding new light on the Swiss painter's legacy in the US. Through more than sixty oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings, as well as documentary material on influential collectors like Alfred Barr and Galka Scheyer, the exhibition focuses on the artist's increasing popularity in America during the late '30s and '40s, after Hitler's campaign against “degenerate” art caused the European market for his work to collapse.

    Travels to the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, June 16–Sept. 10; Menil Collection, Houston, Oct. 6, 2006–Jan. 14, 2007.

  • “Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964-1980”

    The Studio Museum in Harlem
    429 West 127th St
    April 5–July 2, 2006

    Curated by Kellie Jones

    Organized by Yale art historian Kellie Jones, this group exhibition joins the politics of race to the practices of avant-garde painting, sculpture, and video in the mid-'60s and '70s. The fifteen artists included—Al Loving, Alma Thomas, and Howardena Pindell among them—pursued vibrantly modernist alternatives to the figuration of the contemporaneous Black Arts Movement. The show's catalogue explores the creative contexts—like Minimalist sculpture and free jazz—that shaped black abstraction and presents a transcription of the museum's cross-generational roundtable (moderated by Jones last June) on abstraction then and now, featuring artists Julie Mehretu and Louis Cameron, their nonobjective predecessors Melvin Edwards and William T. Williams, and Lowery S. Sims (president of the Studio Musuem).

  • Eva Hesse

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    February 3–April 23, 2006

    MOCA Geffen Contemporary
    152 North Central Avenue
    August 6–October 23, 2006

    The Drawing Center
    35 Wooster Street
    July 25, 2013–July 15, 2006

    Curated by Catherine de Zegher and Elisabeth Sussman

    Eva Hesse spent much of her decade-long career engaged in drawing—at times even in her sculpture. Perhaps more than any artist of her generation (with the possible exceptions of Fred Sandback and Richard Tuttle), she brought qualities of line off the page into her work in three dimensions. Following Hesse's landmark multimedia retrospective in 2002, this exhibition, co-organized by the Drawing Center and the Menil Collection, brings drawings to the fore with a survey of one hundred “finished” works on paper, supplemented by a selection of Hesse's 1965 reliefs, a small group of sculptural works, and rarely seen notebooks and diaries.

    Travels to the Drawing Center, New York, May 6–July 15; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Aug. 6–Oct. 23.

  • Lorna Simpson

    MOCA Geffen Contemporary
    152 North Central Avenue
    April 16–July 10, 2006

    Miami Art Museum
    101 West Flagler Street
    October 13, 2006–January 21, 2007

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    February 8–May 6, 2007

    Curated by Helaine Posner

    While working alongside the Pictures artists, Lorna Simpson pioneered a practice that applied Conceptual strategies to visual considerations of race and gender, earning her a place among the most influential artists to come out of the '80s. Now—two decades and countless exhibitions later—she is truly a force to be reckoned with. For the artist's first mid-career survey, American Federation of Arts curator Helaine Posner has gathered forty-six works—a healthy selection of early image-and-text pieces, seven major photographs on felt, six film installations, and a smattering of recent photographs. An all-star catalogue complements the show, with essays by Okwui Enwezor and Hilton Als and a conversation between the artist, Thelma Golden, and Isaac Julien.

    Travels to the Miami Art Museum, Oct. 13, 2006–Jan. 21, 2007; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Feb. 8–May 6, 2007; and other venues.

  • “Tropicália: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture”

    Centro Cultural de Belém
    Praça do Império
    July 1–September 1, 2006

    Barbican Art Gallery
    Barbican Centre Silk Street
    February 15–May 21, 2006

    Bronx Museum of the Arts
    1040 Grand Concourse
    October 14, 2006–January 28, 2007

    Curated by Carlos Basualdo

    “Tropicália,” the poet Torquato Neto wrote, “is whatever is necessary.” We should get a sense of just how exhilarating “whatever” can be in this exhibition, which presents some 250 works produced during the influential Brazilian cultural movement of the late '60s. These are shown alongside contemporary responses by Marepe, Karin Schneider, and nine others. Highlights include Hélio Oiticica's seminal environment Eden, 1969, and television footage from 1968 of Os Mutantes singing in plastic suits. Accompanied by a catalogue containing an anthology of period texts, the show, co-organized by the MCA Chicago and the Bronx Museum, argues that being slippery can also be extremely smart.

    Travels to Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, July–Sept.; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, Oct. 14, 2006–Jan. 28, 2007; and other venues.