previews

  • Lee Miller

    Victoria and Albert Museum
    Cromwell Road
    September 15 - January 6

    Jeu de Paume
    1 place de la Concorde
    October 13 - January 11

    Philadelphia Museum of Art
    26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
    January 26 - April 27

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    July 1 - September 28

    Curated by Mark Haworth-Booth

    Child model for her amateur lensman father; Vogue cover girl; Man Ray’s Surrealist muse: It’s hard to imagine a woman of her era more photographed than Lee Miller. But as this retrospective demonstrates, Miller was also a serious imagemaker in her own right. Whether by fluke or by reaction formation, the four photographers who learned their trade in Man Ray’s atelier—Bernice Abbott, Bill Brandt, Jacques-André Boiffard, and Miller herself—all abandoned his experimental approach for straight photography. Of the 140-odd images in this exhibition, which date from the late 1920s to the early ’50s, by far the most arresting are those Miller shot as the only female photojournalist on the front during World War II—as a correspondent for British Vogue. Travels to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Jan. 26–Apr. 27, 2008; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, July 1–Sept. 21, 2008; Jeu de Paume, Paris, Oct. 13 2008–Jan. 11, 2009.

  • Louise Bourgeois, Cumul I, 1969, marble, 22 3/8 x 50 x 4". © Louise Bourgeois/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

    Louise Bourgeois

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 11 - January 20

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    February 19 - June 2

    Curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac, Frances Morris, and Jonas Storsve

    “I don’t dream,” Louise Bourgeois once claimed. And although her images, ideas, and objects feel half-submerged in the unconscious, the artist describes her working method as more akin to operating “under a spell” than derived from any somnolent source. The Tate’s retrospective (the first in the UK since 1995), curated by Marie-Laure Bernadac, Frances Morris, and Jonas Storsve, brings together more than two hundred drawings, sculptures, installations, and fabric pieces from Bourgeois’s seven-decade-long career. The accompanying catalogue features the artist’s own multifaceted written work, as well as essays by Rosalind Krauss, Julia Kristeva, Linda Nochlin, and others. All you Bourgeois fans, pinch yourselves: This is no dream.

  • David Claerbout, Sections of a Happy Moment, 2007, single channel black-and-white video with sound, 26 minutes.

    David Claerbout

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    October 2 - January 7

    Curated by Christine Van Assche

    Architecture figures prominently in Belgian artist David Claerbout’s investigations of space and time in photography, film, and video. His 2007 slide show Sections of a Happy Moment presents multiple views of a Chinese family at play in the Kiel, a large housing complex designed by Belgium’s lyrical modernist Renaat Braem. For Bordeaux Piece, 2004, a thirteen-hour video set in Rem Koolhaas’s villa in Floriac, France, Claerbout filmed a short narrative sequence repeatedly in the course of a day; shadows produced by the changing light (the sole variation) deconstruct the space as time passes. These two works, along with three other videos made within the past five years, will be shown in the Pompidou’s South Gallery, which Claerbout is fitting with a specially built screening infrastructure to defy the museum’s iconic but ever-void architecture—an intervention that somehow seems right in line with his practice.

  • Richard Rogers & Architects, 88 Wood Street, 2001. Photo: Katsuhisa Kida.

    Richard Rogers & Architects

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    November 21 - March 3

    Curated by Olivier Cinqualbre, Ab Rogers, and Richard Rogers

    Richard Rogers is an architect who understands the delicate interplay between buildings and the cities they inhabit. Early projects—including the Centre Pompidou (designed with a young Renzo Piano) and the infamous Lloyds of London Tower—embraced the spectacle of public life using the industrial high-tech aesthetic that became popular in the wake of Archigram and the Swinging ’60s. More recent commissions, like the Welsh National Assembly Building in Cardiff and the rainbow-colored Barajas Airport in Madrid, tackle difficult issues of city planning and the need for a sustainable architecture without abandoning the playful, humanist sensibility that characterizes all of Rogers’s built work. This comprehensive retrospective documents more than fifty projects, covering forty years of work by one of Britain’s greatest living architects. Travels to the Design Museum, London, Spring 2008.

  • Edward Steichen, Models Wearing Sleeveless Gowns By Vionnet, 1930, black-and-white photograph. © 1930 Condé Nast Archive/Corbis.

    Edward Steichen

    Musée de l'Elysée
    18, avenue de l'Elysée
    January 11 - March 30

    Jeu de Paume
    1 place de la Concorde
    October 9 - December 30

    Curated by Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing

    A monumental figure in both the aesthetic and promotional history of twentieth-century photography, Edward Steichen nevertheless raised hackles for effortlessly inhabiting the twin but opposing citadels of visual culture—New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Condé Nast. This extensive survey, curated by Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing, presenting seventy years of Steichen’s work—from 1895 to 1965—will feature some five hundred images, chronicling his transition from the romanticism of early pictorialism to experiments in postwar modernism and fashion photography. But that “problematic” duality between art and commerce in Steichen’s work has of late been recuperated, even vindicated, by visual-studies discourse, wherein the flexibility of those once-opposing categories has become central to the characterization of the photograph. Travels to the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan. 11–Mar. 30, 2008; and other venues.