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.

  • Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait, 1930, oil on canvas, 26 x 22".

    Frida Kahlo

    Walker Art Center
    725 Vineland Place
    October 27 - January 20

    Philadelphia Museum of Art
    26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
    February 20 - May 18

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    June 14 - September 28

    Curated by Elizabeth Carpenter and Hayden Herrera

    Frida Kahlo has long been subject to hagiography, a propensity abetted by her revelatory self-portraiture, her film portrayal by Salma Hayek, and her frankness about her unredeemed circumstances. (She famously quipped that she had suffered two grave misfortunes: a brutal traffic accident and Diego Rivera.) Now, on the centenary of Kahlo’s birth, the Walker, in association with SF MoMA, is organizing a massive tribute that ups the ante, bringing together roughly fifty canvases from 1926 to 1952, two years before her death, and 150 family snapshots and unseen photographs of the Mexican painter by artists including Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Gisele Freund, and Tina Modotti. What remains to be seen is whether this ambitious presentation can transcend the cult of personality. Travels to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 20–May 18, 2008; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 14–Sept. 28, 2008.

  • Michael Smith and Alan Herman, Government Approved Home Fallout Shelter/Snack Bar, 1983. Photo: Kevin Noble

    "Mike's World: Michael Smith & Joshua White (and other collaborators)

    Blanton Museum of Art
    200 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    September 11 - December 30

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
    University of Pennsylvania 118 South 36th Street
    April 24 - August 3

    Curated by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi

    Well before the lackadaisical sublime came to pervade the art of the 1990s, there was Mike, the everyman alter ego who, created in the mid-’70s by artist Mike Smith, may have been the first to inject true pathos into the pathetic. In countless videos and performances, Smith’s character has occupied a bland landscape of sitcom sets, rock ’n’ roll lighting salesrooms, and downstairs rec rooms, delivering deadpan attempts to embrace the ad-copy tropes by which most people live their lives, his demeanor blending embarrassment and Beckett with stand-up comedy. At the Blanton, a comprehensive selection of videos, installations, drawings, and artist books (many executed in collaboration with friends such as Joshua White) will chart the continuing odyssey. Travels to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Apr. 24–Aug. 3 2008.