previews

New York

Cai Guo-Qiang

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
1071 Fifth Avenue
February 22–May 28

Curated by Thomas Krens and Alexandra Munroe

Feng shui, dragons, herbal medicine, and, most memorably, gunpowder: Fujian-born, New York–based artist Cai Guo-Qiang has been plying such traditional Chinese exports along the global biennial Silk Road, and supercharging them with shamanic bravado, since just before the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989. Bringing together some sixty paintings, drawings, videos, and site-specific installations— accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by, among others, David Joselit and Miwon Kwon—this retrospective, the first for a Chinese artist in Frank Lloyd Wright’s supposedly Asian-influenced coil, should be as quietly pyrotechnic as Cai’s signature, theatrically ephemeral “explosions.” Shortly after it closes, Cai moves on to an even bigger stage, directing visual and special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. Pow! Travels to the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, Mar.–Sept. 2009.