previews

  • Peter Doig, Reflection (What Does Your Soul Look Like?), 1996, oil on canvas, 116 x 78 3/4".

    Peter Doig

    Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
    Römerberg
    July 25 - January 11

    Tate Britain
    Millbank
    February 5 - April 27

    Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
    11 avenue du Président Wilson
    May 26 - September 14

    Curated by Judith Nesbitt

    Peter Doig coaxes a languid air from tremulous surfaces, and this may make him closer to the painters of the 1890s than to those of the 1990s, the decade in which he emerged. His slow unspooling of color and the ambling specificity of his touch are easily lost in reproductions but will be abundantly evident in this survey of more than fifty paintings and related drawings from the past two decades. The catalogue features essays by Tate Britain's Judith Nesbitt and art historian Richard Schiff, supplemented by an ample selection of Doig's photographic sources, which promises to reveal the true extent of his painterly transmutations. Travels to the ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, May 26–Sept. 14; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Oct. 8, 2008–Jan. 11, 2009.

  • Eija-Liisa Ahtila, The Hour of Prayer, 2005, four-channel video installation, 14 minutes 12 seconds. Installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 2007. Photo: Pablo Mason.

    Eija-Liisa Ahtila

    Jeu de Paume
    1 place de la Concorde
    January 22 - March 30

    Curated by Véronique Dabin

    Emerging in the 1990s—the decade when moving image–based art reached a kind of worldwide zenith—Eija-Liisa Ahtila earned unique respect for her emotionally charged films, videos, and photographs. The FInnish artist's first retrospective in France will present four of her sculptures and some seventeen diptychs in addition to a selection of her “human dramas,” multiscreen films often set in claustrophobic interiors furnished with equally claustrophobic relationships. Using what she calls fragment-based storytelling, Ahtila exploits contemporary museumgoers' itinerant viewing patterns in her looped, disrupted narratives. Her dark tales of psychological breakdown (The House, 2002), schizophrenia (Anne, Aki & God, 1998), and mourning (The Hour of Prayer, 2005) play out in a kind of modern-day Northern Gothic. A catalogue with essays by Elisabeth Bronfen and Régis Durand, who initiated the show, will feature an interview with the artist.

  • Still from CELLAR DOOR—BUCKY, THE INTERGALACTIC DRAW, 2007–2008, 16mm film transfered to 35mm, 6 minutes 50 seconds. Photo: Ghosting.

    Loris Gréaud

    Palais de Tokyo
    13, Avenue du Président Wilson
    February 14 - May 4

    Curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler

    Granting Loris Gréaud domain over its entire exhibition space—an unprecedented opportunity for a French artist under thirty—the Palais de Tokyo will present “Cellar Door,” a show with operatic implications. A libretto will integrate installations from 2001 to the present, one of which, in an act of Gréaud's signature “spatiotemporal” repositionings, will be a replication of his first major solo show at Le Plateau, Paris, in 2005. A new work—a paintball terrain where players armed with pellets of International Klein Blue are to “perform” once a day—will boast technical effects conjured by an on-site studio, thus revealing the mechanics of production, especially apparent when the exhibition is switched “on” and “off” twice daily. In lieu of a catalogue, Palais magazine will devote an issue to this venture, further mobilizing Gréaud's proposed constellation of interconnectivity.

  • Claude Closky, The First Thousand Numbers Classified in Alphabetical Order (detail), 1989–92, artist's book, 16 pages, 8 1/4 x 5 7/8".

    Claude Closky

    Musée d'art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL)
    Place de la Libération
    March 27 - June 22

    Curated by Frank Lamy

    “I like the kind of artifice that gives no authority to form,” quipped French artist Claude Closky, whose multimedia output includes a book of the first thousand numbers in alphabetical order and a series of giant street posters announcing that it isn't 3 PM. A Bartleby in reverse, Closky is a hyperactive artist who find new reasons to produce work in the realm of the arbitrary. For this show, he will translate some fifty of his works from 1989 to 2007—drawings, collages, video, Web projects, artist's books, and other texts—into a purely sonic mode. Visitors will don headphones and stroll through otherwise empty galleries, listening to the results.

    Translated from French by Jeanine Herman.