• Emil Nolde, Kerzentänzerinnen (Candle Dancers), 1912, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 34".

    “Traces of the Sacred”

    Haus der Kunst
    Prinzregentenstrasse 1
    September 19, 2008–January 11, 2009

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    May 7–August 11, 2008

    Curated by Angela Lampe and Jean de Loisy

    This enormous, multidisciplinary exhibition explores the destiny of the sacred and the transcendental in an age of “religious crisis,” as the curators Angela Lampe and Jean de Loisy would have it. Under headings such as “Cosmic Revelations,” “Doors of Perception,” “Nostalgia for Infinity,” and “Sacred Dances,” the Centre Pompidou's, well, far-reaching enterprise will feature works by some two hundred artists, from Kandinsky to Cage, from Goya to Chan (Paul, that is), most of them jibing with cultural critic Mark C. Taylor's notion of “theoesthetics.” The catalogue, edited by Mark Alizart (and available only in French), may struggle under the somewhat burdening curatorial scope, but it also promises to become a veritable reference work on everything you ever wanted to know about art and spirituality, from Adamism to Zen. Travels to the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Sept. 19, 2008–Jan. 11, 2009.

  • Bridget Riley, New Day, 1988, oil on linen, 63 x 89".

    Bridget Riley

    Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
    11 avenue du Président Wilson
    June 12–September 14, 2008

    Curated by Anne Montfort

    It was not unusual for 1960s French critics to claim Bridget Riley as their own. At times maintaining that they (namely, Viktor Vasarely) spearheaded Op art, the French have extended an honorary laurel to the English artist—and are gearing up for a new opportunity to frame her practice. Featuring fifty-eight paintings and more than one hundred drawings that span Riley's prolific career, this retrospective will debut several recent pieces and two murals created specifically for the exhibition. Though curator Anne Montfort may emphasize Riley's Gallic connection (the press release reiterates the influence of Post-Impressionism), the breadth and currency of the objects to be presented—from the astringent black-and-white canvases of the early to mid-'60s to the undulating and chromatically complex abstractions of the past decade—will no doubt convince viewers of the artist's universal appeal.