previews

  • Elizabeth Peyton, Matthew, 2008, oil on board, 12 1/2 x 9".

    Elizabeth Peyton

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    July 9–September 20, 2009

    Bonnefantenmuseum
    Avenue Céramique 250
    October 21, 2009–March 21, 2010

    Walker Art Center
    725 Vineland Place
    February 14–June 14, 2009

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    October 8, 2008–January 11, 2009

    Curated by Laura Hoptman

    What becomes a legend most? In the 1970s, Lillian Helman clad in a Blackglama mink did the trick. Nowadays, the grandest compliment that fine art pays to glamour and celebrity might be Elizabeth Peyton's portraits. In a rather different but perhaps no less resonant way, Peyton is as much a signature artist of the '90s as Matthew Barney, the subject of a recent Peyton portrait—and, given her proclivity for skinny, languorous, seemingly lipstick-besmirched ephebi, an uncharacteristic one. Bringing together more than one hundred works, the New Museum surveys fifteen years of the artist's career. The catalogue includes essays by curator Laura Hoptman, Iwona Blazwick, and poet and superearly Warhol icon John Giorno.

  • Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, ca. 1944, triptych, oil on board, each 37 x 29".

    Francis Bacon

    Tate Britain
    Millbank
    September 11, 2008–January 4, 2009

    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
    February 3–April 19, 2009

    Curated by Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens

    This fall, in honor of Francis Bacon’s hundredth birthday, Tate Britain will mount the first retrospective of the artist’s work in the UK since 1985, on a scale befitting the occasion. Curators Matthew Gale and Chris Stephens anticipate no less than a complete reassessment of Bacon’s oeuvre, drawing in part on new findings that have emerged since scholars gained access to Bacon’s studio shortly after his death in 1992. Featuring seventy paintings spanning his sixty-year career—including icons Study After Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953, and the personal-existential In Memory of George Dyer, 1971—the retrospective will center on Bacon’s conditio humana: that is, on the fragility of life’s violence, sexuality, and isolation.

  • Cildo Meireles

    Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
    Plaça dels Angels, 1
    February 11–May 3, 2009

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
    1001 Bissonnet
    June 7–September 20, 2009

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 14, 2008–January 11, 2009

    Curated by Guy Brett and Vicente Todolí

    The Tate’s large survey promises to bring out the eclecticism of this major figure of Brazilian art. While associated primarily with Conceptual art of a political kind, Cildo Meireles has in fact pursued diverse fields of investigation—philosophical, anthropological, aesthetic, and ethical. The Tate presents about eighty works made between the 1960s and the present, ranging from whimsical spatial interventions to large installations that challenge the audience’s perceptual and intellectual capacities. The accompanying catalogue should stand out against a vast but not always exciting literature on this maverick artist.

  • Robin Rhode, Juggla, 2007.

    Robin Rhode

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    September 23–December 7, 2008

    Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal

    The Chaplinesque persona of South African artist Robin Rhode appears in a number of his works, many of which document his enchanting performances, using basic materials such as charcoal and chalk. His oeuvre—which includes site-specific wall drawings and, more recently, sculptures—touches on themes of race, class, and geopolitics, as in Empties (Green), 2007, a crate of wavy, elongated bottles of Carling Black Label, a beer associated with the native African solidarity movement during apartheid. For Rhode’s first major UK exhibition, curator Stephanie Rosenthal will assemble some thirty-five photographs, digital animations, film projections, sculptures, drawings, and paintings from the past decade, with a focus on the artist’s latest output. Outside the Hayward, look for Rhode’s new site-specific commissions in the surrounding Southbank Centre.