previews

  • Yinka Shonibare, Odile and Odette, 2005, still from a color video, 14 minutes 28 seconds.

    Yinka Shonibare

    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    June 26 - September 20

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia
    140 George Street The Rocks
    September 24 - February 1

    Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
    Capital Gallery 600 Maryland Avenue SW Suite 7001
    November 11 - March 7

    Curated by Rachel Kent

    In traditional folktales, the trickster serves to reveal cultural complexities, and as critic Jean Fisher has noted, this character has “a global reach,” popping up in narratives everywhere, subverting rules, and confusing codes. So, too, Member of the British Empire Yinka Shonibare, whose multireferential sculptures, installations, paintings, videos, and photographs have reverse-colonized the art world, peopling it with a cast of color-saturated, quasi-surreal masqueraders (often headless and usually engaged in extravagantly absurd pursuits). Featuring twenty works from the past twelve years, this major midcareer survey will highlight Shonibare’s newest output—and promises a carnival of both visual and postcolonial complexity.

  • Liam Gillick, theanyspacewhatever signage system (prototype), 2008, aluminum. Installation view, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

    “theanyspacewhatever”

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
    1071 Fifth Avenue
    October 24 - January 7

    Curated by Nancy Spector

    The Guggenheim has invited ten artists—including Angela Bulloch, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, and Rirkrit Tiravanija—to stage a collective exhibition highlighting their six degrees of separation from one another. New, site-specific interventions will be complemented by performances, film programs, an exhibition-within-the-exhibition organized by the Wrong Gallery, and an installation by M/M in the reading room. Taking the show's title, a Deleuzian phrase suggested by Gillick, as a kind of North Star around which their heterogeneous projects constellate, the group will present a refracted play of shared histories and spaces: Bulloch will turn the ceiling into a night sky; Gonzalez-Foerster will “tropicalize” a rotunda ramp and present a live orchestral performance; and Tiravanija will present video interviews of artists with whom he was associated in the 1990s. An equally layered catalogue boasts thirty texts by scholars, critics, and curators.

  • Catherine Opie, Untitled #10 (Surfers), 2003, color photograph, 50 x 40".

    “Catherine Opie: American Photographer”

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
    1071 Fifth Avenue
    September 26 - January 7

    Curated by Jennifer Blessing

    “American Photographer,” the subtitle of Catherine Opie's midcareer survey at the Guggenheim, is both a statement of fact and a critical provocation. From her now-iconic queer portraits like Self-Portrait/Cutting, 1993, to the restrainedly elegant series “Freeway,” 1994–95, the quietly polemic “Domestic,” 1998, and, more recently, her lustrous photographs of surfers, Opie's work has focused on subjects ranging from the far periphery to the dead center of Americana, often expanding and modifying conventional understandings of both. Presenting more than 180 photographs, this vast exhibition should further complicate our take on these images and the social groups they portray, asking how Opie's subjectivity—as it is declared or presumed—shapes interpretation, and how meaning is made and remade through consecutive bodies of work. A catalogue, which includes and essay by author and lesbian activist Dorothy Allison, accompanies the show.

  • Vincent van Gogh, Lane of Poplars at Sunset, 1884, oil on canvas, 18 1/16 x 12 11/16".

    “Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night”

    Van Gogh Museum

    February 13 - June 7

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    September 21 - January 5

    Curated by Joachim Pissarro and Sjraar van Heugten

    That iconic image of Vincent van Gogh painting beside the Rhône River at night wearing a candle-studded hat may be a tired cliché, but it underscores his career-long concern with depicting darkness through light. His sustained ambition to wed Impressionist techniques with his own tendencies toward the visionary and symbolic is the subject of this exhibition, which includes drawings, a selection of his personal correspondence, and approximately two dozen nocturnal and twilight paintings from all periods of his career. Despite the visual and thematic threads that connect these canvases, this marks the first time they have been seen together. A catalogue, with essays by the curators and van Gogh scholar Chris Stolwijk, accompanies the show.

  • Joan Miró, Painting, 1933, oil and aqueous medium on canvas, 51 3/8 x 64 1/4".

    “Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927–1937”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    November 2 - January 12

    Curated by Anne Umland

    In 1927, Joan Miró famously declared he would “assassinate painting.” His plan, as it turns out, was not to blow a hole in the medium's heart, but to infiltrate its ranks and slip slow poison in its drink. After all, Miró never relinquished painting. Rather, as this exhibition will argue, he contaminated it—namely, with strategies of collage. In some works, flat forms are painted to look as if they were cut and pasted into the picture plane. In others, parsimonious applications of pigment float against an unprimed support. Miró's “anti-painting” has been an enduring interest for curator Anne Umland, and this substantial exhibition, accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, will chart the pollutant's course through more than ninety works as it metastasized, over ten years, from canvas to painted mixed-media assemblage.

  • Yael Bartana, Trembling Time, 2001, still from a color video, 2 minutes.

    Yael Bartana

    MoMA PS1
    22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
    October 19 - January 19

    Curated by Klaus Biesenbach

    Yael Bartana delivers resonant poetic reflections on Israeli society, involving bold imagistic and metaphoric forays into the vicissitudes—both human and geographic—of the Palestinian-Israeli territorial debacle. This fall, New York audiences will have their first opportunity to view an important grouping of five video works produced between 2001 and 2007. This presentation and its accompanying catalogue, which includes an essay by Sergio Edelsztein, director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, marks a welcome stateside showing for an artist who has been a standout internationally in exhibitions such as Documenta 12 and the 2006 São Paulo biennial. The opportunity to experience Bartana's trenchant video and sound installation Summer Camp, 2007, which invokes early-twentieth-century Zionist propaganda films in its portrayal of works rebuilding a destroyed Palestinian house, should not be missed.

  • William Eggleston, Untitled, color photograph, 12 x 17 3/4“. From the series ”Los Alamos," 1965–74.

    William Eggleston

    Haus der Kunst
    Prinzregentenstrasse 1
    February 20 - May 17

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    November 7 - January 25

    Curated by Elisabeth Sussman and Thomas Weski

    Thermodynamics tells us there is a finite amount of energy in the universe, but William Eggleston's work from the past fifty years proves that there is an unlimited amount of significance. Describing him as a father of color photography is a red (or maybe magenta?) herring. Eggleston deserves the Whitney's royal treatment—a 150-work career retrospective—because of the deep veins of content he has managed to tap, most running right under his feet. His flashed 35-mm images of a bivouac of shoes under a bed, or of a stuffed, icy freezer, are like new elements way down on the periodic table—things we suspected were there, but hadn't looked hard enough for. This exhibition promises to confirm that Eggleston is photography's richest generator of something from nothing.

  • Ugo Rondinone, still.life. (black and white river stone), 2008, cast bronze, lead, and paint, 5 15/16 x 11 x 8 5/8".

    Ugo Rondinone and Martin Boyce

    SculptureCenter
    44-19 Purves Street
    September 7 - November 30

    Curated by Mary Ceruti

    This two-artist exhibition should help corroborate SculptureCenter's renascence, after its longish quiescent period, as a major venue for contemporary exhibitions in New York. If all goes well, the results should be plastic-fantastic-inevitable. Martin Boyce is known for taking fluorescent tubes into metaphoric places that would give Dan Flavin the shudders, and this show promises, among other things, a suspended spiderweb-like sculpture made out of, you guessed it, standard-issue fluorescent tubes. Ugo Rondinone, no stranger to the pretty, the perverse, the grotesque, and the breathlessly romantic in his sculptures and installations, presents four new works, including a functional fireplace based on a Victorian original that is built into a freestanding wall. Boyce and Rondinone—fire and ice!

  • Matt Mullican, Untitled, 2006, mixed media on bulletin boards, each 96 x 48 x 3".

    Matt Mullican

    The Drawing Center
    35 Wooster Street
    July 25 - February 5

    Curated by João Ribas

    For several decades, Matt Mullican has operated at the edge of the symbolic, that interstitial zone where our perceptual capacity splits from language's ability to classify and describe. Throughout his multifarious attempts to reveal that psychic realm, the artiast has employed the medium of drawing—whether mapping imaginary cities, devised to schematize unconscious thought; constructing cosmological models proposing new psychogeographic coordinates; or staging performances under hypnosis during which, brush and ink in hand, he surrenders to involuntary logorrhea. In this survey, of some one hundred videos, drawings, bulletin boards, notebooks, and rubbings from 1970 to the present, the Drawing Center charts Mullican's ongoing efforts to lend form to the ineffable.

  • Martin Kippenberger, The Happy End of Franz Kafka's “Amerika,”, 1994, mixed media. Installation view, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

    “Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective”

    MOCA Geffen Contemporary
    152 North Central Avenue
    September 21 - January 5

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    March 1 - May 11

    Curated by Ann Goldstein

    Few postwar artists have proved as fiercely contested yet captivatingly elusive as the German Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997). The myth that has grown around his life and art operates at the intersection between the artist’s provocative persona, nomadic restlessness, and addictive habits, on the one hand, and, on the other, a seemingly bottomless oeuvre that encompasses not only “works” in every conceivable medium but also his activities as a curator, collector, organizer, and scenester. In recent years this myth has threatened to eclipse—or become—the art itself, as a younger generation of critics and artists has fixated on Kippenberger’s cultic presence and the cliques over which he presided. Yet like the long-held views of Kippenberger’s work as either merely tongue-in-cheek or accessible to only a chosen few, this mythic dimension has come to hinder a more profound understanding of the remarkable corpus he left behind.

    Kippenberger’s first retrospective in the United States provides a much-needed opportunity for a truly art-historical assessment. What in his work goes beyond mere irony, and what aesthetic or conceptual substance remains at a temporal, cultural, and personal distance from its fervent emergence? If the time is ripe more generally to historicize German art beyond the knee-jerk concerns of national identity prevalent into the 1990s, and beyond its free-floating proliferation throughout the current global art world, then Kippenberger’s oeuvre provides a perfect case study: Not only does it bridge these periods but it falls into place in nuanced, unexpected contexts.

    Perhaps the artist’s preoccupations with the idea of home (as in his installations of pseudo- and actual furniture and in his drawings on hotel stationery) and with insider jokes and fake subcultural slogans (strategies that frequently meet, as in the 1985 painting J.A.F., JEANS AGAINST FASHISM, a pun on the RAF [Red Army Faction]) reflect on the unusually cozy structure of the postwar German art world around a cluster of tight-knit metropolitan scenes (such as those in West Berlin, where Kippenberger emerged at a moment when artists and squatters jointly defined the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, and in Cologne, where Kippenberger cultivated a devoted following). Perhaps his peculiar takes on social matters (as in the 1989 sculptural series “Sozialkistentransporter” [Social Boxes Transporter] and in the artist’s landmark 1986 exhibition “Miete, Strom, Gas” [Rent, Electricity, Gas]) must be seen against the backdrop of political disillusionment in the wake of ’68, the terrorist attacks of the RAF, and the end of postwar economic growth with its attendant crisis of the social welfare state. And perhaps Kippenberger’s awkward painting styles result from a conjunction of West German Pop and East German Socialist Realism that makes sense during the waning years of the cold war and the loosening of the cultural divide imposed by the iron curtain.

    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, will offer a sprawling assortment of the artist’s exhibition posters and announcement cards, selected editions, multiples, and books, as well as key examples of drawings, paintings, and sculptures from 1977 to 1997. The accompanying catalogue promises a balance of fresh and familiar, outsider and insider voices: exhibition curator Ann Goldstein, longtime champion of the artist Diedrich Diederichsen, art historian Pamela Lee, moma curator Ann Temkin, and, in a 1991 interview with artist Jutta Koether, the irrepressible Kippenberger himself.

  • 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

    Bonnefantenmuseum
    Avenue Céramique 250
    October 21 - March 21

    Walker Art Center
    725 Vineland Place
    February 14 - June 14

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    October 8 - January 11

    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.