previews

  • Arshile Gorky, The Betrothal, 1947, oil on canvas, 50 5/8 x 39 1/4". © 2009 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Arshile Gorky, The Betrothal, 1947, oil on canvas, 50 5/8 x 39 1/4". © 2009 Estate of Arshile Gorky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    March 17–May 3, 2010

    MOCA Geffen Contemporary
    152 North Central Avenue
    June 6–September 20, 2010

    Philadelphia Museum of Art
    26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
    October 20, 2009–January 10, 2010

    Curated by Michael Taylor

    When he took his own life in 1948 at age forty-four, Arshile Gorky was not only in the prime of his career but also in a sweet spot in the history of American art. No less a deft draftsman than a dazzling colorist, the artist had addressed advanced painting’s imperative at the time head-on: to work through the legacies of Picasso and Surrealism and arrive at a personal, abstract vernacular. The results, as they say, are history. Gorky’s large canvases, which remain emblematic of the New York School, will join sculptures, drawings, and prints in this 180-work retrospective, introducing to a new generation a seminal figure for whom painting’s stakes were a matter of life and death.

  • John Baldessari, God Nose, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 57".

    John Baldessari, God Nose, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 57".

    John Baldessari

    Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
    Plaça dels Angels, 1
    February 5–April 25, 2010

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 13, 2009–January 10, 2010

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    5905 Wilshire Boulevard
    June 20–September 12, 2010

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    October 17–January 9, 2010

    Curated by Leslie Jones and Jessica Morgan

    “Pure Beauty” seems a funny name for a retrospective of an artist who cremated all his paintings in 1970 and voided the photographed faces of dozens of Hollywood starlets with signature colored spots, but of course an unsettlingly ironic humor runs through Baldessari’s career. This expansive exhibition should connect the proverbial dots with more than 130 works from five decades of collage, video, installation, and—yes— painting. In Los Angeles the artist’s influence looms (conspicuously) large. Accompanied by a catalogue with essays from Bice Curiger, David Salle, and ten others, Baldessari’s first British retrospective should reveal how far his pioneering brand of California Conceptualism extends.

  • Ed Ruscha, Oof, 1962/1963, oil on canvas, 71 1/2 x 67".

    Ed Ruscha, Oof, 1962/1963, oil on canvas, 71 1/2 x 67".

    Ed Ruscha

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    October 14, 2009–January 10, 2010

    Haus der Kunst
    Prinzregentenstrasse 1
    February 12–May 2, 2010

    Moderna Museet | Stockholm
    Skeppsholmen
    May 22–September 5, 2010

    Curated by Ralph Rugoff

    For the cover of the catalogue of his first retrospective, at SF MoMA in 1982, Ed Ruscha chose to reproduce a 1979 pastel that bore the inscription I DON’T WANT / NO RETRO / SPECTIVE. Obviously, no museum director took him at his word. Ruscha’s latest career survey concentrates solely on painting, allowing viewers, easily mesmerized by the artist’s extraordinary inventiveness in a variety of media, to reflect on the particular flavor of his pictorial output. Ruscha’s work has evolved at great speed since his 2005 Venice triumph, and this show of nearly eighty canvases (accompanied by a substantial catalogue with essays by Hayward director Ralph Rugoff and others, and a new interview with Ruscha) invites us to consider his current work in the context of his half-century-long love affair with paint.

  • Gustav Metzger, Historic Photograph Terror and Oppression, 2007, two black-and-white photographs on fabric, 18' 6“ x 14' 7” and 15' 5“ x 14' 7”.

    Gustav Metzger, Historic Photograph Terror and Oppression, 2007, two black-and-white photographs on fabric, 18' 6“ x 14' 7” and 15' 5“ x 14' 7”.

    Gustav Metzger

    Serpentine Galleries
    Kensington Gardens
    September 29–November 8, 2009

    Curated by Rebecca Morrill, Sophie O’Brien, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Julia Peyton-Jones

    Capitalism, to Gustav Metzger, has always looked like a handcart to hell—so it’s apt that this extensive survey of the Nuremberg-born, London-based, officially “stateless” octogenarian’s six-decade career follows a global economic upheaval. Leading off with early paintings, the Serpentine will feature Metzger’s notable metaphors for our ineluctable journey on the Oblivion Express—his notorious “auto-destructive” pieces (disintegrating sculptures, acid-splashed canvases) begun in the late ’50s—in addition to his presciently eco-minded critiques of consumerist excess via accumulations of used materials. Various “auto-creative” works, including his perpetually dissolving liquid-crystal projections of the ’60s, will sidestep the cult of the maker, while an extensive archive of newspapers will sit at the show’s center, accessible to all and emblematizing the retrospective’s participatory slant.

  • Rosalind Nashashibi, Abbey 3, 2005,
black-and-white photograph.

    Rosalind Nashashibi, Abbey 3, 2005,
    black-and-white photograph.

    Rosalind Nashashibi

    INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS

    September 10–November 1, 2009

    Bergen Kunsthall
    Rasmus Meyers allé 5
    November 13–December 20, 2009

    Curated by Mark Sladen

    Known for her elegant filmic investigations into visual gestalts, voyeurism, and perceptual memory, as well as her creative engagement with cinematic history, Rosalind Nashashibi presents several of her experimental 16-mm productions from the past four years, including Bachelor Machines Part 2 (2007), which borrows footage and dialogue from Alexander Kluge’s 1968 film Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed; and The Prisoner (2008), a nod to Chantal Akerman’s 2000 film La Captive. Co-organized by the ICA and Bergen Kunsthall, Nashashibi’s first major survey also features a new film commission (comprising candid and staged scenes shot in London parks) and two photographic/collage works. The accompanying catalogue includes texts by Dieter Roelstraete and Martin Herbert as well as the artist’s own writings and research material.