previews

  • Gabriel Orozco, Horses Running Endlessly, 1995, wood, 3 3/8 x 34 3/8 x 34 3/8".

    Gabriel Orozco

    Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart
    St. Alban-Rheinweg 60
    April 10 - August 10

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    December 13 - March 1

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    September 10 - January 11

    Curated by Ann Temkin

    A cultural scavenger who shifts fluidly from feats of industrial fabrication to meditations on the handmade, the organic, and the abject, Gabriel Orozco is a master of the comic and wistful gesture. He is also a defining figure in that strain of semirecent art that frames aesthetic practice as nomadic, globalized: ethereal in meaning and value, yet material and indexical in form. This show, organized by Ann Temkin, unpacks these layered dualities with two decades’ worth of the New York–, Mexico City–, and Paris-based artist’s works–roughly one hundred sculptures, photographs, paintings, and installations. The catalogue promises a definitive chronology and essays by Temkin, Briony Fer, and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Orozco’s most impassioned and theoretically minded advocate.

  • Oskar Schlemmer, Bauhaus Stairway, 1932, oil on canvas, 63 7/8 x 45".

    “Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    November 8 - January 25

    Curated by Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman

    A 1927 visit to the Bauhaus was part of the inspiration for Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s conception of the Museum of Modern Art. Now, for the first time since 1938, the American home of modernism will devote a major exhibition to its European precursor. Organized in collaboration with three German Bauhaus collections (and adapted from an exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin this past summer), the show includes works by such masters as Josef Albers, Walter Gropius, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and László Moholy-Nagy, as well as by their students. It will put on view not only the Bauhaus’s effective marriage of elemental forms and industrial production but also the complex history surrounding this influential school, from its birth in mystical visions of social and artistic harmony to its dissonant end in the extremes of politics, technicism, and formalism.

  • Tim Burton, Mars Attacks!, 1996, still from a color film in 35 mm, 106 minutes. Martian girl (Lisa Marie) and President James Dale (Jack Nicholson).

    Tim Burton

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    November 22 - April 26

    Curated by Jenny He, Ron Magliozzi, and Rajendra Roy

    The Museum of Modern Art’s Tim Burton retrospective includes screenings of his entire corpus of film features, from Peewee’s Big Adventure (1985) to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), as well the early shorts Vincent (1982)—a black-and-white stop-motion film about a young boy obsessed, like Burton, with Vincent Price, who provides the narration—and Frankenweenie (1984), starring Shelley Duvall. These shorts presage Burton’s preoccupation with the bizarre and the “gothic,” as well as his predilection for oddball stars, not to mention his flair for mordant comedy. The exhibition also assembles more than seven hundred drawings, paintings, storyboards, maquettes, puppets, production ephemera, etc. Some of the director’s favorite films, from F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu to Mark Robson’s Earthquake, will be showcased in an accompanying series, appropriately titled “The Lurid Beauty of Monsters.”

  • Wassily Kandinsky, Blaeues Segment (Blue Segment), 1921, oil on canvas, 47 1/2 x 55 1/8".

    Wassily Kandinsky

    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York
    1071 Fifth Avenue
    September 18 - January 13

    Curated by Tracey Bashkoff, Christian Derouet, and Annegret Hoberg

    Wassily Kandinsky is perhaps the most neglected of the chief modernist painters. Can this retrospective—a collaboration with two other deep repositories of the artist’s work, Munich’s Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau and the Centre Pompidou in Paris (both of which have already mounted the show)—change the familiar split in our assessment of his achievement: the thrilling rush, between 1907 and 1918, from apocalyptic landscape painting to a rhapsodic upheaval of line and color, versus the work made after around 1920, which so often appears academic and brittle? Making an argument in favor of the full career is especially the Guggenheim’s responsibility: The museum was originally designed to exhibit “non-objective” painting, with Kandinsky topping the list. The show will thus afford the institution an opportunity to examine its own shifting identity by revisiting its original brief.

  • Georgia O'Keeffe, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918, oil on canvas, 35 x 29 1/8". © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    “Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction”

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    September 17 - January 17

    Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
    217 Johnson Street
    May 28 - September 12

    The Phillips Collection
    1600 21st Street NW
    February 6 - May 9

    Curated by Barbara Haskell, Barbara Buhler Lynes, Bruce Robertson, and Elizabeth Hutton Tur

    For the past few decades, American art’s first lady has looked a bit kitschy to insiders, her artistic mode as pseudo-authentic as “southwestern” cuisine. Then there is her troublesome status as a celebrity, thanks in part to Alfred Stieglitz’s racy portraits (some of which appear in this exhibition), as well as to her subject matter. But maybe we were wrong. By foregrounding her abstractions—130 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sculptures—the case can be made for a radicality underlying her popularity, a rigor beneath the flowers. And seen through the eyes of today’s younger artists, O’Keeffe’s brand of American art looks interesting again, specific and local amid globalism’s anyspacewhatever, late, late modernism.

  • View of Urs Fischer, “Agnes Martin,” 2007, Regen Projects II, Los Angeles. Photo: Joshua White.

    Urs Fischer

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    October 28 - January 24

    Curated by Massimiliano Gioni

    From ink-jet prints to environmental installations and sculptures made of wax, bronze, and bread, Urs Fischer has an uncanny knack for taking just about any material or place and making it into an Urs Fischer. For his first major solo show at an American institution, he has been given free rein to fill the entire New Museum, which will house a mirrored labyrinth, towering aluminum abstractions, and an assortment of works both old and new. This eclectic mix should prove edifying to those who struggle to grasp Fischer’s deliriously multifarious production; a catalogue with texts by curator Massimiliano Gioni, Bice Curiger, and Jessica Morgan promises further help in this regard. The last time Fischer showed in New York, he excavated the floor of Gavin Brown’s gallery. Let’s hope come November the New Museum is still standing.

  • Ree Morton, Pink Numbers, 1971, mixed media on paper, 8 1/2 x 11".

    Ree Morton

    The Drawing Center
    35 Wooster Street
    July 25 - October 18

    Curated by João Ribas

    Ree Morton’s line is offhand and kooky, her sense of color winsome, her use of materials such as glitter, wallpaper, doilies, and wood downright goofy. But what’s most interesting is her expedient passage through Minimalism into the more affective registers of joy and melancholy. Her oeuvre celebrates the banishment of irony—hence, following her death, at age forty, in 1977, she was pretty much ignored for most of the ’80s and under-recognized through the ’90s. But Morton’s number has finally come up: Her inclusion in 2007 in “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” was followed by a gallery show in Los Angeles and a major retrospective at the Generali Foundation in Vienna. Now the Drawing Center hosts an exhibition of some sixty of her drawings and sculptures, as well as twelve notebooks. As we watch the dust of the feminist revolution settle, Morton may turn out to be the artist we need most.

  • Mike Kelley, Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #32 (Horse Dance of the False Virgin), 2005, chromogenic print and black-and-white Piezo print on rag paper, 45 x 40". Courtesy of the artist and Performa.

    Performa 09

    Various Venues
    134 Bowery–272 Bowery
    November 1 - November 22

    Curated by RoseLee Goldberg

    RoseLee Goldberg likens Performa, the sprawling live-art biennial she founded and directs, to a “museum without walls.” The phrase is André Malraux’s, but the sentiment seems closer to F. T. Marinetti, whose succinct, scornful analogy “Museums: cemeteries!” announced an anti-institutional desire for art sans mediation. Marinetti is an especially germane figure this year, given that a significant portion of the biennial’s third edition will be dedicated to the centennial of his Futurist Manifesto. (One program, for instance, features a “Futurist Film Funeral.”) With sixty odd works playing out over three weeks—including ten official commissions from artists as varied as Mike Kelley, Wangechi Mutu, and Yang Fudong—this edition is sure to satisfy even the most zealous completist.

  • Man Ray, The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows, 1916, oil on canvas, 52 x 72 3/8".

    “Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention”

    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Avenue
    July 25 - March 14

    Curated by Mason Klein

    Man Ray’s art demonstrates remarkable heterogeneity: Along with the photographs for which he’s best known, the artist made paintings, drawings, sculptural assemblages, films, even the stray book. According to curator Mason Klein—who assembled the two hundred–some works in the artist’s first US multimedia retrospective in more than twenty years—much of Man Ray’s disparate output reflects an ongoing concealment of his Russian-Jewish roots, a project epitomized by his adoption of a pithy nom de plume in lieu of his unmistakably ethnic given name, Emmanuel Radnitzky. While a provocative gambit, using the stratagem of identity politics is a risky move: Will Klein’s presentation result in a more nuanced appreciation of this avant-garde icon or manufacture a smoking gun that simplifies Man Ray’s protean oeuvre?

  • Adeela Suleman, Feroza (Turqouise), 2005, paint on aluminum cooking utensil, spoons, aluminum jar (burni), foam, cloth, 18 x 10 x 10".

    “Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan”

    Asia Society | New York
    725 Park Avenue
    September 10 - January 3

    Curated by Salima Hashmi

    Taking its title from an idiomatic Urdu expression that means “to delay decision,” the Asia Society’s survey of contemporary art from Pakistan features fifty-five works by fifteen artists based primarily in Karachi and Lahore, and urges its audiences to forestall judgment based on what they know of those cities from the daily news. While structured by a few predictable binaries—East and West, tradition and modernity, the religious and the secular—the show will also emphasize the specific impact of cosmopolitan Lahore’s artistic hothouse, the National College of Arts. At least half the artists in the exhibition studied at the NCA, most under the late Zahoor ul Akhlaq, whose efforts to simultaneously revive and deconstruct the Mughal miniature begin one lineage this survey will sensitively engage.

  • Mike Kelley and Michael Smith, A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, 2009, production still.

    Mike Kelley and Michael Smith

    West of Rome Public Art at the Farley Building
    Various Locations
    May 26 - August 26

    SculptureCenter

    September 13 - November 30

    Curated by Emi Fontana

    Both Mike Kelley and Michael Smith are known for works in performance and video art, and both consistently return to the dark substrata of American popular culture for aesthetico-conceptual inspirational dread. This show, organized by SculptureCenter together with West of Rome Public Art in Los Angeles, features a new collaborative installation by Kelley and Smith, A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, 2009. In addition to an eighteen-foot-high baby made from junk, and a playground, the installation features a four-channel video that stars Smith’s character Baby Ikki visiting the Burning Man festival—the perfect place for a mute, ambiguously sexed toddler.

  • Charles Burchfield, The Night Wind, 1918, watercolor, gouache, and pencil. © The Museum of Modern Art.

    Charles Burchfield

    Burchfield Penney Art Center
    1300 Elmwood Avenue
    March 5 - May 23

    Hammer Museum
    10899 Wilshire Boulevard
    October 4 - January 3

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    June 24 - October 17

    Curated by Robert Gober

    The eye for selection and sensitivity to space evident in Robert Gober’s sculptures and installations were last directed to curating in 2005, when the artist chose items from the Menil Collection in Houston to accompany his own work. Now Gober has assembled a full-fledged survey devoted to watercolorist Charles Burchfield (1893–1967), whose visions of the American scene are by turns ecstatic and morbid, mystical and bleak. The exhibition presents ephemera from Burchfield’s life (doodle-filled journal pages, correspondence with his early supporter Alfred H. Barr Jr.) alongside seventy-four watercolors. Psychedelic avant la lettre, the paintings feature plants, stars, insects, and dilapidated houses that melt or radiate shimmering coronas; a vocabulary of synesthetic marks lets the landscapes breathe, buzz, and hum their lost innocence.

  • 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

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    October 13 - January 10

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

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

    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.