previews

  • Le grand geste! Informel and Abstract Expressionism, 1946–1964

    Museum Kunstpalast
    Ehrenhof 4-5
    April 10–August 10

    Curated by Kay Heymer

    With the ascent of American action painting and its subsequent ideologically charged promotion through international exhibitions, large-scale gestural abstraction became the lingua franca of the postwar vanguard. Although European manifestations of this tendency—art autre, tachism, and art informel, e.g.— remain underexamined relative to their American counterpart, several recent shows have sought to redress this imbalance. With some 120 works by fifty artists, “Le grande geste!” extends the endeavor, emphasizing the years 1946 to 1964, when European artists were digging out of World War II, many by “speaking” the international language of gestural abstraction. Focusing on Paris, Düsseldorf, and New York, this exhibition sets the period’s French and German art on more equal footing with American AbEx, promising, in turn, to shed new light on each.

  • Matts Leiderstam, View (Papago Park), 2007, one of nine color photographs, 12 3/4 x 15".

    Matts Leiderstam: Seen from Here

    Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
    Grabbeplatz 4
    March 20–May 30

    Malmö Konsthall
    St Johannesgatan 7 Box 17 127
    June 13–August 22

    Turku Art Museum
    Aurakatu 26
    October 1–January 16

    Curated by Ulrike Groos and Christoph Benjamin Schulz

    Matts Leiderstam’s exhibitions generate historical and visual networks as seductive as they are complex—forms of entanglement here incarnated in fifteen or so series. Take this show’s central work, Neanderthal Landscape, 2009–10: Based on the artist’s research in local archives, museums, and related sites, the installation traces the history of mid-nineteenthcentury Düsseldorf School painting and filters it through slide projections, computer animations, optical instruments, and the artist’s own paintings and drawings, producing delicate deconstructions of the gaze and its habitual parceling up of nature and body. An accompanying catalogue involves the neighboring fiveinstitution “Schirmer Project 2010,” an examination of Düsseldorf School pillar Johann Wilhelm Schirmer.