previews

  • Frida Kahlo, Sol y Vida, 1947, oil on masonite, 38 x 48 cm.

    Frida Kahlo

    Gropius Bau
    Niederkirchnerstraße 7
    April 30–August 9, 2010

    Kunstforum

    September 1–December 12, 2010

    Curated by Helga Prignitz-Poda

    Does a museum really need an excuse to mount a Frida Kahlo exhibition? A major survey toured the United States in 2008, loosely pegged to the centennial of the Mexican icon’s birth in 1907. Now Europe is celebrating the occasion with what is purportedly the largest presentation of Kahlo’s psychologically rich work ever compiled. (A smaller, unrelated exhibition, running January 16–April 14 at Bozar in Brussels, whets the palate with snapshots and letters augmenting Kahlo’s art.) Better late than never. At the Martin-Gropius-Bau, highlights among the 120 paintings and works on paper include Kahlo’s last completed work, never before exhibited; a trove of unpublished drawings; and a selection of photographs depicting the artist and her friends, gathered by her grandniece Cristina Kahlo.

  • Artur Barrio, SITUAÇÃO.................. ORHHHHHH..., 1969. Performance view, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, 1969. Photo: César Carneiro.

    “Tropicália”

    Kunsthalle Wien Museumsquartier
    Museumsplatz 1 & at Karlsplatz
    January 29–May 2, 2010

    Curated by Thomas Mießgang

    The recent fire that destroyed much of Hélio Oiticica’s oeuvre portends that even more attention will be given to an already hot area—1960s Brazil—in coming years. Reprising a 2006 survey at the Barbican in London, this show focuses on the generative effect of Oiticica’s 1967 Tropicália environment, which spawned a short-lived but fertile movement across the arts in Rio de Janeiro. As with the earlier effort, Tropicalismo is here conflated with neoconcreto (Oiticica, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape) and Brazilian conceptualism (Cildo Meireles, Antonio Dias), emphasizing participation and sensory appeal, though the differences between these movements may prove equally compelling. The show brings together roughly seventy pieces, including material from contemporary artists such as Assume Vivid Astro Focus and Ernesto Neto, whose work suggests that today Tropicália is more a national tradition than an avant-garde.