• Francis Alÿs,When Faith Moves Mountains, 2002. Performance view.

    Francis Alÿs

    Tate Modern
    June 15–September 5

    Curated by Mark Godfrey and Kerryn Greenberg

    Over the course of his two-decade career, Belgian-born Francis Alÿs has developed a nuanced poetics of labor, largely via low-key, wryly resonant activities: pushing a huge block of ice through his adopted hometown of Mexico City until the cube has completely melted (Paradox of Praxis, 1997); directing five hundred volunteers armed with shovels to shift a great mass of sand four inches (When Faith Moves Mountains, 2002). This major mid-career exhibition will include the multifarious documentation Alÿs produced for these and some thirty other performative projects he’s staged worldwide. Premiering will be Tornado, 2010, a video in which the artist, dashing headlong into spinning cyclones of ash and sand, searches (once again) for meaning in a world of chaos.

  • Ernesto Neto, Célula Nave. It happens in the body of time, where truth dances, 2004, polyamide textile, aluminum tubes, sand, and styrofoam 187 1/8 x 787 1/2 x 944 7/8 ". Installation view, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2009. Photo: Studio Hans Wilschut

    Ernesto Neto

    Hayward Gallery
    Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road
    June 19–September 5

    Curated by Cliff Lauson

    It is no mystery why Ernesto Neto has become one of Brazil’s most popular artists. He engages not just sight but touch and smell. To be fair, while this approach is crowd-pleasing, it also demonstrates a clear historical link to the heyday of Tropicália, the Rio de Janeiro–based interdisciplinary movement of the late 1960s that expanded colorful abstraction and sensory exploration (think Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica) in the direction of audience involvement. Here Neto will showcase six participatory installations spread across two galleries and three sculpture courts. In addition to his familiar bulbous, pillow-like forms, a steel-based work will make its debut. The accompanying catalogue will include contributions from the curator, São Paulo Bienal director Moacir dos Anjos, and others, as well as a conversation between Hayward director Ralph Rugoff and the artist.

  • Thomas Struth, Crosby Street, New York/Soho, 1978, black-and-white photograph, 17 1/4 x 22".

    Thomas Struth: Photographs 1979-2010

    K20 Grabbeplatz
    Grabbeplatz 5
    February 26–June 19

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    July 5–September 16

    Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
    Rua Dom João de Castro, 210
    October 1–February 28

    Kunsthalle Zurich
    Limmatstrasse 270
    July 17–September 12

    Curated by Tobia Bezzola, Anette Kruszynski, and James Lingwood

    Asked to pinpoint the essence of photography, Thomas Struth said it was “a communicative and analytical medium,” and his work is a prime example of that rigorous, intellectual approach. One of the most successful graduates of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s Düsseldorf School, Struth is also one of the strictest adherents to its influential version of Neue Sachlichkeit. This three-decade survey rounds up nearly one hundred works, from his earliest, modestly scaled and unpopulated black-and-white streetscapes to the massive color views of thronged museum and cathedral interiors that have come to define his oeuvre, concluding with a series of big new studies of industrial sites.