previews

  • Horst P. Horst, Costume for Salvador Dali’s “Dreams of Venus,” 1939, black-and-white photograph, 7 1/2 X 10".

    The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    August 1–November 1

    Kunsthalle Zurich
    Limmatstrasse 270
    July 17–May 13

    Curated by Roxana Marcoci

    In her seminal 1979 essay charting the possibilities for postwar sculpture, Rosalind Krauss pointed to photography’s imbrication within the medium’s “expanded field.” After all, many site-based works migrated from the confines of the white cube only to return to it in the form of photographic documentation. Curator Roxana Marcoci locates this moment within the ongoing—but often overlooked—dialogue between the two mediums in an ambitious exhibition of more than 300 works by 118 artists (Eugène Atget, Constantin Brancusi, Fischli & Weiss, and Rachel Harrison, to name a few) that examines the way photography has informed and challenged our understanding of sculpture from the dawn of modernism to the present day. Travels to the Kunsthaus Zürich, Feb. 25–May 13, 2011.

  • Christian Marclay: Festival

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    July 1–September 26

    Curated by David Kiehl

    Christian Marclay never got too hung up on the music pressed onto records, and thus was free to work with all their other attributes. Since his early pieces in vinyl, such as Record Without a Cover, 1985, Marclay’s palette has expanded to include instruments, instrument cases, speaker cabinets, magnetic tape, CDs, film, and seemingly any and all other conveyances of sound. For “Christian Marclay: Festival,” the focus will be on the score. Watch for daily appearances within the galleries by such downtown luminaries such as Alan Licht, Butch Morris, Elliott Sharp, Ikue Mori, Joan La Barbara, Lee Ranaldo, Marina Rosenfeld, and Zeena Parkins, who will perform the pieces on display (including one continually evolving work created by museum goers on a chalkboard). The catalogue will similarly develop over time, appearing in magazine-like installments throughout the show.

  • Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimares, Inventario das pequenas mortes (Sporo) (Inventory of Small Deaths [Blow]), 2000, still from a black-and-white film in Super 8 transferred to video, 5 minutes 12 seconds.

    Rivane Neuenschwander

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    June 23–September 19

    Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
    7374 East Second Street
    February 12–June 19

    Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
    Washington University, One Brookings Drive
    October 8–January 10

    Curated by Richard Flood

    Rivane Neuenschwander’s first mid-career survey features more than forty works, many of which are premised on looping, noncomposition, systematization, and temporal delay. Interactive installations that probe the relationship between language and desire, such as First Love, 2010, in which a police sketch artist generates portraits from verbal descriptions, are sure to draw crowds. Others fret more delicately at the edges of perception and relational practice—a bubble floats mysteriously through a house in a video titled The Tenant, 2010, while the newly commissioned The Conversation promises to activate the New Museum’s architectural membrane with listening devices embedded in its walls and floors. Travels to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, Oct. 8, 2010–Jan. 10, 2011; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ, Feb 12–June 19, 2011; and other venues.


  • Brion Gysin with Dreamachine at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1962. Collection William S. Burroughs Archive, Courtesy William S. Burroughs Trust, Lawrence, Kansas. Photo: Harold Chapman/Image Works.

    Brion Gysin

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    July 7–October 3

    Curated by Laura Hoptman

    “Writing is fifty years behind painting,” Brion Gysin (1916–1986) declared in 1959, a still-contentious statement made the year he chanced upon the cut-up technique. This procedure—slicing and suturing swaths of text—begat his two most infamous verbal-art endeavors: The Third Mind, 1965, a massive image-and-text collage made with his longtime comrade William S. Burroughs, and the “permutation poems,” realized using magnetic tape, in which Gysin semantically unlocks single phrases by reordering their constituent words in every possible variation. This survey will include more than 250 of the elusive artist’s seldom-seen drawings, books, calligraphic paintings, photocollages, films, slide projections, and sound works. Also on view will be 1961’s Dreamachine, a kinetic contraption that, like Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs before it, was ill suited to the consumer market yet perfectly illuminates a moment of countercultural spectatorship.

  • David Goldblatt, The farmer’s son with his nursemaid, on the farm in Heimweeberg, near Nietverdiend in the Marico Bushveld. Transvaal (North-West Province), 1964, black-and-white photograph, 9 x 13".

    South African Photographs: David Goldblatt

    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Avenue
    May 2–September 19

    Curated by Susan Tumarkin Goodman

    Whether documenting workers blasting a shaft in a gold mine, the grueling commute from a Bantustan, or everyday life in a middle-class Afrikaans town, South African photographer David Goldblatt’s images are beguilingly straightforward. His preference for “talking” over “shouting” led to accusations during the 1980s that he was insufficiently “activist,” but therein, paradoxically, lies the power of his work, whose austerity is repeatedly jostled by meticulously calibrated measures of compassion and dismay. On the heels of his (smaller) New Museum exhibition in New York last fall, this retrospective features 150 black-and-white photographs made over the past sixty-two years. A “context room” with a time line linking South Africa’s history with Goldblatt’s biography will complement the texts that accompany each image, which likewise convey a sense of individual lives enmeshed in historical circumstance.

  • Nendo, Cabbage chair, 2008, pleated paper, dimensions variable.

    Why Design Now?

    Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
    2 East 91st Street
    May 14–January 9

    Curated by Ellen Lupton, Cara McCarty, Matilda McQuaid, and Cynthia Smith

    Shopaholics may be able to hide their Prada purchases in reusable Whole Foods bags, but what’s a designer to do during a downturn economy in the era of global warming? The Cooper-Hewitt’s Fourth National Design Triennial, titled “Why Design Now?” promises some answers. Organized around eight themes—energy, mobility, community, materials, prosperity, health, communication, and simplicity— the exhibition argues that design is ever more urgently needed during this crisis moment, not just to solve problems but to change behavior. The exhibited projects—which prioritize looking great and performing well—envisage a world where consciousness of resources, energy, and waste is a given. This triennial breaks ranks with its nationally focused predecessors by spotlighting 134 global design innovations, ranging from a condom applicator to an entire carbon-neutral city.

  • Hank Willis Thomas, It’s the Real Thing!, 1978/2006, LightJet print, 59 1/2 x 51 1/2".

    Greater New York

    MoMA PS1
    22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue
    May 23–October 20

    Curated by Klaus Biesenbach, Connie Butler, and Neville Wakefield

    The third installment of “Greater New York”—P.S. 1’s quintennial state-of-the-city address—showcases new work, including a number of site-specific projects and performances, by seventy-plus emerging artists based around the five boroughs. Participants—the expansive list features Amy Yao, Hank Willis Thomas, and Xaviera Simmons—were chosen in part via the institution’s new Studio Visit website, thus saving the curatorial team a trek around a thousand-odd actual workspaces. One gallery will be dedicated to a best-of review of Big Apple culture from the past half decade, with entries suggested by a cadre of curators and critics, while a “rotating gallery” will be commandeered by a different local curator every five weeks (four rotations in all). Such a dispersed curatorial effort promises, if nothing else, a markedly democratic take on the metropolitan scene.

  • Charles LeDray, Party Bed, 2006-2007, mixed media, 25 3/4 x 19 1/4 x 40 1/2". Photo: Tom Powel.

    Charles LeDray: workworkworkworkwork

    Institute of Contemporary Art

    July 16–October 17

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    September 18–February 13

    Curated by Randi Hopkins

    New York–based Charles LeDray is a self-taught artist whose practice defies the category’s savant stereotype. Yes, he uses traditional craft techniques to produce work of visionary intensity. True, he commands an idiosyncratic oeuvre that includes microscaled clothing and furniture. And, admittedly, he has made objects incorporating hand-carved human bone, tapping into tropes of primitivism and outsider art. But as this show, which gathers fifty-odd sculptures and installations from the past twenty- five years, demonstrates, LeDray also possesses a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary scene. A master embroiderer and potter with a talent for fine and affecting detail, he turns age-old methods to deathless ends, probing the intersection of individual and collective imagination. Travels to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Nov. 18, 2010–Feb. 13, 2011.

  • Publicity still of the Tokyo-based band Jackie and the Cedrics, who will perform as part of SuperDeluxe@Artspace.

    17th Biennale of Sydney

    Various Venues
    134 Bowery–272 Bowery
    May 12–August 1

    Curated by David Elliott

    Veteran curator David Elliott disperses the Biennale of Sydney across several harbor-area locations, including the Sydney Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the glorious Cockatoo Island, where disused industrial buildings and a former prison play host to a massive light-box installation by Hiroshi Sugimoto and the Tiger Lillies’ new “post-punk neo-Brechtian” opera, among other contributions by some fifty international artists. Ransacking both the recent past and the haunted present, Elliott has selected works with maximum iconic presence and acute historical resonance: Cai Guo-Qiang’s Inopportune: Stage One, 2004, involves a sequence of exploding cars in the island’s old Turbine Hall; Aussie-born Brook Andrew’s Jumping Castle War Memorial, 2010, recasts the inflatable carnival staple as Aboriginal redoubt, requiring all who request access to mentally register the significance of entering before doing so.