previews

  • Richard Serra, Untitled, 1972–1973, lithographic crayon on paper, 37 3/4 x 49 3/4".

    Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective

    The Menil Collection
    1533 Sul Ross Street
    March 2–June 10

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    April 13–August 28

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    October 15–January 17

    Curated by Bernice Rose, Michelle White, and Gary Garrels

    Richard Serra has described his sculptural practice as being grounded in drawing: Drawing as “cut” represents the division of a sheet by a line—and, in turn, of actual space by the edge of a steel plate. He has also approached drawing as a relentless, heavy application of medium—generally black paint stick—to support. And the huge “installation drawings,” which occupy whole walls, seize control of one’s sensation of the space of a room. Organized by the Menil Collection, Houston, this first full-scale retrospective of Serra’s drawings features roughly fifty pieces, including some made specifically for the show. It may well afford us an alternate history of the artist’s career.

  • Stan VanDerBeek, Breathdeath, 1963, still from 16mm black-and-white film transferred to DVD, fifteen minutes.

    Stan VanDerBeek: The Culture Intercom

    MIT List Visual Arts Center
    20 Ames Street E15
    February 4–April 3

    Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
    5216 Montrose Boulevard
    May 14–July 31

    Curated by Bill Arning, Mark Bartlett, and João Ribas

    In recent years, Stan VanDerBeek’s role as a mixed-media visionary has been receiving increased recognition. With this first museum survey, the artist finally gets his due as an expanded-cinema pioneer and a theorist of “culture-intercom”—his name for the global network emerging with the proliferation of screen-based technologies. Incorporating some one hundred works, the show includes VanDerBeek’s earliest Beat-inspired paintings and collages, his well-known collage films, his lesser known multiscreen works, and pieces that harness technologies such as primitive computer animation systems and fax machines. A scholarly catalogue, with essays by the curators as well as by art historians Jacob Proctor, Gloria Sutton, and Michael Zryd, accompanies the show. Travels to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, May 14–July 31.

  • William Eggleston, Untitled (Back of Black Car in Green Vines) from the “Los Alamos Project”, 1965–1974, dye-transfer print, 16 x 20".

    The Spectacular of Vernacular

    Ackland Art Museum
    101 S. Columbia Street The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    January 14–April 18

    Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
    5216 Montrose Boulevard
    July 23–September 18

    Walker Art Center
    725 Vineland Place
    January 29–May 8

    Montclair Art Museum
    3 South Mountain Avenue
    October 8–January 1

    Curated by Darsie Alexander

    For this show, Alexander explores regionalism and the culturally specific, calling on some thirty artists to consider the ramifications of the “vernacular”—particularly as formulated by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour in Learning from Las Vegas (1972)—in light of our changing relationship to mass culture during the past four decades. Featuring artists as diverse as Louise Bourgeois, Walker Evans, and William E. Jones, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes a substantial essay by Alexander. As the show proposes a newer view of the vernacular as entwined with spectacle, hopefully attention will still be paid to its etymology as firmly located within historical questions of ownership, race, and class.