• Tauba Auerbach, RGB Colorspace Atlas (detail), 2011, digital offset print on paper, case-bound book, with airbrushed cloth cover and page edges and binding construction by Daniel Kelm, set of three books, each 8 x 8 x 8".

    “Ecstatic Alphabets/ Heaps Of Language”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    May 6–August 27, 2012

    Curated by Laura Hoptman

    If over the past forty-odd years “language in art” has become a commonplace of artistic production and discourse, a new form of integrating writing and typography into visual art has recently emerged—one that, by returning to experimental poetry’s concentration on the material qualities of language, works to pulverize contemporary speech and loose it from received meaning. MoMA takes note of this development in an exhibition assembling sixty-four works by twelve contemporary artists and artists’ groups—from the concrete lettering of Tauba Auerbach to the activist scripts of Sharon Hayes—and juxtaposing them with a selection of the museum’s own text-based art spanning the twentieth century. Insiders look forward to seeing British artist and designer Paul Elliman’s work alongside that of his former students Shannon Ebner, Experimental Jetset, and Dexter Sinister, the design and publishing collaboration, which will print a new edition of its Bulletins of the Serving Library to accompany the exhibition.

  • Edouard Vuillard, Messieurs and Mesdames Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Avenue Henri-Martin, 1905, oil on cardboard, 22 1/2 x 28 1/4".

    “Édouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890–1940”

    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Avenue
    July 25, 2013–September 23, 2012

    Curated by Stephen Brown

    Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940) is often credited with having elevated the domestic interior to its crucial position in modernism. His experiments with pictorial form were rooted in seclusion from urban life, and under his treatment, interior spaces and their elaborate decors and patterns became synonymous with flatness. The Jewish Museum now promises to highlight the degree to which Vuillard’s art, by contrast, was social and collaborative in nature, emphasizing the crucial role played by his family, friends, dealers, and patrons. The Natanson family, the Hessel family, and the greater Bernheim-Jeune circle can now be newly appreciated as the people in and behind Vuillard’s modernist scenarios. Stretching the whole of his career, from the 1890s to 1940, the exhibition gathers about fifty paintings and works on paper, plus related photo­- graphs, journals, and letters, and is accompanied by a catalogue authored by the curator and Richard R. Brettell.

  • “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World”

    Various Venues
    134 Bowery–272 Bowery
    June 12, 2012–January 6, 2013

    Curated by Elvis Fuentes

    Spanning the two centuries between the Haitian Revolution and the present and featuring some 550 works by 350 artists, “Crossroads of the World” is the most ambitious art exhibition about the Caribbean ever mounted. However, it is not a show of Caribbean art per se, but of the Caribbean through art. Fuentes and his curatorial team have organized this overwhelming mass of content around six historical and cultural themes (race and human rights, language and religion, and the impact of plantation industries, to name a few) that articulate a fresh, complex discussion of the region, avoiding the usual clichés. The exhibition considers the Caribbean as a cultural area that includes the mainland around the Caribbean Sea—an area conditioned by coastal culture, multi­ethnic dynamics, and a shared historical background—and extends to the Caribbean diaspora.

  • Ellsworth Kelly, Banana Leaf, 1992, pencil on paper, 30 1/8 x 22 1/2".

    “Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings”

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    June 5–September 3, 2012

    Curated by Marla Prather

    Since the late 1940s, when he moved to France, Ellsworth Kelly has drawn from nature with a remarkable consistency. Whereas the earliest paintings from his sojourn in Paris court a deliberate clumsiness, the plant drawings he made then, such as his stunning depictions of apples and seaweed, are paragons of finesse. Kelly’s experiments with noncompositional techniques later resulted in a new kind of abstraction, as Yve-Alain Bois has shown. Yet Kelly is arguably our greatest draftsman in a more conventional sense. The plant works are all contour. Kelly’s line reveals the profiles of things we take for granted—tendrils, leaves, pieces of fruit—rendering them newly visible, as if only now are we able to see them for the first time. The Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition of seventy-five drawings has been culled from public and private collections, including the artist’s, and spans the entirety of Kelly’s career.

  • Sharon Hayes, Not Yet Titled, 2012, color video and overhead projection,

    “Sharon Hayes: There’s So Much I Want To Say To You”

    Whitney Museum of American Art
    99 Gansevoort Street
    June 21–September 9, 2012

    Curated by Chrissie Iles

    Dextrous, prolific Sharon Hayes will fill an entire floor of the Whitney with a decade’s worth of nonchalantly queer collisions between politics, desire, and history. “There’s so much I want to say to you” gathers twenty pieces, including such classics as the pseudoanthropological video/slide projection The Lesbian, 2000/2012, and SLA Screeds, 2003, Hayes’s faltering recitations of speeches made by Patty Hearst. New works will range from an installation of flyers announcing various political events from the 1960s through the present (Join Us, 2012) to a 2012 video on celebrity homophobe Anita Bryant to (possibly) a new performance. The show’s catalogue, conceived as an artist’s book, embodies Hayes’s wryly comedic process: Selected artists, writers, and activists, as well as curator Iles, will respond directly to images provided by the artist.

  • Klara Lidén, Der Mythos des Fortschritts (Moonwalk) [The Myth of Progress (Moonwalk)], 2008, color DVD (still), 4 minutes.

    “Klara Liden: Bodies of Society”

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    May 6–July 1, 2012

    Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Jenny Moore

    With a squatter’s ingenuity, Klara Liden finds opportunities for her sly, poetic assertions of autonomy in the unpoliced moments and discarded materials of cities. The young Swedish artist’s first large-scale American museum exhibition will feature more than ten works made over the past decade, including a sculpture, an installation, a slide show, videos (such as her early Paralyzed, 2003, in which she performs improvised acrobatics on a Stockholm subway car), and excerpts from her “Poster Paintings” series, 2007–10 (sheaves of stolen advertising posters painted over with white). But if Liden’s installation at Reena Spaulings last winter—for which she built a fortlike enclosure for a small forest of scavenged Christmas trees—is any indication, we can anticipate something startling and poignant for her planned intervention into the New Museum’s aseptic architecture.