• Mel Bochner, Master of the Universe, 2010, two panels, oil and acrylic on canvas, overall 100 x 75".

    “Mel Bochner: If the Colour Changes”

    Whitechapel Gallery
    77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
    October 12–December 30, 2012

    Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, João Fernandes, and Ulrich Wilmes

    Over the past decade, critics and curators have rigorously reimagined Mel Bochner’s oeuvre, while the artist himself has propelled his work forward with mordant wit and explosive energy. Trailblazing recent shows at the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery in Washington have been matched by Bochner’s increasingly topical twist on his nearly half-century-long engagement with language. (One recent thesaurus painting unspooled synonyms for that endangered species “master of the universe.”) Now audiences across the pond will be treated to his first major career survey in the UK. A catalogue with contributions by the curators and noted Bochner scholars Briony Fer and Mark Godfrey promises to further advance this artist’s historical stature and contemporary relevance.

  • Lucile Desamory, ABRACADABRA, 2012, digital photograph. In collaboration with Lucy McKenzie.

    “A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance”

    Tate Modern
    November 14, 2012–April 1, 2013

    Curated by Catherine Wood with Fiontán Moran

    Taking its title from David Hockney’s iconic 1967 painting of a California swimming pool, “A Bigger Splash” will attempt to map the expanded field of painting-as-performance since Jackson Pollock. The show’s roster of more than forty artists working across a range of media casts a wide net both generationally and geographically, embracing, among others, Italian Situationist Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, Soviet-era Slovenian collective IRWIN, and the New York–based Ei Arakawa. There’s a risk that such a survey will wind up muddying rather than distilling the waters, but what is performance without risk?

  • Architectural model by Snøhetta showing the Bjarne Melgaard House, Oslo, installed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, as part of Melgaard’s project A House to Die In, 2012–.

    “Bjarne Melgaard: A House to Die In”

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
    The Mall
    September 25–November 18, 2012

    Curated by Matt Williams

    Psychopathic hackers, HIV bug chasers, murderers, and meth—the excesses of Bjarne Melgaard’s terror-world only grow darker when one knows that the artist’s engagement with these subjects never stops at skin-deep. Now the ripped, disturbingly tan Norwegian is working on A House to Die In, which, true to form, will actually be built. To design this bizarre Oslo studio/residence, Melgaard has been collaborating with Snøhetta, of New York’s World Trade Center Memorial Pavilion fame, and, from cad renderings of mutable s/m chambers to maquettes of decomposing exterior walls, the ICA is strewn with their plans. But lest such relatively rational production leave you yearning for more, an onslaught of paintings by schizophrenic artists (with whom Melgaard has been sharing his studio) tests the venue’s optical limits in true horror-vacui form.