previews

  • “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    May 17 - September 7

    Curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Christophe Cherix

    In 1960, Yoko Ono was part of a groundbreaking downtown scene in which artists of all stripes had begun writing short text-based scores using post-Cagean strategies of the “experimental” or “indeterminate” to open the work of art to unforeseen possibilities. While most used this approach to transcend painting, Ono’s twist at her debut at AG Gallery—George Maciunas’s short-lived pre-Fluxus space—was to deploy “paintings” shot through with poetry, performance, and ambient, incidental media. Her now-infamous Painting to Be Stepped On, 1960, will be among the 125 film-, audio-, object-, and paper-based works brought together at MoMA, as will video documentation of her landmark Cut-Piece, 1965, an extraordinary engendering of the violence of spectatorship without boundaries. This overview, which contextualizes Ono’s “instruction pieces,” should allow for a further questioning of the limits and scope of 1960s innovation, including Fluxus’s antagonistic, if preemptive, relation to Conceptual art.

  • Grete Stern, Autorretrato (Self-Portrait), 1943, gelatin silver print, 8 3/4 × 11". © Estate of Horacio Coppola.

    “From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola”

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    May 17 - October 4

    Curated by Roxana Marcoci and Sarah Meister with Drew Sawyer

    This spring, MoMA will host the first large-scale exhibition to grant international visibility to the photographs of Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola. The transatlantic journey of these creative partners (and, at one point, spouses) demonstrates that before the paralysis of Europe during World War II, avant-gardes emerged simultaneously in various metropolises of the world, eradicating the notion of periphery. Stern and Coppola left a Bauhaus closed by the Nazis to land eventually in Buenos Aires, where they hosted Argentina’s “first” exhibition of modernist photography and ran a commercial studio. Stern, in particular, conceived of feminist images that echoed the era’s widespread disenchantment with patriarchal societies. On view will be 250 original photographs and photomontages, 40 typographic works, 26 photobooks and periodicals, and four 16-mm films (many of which have never been exhibited), while the catalogue provides new translations of the artists’ writings, as well as essays from the curators and scholar Jodi Roberts.

  • Valentino, “Shanghai” collection evening dress, 2013, silk and synthetic netting, silk chiffon appliqué, beads. From “China: Through the Looking Glass.”

    “China: Through the Looking Glass”

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    May 7 - August 16

    Curated by Andrew Bolton

    Among the most subtly erotic images in all cinema is the slow-motion shot of Maggie Cheung wearing an iridescent cheongsam that shimmers red to green as she ascends the stairs in Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love (2002). Working with his longtime production and costume designer, William Chang, Wong is the artistic director for “China: Through the Looking Glass,” a collaboration between the Met’s Costume Institute and its Department of Asian Art. The exhibition will showcase decorative objects and clothes from three centuries of Chinese history, as well as fashions by Western designers inspired by Chinese design and imagery—from Paul Poiret and Mainbocher to Chanel and Charles James, from Saint Laurent and Balenciaga to Dries Van Noten and Paul Smith—more than forty in all. There will be films, but also theatrical and musical performances and an accompanying publication with contributions from Wong, designer John Galliano, and numerous scholars.

  • “Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden”

    New Museum
    235 Bowery
    June 10 - September 13

    Curated by Massimiliano Gioni and Gary Carrion-Murayari

    F. Scott Fitzgerald famously quipped that a first-rate intelligence is marked by the ability to hold two opposed ideas simultaneously and still function. By this measure, Albert Oehlen clearly ranks among the most intelligent artists working today. Over the course of more than thirty years, Oehlen has assaulted traditional ideas of painterly subjectivity and taste while producing works of almost classical formal balance and (dare it be said) beauty. “Home and Garden” (to be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Gioni, Mark Godfrey, and Anne Pontégnie, as well as an interview with the artist) uses the conceit of oppositions between interior and exterior to frame the artist’s ongoing dialectical approach. Amassing two floors’ worth of works from the early 1980s to the present, this show gives its subject his long-overdue New York museum debut and promises a healthy dose of Oehlen’s particular—and influential—brand of painterly intelligence.

  • “Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television”

    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Avenue
    May 1 - September 20

    Curated by Maurice Berger

    Kennedy-era FCC chairman Newton Minow wasn’t referencing T. S. Eliot when he called commercial television a “vast wasteland”—or was he? The mixed-media exhibition (and accompanying catalogue) “Revolution of the Eye” argues that, particularly in its formative years, network TV was a modernist form. The show draws on some 260 art objects, artifacts, and clips from the late 1940s through the mid-’70s; artists range from ex-Dadaists (Duchamp, Man Ray) and Pop stars (Lichtenstein, Warhol) to the great vulgar modernist Ernie Kovacs, with guest appearances by Dalí and de Kooning. Sampled TV includes Op-inflected Kodak commercials, the pop surrealism of The Twilight Zone, the pop Pop Batman, and Winky Dink and You, the original interactive TV show that inspired countless children to draw on their TVs and George Landow to make underground movies. Travels to the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Oct. 17, 2015–Sept. 28, 2016, and other venues.

  • Philippe Parreno, Crowd (work in progress), 2015, 65 mm, color, sound.

    Philippe Parreno

    Park Avenue Armory
    643 Park Avenue
    June 11 - August 2

    Curated by Alex Poots and Hans Ulrich Obrist

    Philippe Parreno will bring the Park Avenue Armory back to life as a hydra-headed Gesamtkunstwerk gamelan. It will rise like the summer wind and swell with dream and dance, impulse and pulse. Parreno, the keeper of the beats, will be on hand to play his meta-instrument forward. No loops. Some films will be set in motion—they include Marilyn (2012), Invisibleboy (2010), Anywhere Out of the World (2000), and a new work made in New York. Twenty-five movie marquees will blink back in the darkness. Tino Sehgal’s reanimation Ann Lee, 2011, will walk up and ask existential questions to anyone who will listen. The pianist Mikhail Rudy will perform live. The work of art becomes crowded and crowdsourced, strangely lucid and free. Each day will unfold differently. No one has ever seen anything like it.

  • “Russian Modernism: Cross-Currents in German and Russian Art, 1907–1917”

    Neue Galerie New York
    1048 Fifth Avenue
    May 14 - August 31

    Curated by Konstantin Akinsha

    The decade preceding the Russian Revolution witnessed productive interchange between German and Russian artists, and Munich was a major hub for the imagining and development of an alternative to Parisian modernism. Artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Alexei von Jawlensky congregated there, informed and inspired by their French colleagues but also allied with their German counterparts in an embrace of Central European and Eastern particularity. “Russian Modernism” promises to be eye-opening for US audiences more familiar with the German-Soviet exchanges of Constructivism. This earlier chapter is equally fraught with tensions between nationalist and internationalist agendas: The exhibition’s challenge will be to address the artists’ politics as well as the breach that occurred during World War I, when Russians were forced to leave Germany and any remaining ties had to be maintained over enemy lines. The catalogue features essays by scholars including Jane Sharp and Vivian Endicott Barnett.

  • Zanele Muholi, Collen Mfazwe, August House, Johannesburg, 2012, gelatin silver print, 34 × 24".

    “Zanele Muholi: Isibinelo/Evidence”

    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    May 1 - November 1

    Curated by Catherine J. Morris and Eugenie Tsai

    As South Africans commemorated twenty years of postapartheid democracy last year, Johannesburg-based photographer Zanele Muholi was documenting the violence that persists against the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex communities. The series “Faces and Phases,” 2006–14, for example, like much of the work of this self-described “visual activist,” measures the distance between the liberties enshrined in South Africa’s lauded constitution and the sexual violence and hate crimes that continue to be committed against local women, especially black lesbians. Following on the heels of Muholi’s recent showings at the 2013 Venice Biennale and Documenta 13 in 2012, this exhibition draws together nearly ninety of her photographs, videos, and installations since 2007 under the theme of isibinelo, a Zulu word suggesting evidence to behold or an example to witness.