previews

  • Wifredo Lam

    Centre Pompidou
    Place Georges-Pompidou
    September 30 - February 15

    Curated by Catherine David

    Visitors to the retrospective of Wifredo Lam at the Centre Pompidou will confront many things at once: an expanded geography of Surrealism, a bid for one painter’s canonization as an exemplary “plural modernist” (a term the museum recently used to advertise a rehang of its collection), and a case for the centrality of African Creole cultures to the formation of “European” modernity. A Cuban-born painter of mixed-race ancestry, Lam thought of his practice as an act of decolonization. Catherine David’s retrospective tracks Lam’s work across five decades, from 1926 to the early 1980s, and from Havana to Madrid, Paris, Marseille, and beyond. It will encompass more than four hundred works, from paintings and drawings to photographs and rare books, including Lam’s breakthrough canvas, The Jungle, 1943. Travels to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Apr. 12–Aug. 15, 2016; Tate Modern, London, Sept. 14, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017.

  • “Ragnar Kjartansson: Seul Celui Qui Connait Le Désir

    Palais de Tokyo
    13, Avenue du Président Wilson
    October 21 - January 10

    Curated by Julien Fronsacq

    Weaving together forms of production so diverse and interpenetrating that they defy almost any attempt at categorization, Ragnar Kjartansson has developed one of the least self-serious and yet most profound practices in contemporary art. Equally at home behind the camera and in front of it, painting a portrait, fronting a band, or acting as impresario for a range of inexplicably affecting scenarios, this Icelandic heir to Kippenberger makes work whose central themes—joy, empathy, embarrassment, boredom, failure—gather slowly, but arrive with the force of revelation. The exhibition, whose title is loosely taken from a Goethe quote, translated in English as “Only he who knows what yearning is,” includes several installation/performance/film hybrids commissioned for the exhibition, as well as reprises of works such as the gloriously tedious Bjarni Bömmer Listens to Take It Easy by the Eagles, 2015, and is accompanied by a catalogue featuring contributions by Fronsacq and theater theorist Laure Fernandez.