previews

  • Bhupen Khakhar, Barber’s Shop, 1973, oil on canvas, 40 3/4 × 40 3/4". © Estate of Bhupen Khakhar/Kanwaldeep and Devinder Sahney.

    “Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All”

    Tate Modern
    Bankside
    June 1 - November 6

    Curated by Chris Dercon with Nada Raza

    In the 1981 self-portrait from which Bhupen Khakhar’s retrospective takes its title, we see the artist standing nude at a balcony and gazing out over a town in which various scenes from an Aesop fable are taking place. Shortly after its execution, the artist acknowledged that the work represented his coming out as gay. At this show, more than seventy of Khakhar’s paintings, ceramics, and works on paper will present honest appraisals of self and society: Portraits of down-at-heel tradesmen from the ’70s will jostle with the artist’s uncompromising representations of sexuality in a time and place where it was deemed taboo, while late self-portraits will document Khakhar’s battle with cancer, which ended with his death in 2003. You can’t please all, but Tate Modern’s tribute—whose catalogue will feature an essay by veteran art historian Geeta Kapur—will show how this artist made a virtue of not even trying. Travels to the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, Nov. 18–Mar. 5, 2017.

  • Model wearing Judy Blame’s Safety Pin Necklace, 2010. From i-D, 2010. Photo: William Baker

    “Judy Blame: Never Again”

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
    The Mall
    June 29 - September 4

    Curated by Matt Williams

    In the 1980s, underground stylist, designer, and art director Judy Blame collaborated with icons of the London club scenes from Leigh Bowery to Boy George, contributing to their queering of heteronormative identities and playing a key role in a subculture that expanded punk’s attack on Thatcherism into a broader subversion. It will be interesting to see how the works in the ICA’s survey of Blame’s oeuvre—DIY jewelry designs, neo-Dada collages, editorials, sketches, and clothing, all documented in an accompanying limited-edition zine—will resonate in today’s climate of neoliberal crisis, which has intensified significantly since the ’80s. The exhibition title, “Never Again”—which could be read as nostalgic, defiant, cynical, or outright nihilistic—leaves the possibilities wide-open.