previews

  • “OLAFUR ELIASSON: IN REAL LIFE”

    Tate Modern
    Bankside

    Curated by Mark Godfrey and Emma Lewis

    Sixteen years ago, Olafur Eliasson took over the Tate’s Turbine Hall and filled it with the light of a single day. The yellow sun and its orange glow made for an afterimage so overwhelming and profound that the memory of The Weather Project, 2003, set a high bar for anything else he might ever do. He has, nonetheless, been busy. The Tate has invited him back for a retrospective this summer that will load three decades of work into all manner of available space. Intuition, teamwork, logical paths, open roads, and honest dreams have produced an extremely diverse range of projects. So much color, light, and space will be mobilized that summaries will again be pointless. His work moves beyond art. It keeps proposing new social horizons, new publics, new places to live, and new futures. They meet us halfway. 

  • FRANK BOWLING

    Tate Britain
    Millbank

    Curated by Elena Crippa and Laura Castagnini

    “What am I supposed to be expressing anyway?” wondered Frank Bowling, the Guyana-born British painter, in a 1974 letter to Clement Greenberg, who replied: “I can’t answer any of yr questions about art.” But Bowling already knew that. For six decades, he has endeavored not to answer the question, but to find new ways of asking it, pouring, dripping, and collaging to convey his vivacious, edgeless imagination. Consider the epochal “Map Paintings,” 1967–71, whose lambent, tropical color fields bear the phantom contours of the Southern Hemisphere and the Middle Passage: visions forcedly at home with unsettledness. Both timely and overdue, Bowling’s first major retrospective will cover everything from his early figurative work and Pop forays to his recent, and ongoing, pursuit of total, intimate, borderless abstraction.

  • FAITH RINGGOLD

    Serpentine Galleries
    Kensington Gardens

    Curated by Melissa Blanchflower

    In the decade following the revelatory exhibition of Faith Ringgold’s paintings from the 1960s at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York, the artist, activist, author, and educator began, finally, to receive the sort of attention she richly deserved. For one, her American People Series #20: Die, 1967, an unflinching portrait of race relations through the lens of history painting, was acquired in 2016 by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where it has largely remained on display since joining that storied collection. Ringgold’s solo show at the Serpentine promises to be expansive, presenting forty works drawn from fifty years of her artistic practice, including her iconic paintings, masks, story quilts, and political posters.

  • “I, I, I, I, I, I, I, KATHY ACKER”

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
    The Mall
    May 1–July 21, 2019

    Curated by Ifeanyi Awachie, Richard Birkett, Steven Cairns, and Rosalie Doubal

    Kathy Acker (1947–1997) had a difficult relationship with London. The city’s literati made her reputation as an avant-garde star and then set out to destroy it. She collaborated successfully with the ICA, except in regard to its production of her play Lulu Unchained (1985), from which she tried to withdraw her name when the director rewrote the script. This spring, that same institution returns obliquely to the controversy, hosting the first exhibition dedicated to Acker in the UK. Although best known for her fiction writing, she had a lifelong connection to the art world and often turned to drawing, photography, sound, music, theater, and video as alternate modes of expression. In each, she connected formal questions to more visceral, erotic, and political ones. This show situates sixty pieces Acker made between 1973 and 1997, including her novels, recorded performances, and personal archives, within the aesthetic movements of their time and supplements them with works by artists and writers still under her influence today.