Museums Coast to Coast: Fall Preview

By Peggy Roalf   Tuesday September 1, 2015

Opening this fall in New York City:

Picasso Sculpture at MoMA. The largest museum exhibition of Picasso’s sculptures to take place in the United States in nearly half a century, the exhibition brings together around 150 sculptures from Picasso’s entire career via loans from major public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad, with the largest selection of works coming from the Musée national Picasso–Paris. With many works on view for the first time in the U.S., the exhibition provides an opportunity to explore a rarely seen aspect of Picasso’s large and prolific career. The exhibition will include a selection of relevant works on paper and about 30 of the remarkable photographs of Picasso’s sculptures taken by Brassaï (French, born Transylvania, 1899–1984). Picasso Sculpture is on view at Museum of Modern Art from September 14, 2015-December 11, 2015.

Below: Pablo Picasso, Bull, Cannes, c. 1958. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Kongo: Power and Majesty at The Metropolitan Museum. This landmark presentation will focus on one of the continent's most influential artistic traditions, from the earliest moment of direct engagement between African and European leaders at the end of the 15th century through the early 20th century. Presenting 134 works drawn from more than 50 institutional and private collections across Europe and the United States, the exhibition reflects five hundred years of encounters and shifting relations between European and Kongo leaders. From a dynamic assembly of 15 monumental power figures to elegantly carved ivories and finely woven textiles, the exhibition will explore how the talents of Central Africa's most gifted artists were directed toward articulating a culturally distinct vernacular of power. Kongo: Power and Majesty is on view September 18, 2015-January 3, 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

In addition, the museum is presenting In and Out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa, through January 3, 2016, and The Aftermath of Conflict: Jo Ractliffe’s Photographs of Angola and South Africa, through March 6, 2016.

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist at the Whitney, the first retrospective of this pioneering artist in New York City in more than two decades. One of the most important figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance, Motley was a master colorist with a daring sense of spatial invention, qualitieshe combined with keen observational skills honed on urban culture. The exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to carefully examine Motley’s dynamic depictions of modern life, and will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art from October 2, 2015, through January 17, 2016.

Jim Shaw at the New Museum. Presenting some of Shaw’s most iconic projects, including early airbrush drawings; large selections from his series “Dream Drawings” (1992–99), “Dream Objects” (1994–present), and the sprawling “My Mirage” (1985–91); and Labyrinth: I Dreamt I was Taller than Jonathan Borofsky (2009), a large-scale, immersive installation of sculptures and painted theatrical backdrops. This survey will also include his collection of thrift store paintings, originally shown in New York in 1991, as well as his ongoing collection of religious pedagogical materials. Jim Shaw, "The End is Near," is on view at the New Museum from Oct. 7, 2015-Jan. 10, 2016.


Alberto Burri at the Guggenheim. This major retrospective exhibition—the first in the United States in more than 35 years and the most comprehensive ever mounted—showcases the pioneering work of Italian artist Alberto Burri. Burri’s work both demolished and reconfigured the Western pictorial tradition, while reconceptualizing modernist collage. Using unconventional materials, he moved beyond the painted surfaces and mark making of American Abstract Expressionism, and European Art Informel. Burri’s unprecedented approaches to manipulating humble substances—and his abject picture-objects, positions the artist as a central and singular protagonist of post–World War II art. Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum October 9, 2015- January 6, 2016. Above: Alberto Burri, Rosso plastica M 2 (Red Plastic M 2), 1962 (detail). Burned plastic on canvas, 120 x 180 cm. Private collection © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome.

Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1. Taking place every five years since the initial 2000 show, the fourth iteration of the renowned series, a collaboration between MoMA PS1 (then P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center) and The Museum of Modern Art, showcases emerging artists living and working in the New York metropolitan area. This year’s iteration shifts away from the focus on youth to include more established artists, in the process examining key points of connection and intersection between emerging and more established artists across New York, while also exploring aspects of earlier histories of the city itself, and its changing political, social, and architectural fabric. Greater New York will be on view at MoMA PS1 from October 11, 2015–March 07, 2016

Walid Raad at the Museum of Modern Art. The first comprehensive American survey of the artist will feature 200 works concerning war, memory, trauma, and Middle Eastern history. Raad grew up during the Lebanese civil war(s), and left Beirut for Rochester, New York, in 1983 when the fighting intensified. His fictional collective, the Atlas Group, has been a means for him to question, and even mock, the distinctions between fiction and reality, especially when it pertains to contested territories. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of performance, narrative, and storytelling in Raad’soeuvre. The artist will give lecture-performances in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium multiple times a week for the duration of the exhibition. Walid Raad will be on view at Museum of Modern Art from October 12, 2015 – January 31, 2016.

Frank Stella: A Retrospective at the Whitney. During the Whitney's inaugural year in its new building, the Museum will present a career retrospective of Frank Stella (b. 1936). This survey will be the most comprehensive presentation of Stella’s career to date, showcasing his prolific output from the mid-1950s to the present through approximately 120 works, including paintings, reliefs, maquettes, sculptures, and drawings. Accompanied by a scholarly publication, the exhibition will fill the Whitney's entire fifth floor, an 18,000-square-foot gallery that is the Museum’s largest space for temporary exhibitions. Frank Stella: A Retrospective will be on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art from October 30, 2015—February 7, 2016. Above: Frank Stella, Harran II, 1967. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; gift, Mr. Irving Blum, 1982. © 2015 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Performa Biennial at various NYC venues. Founded by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, Performa is the leading organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Presenting new performance-based pieces in New York during the month of November are South African artist Robin Rhode, French artist Pauline Curnier Jardin, French dancer and choreographer Jerome Bel, Danish artist Jesper Just, and Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli. Performa Biennial 2015 will run from November 1-22, 2015.

Martin Wong: Human Instamatic at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The first museum retrospective of the work of Chinese-American painter Martin Wong (1946-1999) since his untimely death will include 100 works highlighting Wong’s later years in New York City. There he played a pivotal role in the Lower East Side arts scene in the 1980s/90s, a period in which he created an oeuvre immortalizing the vibrancy of a resilient, artistic, and multi-ethnic community facing displacement. The exhibition will feature Wong’s diaristic renderings of the LES Latino community, NYC’s Chinatown, graffiti artists, and later works created in San Francisco, where he returned in 1994. Martin Wong: Human Instamatic will be on view at the Bronx Museum of the Arts from November 5, 2015-February 14, 2016.

Opening this fall in Hartford, CT:
Mark Dion: The Great Chain of Being, at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Dion attended Hartford Art School in the early 1980s and, as a young artist, found inspiration and delight in the Wadsworth Atheneum’s collections. With The Great Chain, he combines the museum’s collection with his practice of investigating the intersection of art and the history of science, applying proto-scientific systems with museum practices. From the least important form of life to the greatest, Dion’s Great Chain will include microorganisms and invertebrates, fish and reptiles, birds and dogs, apes and man, spirits, angels, demigods and, finally, God. Mark Dion: The Wadsworth Atheneum’s Great Chain of Being is on view from October 1, 2015-January 3, 2016, at the newly renovated Wadsworth Atheneum.

Opening this fall in Boston, MA:
Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, at the Institute of Contemporary Art. A small, experimental liberal arts college founded in 1933, Black Mountain College has exerted enormous influence on the postwar cultural life of the United States. Influenced by the utopian ideals of the progressive education movement, it placed the arts at the center of liberal arts education and believed that in doing so it could better educate citizens for participation in a democratic society. It was a dynamic crossroads for refugees from Europe and an emerging generation of American artists. Despite its brief existence, BMC became a seminal meeting place for many figures in the arts who would become the principal practitioners of the postwar period such as Anni and Josef Albers, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Motherwell, Gwendolyn and Jacob Lawrence, and Robert Creeley, all of whom taught and studied at BMC. Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957 is on view at The Institute of Contemporary Art October 10, 2015-January 24, 2016.

Opening this fall in Amherst, MA:
Chuck Close Photographs at the University Museum of Contemporary Art. Chuck Close is one of the most important figures in contemporary art, renowned for more than five decades for his portrait paintings. At the same time he has investigated, experimented and explored another subject with equal virtuosity: photography. Chuck Close Photographs is a comprehensive survey of significant scope, exploring how the artist has stretched the boundaries of photographic means, methods, and approaches throughout his career.  It includes 129 photographs spanning from 1968 to the present, ranging from black and white portraits to monumentally scaled composite Polaroids, to intimately scaled daguerreotypes. For the first time in his extensive exhibition history, this project delves deeply into the full range of his photographic works. Chuck Close Photographs is on view at the University Museum of Contemporary Art from September 11-December 6, 2011.

Opening this fall in Atlanta, GA:
Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, at the High Museum. With the first major exhibition of work by visionary Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen in a U.S. museum, the High presents a cutting-edge artist inspired by diverse influences in the arts, sciences, music and philosophy. Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion will feature one-of-a-kind haute couture—acclaimed for its combination of traditional craftsmanship and futuristic, innovative techniques—and include some of the world's first examples of 3D-printed fashion. Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, is on view at the High Museum of Art from November 7, 2015-May 15, 2016. Above: Iris van Herpen was featured in an article and video by the T magazine last spring.  

Opening this fall in Chicago, IL:
Deanne Lawson at Art Institute of Chicago. For nearly a decade, Lawson has been investigating the visual expression of global black culture and how individuals claim their identities within it. Her staged portraits, carefully composed scenes, and found images speak to the ways in which personal and social histories, familial legacies, sexuality, social status, and religious-spiritual ideas may be drawn upon the body. While her themes have remained consistent, her landscapes have shifted and broadened to places including Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo—the global scope of the pictures, in her words, “concern and affirm the sacred black body” and speak to a collective psychic memory of shared experiences. Deanne Lawson: Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series at Art Institute of Chicago is on view from September 5, 2015-January 10, 2016.

Opening this fall in Detroit, MI:
30 Americans, at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A dynamic showcase of contemporary art by African American artists, this exhibition explores issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. See more than 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and video created by many of the most important African American artists working over the past 30 years, including Kerry James Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker, Nick Cave, Kehinde Wiley, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Glen Ligon and Lorna Simpson. This exhibition, organized by the Rubell Family Collection, is on view from October 18, 2015-January 18, 2016.

Opening this fall in Minneapolis, MN:
Delacroix’s Influence: The Rise of Modern Art from Cézanne to van Gogh at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He was the engine of revolution that helped transform French painting of the 19th century. And the younger generation, from Degas to van Gogh, scrambled to keep pace. At his death in 1863, Eugène Delacroix was the most revered artist in Paris. In addition to works by Delacroix, the exhibition will spotlight paintings by Cézanne, van Gogh, Gauguin, Renoir, and others. Themes explored include Orientalism; color theory; religious and history painting at a crossroads; beasts, flowers, and aestheticism; and the artist’s own unpublished “Dictionary of Art.” Delacroix’s Influence: The Rise of Modern Art from Cézanne to van Gogh is on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Art from October 18, 2015-January 10, 2016.

Opening this fall in Fort Worth, TX
Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic. The exhibition begins with early examples of paintings inspired by Wiley’s observations of street life in Harlem; these images of African-American men mark the onset of his focused exploration of the male figure. In subsequent work, Wiley further examines the European tradition of portraiture, taking specific paintings by renowned masters such as Titian, Van Dyck, and Manet and replacing the historical subjects with contemporary, young black men sporting fashionable urban gear. These likenesses are set against ornate, decorative backgrounds on large canvases — part of Wiley's signature style — in order to raise issues of class in addition to race and gender. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is on view at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from September 20, 2015-January 10, 2016.

Opening this fall in San Francisco, CA:
Between Life and Death: Robert Motherwell’s Elegies, at the de Young. Mounted in celebration of the centennial of the artist’s birth, this exhibition presents thirteen works by the pioneering Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell (1915–1991) from his seminal series Elegies to the Spanish Republic. The exhibition features the Fine Arts Museums’ painting At Five in the Afternoon (1950), one of the earliest works in the series, as well as works from the series drawn from other local private and public collections. Reflecting the chaos, turmoil, suffering, and moral uncertainties of the mid-twentieth century, the series is a testament to the timeless and transcendent aspects of the human condition, such as the co-existence of joy and pain, of hope and suffering, and of life and death. Between Life and Death: Robert Motherwell’s Elegies is on view at the de Young Museum from September 5, 2015-March 6, 2016. Above: Robert Motherwell, At Five in the Afternoon, 1950. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Bequest of Josephine Morris.

Opening this fall in Los Angeles, CA:
Founded by philanthropists and longtime collectors Eli and Edythe Broad and designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, The Broad Museum, opening on September 20, will be home to the nearly 2,000-piece Broad collection and will showcase one of the world’s leading collections of masterworks of postwar and contemporary art on two floors of galleries. The Broad will be open to the public six days a week; general admission is free. Advance reservations [not required] can be made onlineInformation.

Matthew Barney: River of Fundament at MOCA. Barney's first major solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles, River of Fundament (2014) is one of Barney's most challenging and ambitious projects to date. The presentation at MOCA comprises the epic length, operatic film and approximately 85 works inspired by or made in conjunction with the film, including large-scale sculptures, drawings, photographs, and storyboards. Overall, the works in the exhibition intertwine history and mythology with the contemplation of fundamental human drives—such as sex, violence, and power—that have continuously propelled civilizations. Matthew Barney: River of Fundament is on view at MOCA/The Geffen Contemporary from September 13, 2015-January 18, 2016

By Peggy Roalf   Monday August 31, 2015

By Peggy Roalf   Friday August 28, 2015

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday August 27, 2015

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