The following guide to museum shows currently on view is compiled from Artforum’s three-times-yearly exhibition preview. Subscribe now to begin a year of Artforum—the world’s leading magazine of contemporary art. You’ll get all three big preview issues, featuring Artforum’s comprehensive advance roundups of the shows to see each season around the globe.
Mercifully free of easy irony, gimmicks, and suspended-in-scare-quotes gags, Dana Schutz’s virtuoso painting melds and morphs the oddball corners of modernismNeue Sachlichkeit, Hairy Whoto produce its own mutant strain. Her work is jubilant body horror, depicting the human figure in all manner of distressed, disheveled, and unhinged states: screaming, laughing, shaving, smoking, caught up in a crowd, hideously dismembered, or arrayed on a dissection slab. Her tableaux are bright, miasmal, anxiousfreakish pictures of what yuppified Brooklyn might look like ten years after the Bomb. Among the twenty-some works in this show (the artist’s first solo at a Canadian institution) are several of her best-known piecesincluding Face Eater, 2004, and Presentation, 2005but the Musée d’Art Contemporain will emphasize new work, also presenting a selection of canvases fresh from their debut at New York’s Petzel Gallery earlier in the fall.
Outsiders exist outside of what, exactly? For the past two years, Spanish artist Dora García has crisscrossed the globe in pursuit of a response to that question. “I See Words, I Hear Voices” assembles the results. As proved by the show’s seven worksamong them, the video The Joycean Society, 2013, which documents a reading group in Zurich as they parse a page from Finnegans Wake word by word, and ESPextrasensory perception (Imposed Words), 2015, which brings a clairvoyant into the gallery to perceive things that others cannotfor García, truth is but a state of mind. The linchpins of the artist’s project (and of the show’s major, four-hundred-page catalogue) are her Mad Marginal Charts, diagrams that translate her ongoing research into Joyce, Freud, Lacan, and Artaud into a series of cryptic wall maps. The more you look, the more you see that it’s not “they” but we who are on the outside.
For almost two decades, Emily Jacir’s works have served as enigmatic, stirring, and sometimes uncomfortable visual totems of the Palestinian situation. The general surreality of the Israeli occupation looms large across Jacir’s diverse sculptures, photographs, performances, and films. For her first major UK survey, the artist presents nearly twenty works from 1998 to the present. Included is Material for a Film (2004–), her mixed-media meditation on the vexed life of Wael Zuaiter, a Palestinian intellectual assassinated for his alleged involvement in the terrorist group Black September. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by the show’s curator Omar Kholeif, critic Jean Fisher, and scholar Graziella Parati, among others. Travels to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Nov. 2016.
Revisionist attitudes toward Pop have emerged as an important trend in recent exhibitions. This show, an eclectic cornucopia of 160 paintings, sculptures, films, and photography-based works from roughly 1964 to 1974, is perhaps the most geographically expansive example to date. The exhibition emphasizes local contexts of production, with works by artists such as the São Paulo–based Anna Maria Maiolino and the Finnish Raimo Reinikainen, and establishes new signposts for tracing the oft-contested relationship between Pop and gender by devoting special attention to underexposed artists, including Eulàlia Grau, Teresa Burga, and Jana Želibská. Accompanying the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue featuring eight new essays that both affirm and advance efforts to reconsider Pop as a wide-ranging cluster of responses to the effects of politics, industrialization, economics, and mass media within a short but crucial period.
With Artifact (1984) and Steptext (1985), William Forsythe made ballet postmodern. Can you think of another ballet master given to citing Foucault? Though American, Forsythe has been based in Europe for more than forty yearsas a dancer for the Stuttgart Ballet, as director of Ballett Frankfurt and then of the Forsythe Company, and now as associate choreographer of the Paris Opera Ballet. In addition to choreography, Forsythe has been an innovator of dance analysis and notation, improvisation techniques, lighting design, and works for exhibition, including those he calls place-specific choreographic objects. For MMK he intends his own various effortsamong them ten such objects produced between 1997 and 2015to enter into dialogue with select works from the museum’s collection, including those of Bruce Nauman, Fred Sandback, and Richard Serra. It should be instructive to see how the dance maker’s objects compare with pieces by others whose lifelong investigations of space and the body have proved so transformative.
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 themesjoy, empathy, embarrassment, boredom, failuregather 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.