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.
Mining the current intensification of nationalism in Germany and Israel, this collaboration between Tel Aviv’s CCA and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein explores the political and formal limits of belonging, artistic disciplines, and imposed structures through performative interventions. Each iteration of this show will include an arena (built by architect Markus Miessen for the CCA and by artist Ohad Meromi for the NBK) delineating the spatial parameters in which a multigenerational cast of artists, theorists, dancers, and directors will produce new worksand investigate the contemporary occupation, inhabitation, and colonization of space and subjectivity. As much of the world regresses into frighteningly reactionary and essentialized models of identity, this is a worthy attempt to offer complex demonstrations of “working through” power relations. Can we move beyond the binational narratives of “victim” and “victimizer” by questioning the physical limits and aesthetic constraints of collaboration? Travels to the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, June 3–July 30, 2017.
Rebounding from the vandalism of his giant yoni Dirty Corner, 2015, at Versailles last September, Anish Kapoor will present twenty-three major pieces at Mexico City’s MUAC, which opened in 2008 at the country’s most prestigious university. The exhibition includes works made between 1980 and 2015, organized into four sections: “Auto-Generated Forms,” which includes the early pigment piles and the artist’s signature optical devices; “Many Kinds of Beauty,” in which soulful pristine geometries (including When I Am Pregnant, 1992) will appear with more grotesque and scatological forms; “Time,” which features the pulchritudinous red dome At the Edge of the World, 1998; and “Unpredictable Forces,” which returns to themes of self-generation and fantasies of the “autonomous expression of matter,” as demonstrated by the mechanical arm of My Red Homeland, 2003, grinding ceaselessly through mountains of oily, pigmented wax.
Whether staging satiric beauty pageants to crown a “Miss General Idea,” covering art and punk rock in their great magazine FILE (1972–89), or lambasting the mass media’s stereotypical treatment of artists (most memorably in their 1984 video Shut the Fuck Up), Canadian collective General Idea challenged authority and queered heteronormative identity with a blend of humor, eroticism, and expertly styled artifice. The trioAA Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Zontalwere active from 1969 to 1994, when Partz and Zontal died of AIDS-related illnesses. In the intervening years, their work has lost none of its power to shock and inspire, as the group’s first retrospective in Latin America will show. Featuring approximately one hundred works that track the twenty-five-year arc of General Idea’s practice, the exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue raisonné. Travels to Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, March–June 2017.
How does one embrace uncertainty without succumbing to fear? This installment of the Bienal de São Paulo will offer provisional answers to the question at a time when the globe is increasingly faced with dramatic instability in the political, social, and natural worlds. Rounding up eighty-one participants from thirty-three countries, the exhibition will explore topics ranging from ecology and cosmology to collective knowledge. Following the recent trend of research-based art, many of the show’s works will evolve from local residenciessuch as a garden of edible plants cultivated by Portuguese artist Carla Filipe in collaboration with the Botanical Institute of São Paulo. In Brazil’s current climate of unrest, in which the survival of the country’s cultural institutions is under threatthe Ministry of Culture narrowly evaded dismantlement by the interim government this past Maythe numerous public and private partners supporting the biennial unwittingly mirror its theme, providing one possible model for how to “Live Uncertainty” in the arts.
During his lifetime, Italian-born Brazilian painter Alfredo Volpi was often misleadingly portrayed as an artistic bon sauvage, largely due to his lack of formal training in the fine arts and his upbringing in Cambuci, a working-class neighborhood of São Paulo. Over the past couple of decades, however, critics such as Rodrigo Naves have complicated this reductive characterization of Volpi, arguing that his chromatically sophisticated tempera paintings offer a profound meditation on the contradictions of technical development underlying Brazil’s uneven modernization. On loan from the collection of Ladi Biezus, this rare assemblage of more than seventy small-scale paintings and drawings spanning the 1930s through the ’70s promises to further elaborate on the contemporary reception of Volpi’s idiosyncratic practice.
Based in La Plata, outside Buenos Aires, Edgardo Antonio Vigo played a key role in advancing Argentinean art from the 1950s until his death in 1997. Vigo explored a range of approaches, including neo-Dada sculpture, elaborate works on paper, mail art, visual poetry, and street-based actions. This show will feature some 230 objects and works on paper, including excerpts from the artist’s influential publications such as Diagonal cero and Hexágono ’71. A 250-page catalogue will publish elements of Biopsia, Vigo’s career-spanning autobiographical archive, along with essays by the curators and contributions by art historians and scholars Gonzalo Aguilar, Ana Bugnone, Silvia Dolinko, María Amalia García, and Magdalena Pérez Balbi, among others.