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International Museum Exhibitions

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.

“William Kentridge: Thick Time”

WHITECHAPEL GALLERY
LONDON
September 21 - January 15, 2017
Curated by Iwona Blazwick and Sabine Breitwieser

Stretching time. Unwinding it. Reminding us how we all dance against the drumbeat of our ticking hearts. William Kentridge has claimed for the past three decades that his work is “all about time.” This exhibition, named for the Bakhtinian processes the artist uses to describe the viscous temporalities of his studio, plumbs the depths of Kentridgean time. His clock is, of course, set to the willful time of southern Africa—its peculiar dilations and coagulations, its leaps and surges, its refusals of Greenwich’s imperial cadence. A rich lineup of voices (Homi K. Bhabha, Achille Mbembe, and more) will provide meditations around the exhibition’s six landmark works, all made between 2003 and 2015, including O Sentimental Machine, which stars Leon Trotsky, exiled in Istanbul, spouting endless messages to the “masses” he perceived (with fateful narrowness) as sentimental machines. Travels to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, Feb. 16–June 18, 2017; Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg, Austria, July 22–Nov. 5, 2017; Whitworth, Manchester, UK, 2018.

Leora Maltz-Leca

Robert Rauschenberg

TATE MODERN
LONDON
December 1 - April 2, 2017
Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume and Leah Dickerman

When this Tate retrospective opens, it will have been nearly two decades since the last such effort: the sprawling megashow mounted by the Solomon R. Guggenheim in 1997. Ushered in by Walter Hopps’s extraordinary exhibition focused on Rauschenberg’s earliest career, at the institution’s downtown branch, the 1990s effected an enduring place for the artist among the greats of the later twentieth century. Subsequent projects, such as the Metropolitan’s exhaustive presentation of the Combines, have ramified the artist’s interpretative exhibition history perhaps more deeply than that of any comparable figure. The bar is thus set high for this joint venture with MoMA, as both a synthesis of accumulated insight and an adumbration of new possibilities for thinking about the work. MoMA will emphasize lesser-known chapters in Rauschenberg’s oeuvre, while the Tate promises a full, if “tightly edited,” account of his entire career trajectory, with unprecedented emphasis on performance and collaborations. Travels to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 21–Sept. 4. 2017; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Nov. 4, 2017–Mar. 25, 2018.

Thomas Crow

Edward Krasiński

TATE LIVERPOOL
LIVERPOOL
October 21 - March 5, 2017
Curated by Kasia Redzisz and Stephanie Straine

Since his remarkable Warsaw studio was reopened as a permanent exhibition soon after his death in 2004, Edward Krasiński has become an increasingly visible avatar of Polish Conceptual art. How does art challenge its own commodification even under state socialism? Tate Liverpool’s forthcoming retrospective—the first ever in the UK—will provide a range of answers from the artist’s entire production, beginning with the rarely seen suspended sculptures of 1964–65. Delicate visual puns, these works accentuate the latent surrealism that winds its way—like the artist’s signature blue stripe—through his room-size installations, several of which will also be on view. A catalogue with essays by the curators as well as historian and curator Jean-François Chevrier and critic Karol Sienkiewicz accompanies the exhibition. Travels to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, June–Oct. 2017.

Rachel Haidu

Digital rendering of Shawn Maximo’s installation #3 (penthouse), 2016. From the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art: “The Present in Drag.”

9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art: “The Present in Drag”

BERLIN BIENNALE
BERLIN
Through September 18
Curated by DIS

A stated theme of the Ninth Berlin Biennale is paradox, and paradoxically, the curators—four Americans collectively called DIS—are much better known for founding an online magazine, a stock images service, and a pop-up artist store hosted by a $6.5-billion-per-annum energy drink corporation than for helming institutionally sanctioned international exhibitions. With more than forty artists, including Ei Arakawa, GCC, Isa Genzken, Camille Henrot, Josh Kline, and Hito Steyerl, we can assume that what unfolds across a menagerie of venues chosen for their “paradessence” (paradox + essence) will attempt to prove that deterministic interpretations of anything that can be seen, said, or sold are antediluvian.The biennial will be anticipated by the website, and followed by the catalogue, the store, the album, and more, TBD.

Kevin McGarry

Gülsün Karamustafa, Prison Paintings 6, 1972, mixed media on paper, 15 3/4 × 16 1/2". From the series “Prison Paintings,” 1972–78.

“Gülsün Karamustafa: Chronographia”

HAMBURGER BAHNHOF
BERLIN
Through October 23
Curated by Melanie Roumiguière

Considering the political and social climate of Europe and the Middle East, there couldn’t be a better time for a European museum to host an exhibition by a Turkish artist who, for decades, has devoted her work to addressing such issues as politically induced migration, otherness, gender, and collective histories. Gülsün Karamustafa’s work in painting, sculpture, installation, and video traces historical and sociopolitical tensions while encouraging multiple readings—see, for example, her 1998 frieze made of illustrations from Islamic, Christian, and Jewish manuscripts. Approximately 110 works in various media dating from the 1970s to the present—including one new piece engaging the concept of monuments—should offer a rich meditation on pluralism and difference, hopefully lending insight into our current moment. Surely the catalogue, featuring contributions from the curator, Marion von Osten, Turkish sociologist Meltem Ahıska, and the artist will take on these very issues.

Mine Haydaroğlu

Willem de Rooij

MMK MUSEUM FÜR MODERNE KUNST
FRANKFURT
October 15 - February 19, 2017
Curated by Klaus Görner

A kind of grand finale to a trio of recent solo shows held over the past few years, this exhibition brings together floral bouquets, handwoven tapestries, a sportswear line by Dutch fashion designer Fong Leng, and an installation of decontextualized press photographs depicting “riots, protest, mourning, and commemoration.” The variety of Willem de Rooij’s recent output will thus be on full view—as will older works made with his longtime collaborator, Jeroen de Rijke, who died in 2006. In all these works, a seductive visual clarity is polemically entangled in questions of authorship and intentionality, cultural and political history, and art’s relationships to non-art traditions and practices. De- and reframing the divergent expectations we bring to flowers, news, craft, art, and fashion, de Rooij pointedly messes with our hierarchies of desire (for beauty, simplicity, critique, knowledge) to insist that aesthetics is both powerful and always more than it seems.

Alexander Scrimgeour