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.
Visitors to the retrospective of Wifredo Lam at the Centre Pompidou will confront many things at once: an expanded geography of Surrealism, a bid for one painter’s canonization as an exemplary “plural modernist” (a term the museum recently used to advertise a rehang of its collection), and a case for the centrality of African Creole cultures to the formation of “European” modernity. A Cuban-born painter of mixed-race ancestry, Lam thought of his practice as an act of decolonization. Catherine David’s retrospective tracks Lam’s work across five decades, from 1926 to the early 1980s, and from Havana to Madrid, Paris, Marseille, and beyond. It will encompass more than four hundred works, from paintings and drawings to photographs and rare books, including Lam’s breakthrough canvas, The Jungle, 1943. Travels to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Apr. 12–Aug. 15, 2016; Tate Modern, London, Sept. 14, 2016–Jan. 8, 2017.
Architecture firm OMA reveals its Midas touch with the new venue of Fondazione Prada, opening this month with a swarm of inaugural activities. Led by Rem Koolhaas, OMA has transformed the industrial compound of a former distillery, erecting three new buildings and renovating seven existing structures. One, completely covered in gold leaf, will host a site-specific work by Robert Gober, and an installation by Thomas Demand will occupy the basement of another. The impressive range of exhibition environments includes a cavernous former sugar-storage area and a sixty-meter white concrete tower. And while the new site boasts a vintage-style Milanese bar designed by Wes Anderson and an educational space conceived by the students of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles, the crown jewel is Podium, a centrally located pavilion. Here, archaeologist Salvatore Settis will stage “Serial Classic,” a subversive but scholarly exhibition of classical sculpture, focusing on the relationship between originality and imitation in Roman culture.
This retrospective follows on the heels of Nasreen Mohamedi’s exquisite solo show at Tate Liverpool in 2014. But Madrid’s contributionwhich tracks the late artist’s minimalist images from the 1950s to the ’80s, concentrating on the ’70spromises to be significantly more extensive. Curated by the Indian artist’s former student Karode, of Delhi’s Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, the homage boasts 220 artworks, offering Mohamedi’s signature line drawings of the ’70sfrail grids and geometric forms hovering on cream pagesas well as glimpses into her private musings via her black-and-white abstract photographs.Accompanied by a plush catalogue (including an essay by Geeta Kapur), the display will wend its way to New York in March of next year. Talk about taking the line for a walk. Travels to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Mar. 1–June 5, 2016.
In 1979, at the height of Brazil’s military dictatorship, the artist group 3nós3 (Mario Ramiro, Hudinilson Jr., and Rafael França) surreptitiously slipped plastic bags over several monuments throughout São Paulo. Around the same time, Chile’s Colectivo Acciones de Arte challenged the Pinochet regime with theatrical interventions in the streets. In Heike Munder’s survey of subversive artistic actions in Latin America, these and other episodes staged by figures such as León Ferrari, Anna Bella Geiger, and Marta Minujín are put in dialogue with works by contemporary artists in an attempt to demonstrate how resistance can be rethought today. A publication including essays by writers from the region such as Rodrigo Alonso, Miguel A. López, Nelly Richard, and Cristiana Tejo accompanies the exhibition.
The title of Ulrike Müller’s exhibition derives from the early-twentieth-century little magazine Others, which promoted modern free-verse poetry and was associated with Grantwood, a thriving artistic community of individuals united, as Suzanne Churchill put it, “solely by their difference from any norm.” All facets of this reference (including the title phrase’s placement on the magazine’s cover by the feminist artist Marguerite Zorach) prove apposite for Müller, whose prints, drawings, and expanded painting practiceencompassing paint on canvas, vitreous enamel panels, jewelry, quilts, and woven rugssimultaneously look back to modernist precedents and reflect outward to the type of heterotopic and queer communal ideals she helped foster in the journal-based artist collective LTTR. This exhibition will feature the full range of Müller’s work alongside a collaborative rehang of MUMOK’s permanent collection.
Wittgenstein famously noted that love is not a sensation but a disposition; it is “put to the test” in ways that the feeling of pain, for instance, is not. This sweeping survey proposes to further probe the shifting and often elusive grammar of love, as figured in nearly two hundred artworks (dating from the 1920s to the present, and including several new commissions) in various media. The sixty-odd featured creators range from canonical Surrealists and fellow travelers (Marcel Duchamp, Alberto Giacometti, Méret Oppenheim) to a diverse group of more and less familiar contemporary figures (VALIE EXPORT, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Annabel Daou, Garrett Phelan). The show and accompanying catalogue will incorporate perspectives from art history, neuroscience, and sociology; it remains to be seen howor indeed whetherthese differing approaches demonstrate the emphasis on language at work in the show’s intriguing curatorial premise.