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.

Juan Muñoz

HANGARBICOCCA
MILAN
Through August 23
Curated by Vicente Todolí

Over the past decade, high-profile exhibitions in major venues, including Tate Modern, London, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, have kept Spanish artist Juan Muñoz on the radar. His oeuvre has aged unevenly: The figurative work now appears somewhat overwrought, while the ambiguous architectural pieces have retained their currency. Though Muñoz’s significance may lie in how he “returned the human figure to contemporary sculpture” (as suggested by HangarBicocca’s press materials), it is valuable to reconsider other facets of his practice. All the better, then, that this exhibition—the artist’s first retrospective in Italy—promises an in-depth examination of his multimedia oeuvre. The show will include some twenty works (that together feature more than 150 sculptures) dating from 1986 until Muñoz’s death in 2001, alongside several events that will foreground the artist’s more allusive, nonfigurative works in sound.

Julia Bryan-Wilson

“Arts & Foods: Rituals Since 1851”

LA TRIENNALE DI MILANO
MILAN
Through November 1
Curated by Germano Celant

On the occasion of Expo Milano 2015—its theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”—Celant will mount an ambitious exhibition exploring the history of food as a symbolic, ritual, and material presence in the arts. Serving up more than two thousand works produced between 1851 (the year of the first Expo in London) and 2015, in an enormously wide range of media, the show will explore the alimentary angles of everything from sustainability to postcolonial hybridity and promises a rich sensorial experience set in reconstructed dining rooms, kitchens, and bars, all designed by Studio Italo Rota. From Monet’s Der Koch (Le Chef Père Paul), 1882, to Daniel Spoerri’s 1968 Le Coin du Restaurant Spoerri, and from Meret Oppenheim’s Bon Appétit, Marcel, 1966, to Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Ohne Titel (Bon voyage Monsieur Ackermann), 1995, it seems nothing will be left out or extraneously in. This veritable feast will be accompanied by a “cookbook,” featuring fifty essays and more than one thousand illustrations.

Mary Ann Caws

The Haunted House, one of seven OMA-designed or renovated buildings at Fondazione Prada’s new venue in Milan.

Inaugural Shows

FONDAZIONE PRADA MILAN
MILAN
Through December 1

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.

Francesco Bonami

“Be a Place, Place an Image, Imagine a Poem: Ree Morton: A Retrospective”

MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFÍA
MADRID
Through September 28
Curated by Sabine Folie and Ilse Lafer

“BE a place, PLACE an image, and IMAGINE a poem” are lines of verse taken from one of Ree Morton’s notebooks. A repository of her thinking, the notebooks offer an unexpectedly intimate way to get close to a figure who died in 1977 at the age of forty-one, early in both life and career. A fierce, generous, and unique voice, Morton produced affectively complex, gendered engagements with post-Minimalism and Conceptualism. This survey of some 150 works, accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Manuela Ammer, João Ribas, and the curators, will feature early drawings and paintings, large-scale works on paper, and five spatial-architectural installations. It will also include information on work lost or never made, as detailed in Morton’s journals. For Morton, whose work often embodied speculation on alternate futures and distant places, these absences, however, would not be seen as a loss.

Johanna Burton

“Vincent Fecteau: You Have Did The Right Thing When You Put That Skylight In”

KUNSTHALLE BASEL
BASEL
Through August 23
Curated by Elena Filipovic

If San Francisco–based artist Vincent Fecteau is known for his meticulous approach to sculptural form, then this exhibition of some twenty pieces spanning the past fifteen years promises to highlight the broader range of his work: its engagement with architectural space, its consistent embrace of a collage aesthetic, and its wicked sense of humor. These qualities are evident in a recent series of diorama-like units—more than a dozen will be on view—that may (helpfully) torpedo the artist’s reputation as a restrained and tasteful abstract sculptor. The new efforts, collaged with brightly colored images from shelter magazines, unabashedly veer toward the decorative. A catalogue, with contributions by Filipovic and the fiercely inventive Bruce Hainley, will no doubt shed further light.

Michael Lobel

“Giorgio Griffa: A Retrospective 1968-2014”

CENTRE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN GENÈVE
GENEVA
Through August 23
Curated by Andrea Bellini

Featuring three dozen works, this exhibition forms a retrospective in nuce of an artist only belatedly receiving his institutional due. Born in Turin in 1936, Giorgio Griffa came of age when painting’s increasingly embattled status often gave rise to extrapictorial experiments. If Griffa clung doggedly to painting, he refused to stretch it into framed propriety. Instead, he developed the technique he uses to this day: Applying acrylic directly to unprimed canvas, he folds and unfolds works unceremoniously, letting creases add to the effect of his pastel strokes, which are by turns geometric and whimsical, ordered and irregular. A catalogue with contributions from Martin Clark, Suzanne Cotter, Chris Dercon, Hans Ulrich Obrist, the curator, and others promises to flesh out the spare critical literature on the artist. Travels to Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, Aug. 28–Oct. 18; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, Feb. 2–Apr. 4, 2016; Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal, summer 2016.

Ara H. Merjian