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.
There are few lives that have charted the dislocations, tectonic shifts, passions, and innumerable heartbreaks of the modern Arab world more thoroughly than Etel Adnan. Born in Beirut in 1925 to a Greek mother from Smyrna and a Syrian father who served with the Ottoman army, she is a writer of searing, sometimes surrealist heights. A rare sort of polymath, she is also a distinguished visual artist whose work spans myriad media. In this exhibitionAdnan’s first large-scale retrospectiveindividual rooms will be dedicated respectively to painting, drawing, film, writing, and leporellos, the accordion-like books she fills with Arabic poetry that, combined with images, engages the eyes and ears the way the best films do. Never-before-seen tapestries Adnan designed in the 1960s while living in California (she says she “missed the feel of Persian rugs”) and two unique ceramic walls will round out this very long overdue homage.
“Displace, Disclose, Discover: Acts of Painting, 1960/1999”
LILLE MÉTROPOLE MUSEUM OF MODERN, CONTEMPORARY, AND OUTSIDER ART
March 3–May 27
Curated by Marc Donnadieu
A decade ago, “As Painting: Division and Displacement”a revelatory show at the Wexner Center for the Artsforegrounded the vitality of French painting following the New York scene’s storied theft of modern art. Now, another exhibition, this time in Lille, more closely examines the pictorial practices of five French artistsSimon Hantaï, Martin Barré, Marc Devade, Jean Degottex, and Michel Parmentierworking during (and in resistance to) the ascendancy of Greenbergian modernism and its Minimalist and post-Minimalist aftermaths. Narrower in focus than its North American predecessor yet more expansive in regard to each featured oeuvre, the LaM’s presentation brings together nearly 125 works by these very different figures, arguing for the continued importance to each of some material notion of the tableau. A catalogue with essays by Donnadieu and Philip Armstrong accompanies the show.
4th Marrakech Biennale
EL BADI PALACE
February 29–June 3
Curated by Carson Chan and Nadim Samman
This festival of arts explicitly buys into the city-branding directive of big, brash international showmanship. However, presided over by Vanessa Branson (sister of Richard) and featuring participants ranging from the writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus to the punk-rock/freak-folk duo CocoRosie and the artists Younes Baba-Ali, Tue Greenfort, and Karthik Pandian, the fourth Marrakech Biennale promises to be at once stranger than the last and as heterogeneous as ever. After the bombing in the city’s bustling Jemaa el-Fnaa last spring, the event is now doubly tasked with helping to clean up Marrakech’s image and demonstrating Morocco’s commitment to an open society and free expression. Anchoring this multiplatform program will be “Higher Atlas,” for which architecture critic Chan and independent curator Samman have asked artists, musicians, novelists, and architects to collaborate with local craftsmen to create new works in response to the exhibition venue (a sixteenth-century palace) and the Sufi notion of transcendence.
It may seem surprising that Norwaya deeply feminist countryhas never had a major survey addressing the impact of second-wave feminism on its art production. Yet it is perhaps fortuitous that Stavanger’s exhibition (organized with Kunsthalle Oslo) on just this subject is happening at a moment when antifeminist sentiment in the Norwegian public sphere seems to be increasing and actual knowledge about the movement’s diverse positions is fading. With a title that defies translation (literally, “hold on to your thing”), this show will span thirty years, zooming in on the new art that emerged with the formal liberation of the 1960s’ avant-garde, the post-’68 turn toward activism and self-organization, and the rising sense of disenchantment with “standard” feminist rhetoric. Major exhibition projects and installations will be revisited (and in some cases reconstructed) and shown alongside materials documenting the close interaction between political discourse and artistic invention.