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.

Mónica Mayer, Primero de diciembre de 1977 (December First, 1977), gelatin silver prints and acrylic on canvas, 25 5/8 × 31 1/2".

“When In Doubt . . . Ask: A Retrocollective Exhibit of Mónica Mayer”

Through July 31
Curated by Karen Cordero Reiman

As the retrocollective of the title suggests, the first retrospective of Mónica Mayer’s work will emphasize the collaborative nature of the Mexican artist, critic, and activist’s forty-year feminist art practice. Highlighting her engagements with such coconspirators as Victor Lerma and Maris Bustamante, the show will also underscore the importance of Mayer’s dialogue with north-of-the-border associates Suzanne Lacy and the members of Los Angeles’s Feminist Studio Workshop and Woman’s Building. Mayer made a habit of preserving so-called ephemeraas a political act, a refusal to let minor histories be erased or forgotten, and archival documents will here be exhibited alongside sixty-seven works in a range of media. Ambitiously, the interactive installations El tendedero (The Clothesline), 1978/2016, and Justicia y democracia, 1995/2016, will be reactivated. A catalogue with contributions by Griselda Pollock and Amelia Jones, among others, promises to shed light on the space Mayer carved out for feminism and art in Mexico.

Gabriela Jauregui


Through July 31
Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Julieta González, and Luiza Proença

By framing contemporary artists’ work in relation to that of Lina Bo Bardi, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo aims to recover the legacies of this Brazilian architect, who designed the museum’s current home and who advocated a social vision of democracy and multiplicity. MASP recently reconstructed Bo Bardi’s iconic glass easel display for its collection, and with the title “Playgrounds,” the curators allude to the institution’s homonymous 1969 exhibition, which—as this show promises to do—took the ludic dimension of Bo Bardi’s thinking as a point of reference. Among the six participating artists and artist collectives are Yto Barrada, Céline Condorelli, and Ernesto Neto. One hopes that the “play” proposed by the artists’ installations, performances, and workshops will revive—especially in the face of Brazil’s current ecological and economic crises—an image of the collective life Bo Bardi imagined.

Kaira M. Cabañas

Roppongi Crossing 2016: “My Body, Your Voice”

Through July 10
Curated by Natsumi Araki, Sunjung Kim, Keisuke Ozawa, and Wu Dar-Kuen

For the fifth edition of Roppongi Crossing, the Mori Art Museum’s triennial assessment of contemporary Japanese art, a team of international curators will explore themes of identity and diversity, especially as they play out in new-media practices. The exhibition will feature twenty artists and collectives, including Futoshi Miyagi, known for investigating political tensions between Japan and the United States in such works as the multiplatform project American Boyfriend, 2012–, and Mari Katayama, whose photographs and installations reflect her experiences and fantasies as a young woman and double amputee living in a media-driven consumer society. In a country where the cultural discourse often turns to Japanese exceptionalism, the challenge for the exhibition will be whether it can reveal new possibilities for Japanese universality.

Andrew Maerkle

Liu Chuang, Untitled (Dancing Partner), 2010, digital video, color, sound, 5 minutes 15 seconds. From “Digging a Hole in China.”

“Digging a Hole in China”

Through June 18
Curated by Venus Lau

The accelerated pace of urbanization has long occupied the imagination of Chinese artists, particularly in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and during the years leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to the land on which development frenetically takes place, an issue foregrounded by the perpetually contested status of private property in a Communist state. “Digging a Hole in China” explores the ways in which artists have since the mid-1990s engaged with the land and its attendant politics in practices that have been subject to legal and socially enforced regulations. Featuring fifteen-odd works, including installations, site-specific projects, and photographs by such artists as Xu Tan, Lin Yilin, Cao Fei, Zheng Guogu, and Zhang Liaoyuan, the show promises a different view of life, from the ground up.

Joan Kee