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.
This exhibitionderived from a 2011 Bronx Museum symposium and accompanying volume of the same nametakes Lucio Costa’s idealized dwelling unit in Brasília, the superquadra, as a jumping-off point to explore the ways in which contemporary artists have addressed the contested legacy of Latin American and Caribbean architectural modernism. Twenty-plus artists contribute more than sixty works in diverse mediaranging from quasi-architectural interventions (Los Carpinteros) to incisive social critique (Daniela Ortiz and Alexander Apóstol) to poetic reflections on history and form (Quisqueya Henríquez and Ishmael Randall Weeks). These heterogeneous approaches promise to grapple not only with midcentury modernism’s effects on the built environment but with its abiding spectral presence as an emblem of utopia. Talks, screenings, and performances at an off-site pavilion designed by Canadian artist Terence Gower and Argentinean architect Galia Solomonoff will round out the show.
Bringing together some fifty images created between the mid-1920s and 1940 by both signal and marginalized figures such as Constantin Brancusi, Ilse Bing, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Jaroslav Rössler, and Lucia Moholy, curator Anne Havinga inherits the burden and potential of any exhibition devoted to photography from the interwar period, namely the challenge of tracking the medium through the realms of art, advertising, and journalism, as well as of encompassing the era’s diverse movements and eclectic caldron of styles. Havinga’s exhibition is sure to provide a complex picture of European avant-garde photography in search of its own essence and in hot pursuit of painting, cinema, and other validating modes of cultural productionin short, as an art form torn between the avant-garde and what the late Miriam Hansen called vernacular modernism.
Metamorphology, a term borrowed from Goethe’s protoevolutionary theory, is a persuasive catchall for Simon Starling’s practice, which is postmediumand multimediayet full of research-heavy, labor-intensive, material transformations. This first major museum survey in the US will include, among eleven ambitious works from the past decade, a propped two-ton slab of Romanian steel titled after Brancusi’s 1923 Bird in Space, which Duchamp had likewise shepherded through US customs, duty-free, some eighty years earlierbut only after a protracted court case over its aesthetic status. Another modernist giant hovers over Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima), 2010, an installation marshaling complex cross-cultural narratives linking Henry Moore, early atomic research, and the provenance of materials. The catalogue includes contributions by Mark Godfrey, the curators, and Starling himself.
Travels to the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Feb.–Apr. 2015.
Constraint, alteration, impediment: The figures that populate the work of Markus Schinwald are subjected to a range of psychophysical distortions, to strange bendings and bindings through which the Vienna-based artist summons a world weirdly ductile in both form and affect. Schinwald works with painting (uncannily détourned nineteenth-century portraits, seamlessly overlaid with rendered prosthetics), sculpture (contortions of elegantly flailing cabrioles), video, choreography, costume and set design, and architectural intervention. His project for the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011 gave a taste of all of this and was a highlight of the Giardini. Now curators Gheith and Huberman are happily giving Schinwald the run of the Wattis for a building-wide, site-specific installation for this, the artist’s first major solo exhibition at a US institution.
An African American designer based in Paris in the 1980s, Patrick Kelly was a fashion-world anomaly whose irreverent looks boldly addressed issues of race, sexuality, and class. Now, a generation after Kelly’s untimely death from aids in 1990, his work as jovial provocateur is considered in full in this capacious survey. Presenting more than eighty ensembles, the exhibition highlights the designer’s signature interweaving of autobiography, racial stereotypes,and cliché notions of luxury and taste, which Kelly frequently both celebrated and satirized. Photography by the daring Oliviero Toscani (of ’80s and ’90s Benetton fame) and Pierre et Gilles, rare video footage of the designer’s runway shows, and Kelly’s personal collection of reclaimed racist memorabilia fill out the show, which is punctuated by the adjoining exhibition, “Gerlan Jeans ♥ Patrick Kelly,” an homage by New York–based-street-wear designer Gerlan Marcel.
Nouveau Réaliste Yves Klein was notorious in the 1960s for using women as “human paintbrushes,” while American Conceptualist David Hammons gained renown a decade later for indexical drawings made using his own greased-up body. Though the two artists’ practices emerged from vastly different contexts and conversations, this exhibitionone of several inaugurating the AAM’s new downtown venuecontends that an irreverent attitude toward artmaking connects Klein and Hammons in intriguing ways. Three themes, “Ritual,” “Process,” and “Transformation,” promise to link the show’s forty-nine works on more than just formal grounds, hopefully allowing ephemeral actions like Klein’s Zones of immaterial pictorial sensibility, 1962in which a notional artwork was transferred to its collector via a ceremonial toss of gold into the Seineand Hammons’s sidewalk sale of melting snowballs (Bliz-aard Ball Sale, 1983) to be productively regarded together. A catalogue with contributions by Jacobson, Philippe Vergne, and Klaus Ottmann accompanies the show.