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.
Photography is indelibly woven into the not-yet-ended history of the nuclear age. The camera was present at the very beginning of this era, documenting the arc from experimentation, via eerie images of the first atomic fireball, to decimation, characterized by photos of atomic-bomb victims at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Remarkably, “Camera Atomica”an exhibition of roughly 150 photographs from 1945 to the presentsustains the intensity of these arresting early images, training its focus on radiation and bombs throughout the Cold War. Bringing together everything from artist’s photographs (by Diane Arbus, Barbara Kruger, and others), anti-nuke protest images, and depictions of the decaying contemporary ruins of Pripyat, Ukraine (near Chernobyl), this remarkable show and catalogue promise to make clear that the age of the nucleus is also and always an age of the image.
Outsiders exist outside of what, exactly? For the past two years, Spanish artist Dora García has crisscrossed the globe in pursuit of a response to that question. “I See Words, I Hear Voices” assembles the results. As proved by the show’s seven worksamong them, the video The Joycean Society, 2013, which documents a reading group in Zurich as they parse a page from Finnegans Wake word by word, and ESPextrasensory perception (Imposed Words), 2015, which brings a clairvoyant into the gallery to perceive things that others cannotfor García, truth is but a state of mind. The linchpins of the artist’s project (and of the show’s major, four-hundred-page catalogue) are her Mad Marginal Charts, diagrams that translate her ongoing research into Joyce, Freud, Lacan, and Artaud into a series of cryptic wall maps. The more you look, the more you see that it’s not “they” but we who are on the outside.
What is it we talk about when we talk about Agnes Martin? I wondered this recently at the Hirshhorn Museum, as I watched several couples blissfully gravitate to the same stately painting, exclaiming: “An Agnes Martin!” A towering figure, Martin honed a practice that is instantly recognizable and widely reveredthough neither condition is necessarily good for deep consideration. This expansive survey promises a compelling overview of fifty years of production (1954–2004) and occasions a thorough catalogue addressing the full range of Martin’s work and influential writings. The show will include some obscure surprisesfrom early experiments in sculpture to late geometrics, but, more important, it may refocus its viewers on nuances in the familiar. Martin must be seen and reseen in person, otherwise she’s loved into neglect. Travels to the K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Nov. 7, 2015–Feb. 2016; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Apr. 24–Sept. 11, 2016; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, dates TBA.
For almost two decades, Emily Jacir’s works have served as enigmatic, stirring, and sometimes uncomfortable visual totems of the Palestinian situation. The general surreality of the Israeli occupation looms large across Jacir’s diverse sculptures, photographs, performances, and films. For her first major UK survey, the artist presents nearly twenty works from 1998 to the present. Included is Material for a Film (2004–), her mixed-media meditation on the vexed life of Wael Zuaiter, a Palestinian intellectual assassinated for his alleged involvement in the terrorist group Black September. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by the show’s curator Omar Kholeif, critic Jean Fisher, and scholar Graziella Parati, among others. Travels to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Nov. 2016.
Revisionist attitudes toward Pop have emerged as an important trend in recent exhibitions. This show, an eclectic cornucopia of 160 paintings, sculptures, films, and photography-based works from roughly 1964 to 1974, is perhaps the most geographically expansive example to date. The exhibition emphasizes local contexts of production, with works by artists such as the São Paulo–based Anna Maria Maiolino and the Finnish Raimo Reinikainen, and establishes new signposts for tracing the oft-contested relationship between Pop and gender by devoting special attention to underexposed artists, including Eulàlia Grau, Teresa Burga, and Jana Želibská. Accompanying the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue featuring eight new essays that both affirm and advance efforts to reconsider Pop as a wide-ranging cluster of responses to the effects of politics, industrialization, economics, and mass media within a short but crucial period.
How to proceed after the drip was the question that occupied Jackson Pollock when he completed the core group of his iconic abstractions at the end of 1950. One of his first answers was to render figurative imagery via a novel technique that transformed his signature means into a more delicate pour. While these “black pourings” were initially well received, they fell into near obscurity after Pollock died in 1956, when critical consensus hardened around the priority of his dripped abstractions. “Blind Spots” will bring together more than sixty works, mostly from 1951 to 1953, to shed light on this still relatively unexplored aspect of Pollock’s work. Accompanied by a catalogue featuring contributions by Jo Applin, Michael Fried, and the curators, the show will offer an unprecedented opportunity to survey Pollock’s first attempts to take full stock of what he had done with, and to, painting at the height of his career. Travels to the Dallas Museum of Art, Nov. 15, 2015–Mar. 20, 2016.